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Make a Fancy Cameo Barrette - How to Graphic Illustration - Printable Instructions and Supply List

Updated on October 7, 2014

Cameo barrette with chains


Did you ever see something you really wanted, but just refused to pay the inflated tag price?

I went out to lunch with a friend recently. We met at the mall and had a wonderful day. While mostly window shopping, I found the most adorable cameo barrette. It literally called my name.

I was going to buy it on the spot. Then, out of habit, I glanced at the price tag. That barrette I was so in love with cost $15.99 in the department store. So not happening here.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Cindy couldn't believe the price either. Needless to say, I left it sitting in the store. But, I still wanted it.

No problem. Ill make my own. I have made a boatload of barrettes over the years. Mostly, they were for children. This barrette is not for children. I have never done one like this. The one I saw had loops of black beads hanging down from and framing the bottom of the cameo. Since I have dark hair, I decided to use silver chains instead of strings of beads. Further, I had the chain already and didn't want to have to buy more beads.

Come with me and lets give it a go. I bet we can whip up something just as good, maybe better, and certainly more cost efficient.

All images are original photos taken by me. Find printable instructions with a supply list at the end of the article.


First things come first. Get everything needed together.

Materials for making a fancy cameo barrette
Materials for making a fancy cameo barrette | Source

Be sure to cover your work surface. Plug in the glue gun, so it can start heating up. The only thing here I didn't have when deciding to do this project was the cameo. I got it at Walmart this morning for $1.99. By the time you add in for the supplies I used, this barrette cost me just under $5.00 to make. That sure beats $15.99.

Do the chains. They are not user friendly.

Tiny jump rings are difficult to work with
Tiny jump rings are difficult to work with | Source

The links on the chain are tiny. I had a very hard time connecting them to the jump rings, and then to the cameo, because they are so small. If you have fine motor or dexterity issues, I recommend using a larger jump ring.

Start connecting the chain to the cameo.

Connect the chain to the cameo with jump rings
Connect the chain to the cameo with jump rings | Source

I used roughly seven inches of chain for the loop hanging below the cameo. Connect a jump ring to each end of the cut chain. It's very thin and easy to cut. I used children's scissors. They worked fine. Leave the ring open. Take the jump ring on the chain and run it through the next to the bottom loop on the cameo. Close the jump ring with needle nosed pliers. Repeat for the other end of the chain on the opposite side of the cameo.

What it looks like after both sides of the chain are connected.

It will look like this after the first chain
It will look like this after the first chain | Source

The cameo is done for now. Put it to the side. That was the hardest part. It's all downhill from here.

Start connecting the other chains to the barrette back. Use beading wire.

Insert the wire through the chain and then through the back of the barrette back.  Twist off and bend it over the back.
Insert the wire through the chain and then through the back of the barrette back. Twist off and bend it over the back. | Source

I had originally thought to make all of the connections with jump rings. I was so fed up with them by the time I finished the first chain, I said to heck with that! I ended up using a small piece of beading wire. Insert the wire through the last hole in the chain. Take the wire, now holding the chain, and run it through the back of the hole on the barrette back. Twist it off and bend the ends over the back. Repeat for the other side.

Use the pliers to bend the wire over the back.

Connect the longest chain to the barrette back using beading wire strung through the holes.
Connect the longest chain to the barrette back using beading wire strung through the holes. | Source

You can do this with your fingers, but the wire can puncture skin. It's safer to use the pliers. I used roughly eleven inches of chain for the bottom. Lay it out and play around with it before you cut. Too long is easy to fix, too short can cause you to have to buy more chain.

Now, do the two loops of chain for the sides.

Attach the side loop chains.
Attach the side loop chains. | Source

I used roughly seven inches for each chain. You need them to be the same length regardless of how long you decided to make yours.

Select your ribbon.

