I go through a lot of felted sweaters. Like, A LOT. I scrounge for wool sweaters at the ARC or Goodwill at least once every week from September until March (which according to thrifts stores is sweater season). I felt and cut up sweaters once every month or so and organize all my pattern pieces so they are easy to grab and use. My goal at this point is to throw away as little of the sweater as possible, so I’ve had to get creative over the years.
I started by only using sweaters to cut out patterns for my Coffee Cup Cozies. But there were all these parts left over. I began using the sleeves to make scarves, which helped ease my guilt, but I still felt like I was wasting some good scraps. I started looking online for small accessories I could create, and realized that hair clips were a worthy investment.
I found inspiration for the pattern I eventually made on the internet and at home.
After searching the web I found a few tutorials and photos that I really liked and tried to figure out why I liked them. For example, Here’s one that I liked because of the layering effect they used.
I also had a few hair clips at home that friends and family had bought me over the years that added to my inspiration and designs. Inspiration really is everywhere. I knew I wanted layers and I knew I wanted buttons (because I like buttons on everything. Who doesn’t like buttons?) so I messed around until I made something I liked and then stuck with that and made a bunch more.
Because I was just using up scraps that I would have thrown away otherwise, I was keeping costs low and could therefore keep the price lower for customers. Also, I felt better about not throwing away so much good wool (because wool is getting harder and harder to come by as acrylic and acrylic blends take over the sweater market).
If you don’t use sweaters, you can still make hair clips or pins out of other scrap materials you have laying around. I also use a lot of t-shirts and end up with a lot of scraps from that and I’ve been thinking about making hair clips from those scraps as well. A lot of people have scraps from quilting or sewing projects, and those can be made into hair clips just as easily. Here’s a website with a bunch of great collection of hair bow ideas that you can make with your fabric, yarn, and ribbon scraps.
Bonus: Here’s one of the first hair clips I ever made combined with the moment I realized how difficult it was to take photos of myself with an SLR camera. At least my hair looked fabulous.