Color-Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial

Hello, lovelies!
In case you missed my contributor post on Or So She Says last month, here you have it:

You’ll never guess what got a makeover recently…my bobby pins!  Didn’t know it was possible, did you?  Well, it is.  And it’s super easy, too.  Painter’s tape and nail polish are all you need to transform plain ole bobby pins into trendy color-blocked hair accessories.  They’re the perfect compliment to your bright n’ bold summer outfits!

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

“How did this marvelous idea come about?” you ask.

Well, I’ll tell you.  I know where my skills lie, and hair-styling is not one of them.  I’ve always been a plain and simple hair-clip-and-bobby-pins kinda gal.  But if my hair-styling is going to be plain and simple, why not go for a bright n’ bold statement with my hair accessories?  And I right or am I right?

Thus, the color-blocked bobby pins were born.

So, I’m going to walk you through perhaps the easiest tutorial I’ve ever created, so that you, too, can give your bobby pins some pizzazz this summer.  They also make for great gifts for your friends with birthdays coming up…or a fun activity to do at a girl’s slumber party!


Step 1.  Gather your supplies.  Raid your nail polish stash for some bright n’ bold colors.  Don’t hesitate to throw glitter nail polish into the mix for some sparkle, as well as black and white for some contrast.

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Collect some old bobby pins or pick up new ones at the dollar store.  Roller pins are great to work with for their flat surface.  And bonus points for finding bobby pins that already boast a base level of color.  That’ll make your job even easier!  You’ll also need some painter’s or masking tape and a pair of scissors.

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Step 2.  Tape off some geometric patterns.  Make sure the bobby pins are on cardboard or cardstock with a little bit of space in between them so that they don’t stick together when applying the nail polish.  Then, cut some strips of painter’s tape and start creating geometric patterns across the surface of your bobby pins.  There’s really no right or wrong here, so have fun experimenting with different shapes.  Be sure to press down firmly on the tape to create a strong seal, especially over the ridges.  (I could have avoided some color-blocked bobby pin casualties if I had been more fastidious with that part.)

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  Painting party!  Get some good air ventilation going on and have a field day painting alternating colors of nail polish in each section.  Be careful not to apply the nail polish too heavily when it comes to the bobby pins with ridges or you may find that it leaks under the tape…not that I would know that or anything.  {Wink.}

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Step 4.  Once the nail polish has dried, peel away the tape to reveal your color-blocked bobby pins!  Try not to scream too loudly when you see how cute they are.  {Grin.}

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

They look great on their own or stacked in a bunch!  So, pair them with a bright n’ bold summery outfit, and hit the town.

Color-Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Color Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

Quick & Easy Gift Ideas

Color-blocked bobby pins make great gifts, too!  I sent some in a card to my friend Justine for her 30th birthday.  {Happy Birthday, Jaybird!}  They slide right inside the envelope.  Easy peazy.

Color-Blocked Bobby Pin Tutorial | The Thinking Closet

“Hi” Notecard by the talented Stephanie Corfee

For more quick and easy gift ideas, you may want to check out these tutorials from the vault:

Gift Ideas from The Thinking Closet

Happy Monday, everyone.  May your June be bright, bold, and full of color!



Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    What fun and adorable idea! I’m not crafty by any means but this looks like something even I can do. I do love me some colors 😉 Hope you have a wonderful day, Lauren!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Oh yes, Min! You can totally do this. The painter’s tape leaves a very small margin for error. I believe in you! :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks for the pin love, Laura! And now, I’m off to make sure I’m following your DIY Hair Accessories board. Sounds like something that I could get lost poring over for a few hours…tee hee.

  2. says

    I am a bobby pin JUNKIE and always looking for fun, pretty colors to wear! But I find the decorative ones with jewels or flowers on the end make me feel like I look five years old. This is a perfect solution for me. 😀

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear this, Miranda. And I can TOTALLY understand about certain hair accessories exuding a five-year-old vibe. I went through a headband phase for a while there, and felt like I was constantly toeing the line, and imagined my students contemplating: “Wait a minute, is she my teacher? Or my little sister? The bags under the eyes tell me one thing, and the headband screams another.” Ha ha.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Me, too, Vanessa! I definitely keep better tabs on my fancy bobby pins compared to the plain brown ones. The plain ones always end up on the floor, which often means they end up getting slurped up by the vacuum machine. (Poor guys.)

  3. Nancy says

    Hey Lauren, Curly heads don’t do well with bobby pins but I took your advice to heart and used nail polish to identify a key that we had to loan out. It worked great and I’ll be looking for a few colors that I woundn’t dare wear on my person to mark the keys on my ring! Thanks very much.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Wonderful, Nancy! In fact, that’s a reminder for me to have a little key-painting session of my own. I imagine it will cut down on all that trying-to-find-the-right-key-in-the-dark business. Ooo…maybe glow in the dark polish is in order!

      And happy belated birthday to you! So glad to hear that your day involved worship, ice cream, and time with your hubby. Doesn’t get much better than that!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks for your sweet and enthusiastic support, Ingrid! This was one project that really took very little time to complete…and who knows, your little man may even be up for helping you with the painting part! Happy June to you, as well, friend.

  4. Kristine says

    These are so cute and clever! I love your idea of putting them as an enclosure gift into a birthday card. They would also be a nice addition to a get well card for someone in the hospital…a little cheerful present.

    You are just wonderfully creative. Thanks so much for all of your sharing!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Kristine, I love the idea of using the bobby pins as a gift to help brighten up someone’s day during a hospital stay. How thoughtful of you!

