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)
Hot glue gun and mat
Double prong alligator clip
Everything you'll need
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take this piece of ribbon and place it on the back of the alligator clip. This completes the ‘lining’ of the clip.
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!
Set of clippies
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.