a party studio

Printable party supplies, ideas and creativity

Tutorial: How to line an alligator clip May 2, 2011

Once you know how to line an alligator clip, you can make hair bows and turn silk flowers into beautiful hair accessories! It is worth practicing this technique because it’ll open the door to making lots of different fun hair bows.

Lined alligator clips

You will need:

3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon (total of 4 ½ inches)

Fray Check

Scissors

Hot glue gun and mat

Double prong alligator clip

Everything you'll need

Instructions: 

Prepare your ribbon by cutting it to 4 ½ inches. Make sure your cut is straight across, not at an angle. Treat both ends of the ribbon with Fray Check to ensure it will not fray. Allow the Fray Check 10 minutes to dry.

Cut and treat ribbon

Cut and treat ribbon

Spread hot glue onto the ribbon. Spread it along approximately 1 ¼” of the ribbon.

Apply hot glue

(Please note: Your ribbon glueing process starts on the inside of the upper part or lever of the clip, runs along the outside, over the grips end and finishes along the outside of the lower, flat half of your alligator clip.)
Take the part of the ribbon that you have just applied the hot glue and place it under the top of your alligator clip. You will need to use one hand to open the clip (squeeze the end) and use your other hand to firmly press the ribbon against the clip as shown in the photo.

Hold ribbon against clip

Apply some hot glue on the top of the alligator clip. Simply run it along from the gripper end to the tips.

Apply more glue

Spread glue

Pull your ribbon up and over onto the glue you’ve just applied and in this way covering the top half of the alligator clip. Smooth the ribbon over the glue and press firmly for a few seconds whilst the glue hardens to ensure that the ribbon adheres to the clip.

Fold ribbon

Press ribbon

Hold the clip in one hand and take the piece of ribbon and bend it back. This will make sure the ribbon is not in the way when you apply the hot glue on the edge of the clip’s grip.

Side view

Very carefully apply glue on the upper clip grip. The glue goes on the edge, as shown in the photograph. Be careful because you can easily apply too much glue. You just need a small amount.

Apply glue

Firmly press the ribbon against this blob of glue. Use your pointer finger to press the ribbon into the notch between the two clip grips. Hold the ribbon against the glue for about 10 seconds to ensure it sticks properly.

Press ribbon

Now, bend the ribbon back. Again, you want the ribbon to be out of the way when you apply the next blob of glue. Place a small dollop of glue on the other clip grip.

Apply more glue

Use your finger to firmly press the ribbon against the glue. The ribbon will ‘dip’ in the middle of the clip, between the two grippers.

Press firmly

Place the top of the alligator clip (the gripper end) against your glue mat so that the ribbon is laying flat. Spread hot glue on the last of the ribbon.

Spread glue

Take this piece of ribbon and place it on the back of the alligator clip. This completes the ‘lining’ of the clip.

Press firmly

It is a good idea to now open the clip. You can remove any stray blobs of hot glue using your finger. You want to make sure that there isn’t any hot glue seeping through the gap of the two prongs because this could dry up and stick the clip together. That is why I like to always open the clip at the end and ensure there’s no unwanted glue on the inside!

Open clip and remove excess glue

Et voila! A gorgeous partially lined alligator clip!

And if you never master this technique, don’t worry… there are lots of Etsy shops selling handmade lined alligator clips. Check out these cute rainbow clip set from Mommy and Me Boutique!

Rainbow clippies

Set of clippies

Tips:

The first few clips you line may not look perfect. That is ok- don’t get rid of them because once you attach a bow or a flower to the clip, it’ll be covered and no-one will see any imperfections.

Lined alligator clips make the basis of any bow but they also look very pretty by themselves, especially if you use a patterned ribbon.

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4 amazing SWEET party favors March 24, 2011

I have been seeing some really fun party snacks recently. In fact, these are so cute that they also double as party favors when individually wrapped and tied with a party tag. When my daughter comes home with a party goody bag full of little plastic toys (aka choking hazards for my 10 month old) made in China, I cringe… and mysteriously, one by one, over a period of a few days, the plastic favors end up in the bin. Take a look at these alternatives and let me know what you think! You can make all these at home- you just need a few basic supplies, some patience and (I imagine) a couple hours undisturbed in the kitchen! If you click on the photos, you’ll be taken to a simple to follow tutorial. But if the thought of melting chocolate freaks you out, there are plenty of places on line where you can order these little gems!

 

1. Chocolate dipped oreo pops:

Chocolate-dipped oreo pops

 

 

2. Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods:

Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods

My son’s first birthday is coming up at the end of April so I’ll try making the chocolate dipped pretzels for that. I’ll let you know how it goes and if it really is as easy as the direction look! I figure that the toddlers and babies love gnawing on the pretzel rods and the other moms are going to love me when their babies come home on a sugar high! Actually, I’m sort of joking there… there’s not THAT MUCH chocolate on these… ha ha ha!

I actually think that the chocolate-dipped pretzel rods could be a fun project to do with my 3-year old daughter.

 

 

3. Cake balls:

Chocolate covered cake balls

Red velvet cake balls

Do you think these taste as good as they look? I love that they look like truffles… but are actually perfect for little boys and girls! So decadent! Again, these make fabulous party favors. Put some in a cute ‘Chinese’ style take away box. I love the  clear take out boxes which can easily be spruced up with a little ribbon and a party tag.

