For the first day of A Gift a Day, I chose to make bow barrettes. Most of these are for Ivory. The flowered ribbon one in the back of the second photo will go to Wren and one of the pink ribbon barrettes will go to Elsa.

Bow Barrettes




40 and/or 50 mm snap clip barrettes (I bought mine here); for a young toddler you can buy 40 mm barrettes

alligator pinch clips (do a search on Etsy under supplies for bulk sellers)

felt (you can use wool or acrylic felt; I used wool felt; check Etsy sellers for this as well)


Fray check or clear nail polish (optional)


sewing needle

For the felt bows, I followed the instructions here. The I simply  slid the back section of the barrette through the center part of the back side of the bow.

For the ribbon barrettes, I tied a bow with ribbon and trimmed the ends on the diagonal to slow fraying. If you desire, you can put fray check or clear mail polish on each end to stop tit from fraying at all.

I then sewed a few stitched by hand through the knot on the backside, and then sewed it on to the barrettes.


The total time for one felt barrette is 6 to 10 minutes.

The total time for one ribbon barrette is 5 to 10 minutes.

Today I made 11 barrettes.



The felt barrettes made with wool felt cost $0.23 each, and the ribbon barrettes will vary, depending on the ribbon, but will be around $0.15 to $.20 each.

I bought barrettes in bulk on Etsy for .08 to .10 per barrette last year  in packs of 100, so I have plenty leftover for birthdays and Christmases to come, as well as for gifts for my children’s friends.

If you use purchased wool felt ($2.00 a sheet), your cost will be higher than if you use acrylic felt bought on sale (.20 a sheet). Each barrette used 1/16 of a sheet when I cut the pieces 1/2″ wide.

Ribbon costs will vary; I bought most these on 50% off sales at Joann’s over many years when they were sold by the spool, and some cost more than others. The flowered ribbon was one from my grandmother and the pink satin ribbon I have had for many years. The next time I want to buy ribbon, though, I will order online from here. Notice the first time customer discount as well. If they don’t have what I need I’ll check this place that I found, too (they have velvet ribbons!). You don’t need a long piece of ribbon, so you can use some ribbon that you may have received on a package. If it needs ironing, just iron it before tying it into a bow.

I already had all of the materials on hand, so this year these didn’t cost me any money out of pocket.

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?

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  1. Today at Tuesday Morning (a discount store similar to TJ Maxx/Marshalls) I saw plain metal clips in the sewing section. They were labeled “quilt clips” but they did not look any different from my preschooler’s hair clips. So if anyone has a Tuesday Morning near them it might be worth checking there.

  2. This is great! I have ribbon that I want sure what I could use it for, but didn’t want to give up…now I just need barrette clips to make gifts for a friend’s little girl. Thank you for this idea!

  3. Very nice….and timely. I have a 2 year old birthday coming up next week and needed a little something extra in the sack. These will work perfectly.

  4. Dear Miss Brandy and readers,Thank you for the first posting. The bows are lovely. I am sure your children will be delighted.When I discovered I would not have much funds available for Christmas gifts, I started making them several months ago. I have made a poinsetta scarf, a baby afghan, and a large afghan. I put photos of them on my blog. My gifts were made from materials I had at home but have taken me much longer to make. I decided to make my own gift closet this year. Happy gift making to the readers and Miss Brandy.Anna

  5. I made my Mom a dozen cookies with chocolate chips and strawberry jam, and a loaf of banana bread for her birthday. We got her present on ebay. I had been looking for these books she wanted for years.

  6. I have a hard time with gifts. I have boys. And not a lot of time. But I have been working on this crochet project. It was originally going to be a handbag, then I must have donated the book with the pattern in it. Now it’s just a big rectangular piece of soft blue crocheting. I am working on it because it’s supposed to be good for “meditation” and relaxation, which I need.In the end, it’s either just going to be small little snuggle blanket for the 16 month old, or maybe I can turn it into a pillow covering?

  7. Oh! But I also spent a bit of time yesterday and the day before uploading pictures into shutterfly. Occasionally for Christmas I create a Calendar on shutterfly for family members. With discounts and sales, last year I got 10 for $9.60 each. We live far from our families (we are in California, they are in PA and NY), so they LOVE the calendars with pictures of the boys and us. I always put the birthdays of my siblings and parents and my husband’s also (and nieces and nephews).Come to think of it, I can probably just copy last year’s and replace all of the pictures. This calendar usually takes about 20 hours to design, so I do it over about a month’s time.

  8. I just finished a wool table runner, I couldn’t bring myself to toss the scraps. Now I know what my Niece is getting in her stocking since I have all the supplies needed to make the bows.

  9. I haven’t made any gifts yet, but I spent Friday making my daughter’s baptism dress for Saturday. I used a girl’s shirt that had the right line (look) to use as a pattern and I followed a youtube video on how to draft a sleeve sloper for the sleeves since we were converting the bodice/sleeve area. I haven’t made a list yet of what to make. Now that the baptism is over I will be starting on that.

  10. One year, we bought my parents a digital frame ($25). Now, we just send a file with new pictures every year! The follow ups don’t cost Nything and they get to keep current pictures of the grandkids

  11. I have almost all boys (1 girl and 4 boys) and not a lot of time, and definitely not a lot of money. I have been researching this past week and here are some ideas that I came up with ( I have a 7 year old, an 11 year old a 15 and 21 year old). I will also be making gifts for my 2 nephews ranging from 14 months to 5 years. I am knitting (but you could also sew or crochet) knit monsters – I checked out the book at the library. The Big Book of Knitted Monster.I have been saving t-shirts that are worn out (especially ones they loved) and am making them each a blanket using fabric that I have around the house. It will be a small blanket (lap size) but theirs only. No sharing :)I am also making gloves for some of them and bookmarks for all of them – I used pinterest to get printables. I am making them each an art journal (pinterest again) and reusing markers/pencils that they have received as gifts in the past but are still in good shape.We are giving them each a coupon book from us for things like staying up late to play chess with dad, 1 get out of a chore card, favorite dessert for dinner, etc.Hopefully those help! I have decided to make 2 gifts a week. This should put me on track for getting them each 4 things made as well as 1 jar of salsa and 1 jar of vanilla (homemade on both) to the men/women in our extended family. Good luck!!!!

  12. Hi, Marcia, do you know There are many free crochet and knitting patterns there. Maybe you can find a new pattern for your handbang there. They have lots of patterns that may be nice gifts for kids. I’ve made a beautiful elephant from this designer: She also has other free patterns in her blog. Hope you find something you like 🙂

  13. I love the bows! Especially the felt ones. I’m excited to see all of the lovely things you’ll make.Just in case any of your readers have a Sally Beauty Supply nearby, I used to purchase Alligator clips for a great price there. I believe there were 100 in a box for just under $5. This was 2 years ago, but the price might still be decent.I’m off to see what fabric I have for some totes for my kids. Maybe I’ll cut them out too!

  14. On the grosgrain ribbon you can heat seal the ends to avoid fraying. Just take a lighter and run it over the ends quickly. Be sure not to leave the flame too long or it will turn it black. The ends of the ribbon should melt just slightly.

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