Introduction: LED Crochet Rainbow Flower Hair Clip

About: At Tinker Belles, we believe play and exploration are an important part of learning. We run workshops where kids work with simple circuits as well as traditional craft media (e.g. paper, felt, glitter) to brin…

We're going to make a rainbow flower hairclip with a light up center! Here are the supplies you need:

  • Yarn in the following colors: yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo, violet.
  • G crochet hook
  • Red gumdrop LED
  • Watch battery pack, preferably with loop leads instead of prongs
  • Watch battery (3V)
  • Indigo felt, as close in color to your indigo yarn as possible
  • Two pronged alligator hair clip
  • Tacky glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • One snap (I used plastic, but you could use metal or sew on snaps)
  • 2 large eyed needles
  • Conductive thread
  • Needle nosed pliers
  • Alligator wires (optional, but useful)

Step 1: Crochet Pattern

We'll be going through how to crochet the flower step by step. Here is the pattern we'll be following:

ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
tc = triple crochet
qc = quadruple crochet
sl st = slip stitch

Round 1: Using orange yarn, magic circle 6 sc, sl st to join
Round 2: ch1. in next stitch dc 3, sl st, ch1. Repeat (dc 3, sl st, ch1) in the next 4 stitches. In the last stitch, dc 3, slst (no chain). This makes your first round of petals
Round 3: turn flower over, using the green yarn ch3. Sl st on the other side of the petal to anchor your chain. Repeat this around so you have a chain across the back of each petal
Round 4: Sl st into the loop on the back of the next petal. In this loop, ch1, 1 dc, 2 tc, 1 dc, sl st. Repeat this pattern in each loop. This males your next round of petals.
Round 5: Turn over the flower and change to the indigo yarn. As we did in round 3, we will be making loops across the backs of the flowers. Ch 4, anchor your chain on the opposite side of the petal so the chain stretches across the petal back. Repeat this around so you have a chain across the back of each petal.
Round 6: Sl st into the loop on the back of the next petal. In this loop, ch1, 1 dc, 1 tc, 1 qc,1 tc, 1 dc, sl s

Weave in your ends

Step 2: Crochet: Round 1

Now we'll go through the flower step by step.

Round 1:

Start with your orange yarn. Make a magic circle with 6 single crochet stitches, and slip stitch to join.

If you don't know how to make a magic circle, here's a great tutorial:

If you would prefer not to use a magic circle, you can instead chain 4, join, and then crochet 6 single crochet into the loop you just formed as your first round

Step 3: Crochet: Round Two

Round 2:

Continuing with your orange yarn, chain 1. Then in the next stitch: double crochet 3, slip stitch, chain 1. Repeat this pattern for the next 4 stitches. In the last stitch, double crochet 3, and slip stitch (no chain 1). This makes your first round of petals

Step 4: Crochet: Round 3

Round 3:

Turn the flower over to the back side. We're going to be forming loops that will be the base for your next set of petals. Cut off your orange yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later. Swap to the green yarn - you can do this simply by using the green yarn instead of the orange yarn for your next stitch. Then, chain 3 and slip stitch into a stitch on the other side of the petal. This creates a green loop across the back of your orange petal. Chain 3 and slip stitch to anchor across the back of each of the 6 petals. Then turn your flower back over.

Step 5: Crochet: Round 4

Round 4:

Continuing with your green yarn, slip stitch into the next loop over. Then chain 1, double crochet, 2 triple crochet, double crochet, chain 1, slip stitch. Repeat this pattern in each loop around until you have 6 green petals

Step 6: Crochet: Round 5

Round 5:

We're going to make another set of loops for your third ring of petals, so we'll be switching yarn colors again. Turn your flower over and cut your green yarn, leaving a tail for weaving in. Then, switching to indigo yarn, chain 4 and anchor with a slip stitch on the other side of the petal (just as we did for the green petals). Repeat this all the way around until you have 6 indigo loops.

Step 7: Crochet: Round 6

Round 6:

Now we're going to make the indigo petals. Slip stitch into the next loop over, then (chain 1, double crochet, triple crochet, quadruple crochet, triple crochet, double crochet, chain 1, and slip stitch) in that loop. Repeat this pattern for the next 5 petals. When you're done, cut your indigo yarn and tie off, leaving a tail for weaving in. Your base petals are all done!

