Birdsong Bows: Designing hair bows and fabric flowers for the holidays

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Designing hair bows and fabric flowers for the holidays

Whether you create hair accessories for family or for sale, it's sometimes a challenge to create a hair bow or hair flower that looks fresh and different. Especially if you sell your bows, you'll want to make some eye-catching choices. Some advance planning will help your products stand out in a sea of red and green.
First, brainstorm about what the holidays and winter mean to you. Red, green, gold, and silver are all popular colors for your accessories. If you're Jewish, you'll be embellishing with blue and silver. If you're Catholic, purple will remind you of Advent. Consider that most of us are designing for girly-girls! Add pops of hot pink, lime, and glitter.
Don't forget to think "winter." Blues, whites, snowflakes, penguins, polar bears, cardinals, fir trees and pine cones, sleds, boots/mittens and ice skates are all ideas you can use for ribbons and embellishments. Because everyone loves to save money, think how versatile a "winter" bow will be when compared with a "holiday" bow. Use red and white alone, and your hair bow or hair flower can go from December through February, as girls accessorize for Valentine's Day.
If you're low on ideas, comb fabric websites or take a trip to your local quilt shop. A hair accessory or bow created with this fabric in mind...

...will create an entirely different mood than one inspired by this fabric:

It's important to make the right ribbon and fabric choices for your hair bows and accessories. But don't forget embellishments! In fact, buyers will often base their choice of bow on the embellishments, rather than the ribbons. Stock up on embellishments throughout the year. If you plan to continue making accessories, buy after the holiday is over to save money, and so you'll have a stash in place for the following year. Look for embellishments at popular craft and fabric stores, but also scour Etsy and Artfire to find some fantastic polymer clay artists!
Check out these beautiful embellishments from Tessa Ann:

And this fantastic bead - which can also be bow center - from Candyland Beads:

The cost of your ribbons and embellishments might not be a concern if you're making bows for your children or grandchildren. But if you're selling these, be sure to recoup the cost of your ribbon and embellishments! Embellishments can add up. Include their cost (and the amount it cost to have them shipped to you) in with the cost of ribbons or fabrics, and be sure to add on your hourly rate! It's nice to give gifts for the holidays, but you don't want to "gift" all of your business.
Most of all, have fun. Give yourself enough time to finish your projects or orders, make sure your hair bow and fabric flower tutorials are handy, and enjoy the process of choosing your theme and creating your small works of art. Designing for the holidays can be fun, with a little advance planning and few "fresh" ideas!

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