 

 

4. Cake pops:

Cake pops

These make such a cute alternative to traditional lollipops and are basically cake balls on lollipop sticks. I recommend perfecting the cake balls before moving onto this technique. Personally, I’m not that great in the kitchen so I’ll be buying these on the internet! You can buy cake pops on Etsy. A dozen for about $26. With shipping the cake pops cost over $3 each. I imagine this is a great deal considering the supplies you’d go through when trying to perfect making these!!!! Not to mention the time.

 

So, there you have it. Four of the most trendy edible party favors! Hope you enjoy and are inspired to do something a little different. Have you offered something special and unique at a party recently? Or seen something incredible? Leave me a comment. I LOVE comments and I LOVE hearing about people’s parties! Also, I have subscribers in England… I am curious about trends over there!

 

 

Tutorial: The Silk Flower March 17, 2011

You will need:

Silk flower

Lined double prong alligator clip

Hot Glue

Rhinestone Embellishment (optional)

 

Step 1

Cut the stem off the flower. Discard the plastic green “crown” so that all your have are the leaves.

Cut stem off the flower

Step 2

Separate each layer. We are going to glue these on the alligator clip, one layer at a time. We’ll start with the bottom layer and work our way to the top (smallest) layer.

Separate each layer

Step 3

Put hot glue on the alligator clip and on the largest layer of the silk flower.

Hot glue

Step 4

Press the flower on the alligator clip and hold to the count of 10.

Press flower on alligator clip

Step 5

Repeat with all the additional layers.

Repeat

Step 6

Once all the flower layers are glued on the clip in a stack, take your embellishment and glue it in the middle of the flower. If you don’t have an embellishment, you can use the ‘center’ of the flower and that’ll give you a more ‘natural’ look.

Embellish the center

Enjoy! And be creative:)

In hair

 

Tutorial: The Loopy Hair Bow March 15, 2011

You will need:

3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon: FIVE strands that measure 8 inches and FOUR strands that measure 6 inches. You can mix and match the ribbon- they can be all one color or lots of colors! Be creative with your ribbons and have fun with it. The total amount of ribbon is 64 inches.

Fray Check

Needle and thread

2x double prong alligator clip (one lined, the other unlined). One will be use for the bow and the other is a tool you’ll use.

Hot glue gun

Embellishment such as a button or rhinestone for the center of the bow

 

 

Step 1

Select your ribbon. I have used red saddlestitch, white with red saddlestitch and red with Swiss dots.

3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon

Step2

Cut your ribbon and treat all ends with Fray Check to prevent fraying.

For a double layer medium sized loopy bow, you will need five strands that measure 8 inches and four strands that measure 6 inches. Your finished bow will measure approximately 3 1/2 inches.

Cut and treat ribbon

Step 3

Stack the five strands that measure 8 inches then fold over in the center. Make sure your Swiss dots are facing towards each other as shown in the photo. Put your needle in the center of the fold. Do not pull the needle all the way through! You need to stop when the ribbon is approximately half way on to the needle.

Stack and fold

Step 4

Fan the ribbon taking care to keep the strands evenly spaced out. Take your time with this to get the ribbon exactly where you want it. It helps to hold the bottom of the needle with your dominant hand and then slowly move the strands around. Then, use a double prong alligator clip to keep the strands in place. Do not remove the needle.

Fan ribbon

Step 5

Start folding each strand. Take the end of each strand and turn it upside down before placing it on the head of the needle. This is called an inside-out fold and will give you nice loops. There are other ways to do the loops- the important thing is to be consistent and each loop has to be made the same way.

Inside-Out fold

Side view of fold

Start folding

Step 6

One you have done all the strands, you’ll have a pretty flower shape. Use your needle and thread to sew the center securely. Usually I have to pull the needle through about 4 to 5 times. Then, cast off.

Sew the center

Step 7

Repeat the above steps with the shorter threads of ribbon.  You’ll notice that it is easier to fan out the ribbon when you only use 4 strands.

Repeat for shorter strands

Step 8

You now have two loopy flowers.

Two loopy flower layers

Step 9

You can either sew the top layer onto the larger bottom layer or use hot glue. I have used both methods and after breaking several needles, I have become a huge fan of the hot glue method! Once the layers are stacked, add the embellishment to the center using hot glue and attach the bow to a partially lined hair clip using hot glue. I like to put the bow upside down, apply the glue to the top of the clip and then turn the clip upside down and press it onto the bow. Make sure you hold for 10 seconds so that it is secure.

Stack layers and add embellishment

Here are some finished bows. I love playing with different colors and using lots of different ribbons. With regards to printed ribbon, I prefer very simple- Swiss dots, saddlestitch or stripes- but that is a personal preference. You’ll quickly develop your own style!

Gold and purple loopy bow

Multi-colored loopy bow

Yellow and green loopy bow

Back of loopy bow

To do a  third layer, you will need SIX 9 inch strands of ribbon.

I used a simple white button for this bow but this is where you can get even more creative. A wonderful source for custom made embellishments is Green Meadow Clay.  Christene makes amazing polymer clay centers for hair bows. This is a wonderful way to tie in the hair accessory with the outfit or the theme of the party dress!

Wouldn’t this ladybug that she made look really cute in the above bow?

Green Meadow Clay

 

 
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