This week, the weather cooled down enough to convince me that autumn does exist! To celebrate, I put on socks for the first time in months, baked a cake and made fall leaf headbands and hair clips for the adorable neighbor girls. There are so many ways you can customize these headbands and clips, and they are so easy to make that they can be a fun fall sleep-over activity for girls ages 6 and over. (This was my original plan, but along with the autumn weather came back-to-school coughs and colds for my nieces, who were my original craft dates for this project.)
Things You’ll Need
Elastic headbands and alligator hair clips
Silk autumn leaves
Liquid Fusion glue
Mod Podge with gloss finish
Glitter in autumn colors
Natural elements such as acorns, seed pods or pretty pebbles
Burlap ribbon and twine
Whether you opt for a headband or barrette or both, you’ll want to start by making little leaf bundles. Take a handful of the silk leaves and stack them into tiered piles of two or three. Run a thin ribbon of Liquid Fusion glue between the leaves, and use your hair clips to hold the leaf bundles in place while they dry. Check that the glue doesn’t ooze out of your “leaf sandwich” and onto the clip that is temporarily holding the leaves together.
When dry, arrange your tiered leaf stacks in the order you would like them to appear on your headband and hair clips.
Stretch the headband across a medium-sized bowl so that there is a bit more surface area to work with, zigzag the Liquid Fusion glue along one fourth to one half of the elastic band, and then place your leaf stacks on the glue.
Clip the leaf stacks down onto the elastic headband with unused alligator clips. This will ensure that the maximum surface area of the leaves is touching the maximum surface area of glued elastic headband. Allow to dry completely. If you are in a hurry, you can speed things up a bit by using a hair dryer.
This seems to be the favorite step of all my wee crafters: applying Mod Podge and glitter. Paint the leaves with a thin coat of Mod Podge, and then hold the barrettes (and/or headbands) over a paper plate and lightly sprinkle the glitter over the leaves. Lightly. One more time: lightly sprinkle glitter over the leaves.
Letting kids loose on glitter is a mistake you will make only once, so adults, you will probably want to supervise this step. Unless you are cool with glitter ending up among your eyelashes, in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator and even in your underwear. I do not know how glitter travels so far and wide, but it does. It is Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong all wrapped up into one heck of an indestructible craft supply.
When the base coat of Mod Podge is dry, paint a second coat over the glitter and let that dry completely. While it dries, select a few natural elements (acorns, eucalyptus pods, pretty stones or beads) or anything else you would like to use as the focal point of your clips and headbands. I used acorns and beads on the hair clips and two big eucalyptus seed pods on the headband.
Squeeze a glob of Liquid Fusion on the headband and clips, and set the focal piece into the glue. Arrange any accent items, such as beads, sequins or burlap ribbon and twine. Then, put on a movie and make some popcorn while those completely dry. You can use one more coat of glossy Mod Podge to seal your acorns, seeds and stones and give them a little bit of glossy shine.
When everything is dry, your kiddos will have a headband and set of barrettes that they can wear proudly throughout the season.
The alligator hair clips and wide elastic headbands are comfortable in just about everyone’s hair, so moms and aunts can make a matching pair if they are feeling left out.
Important: Little sisters may find these sparkly-leaf headbands irresistible, so big sisters, be prepared to share, or just go ahead and make tons of extras, because you know everyone will want one!
All photos by: Megan Andersen