Saturday, August 11, 2012

Butterfly Hair Clip Tutorial

 This tutorial was originally posted on my Kurli*Cues business blog, but all my pictures were deleted from the post, so since I had to redo the post, I decided to post it here as well.  I am not able to keep up with both blogs right now anyway, so you may be seeing more hair bow tutorials here in the future. :)

These butterfly clips are always a favorite - they are so adorable and girly!!  I realize there are a few tutorials out there already for making butterflies.  But I've noticed that most of the butterflies I see online are kind of sloppy and uneven, so I am hoping to include some tips I had to figure out on my own to help the butterflies to have a nice shape.  I wish I could find a picture of some of the first ones I made - before I sat down and played around with different techniques....ummm....they were NOT adorable! :)

So here goes:

Supplies needed:

For Butterfly:
• 14" length of 3/8" grosgrain ribbon with ends heat sealed
• 2" length of matching grosgrain ribbon
• 1.25" length of matching {tightly made}korker ribbon (for korker body) with ends heat sealed
• lined alligator clip in coordinating or matching ribbon

As a side note - this ribbon was harder to work with! Traditional grosgrain ribbon works best. 

For Construction:
• Double Prong Alligator Clip
• Needle and Thread - I use upholstery thread for all bow making purposes.
• Lighter - for making antennae
• Glue gun - not pictured

1.  Make a mark 5.75" down from the end of your ribbon on the WRONG side.  {My ribbon below is double sided ribbon.} I actually just measure it on my ruler and hold the place with my finger, but until you are comfortable with the butterfly fold, you will find it helpful to have the measurement marked. It will not show in the finished clip.

2.  With the WRONG side facing up, fold the short end of the ribbon around to meet the mark with the heat sealed end perpendicular to the mark - as pictured below.

 3.  Find the middle of the loop and make a crease - this is another step that can be eliminated once you get the hang of the fold...I just "eye ball" it.

4. Bring the middle top of your loop down to meet the intersection of the ribbon turning the right side down as you do so.  You will want to line up the crease with the "V".

5. If needed, adjust your loops so they are even. At this point I reposition the loops in my hand, so that I can form the other 2 loops from the same direction as before. See picture. :)

6.  Now bring the "long" end of the ribbon around to the back of your 2 loops forming 1 large loop. {keeping wrong side up}

Top View

Top View

7.  Crease the middle of this large loop as you did before with the smaller loops and bring the crease down to the middle of the butterfly as before - remember to turn the right side down as you do.

8. The next step in VERY IMPORTANT! You must adjust the loops to achieve a desirable look.  The "wider" the "V" the better your butterfly will lay - although, don't make it TOO wide! :)  Notice the difference in the angles of the loops in the pictures below.

Left side is obviously wider than the right. Simply slide the flat ribbon in the middle from side to side until they are even.

I also adjusted the "V" of the top two loops until they were even.

9.  Now use the double prong alligator clip to hold the butterfly in place while you sew a line up and back down the middle, using the clip as a guide.  Then tie off the ends to secure. Trim excess thread.

10. This next step is perhaps the hardest in my opinion - making the antennae. Using the 2" length of ribbon, trim off two strips along either edge.  While it is fine to use scissors, I find it easiest to use my rotary cutter and straightedge. 

11. Using the lighter, CAREFULLY heat seal the cut edge.  You will probably notice that as you heat the ribbon, it begins to "curl" - you will want to avoid this as much as possible.  Hold the lighter about 3/4" down from the end of the ribbon causing it to "bend"  into the shape of the antennae.   Ideally you want them to match, but you can always adjust the angle when gluing them to the clip.  If you mess up, simply cut another 2" length and start over, as I have done MANY times! :)  You will also find that certain ribbons are easier to use for antennae than others!

11. Place a dot of hot glue part ways down the alligator clip and carefully position the antennae.  I actually use my finger to press them into the glue, but you could use any heat resistant object! :) My fingers are pretty heat resistant after making so many bows! :)

12. Place a small line of glue in the middle of the clip and position the butterfly on top.

13. Place another line of glue (somewhat visible in the picture above) and CAREFULLY position the korker ribbon on top.  Do not press the ribbon into the glue too hard or it will lose its uniform shape! :) You now have an adorable, girly butterfly clip! :)

Once you master the single layer ribbon, it is even more fun to play around with different color combinations using 2 and 3 different ribbons.  

Linking up at Daisy Cottage Designs


  1. I love these clips!! They always look so cute! :)

    1. Thanks! I definitely need to make the girls some more!! And, well, that goes for hair bows in general...

  2. These are ABSOLUTELY adorable!!! I am going to make some of these with my nieces! Thanks for sharing:)

    Link up with me: &

  3. These are so adorable! I'm usually all thumbs when it comes to bow-making, but I'm definitely going to have to give these a try. Thank you for the tutorial. Pinning it for future reference.

  4. Karla... love these! Thanks for linking up. Your tutorial has been featured at this week's Off the Hook!

    1. Thanks, Lauren!! BTW, LOVE the crocheted football hat!!

  5. Hi Karla,
    do you smaller measurement for the second layer?


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