Friday, April 24, 2009

Hair Bling

When I went to the bridal salon and found my dress and veil, Carolyn my amazing consultant suggested that I have a comb above my veil. I liked the sound of her idea and this is ultimately what she had me try:
(Source: my friend Javiera)
I did NOT like the look of the beading on this comb. There were too many pearls and I just plain didn't like it. Not to mention that unless we read the price tag wrong it was $115.00! Are you serious!? So yeah, that comb was a no go but I did like the overall look of having some detailing there. So my quest for a comb began. I scoured Etsy, Ebay and the net in search of the perfect comb. Found a few ideas here and there but nothing that I really just loved. And I kept running into that high price issue too. I can't believe a plastic comb with some metal and beading detail could be so expensive!

One day while scouring Etsy I came across this beauty:
Beautiful no? I think so. I was in love. Those are vintage rhinestone earrings on the comb. Very cool way to re-purpose them! And the price was just right at $17.50 with free shipping! Woo hoo! The listing said it was 3" long and I wasn't sure if that would be long enough because I didn't have my veil in hand at the time. I immediately e-mailed Carolyn and asked her to measure the comb she had me try on the day I was at the salon. She got back to me saying it was 4" long. I debated for a little bit as to whether or not I should go ahead and get the comb from Etsy even though it might not be long enough. I decided to get it. I mean for $17.50 I had to at least try it!

Once I had it in hand and had my veil also I soon discovered that it was in fact too short and didn't look right. But I knew when I bought it that I would be taking that chance. I e-mailed the seller to ask what kind of glue she used to put it together and explained that I was going to have to get creative and use the earrings on another longer comb. I was a little apprehensive about removing the earrings from the comb because I didn't want to damage them in the process. However, they were pretty easy to get off.

I was now on the search of more vintage rhinestone jewelry to see if I could find some pieces to extend the existing design. I started my search in my very own collection. When I was little, my Grandma gave me almost all of her costume jewelry...which included several pairs of rhinestone earrings and a few rhinestone necklaces. To my astonishment I had a pair of earrings that went perfectly with the earrings from the Etsy comb! I was so happy! Now the hard part. How to make a new longer comb, use the same design that the Etsy seller had come up with, incorporate the "new" earrings and make it stable and strong. Unfortunately, I didn't think to get pictures of the earrings from my Grandma before hand or pictures of the DIY process. However, here is a step by step guide of what I did:

-I ran into WalGreens after work one day and they had hair combs on clearance 2 for $2 so I bought two packs. They were black wire combs like they used to make years ago. They weren't the right length but I was confident that I could somehow combine two combs to get the length I needed. My mom who is also very crafty helped me with that part and actually unwound the wire on one of the combs to make one comb and then re-did the wiring. It came out to be the perfect length!
-After carefully working the existing earrings off the comb I was able to remove them without harm. I had to take the earrings from my Grandma apart to be able to work them into the design but that was fine by me. However, I was having a hard time trying to visualize the design layout over the new comb I because the earrings kept sliding off due to the fact that the comb is curved. To solve this problem and to make sure I would be able to get them glued in the right place and also to add some stability I did the following:
-I sewed the earrings onto some thin black fabric using clear nylon thread so it wouldn't be seen. This allowed me to get the design layout just as I wanted it without having to worry about gluing pieces in the wrong place or have them slide out of place once glued on the comb.
-Once I had everything sewed in place, I took some Judi Kins Diamond Glaze (Water based dimensional adhesive) that I had on had from some glass pendants I had made. I brushed it on the back of the fabric knowing that in doing so it would cause the fabric to stiffen (it dries clear). This also served as fray check so I could trim the black fabric down so it wouldn't show.
-Next I trimmed all the way around the piece to remove the excess black fabric. That was a little hard because of the angles and curves and because I had to be really careful not to cut any of the threads on the back that hold the earrings to the fabric.
-Then I decided to glue the whole piece onto another piece of black fabric to stabilize it even more. Before I did the gluing though I brushed Judi Kins Diamond Glaze onto the new piece of fabric so that it would be stiff before I began gluing. Once glued (used a hot glue gun) and dried, I again set out to trimming the access fabric.
-Once that was all done it was time to glue the whole piece onto the comb. I used a hot glue gun to secure the design piece to the comb. And then added a strip of Grosgrain black ribbon over the glue line so nothing could get caught in my hair.

The earrings that came on the comb I purchased from the Etsy seller are in the same general area on my new comb as they were on the one I originally purchased. I added pieces of the earrings from my Grandma to each end to extend the design and also added a piece to the middle to create a "tiara" like effect so that it would have a little more height to it and because it looked like something was missing there. Here's the finished product (forgot to get pictures of it in place with the veil but you can visualize):
The below picture shows the earrings from the Etsy seller and pieces of the earrings from my Grandma. Sorry it's crappy quality, I'm too poor to have Photoshop.
(Source for the above 4 photos: yours truly)

So what do you think? I LOVE how it came out!! Going into this DIY, I had no idea that I would end up with such great results!

Were you stunned by the results of a DIY project you attempted?


  1. Very pretty! Such a fun project!

  2. How much fun it is going to be for a year bargain hunting and being frugal and resourceful, all things wedding? I know you won't have the extra $$ you expected from your health insurance but I think you will have a lot of fun and really put in every single detail with much love and care this way. :o) Plus, it's training you to be a frugal-bee once ya'll have children, trust me you'll need the training. xoxoxo