80s Style Ribbon Braided Barrette Tutorial

80s Style Ribbon Braided Barrette Tutorial

Nothing says “80”s or “cute” like braided barrettes. After you get a feel for making them, you’ll have a set to match every outfit like… well, like in the 80s! Don’t get frustrated if you feel like you’re all thumbs when you first start the ribbon braided barrette tutorial. It may take a couple, but before long you’ll be a pro, and turning them out in your sleep!

Ribbon Braided Barrette Tutorial

My children were little kiddos during the 80s. Michelle wore a jean jacket covered in pins, slouchy socks, and side ponytails. I also made her about a million sets of ribbon braided barrettes… colors to match every outfit! Funny, I made so many of these puppies I seriously think I could have braided them in my sleep. But today, when motivated to make a pair to go along with the new party dress I’m making for Fairy’s up-and-coming birthday on Friday, I felt like I had 6 thumbs! (It wasn’t soooo awkward that I felt like I was all thumbs!) Anyway, I had to play with it a while until I got the hang of it again. Trust me when I tell you that the second one practically made itself. It all came back… rather like riding a bike!

Perhaps braided barrettes are nostalgic for you or maybe you’ve never seen them before. One way or another, they are darn cute and worth making for yourself or some wee one in your life. They make super great birthday gifts and, of course, incredible stocking stuffers. Enjoy our ribbon braided barrette tutorial.

Ribbon Braided Barrette Tutorial Materials:

Ribbon Braided Barrette Tutorial Directions:

1] Cut 1 piece each of colors A and B 36″ long.

2] Lay color A over color B and slip through the bent, unopened end of the barrette. The ribbons should be centered. (NOTE: Treat the 2 different colored ribbons as if they were one. You should always be weaving 2 ribbons at a time. In all future directions when the word “ribbon” is used, it will refer to the 2 ribbons stacked on one another.) Always have the top of the barrette with the double bars showing facing up.

3] Beginning on the right side, weave the ribbon  over the first bar and under the second. Both ribbons will be on the left side. Be careful not to twist the ribbons.

4] Take the other ribbon and weave it over the first bar and under the second. You will now have ribbons on either side of the barrette. You will notice that the same color should be on top of both of these braids.
How to Make Ribbon Braided Barrettes Tutorial
5] Continue in these manner alternately weaving the ribbons. You should see a stripe pattern emerge. Make sure to keep the ribbons pulled taut as you work and keep pushing the braids up to solidly fill in the barrette.

6] When the barrette is filled in enough, the braids cannot slide on the barrette. Finish braiding with all pieces of ribbon on one side.

7] You can leave the tails as is, tie knots in the ends, add buttons or beads, and leave all the same length or cut them to different lengths. If you prefer no ends, you can weave the ribbons through the backside, cutting them at different spots, and gluing the ends. Be creative!

8] If you want to make a pair, so you can wear them on either side of your head, make sure you stop your braiding on the opposite side. They should wind up being mirror images of one another.



  1. I have been waiting 20 years to know how to make these. I have tried and tried. Thank you so much! You have lovely and yummy things on your blog.

  2. Oh goodness!! My Brownie troop is gonna love these!!!

  3. OMG I have been searching and searching for directions on making these. I made them when I was younger and didn’t remember how to. Thank you!

  4. Oh, thanks so much! My 6 year old daughter loves pretty barrettes and bows! My sisters and I used to have these in every color or the rainbow, but none of us could remember how to make them! My daughter just ran upstairs to the scrapbook room to grab the box of ribbons! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. My mom used to make these for me when I was little! I bet my little girl would love these! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. where can one find the double bar hair clips? i’ve looked everywhere.


    1. I believe my mom has found them at both Target and Joanns.

      1. I have seen the barretts at grocery stores, drug stores and last summer they had them at JoAnns. Check all of your local drug stores first. Many of them have really good beauty aids sections. Good luck!

    2. Walmart DID NOT carry them, but Jewel did.

      1. Thanks for sharing a resource. Have fun makes them. They are quite addictive 🙂

  7. I used to make these for my daughter when she was little. I had forgotten how to do it. Thanks so much for posting this!

  8. I have been wanting to make these for my 5 year old daughter! My Mom used to make them for me, I remember having a different pair for every outfit! I don’t know where she found the time, but I loved them! Thank you so much, I’m looking forward to making them soon!

  9. Wow, I remember having a bunch of those in the 80’s exactly like you said, color coordinated to match every outfit. I loved those and hadn’t thought of them in years. 🙂 I’m going to make some for my daughter.

  10. OMG! I actually have some of these that were my mothers, now i can make some for my daughter. This is such a great webpage.

  11. OMG! I use to make these back in the 80’s. They made great stocking stuffer at Christmas.

  12. I remembered making these as a young girl and was looking for the reminder of how to do them. I was telling my little girl (whom is 8 now) about me decorating my own hair accessories. She thought I was joking until I pulled out some of my old barrettes. I told her about making them in Girl Scouts and well, she was intrigued. I tried to remember how I did it but forgot. Well I went searching the internet and found this, I just can’t say thank you enough for this great tutorial!

  13. Thank you so much for the instructions. We are going to a family reunion tomorrow and my girls are really nervous about meeting 2nd cousins. I thought I’d bring this craft to give all the girls (ages 8-14) a way to connect together. Such a blessing, this is!! Thank you and Thank you and THANK YOU!!

  14. This tutorial was great. I remember my mom buying the special kits to make these back in the day. I can’t wait to make some for my daughter!

    1. They are so much fun to make and so pretty when they are done. Eventually, we will be having these kits in our shop 🙂

  15. This one is really interesting and is educative enough to make simple things into new elegant yet stylish look.We can see what 80’s brings and new generation’s are making things overwhelming and fashionable the way kids and preteens love it. Such an excellent work! Thanks for posting 🙂 [ ribbon barrette (dot) com ]

  16. wow i so remember these when i was young , they were the in thing and if you were cool this is the kind of clip you had in your hair , guess it was a 80’s thing , how i miss those days thanks for sharing , 🙂

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