Step 8: Crochet: Edging the Petals

We're going to add in the other colors of the rainbow by edging the petals with the following colors:
Orange petals: yellow edging
Green petals: blue edging
Indigo petals: violet edging

To edge the petals we are going to slip stitch along the outside. Starting in the middle of an orange petal, put your crochet hook through the back loop of a stitch plus a corresponding loop behind the back loop. See the picture for a visual example. The flowers tend to curl, so we stitch through both these loops to make sure the edging is really at the edge of the flower. Once your crochet hook is through, make a slip stitch. Continue making slip stitches along the top of the petal, until your reach the border with the next petal. Here we are going to make a long slip stitch. Put your crochet hook through the base of the petal instead of the top of the next stitch (see picture), then slip stitch. You should now have a nice line defining the border between your petals. Continue on slip stitching along the top border of the next petal. Continue around in this manner until you come back around to your original slip stitch. Now you can cut your yarn and tie off. Repeat these edging steps for the other 2 rounds of petals.

Step 9: Crochet: Weave in Your Ends

When I made my flower, I wove in ends as I went along so that they wouldn't interfere with pictures. You can do this, or you can wait until you are done with your crochet to weave in all the ends at once. You'll be using a tapestry needle (I prefer metal to plastic, since they don't snag on the yarn). Thread the needle with one of your yarn tails, and weave the tail through the crochet so it doesn't show. I like to slip my yarn through the channel created by the crochet stitches of the petals (see picture). Then trim off the end so you don't have any loose yarn ends dangling around. Repeat until all your ends are woven in and you have a nice clean flower!

Step 10: LED: Adding the LED

We're going to use a red gumdrop LED to complete the rainbow. Push the LED leads through the center of the flower so the light part is on top, and the leads poke out through the bottom. Now we are going to bend the leads with some jewelry or needle nosed pliers. You'll want to bend the leads into different shapes so you can remember which one is positive and which one is negative. When the leads are straight, you can tell since the positive leg is longer. We bent the positive lead into a loop and the negative lead into a zig zag.

Step 11: LED: Attaching the Leads to the Battery Pack

Now it's time to attach your leads to the battery pack. We only had battery packs with prongs on hand, but if you're buying one for this project we recommend getting one with loops, since it is easier to attach the LED leads that way.

How to orient your battery pack: the two pronged side of the battery pack should attach to the positive LED lead, and the one pronged side should attach to the negative lead. You can always check your connection using alligator wires.

Starting with the positive lead, use needle nosed pliers to bend the lead so that it touches the prongs or loop of the battery pack. Then, we're going to use conductive thread to secure this connection. Conductive thread is rather thick, so it's easier to use a needle with a large hole for threading. First, loop the conductive thread around the prongs and lead until you have formed a little cocoon around the connection. Then, sew this side of the battery pack into the flower using the same conductive thread (this is easy to do by passing the thread through the yarn a few times as you cocoon the lead/battery pack connection). Tie your connective thread ends together with a secure double knot and trim the ends short. Repeat this process on the other side.

To insulate and protect our connections, we added a couple of drops of how glue over the conductive thread cocoon on each side.

Step 12: Adding the Clip: Covering the Battery Pack

Now you've got your light up flower, let's add a way to attach it to your hair! To do this we're going to mount the flower on a two prong alligator hair clip. Our first step is to cover the battery pack area with some felt - this will also provide a convenient base to glue the clip to in the next step. Cut out a rectangle of felt, long enough to go all the way across the back of the flower, starting at the inside edge of the third row of petals (see picture). We're going to attach this rectangle with glue on one side and a plastic snap on the other. The snap makes it easy to reach the battery pack later so you can replace the battery!

First we'll add the snap. We used a purple plastic KAM snap for this, but you can use a metal or sew-in snap instead if you want. The snap comes with two sides, the socket (wide cup) and the stud (narrow cup). We used a KAM snap pliers to attach the socket through one of the indigo petals, and the stud through one of the short sides of the felt rectangle. If you want a good FAQ on using plastic snaps, we recommend the KAM website. Snap the felt onto the flower so you don't accidentally glue it on upside down in the next step.

Now we'll glue the other short side of the rectangle down along the inner edge of the indigo petals. Tacky glue is my favorite glue type for fabric to fabric connections.

Step 13: Adding the Clip: Gluing on the Clip

Once the glue has dried on your felt rectangle, it's time to add the clip!

First, cut two smaller rectangles of felt. One a little wider and shorter than the alligator clip. One the same width and longer than the clip.

Put a thin layer of glue on the back of the alligator clip, then place your alligator clip across the middle of the felt, flat side facing up towards you. Holding the clip open, put down glue on the metal of the clip and in a thin line around the clip. Take your shorter felt rectangle and press it down on top the glue. Once the glue dries, your clip should securely attached to your flower!

Now we'll attach the longer rectangle. Put a thin layer of glue on the top of the alligator clip - but not on the felt around it. Then lay the longer felt rectangle on top the clip. This is for extra comfort, and it makes the clip look nicer.

Step 14: Tada!

Once the glue dries, your clip is complete! Pop a battery in the pack and impress your friends and family with your glowing rainbow spirit

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