Glue the ribbon covering over the barrette back.
Glue the ribbon covering over the barrette back. | Source

I used a plain black ribbon here. This barrette back is 3 inches, so I cut a 4 inch piece of ribbon. You need the extra to glue onto the back for a more finished look. Run a bead of hot glue down the entire length of the barrette back and affix the ribbon. Work quickly for the glue dries fast.

When it's dry, about half a minute, flip it over and glue down the ribbon to the back covering the wires you used to attach the chains. This will not only make it look better, but also it will keep the wearer from getting poked by a stray wire.

Attach the cameo. Glue on desired beads.

Glue the cameo onto the ribbon covered backing.
Glue the cameo onto the ribbon covered backing. | Source

Which do you like better?

Do you like one of a kind home made or store bought items?

See results

Place a liberal amount of glue directly onto the cameo back. Center it on the ribbon and press down for a few seconds to let the glue set. Glue on any desired beads. You don't need them really. It looked pretty good without them. The one I saw in the store had them. After having made this, I can honestly say I think it looks better without the beads.

Check it out. Done! One DIY cameo barrette with chains

Done.  One finished fancy barrette.
Done. One finished fancy barrette. | Source

Barrettes and fancy hair accessories are something most of us girls like. Instead of spending way too much, throw a to do with a few friends and craft your own. I want to do this project with teen girls. I think they would love it.

This design will work well for Gothic looks, Steampunk or even the work world. Have some fun crafting and make something very cool, for very little.

A classic from ancient times

Cameos date back to the 3rd century BC.

Talk about standing the test of time.

Here are a few more DIY how to accessory crafts with cameos.

There are videos here for all types of cameo projects and crafting skill levels. Scope out the myriad of things easily created with these really cute items.

Super ornate DIY brooch!

Fancy cameo barrette
Fancy cameo barrette | Source

Instructions for making a cameo barrette with chain embellishments:

This is a very easily constructed accessory that does not take much time to make at all.

You don't need much in the way of supplies or time.

Often, in stores, I find it difficult to find a hair accessory that is an exact match for a certain outfit. Use the instructions provided here to make your own.

This DIY project is suitable for teens, tweens, adults and children over age 8 with supervision.

As with any craft requiring a hot glue gun, be sure to supervise young ones and observe all tool safety recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

Grab your gal pals and give it a go!

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 1


  • A single 3 inch barrette back
  • A single cameo
  • 4 inches of desired color ribbon
  • Very small chain - about 2 and 1/2 feet
  • Beads
  • Jump rings
  • Beading wire
Cast your vote for Fancy Cameo Barrette Instructions and Supply List


  1. Gather tools. You will need a hot glue gun, glue sticks, needle nose pliers and scissors.
  2. Assemble all materials and cover the work surface.
  3. Attach first bottom chain to cameo with jump rings.
  4. Attach lower bottom chain to barrette back with beading wire.
  5. Attach side loop chains to barrette back with beading wire.
  6. Glue ribbon over barrette. Glue ends onto back.
  7. Affix the cameo to the ribbon using hot glue.
  8. Glue on the beads, if desired.

© 2013 Rhonda Lytle

What are your thoughts on DIY over store bought?

    0 of 8192 characters used
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    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      5 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @kimadagem: Thanks bunches for taking the time to read and comment. I don't sew either, no machine. I am experimenting with fusible webbing though as a replacement for a needle. There are so many great crochet articles to be found here. I'm wanting to give it a go, but haven't done yarn work in over a decade. I wonder if it's like riding a bike? God bless and happy squidding!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I usually choose DIY. The only exceptions are when the process uses expensive tools I don't have (like a rotary saw) or a technique that requires skills I don't have (like sewing :) ). If it involves yarn, though, I will usually try it.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      5 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you so much for such a kind comment. I love cameos. I make a lot of stuff too. Often, I like it just as much or more than something I could have got at the store, depending on the item. God bless and happiest of squidding!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a great idea! It puts a nice spin on cameos. I make lots of things myself instead of buying them.


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