      And thank you for your ever-sweet comments. It really is such a joy to know that you enjoy my projects and may even venture to try some of them yourself!

  5. Marmie says

    These are so fun to see over again! I like the ideas of using them for little birthday card or get well gifts too! I’m putting bobby pins on my list for next trip to CVS!! xxoo

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay! That makes me happy, Mama. And last time I was at CVS, I spied all manner of colorful nail polish on sale for a buck or two…so you should be covered for this d.i.y!

      • Marmie says

        I was just thinking I would need to get some colorful nail polish!! Nail polish on sale for a buck or two is perfect! Thanks for the heads up!! xxxooo

  6. Mom L says

    I would love to do some of these for the little grand-daughters …. maybe improvise with those little clips that stay in the hair so well. Some day! ……. This looks so fun! Thanks for sharing.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Oh yes, and I could see the grand-daughters having fun joining in on the creation process, too! At least, Cora might be old enough to handle it without getting nail polish on everything but the bobby pins. Ha ha. And great to see you today for a quick visit! Still can’t get over the beauty of the flowers you brought us. Thank you!

  7. JaneEllen says

    Going to have to make some of those for our granddaughters 16 & 13. They perform alot and think they could use some of those. So cute and all with some tape and nail polish. I’ll be raiding the $stores for polish and bobby pins also of course. Maybe I’ll use a couple myself. Great project, so glad you shared.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Your granddaughters are three years apart just like me and my sis (who coincidentally also love to perform!). I definitely could see this being a fun project to do for them or even with them! I recently saw nail polish on major sale at CVS and Walgreens…so check those out, too! They looked like they had some fun colors. 😉 And yes, you’ll have to sport some yourself and send me a pic! That would make my day.

  8. Johanna says

    These are too cute! Love the glittery and black ones the most, those look so glamorous – who’d’ve thunk it, nail polish!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ahhhhhh! That makes me so happy to hear. And I’m guessing you have all the supplies on hand already to make it happen!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Oooo! Thousands? Can I come over and help you with that endeavor? Sounds like a fun day of crafting to me!

  9. says

    Lauren, first visit to your website. Fun idea with bobby pins. I like the idea of using painter’s tape randomly and applying the different nail polish colors. My girls will have have fun doing this craft project.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Nice to “meet” you, Kay, and thanks for stopping by. I hope you and your girls have a blast with this craft project!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’ve already given away most of my first batch (and yes, some were “given” to myself)…so I think it might be time for round 2! They were so fast and easy to make, I can’t really come up with a valid excuse not to! :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Vanina! Had a blast exploring some of your creations on your blog…especially those glitter-heart gloves. If only I was in a climate that was more conducive to gloves, I would totally make a pair of my own!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks Amelia! That means a lot coming from you; I’ve explored some of the outfits you put together on your blog, and I just love your style.

  10. says

    How fun! I have a ton of bobby pins, I bet my daughter would love to help decorate them!

    Thank you so much for sharing on Much Ado About Monday! Please come back next week, we are having a giveaway and we’d love to see what else you’ve been up to!


    • thethinkingcloset says

      I love how many people have suggested turning this into a mother-daughter project! What fun that would be! And thanks for the invite to stop by for next week’s link up and giveaway! (Exciting indeed.) Have a great rest of your weekend, Karla.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Dana, thanks for the kind invite! Added your party button to my page, so I’ll be sure to stop by in the coming weeks. (And I already linked up two projects today.) Love partying with fellow silly girls!

  11. says

    This is such a smart & easy idea. I wear bobby pins everyday; I can’t wait to spice them up! Thanks for linking up to the Moonlight & Mason Jars Monday night link-up party. I chose you as my favorite post this week so be sure to come by tomorrow and grab our “featured” button for your blog. I hope you’ll come by and link up again!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      “Thanks for picking us!” shout the color-blocked bobby pins.

      But seriously, thanks for the feature, Heather! I grabbed a button already, and I’m looking forward to linking up again later tonight. Hugs!

  12. says

    What a grand idea, sis! I love how you’re embracing color more and more into your wardrobe and hair accessories. Maybe it’s about high time I did, too. I also loved Nancy’s idea about nail polish on keys. My old key cover given to me by my landlord (a plastic cupcake that goes on the top part of the key) is ripping, has black marks all over it, and the smiley face of the cupcake has smudged off. Nail polish sounds like a fun replacement (as long as the landlords won’t mind)!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I can practically see the ripped, charred, and smudged cupcake key cover now! Yes, I think it’s high time you did a nail polish upcycle with that puppy…it might be worth risking your landlord’s disapproval!

      • says

        Haha I love your vivid description of it. It’s spot on! And actually, RIP cupcake key cover. It literally disintegrated into several pieces and I was confused when I pulled out plastic bits from my pocket. Took me a while to put two and two together. So yep, I need to get on that nail polish bandwagon!

        • thethinkingcloset says

          Bah ha ha…I can almost see the confusion on your face, pulling out plastic bits, wondering what in the world it was! Your furrowed brow never fails to give me the giggles.


  1. […] First & foremost let’s announce our FIVE featured blogs who linked up last week:1. Tomato, Cucumber and Mozzarella Salad Quickie @ I Got This Martha 2. Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches @ Hold the Office 3. DIY Pottery Barn Bird Dish @ Anderson + Grant 4. County Fair Party @ Michelle Lea Designs 5. Color Blocked Bobby Pins @ The Thinking Closet […]

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