What are the best type/size hair clips to use for different size bows?

Wondering when to use alligator clips and when to use French barrettes?

It depends more on your preference than the type of bow. If the child has fine hair, I tend to go with an alligator clip. French barrettes are used mostly with older girls since they have more hair to hold that barrette. Also, I don’t use the non-slip grips. If you line your clip correctly you don’t typically need that, but it can’t hurt if you want to use it as a extra selling point and if your customer is requesting it.  I’ve found that the extra bulk in the clip actually makes it more difficult to work with in your girls hair and doesn’t always stay better.  I prefer to properly line my clips with grosgrain ribbon and haven’t had an issue with slipping.  Now the French barrettes will tend to slip more easily since they are typically larger than alligator clips and also because the way they are designed, the hold isn’t quite as tight.

The only bow that I would say is pretty much mandatory to use a specific type of clip would be a French barrette for a loopy bow.  Although I have seen bow makers create small loopy bows on alligator clips, so it’s not out of the question.

Alligator clip (photo courtesy of Photobucket.com)

French barrette (photo courtesy of Photobucket.com)

Looking to make simple bows and all the basic types?  You certainly will want to check out Secrets to Hair Bow Success to learn 18 styles of hair bows that are the most popular ones and also the best place for a beginner to start their bow making adventure.

You can also check out this blog post if you want to learn how to make a layered boutique bow.

There are a variety of bows that are considered “boutique” so if you have a specific one you are looking for, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help!  For example, all three photos below are considered boutique bows and you can see they are VERY different.



From left to right these bows are Boutique Bow, Layered Boutique Bow, and Twisted Boutique Bow.

As you can see from the photos, the name “boutique bow” can be used for a variety of styles so it just depends on what the person who created the hairbow has decided to call it.  The photo on the left and also the one on the right are the more simple style bows that come with the label “boutique” and are some of the very first ones you’ll want to learn how to make once you start.

I was recently emailed a photo of a hair bow with a 2 color knotted center. Unfortunately since I couldn’t find the photo rights, I cannot post it here, but it was very similar to the knotted center of the bow below which I found courtesy of Photobucket.com

It looks like what she did is to glue together two pieces of different width ribbon for the center. For example, you could take a 7/8 inch wide ribbon and glue a 5/8 inch ribbon on top of it. Then knot the ribbon and secure to your bow center as you normally would. I’d suggest securing the two ribbons together with some double sided craft tape or just using a few small dabs of hot glue. If you use too much hot glue it will come out lumpy and won’t look great.

Do you have a photo of a hair bow you’ve been wanting to make but need just a bit of help getting there?  Send me a message and I’m happy to help give you some tips on making it.

Do you need help making a specific type of hair bow?  I’d love to help!  Post your question in the comments area below this post.


Here are some of the questions that have been sent in lately:

How do you make a Cheerleading bow?  And also what are the names of the most popular bows girls wear?

“Hello!. How do you make a knot in the center of your bow with 2 different colors of ribbon? Thanks!!”

“How do you make just simple bows like the boutique hair bows?”

“What are the best type/size hair clips to use for different size bows?”

“What is the best type of glue to use for making bows?”


If you’d like to read my answers to these questions, simply click on the question and it will bring you to the blog post answering that question.  Be sure to ask away if you have anything I can help with and I’ll add it to my blog FAQ section to help out others too.

It might be overwhelming at first when you take a look at the hundreds and thousands of different hairbows you can learn how to make.  Don’t worry! Just take one at a time…start with the easy bows for beginners then you can work on some of the more detailed ones.

Here are the most popular types of hair bows:

Basic Boutique Bow: (there are 2 ways to make this and in “Secrets to Hair Bow Success” I show you both ways since you might like one better than the other, even though they have the same outcome).


Pinwheel Bow:  This is a basic bow you can make with a couple steps.  The only thing needed is ribbon and a needle and thread to stitch the center together.


Twisted Boutique Bow:  While this hairbow is a little challenging at first, it’s a good idea to practice it and start making it as a beginner because you’ll want to use this often in your layered boutique bows.


If you want to see more of the most popular types of hair bows, take a look at the bows you can find for sale on Etsy.com and you’ll get some good ideas of what is currently selling.

Recently I was asked “how do you make a cheerleading bow?”  And here’s what I answered:

The basic cheerleading bow is very easy to make.  Here’s a simple tutorial that will help:  How to Make a Cheer Bow

That video shows you exactly what to do to make a cheer bow with just a piece of ribbon (I use 1.5 inch wide grosgrain), a needle and thread, and a salon clip that I got at Sally Beauty Supply (which isn’t necessary but extremely helpful!)

Beyond that, you can actually make the fun sequin and shiny ribbon that you see on professional cheer bows.  The process to make them is very easy and I explain it and show it all in my course “Secrets to Cheer Bow Success.”


Which cheer bow is your favorite?  I LOVE the blue one in the center with three layers – glitter ribbon on top, zebra grosgrain in the middle, and then a mystique blue for the base.


I love it when customers send me photos of the very FIRST hair bows they’ve made!  A few months ago (just before Memorial Day!) Sandy sent me an email and included photos of her red, white, and blue themed bows.  The one on the left is the Easy Bow and the right is the Lots of Loops bow from “Secrets to Hair Bow Success.”

“Here are my very first bows that I made with your course.” – Sandy


What kind of hair bows will you learn how to make?  These are just a few of the 18 types of beginner hair bows you can create with “Secrets to Hair Bow Success” - To get started with a free lesson, just enter your email on the top right of the page and I’ll send it over right away.  You’ll love my simple to follow video instructions (plus PDF manual with step by step photos!) to make beautiful bows.

Here are some more customer testimonials AND photos they have shared with me.  You’ll be impressed with these bows and it will hopefully give you some inspiration for your own hair accessories

If you have hair bow photos to share with me, I’d love to post them on the blog here and give you credit (of course!) :)   Just email me and share your story too!

This video shows you step by step how to make sprays for your layered bows. They are also called spikes, but it is the same thing. This is a layer that is added behind your main hairbow to surround it with spikes of ribbon.

You can use these sprays for a layer of a stacked boutique hair bow which are a very popular type of girls bow.

Sprays typically use a 5/8 inch wide ribbon (or wider). You can choose how many pieces of ribbon you want to use for them. Decide whether you want them to completely surround the main bow or if you’d just prefer to have a few on the left and right sides of the center. Here are some photos of bows that have a layer of spikes on them:

    Halloween Hair Bow photo by Rachel

These hair bows were photos submitted by happy customers!  If you’d like to see more customer photos, check these out!

Layered bows are my absolute favorites since they are so unique and beautiful every time you make them!  Be sure to learn how to make hair bow sprays first then you’ll be one step closer to making awesome layered boutique bows for your special girl or even to sell.

Giveaway Linky for Wednesday, July 25th

If you are sponsoring a giveaway, please add it to the linky list like this:

Blog name – Prize – Ending Date


If you like to enter giveaways, please visit the pages on the list and enter for your chance to win.

Leave me a comment below to let me know which flower bow is your favortie.

The hair bow that gets the most votes will be our FREE sample lesson for this course!













Just leave a comment below with the name of your favorite flower and if it’s the winning one, you’ll be learning how to make it for FREE!