Deciding what to give as a bridesmaids’ gift is tough—should it all be the same? Is it too much to have them wear the gift to the wedding? While you don’t want to buy them something as lifeless and impersonal as sticky notes, you don’t want to give them something they won’t like or is useless after the wedding. One way to get them something they’re all bound to enjoy is to make them infinity hair clips.
- Crimp tool, wire cutters, needle nose pliers (mine are pocket size – full size work)
- Beading wire (.18 inch or smaller)
- One big, standout center bead complementary to your wedding colors
- Smaller beads in your wedding colors
- Crimp tubes
- A hairpin (not pictured)
Step 1: Attach a small bead to the end of a 10” piece of wire. (The length may seem excessive – but remember: wire is cheap and re-stringing is devastating). This bead on the end prevents the beads from falling off the end when you’re stringing them.
Step 2: Lay out your designs exactly as it will look on the hair clip. This gives you an idea of how many beads you’ll need to make the size of hair clip you want, and also you can play with the pattern. Also, it makes the margin of error much smaller for your design.
Step 3: Place the middle bead on the wire, then string one side of your beads. Pay close attention to your pattern and design, and check it often. In a pattern this simple, it’s easy to spot mistakes after the fact, and it will bother you if one bead is out of place.
Step 4: Feed the open end of the wire back through the center bead. Be careful that you don’t accidentally string the wire through any of the other beads, or it will gum up your design.
Step 5: String the other half of your beads. I cannot stress enough to pay careful attention to your pattern and design, and check it often. It’s much easier to correct mistakes in patterns if you catch them after two beads as opposed to after you’ve finished.
ALTERNATIVE: Combine steps three, four, and five – string one side of your beads, place the middle bead on the string, and then string the remainder of your beads. From there, you can feed the open wire through the center bead and continue to step six. Personally, I find it easier to break it up into smaller steps. But there honestly is no “right” way to string a figure-eight infinity loop.
Step 6: Remove the original small bead from the wire. Place your crimp tube on the open wire; coming in from the other side, feed the other wire through the crimp tube. Crimp the bead with the crimping tool.
NOTE: If you have as little wire as I do in the photo, you will have to restring your design. ALWAYS have your wire longer than your design. It makes it much easier to finish off the design. A good way to check to see if you have enough wire is to loop your wire in the infinity design in the size you want, then add four inches before you trim it.
Step 7: Use the wire cutters to trim the wire away from the crimp tube. Be extremely careful here that you don’t accidentally cut one of the main wires. If you do your entire design will fall apart, and you will be very sad (because re-stringing is tragic… not to mention frustrating). Also, don’t cut the crimp tube itself. It’s strong, but it’s no match for wire-cutters, and you’d hate for beads to fly everywhere at the rehearsal dinner because you accidentally clipped the crimp tube!
Add in an attractive hair pin (or, to customize, let your ladies choose their own!) and you’ve got a completely unique, stylish, and coordinated bridesmaids gift for your girls to wear down the aisle. It’s universal enough that they can wear it day-to-day, and subtle enough that it won’t stand out garishly.
Also, it doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. You can alter the size of the clip for your particularly thick-haired friends by extending your bead pattern (on both sides for symmetry!), and conversely for the straight haired ladies, make it a little smaller by taking a few out of the design (remember, it’s like an algebra equation – you can do whatever you want to either side, but you have to do it to both!).
That’s it! Once you’ve done it once, this pattern is a breeze. You can make them match your colors exactly, or be complementary; you can make each one the exact same for each of your ladies, or customize it according to their favorite colors. It’s a subtle enough touch that you can play with the colors without losing the unifying effect. Regardless of how you choose to color them, your special ladies will love this gift almost as much as they love you.