Monday, 16 September 2013

Elastic Hair Ties

I am sure I am not the only one who burns through the traditional hair ties at a remarkable rate. I have long hair, and traditional hair elastics have been bought in bulk and it doesn't take much use out of each one before it starts stretching too much, and not much longer before they become useless or snap. And my hair wraps round them in nasty snarls. So when I came across the 'no dent hair elastics' that seem so prevalent these days, I was intrigued. I didn't know that wearing them on your wrist was a 'thing' either. But the more I looked, the more they were everywhere, like some kind of revolution that had passed me by. But I have never been a dedicated follower of fashion. 

Some of them even come with sparkly bling on them. Gorgeous. But thrifty me baulked at the price. One retailer was selling a sparkly beaded version for £6 a tie. For a single tie. I asked myself 'surely I can make them cheaper than that!'. Well of course I can, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it and making a profit would they? Or the masses on Etsy selling them for £5 for five plain ones. Plus postage. My beef being that that's basically £1 a throw for what is basically a 20cm length of elastic someone spent 10 seconds tying a knot in. I know that because I made those in the picture above! Of course, said retailer is probably using very expensive and exclusive high quality beads. And any crafter using beads knows how expensive good beads can be. So I am not claiming their price is unreasonable. Just that I don't feel like paying it.

A note here, I appreciate most of us don't have the time or will to make these things, which is why we are willing to pay a premium for the convenience. That's absolutely fine, there is a market for that. But my point is that the sky is the limit and you can with very little time, effort, and cost (depending on whether you are buying super expensive supplies or not), make something that is unique to you and suits your style and wardrobe without hunting for the 'perfect' one amongst all the ones on sale.

So thrifty me goes looking for supplies. If you are like me and want to make them yourself, what you are looking for is 'fold over elastic' and its made in a ridiculous amount of colours. There are a number of ebay sellers with listings for 3 metres for 99p. Plus postage of course. But still. Most will combine postage, and save you more money. I bought two colours so six metres. Enough to make 30, for a few pence under £3. That's more my style to say the least. Especially when I will lose them, break them, go through them at a rate of knots anyway. I did choose to bead mine too. So making them. 

You can literally make them with the elastic, a pair of scissors, and a tape measure. If you want to use beads, buy and add beads. It goes a little something like this. 

Cut your elastic into 20 cm lengths

Pick your beads if you are opting to bling them up a bit. I bought a surprise mixed bag of glass beads that would fit the Pandora style bracelets, again from ebay, for a few pence over £6 including postage. For 50 beads. Because they have a wide bore and that is important because you need to get your elastic through it! And I like them. That's all the reason I need. The fact I am sucker for a pretty surprise made the random selection element all the more fun.You can use any wide bore bead you like. They can be rhinestone, diamante, crystal or whatever. Buy whatever you want to wear in your hair, the sky is the limit!

Aren't they pretty? So quite simply, if you are using beads, thread one on.

Fold in half and tie a good, tight  knot:

and if you want tidy up the ends with a pair of scissors. Voila, a finished tie

Of course you can also be very clever and seal the ends of your hair tie to prevent it fraying. The best way to do this is by passing it very close over high heat to melt the ends, i.e. with a lighter. Depends how good you are with such a thing or a candle whether you want to attempt that!

In half an hour I had this finished pile:

And enough hair bands to keep me going for a while. And pretty beaded ones too. I did the whole lot, 30 hairbands for a few pence over £9 and have spare beads for next time. Now that's more my budget ;) And makes me wince less if I lose one! It really is that simple, and something you could do in front of the TV if you wanted to one evening. And as you can see from my initial picture, wrapped around a piece of card, you could quite easily join the other sellers out there and sell your own. Completely up to you all though!

Till next time


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