Friday, March 6, 2009

Renaissance Festival Fun-Head Bands

Our family goes to the Renaissance Festival as a whole family every year. Around here there is a pretty good one that lasts for a few months, but it's just once a year. It's fantastic. I thought I would make my daughters headbands and wands like the ones that they sell once you get there. I'm quite excited about these because I get to use ribbon and beads! 2 of my favorite things! Here is how to make the headbands:
I used craft wire for the base of them as I want them to sit on top of my girls head, be comfortable, and I needed it to string through my beads. I also used tulle, ribbon I heat curled, and ribbon. I happen to have heat curled ribbon on hand, as I made up a huge batch one time. I actually think we were doing this for days!
Making the curled ribbon is easy. Get yourself some dowels. Whatever size of dowel is the size of curl your ribbon will end up having to it. The larger the dowel, the looser the curl. This works best with grossgrain ribbon. However, I used the regular "Spool O'Ribbon" that you can get anywhere, and they worked just fine for me. I like the look of the grossgrain ribbons, but the price of the Spool O' Ribbons. I have used all different widths of this ribbon and I like the variety of them. Preheat the oven 325. Then, you will wrap your ribbon around the dowels until the dowels are covered. Do not overlap the ribbon as it will melt together. Clip the ends of the ribbon with a clothespin. I found that the mini clothespins worked really well for this. Then, get all of the dowels (with the ribbon wrapped around them) wet. A spray bottle works well for this, make sure to turn over so that the whole thing is wet. Line the dowels up on a cookie sheet, making sure they are not touching each other. You will "cook" them for 20-25 minutes. Do not overcook or they will burn or change colors. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Then, spray them all with a stiffener such as Aleene's Quick Stiffen. Let them completely dry and then you will unwrap them from the dowels. I did my huge batch years ago and they are still holding just fine. If you pull on them they will stretch out a little, but I don't think the grossgrain ribbons have this problem. These are what you would use on those cute hairbows for little girls!
I chose which beads I wanted to use for this project, and then arranged them in a bead tray so I could see how long I wanted it and in what pattern.
The tulle was the kind you find in the wedding isle of the craft store. The label is "Tulle Spool". I cut it in 5 inch pieces and then cut each of those pieces in half, as it was 6 inches wide and I only needed about 3 inches. I also cut the coordinating ribbon to 5 inches. For this orange headband I cut 25 white tulle pieces and about 13 pieces of my 2 orange ribbons (so about 26 orange ribbons total).
Next, I took my craft wire and cut it to fit my daughter's head, plus about 3 inches. I bent one end, to keep the beads on the wire. Then, I threaded my beads onto my wire. You wont need to fill the whole wire, as you will be putting ribbon in between each bead and that will take up a lot of space. Bend the second end so that the beads can't slip off of either end of the craft wire.
Push all the beads to one end of the wire. You are now going to start knotting either the tulle or a ribbon, in between each bead. So you will push one bead to the other end of the wire. I started with the tulle and folded it in half (you scrunch the shorted side together and fold the longer side in half).
Put the looped end of the tulle under the craft wire.
Grasp the loose ends of your tulle with one hand, and the bent end with your other hand.
You are going to pull the loose ends of the tulle through the bent end, making sure to be going around the craft wire.
Then, you just pull that knot tight. This is how the wire looks with one bead and then the knotted tulle.
Slide one more bead over and then do the same process of tying a knot around the craft wire, but this time with a ribbon. I chose the pattern of bead, tulle, bead, ribbon 1, bead, tulle, bead, ribbon 2.
I alternated tulle with ribbon. Then, I alternated the ribbon with the darker ribbon and the lighter ribbon. This is what I mean by that. Continue this until you fill your craft wire up.
I rechecked the size of this headband and twist the 2 ends of the wire on top of each other at that size. This will leave you with a gap of about an inch, where you are just seeing the twisted ends of your craft wire. This is where you will be tying on your long pieces of ribbon. I used my curled ribbon and just attached it by tying a single regular knot. I varied the length of ribbon on each one you tied on. You can make these as long as you want and add as many as you want until you achieve your desired fullness. My daughter wanted hers to hang all the way down her back so hers are as long as 2 feet!
You can see that I added the looser curled ribbon and then some that are tiny. I also threw in some curled ribbons that were white, and some ribbon that was not curled. I really liked the variety on this.

And here is the one I did for my other daughter! Can you guess their favorite colors?


the monkeys' mama said...

oooo I love it! I think I might have to make one for baby C and Little Miss to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (a little too little for the Renaissance Faire just yet!) but those would be fun anytime hairpieces.

Kat said...

So cute!! I didn't know that about curling ribbon. Then again I don't have a girl to make these things for. I can't wait to see them in person.


erika said...

I remember curling all of that ribbon with you! Hopefully a girl will come our way in the future so I have a reason to do it again! I love the idea for the renaissance festival crowns, so much better than buying them there.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

a.l.s.-I think you could use these for so many things. First of all, the curled ribbon is so easy to put onto headbands and hair clips. That is what I originally used them for. Over the years I've used them for lots of different projects such as bows for presents!
erika-you were the slave labor for those days of curling ribbon making! Thanks! I'm still enjoying the fruits of our labor! I'd love to do a session of curling ribbon making with you, for your own little girl to be...but I guess we'll have to wait until your little boy to be makes his grand entrance! =) said...

Oh how fun! I love the ren fair! Thanks so much for sharing this, I'll be linking.

Unknown said...

These are so cute! They don't look too hard to make either. Have a great weekend!

Lucky Mom said...

Definitely have to try this. So cute!!! My girls would love these for any day of the year.

Shiloah Baker said...

This is super!!!! Can I feature your tutorial on The Homemaking Cottage? with the link to your blog and author credits of course. :) Let me know! pinkginghamom at

Shiloah B.

Geek+Nerd said...

Thanks for the tutorial, these are cute!

ashley @ little miss momma said...

Love this headband--so crafty!
Would love for you to link up to my Headband Link party over at Little Miss Momma! Here's the link: