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How to Make Super Simple Starfish Hairpins – Mermaid Hair Pin Tutorial

Starfish hairpins are such a beautiful, but simple, accessory.

They can dress down for a casual, beachy, “mermaid hair” look, or they can dress up for a beach wedding. When I lived in South Carolina and could easily get starfish from a local beading supply store, I sold them in my Etsy shop.

Today I’m sharing my best tips learned from making dozens of mermaid hair bobby pins to help you learn how to make super simple starfish hairpins that last!

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. 

The best glue for hairpins

In my experience, people are tempted to either grab the closest hot glue gun or a toxic adhesive like E6000 when they want to make a decorative hairpin. Unfortunately, many standard mini glue guns are “low temp,” which doesn’t tend to withstand the test of time.

E6000 is so toxic that I’ve read it isn’t even available for sale some places! So how can you make hairpins that won’t immediately fall apart?

Sandpaper and high temp hot glue. šŸ™‚

If you’re confused about the difference between low temp and high temp hot glue and when to use which, please check out these hot glue gun tips & tricks!

Supplies for making starfish hairpins

  • A pair of bobby pins with a round glue pad.
  • A piece of coarse sandpaper – 80, 100, or 120 grit will work
  • A high temp hot glue gun
  • A pair of starfish (resin, polymer clay, and other artificial starfish work, too!)
  • Beads or crystals to decorate – completely optional but fun!

Update – if you use hot glue and you don’t have silicone finger protectors, you need them! They will save your fingertips!!

Frienda 12 Pieces Hot Glue Gun Finger Caps Silicone Finger Protectors for...
  • Protect your fingertips: the silicone finger caps can protect your finger tips when you use glue gun to do craft, allow you work with the hot glue...
  • Easy to use: made from quality silicone, flexible and won't affect the flexibility of fingers when wearing it, put on and take off easily, suit for...
  • Easy to clean: it will become clean immediately just by using some soap and water after wet, wipe dry for next use

Bobby pins with glue pads are typically available in shiny gold and silver as well as a more antiqued tone.

Sometimes you can also find them in colors, like black or pink, but gold and antiqued are always my favorite for starfish hairpins. I think they really fit the nautical theme!

How to make starfish hairpins for mermaid hair

Significantly scuff up the face of each bobby pin’s glue pad. This makes it easier for the glue to adhere and can really help with the longevity of your pins!

Apply a large dollop of high temp hot glue to a glue pad, then press it into place on the back middle of a starfish. Don’t worry about the extra that leaks around the edges of the pad – this helps hold the starfish in place.

Glue the second starfish to the second bobby pin.

Add any decorative elements you’d like.

Use or gift and enjoy!

Just as soon as I get the chance, I need to take a photo of these in action at the beach! Because starfish are fairly light, they make a great choice for people (like me) with fine hair who typically have trouble getting hair do-dads to stay in place. They’re fun for a day at the beach, flower girls, bridesmaids, and beachy brides, alike!

If you’re looking for more DIY beach wedding tutorials, you may also enjoy this cute starfish dress hanger:

And these DIY wood table numbers!

More mermaid crafting tutorials

Simple mermaid tail necklace with hot glue

DIY mermaid tail necklace with hot glue tutorial

DIY mermaid picture frame

DIY mermaid picture frame

Easy beachy mermaid sign

easy beachy mermaid sign tutorial

Mermaid free printables

Mermaid coloring pages


Mermaid bingo


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sarah Leonard April 7, 2017, 09:15

    Hair pins never stay in place for me either – they just slide right out of my hair! These look gorgeous though – and great tip about ruffing up the hair slides backs šŸ™‚

    • Natashalh April 7, 2017, 10:01

      When I was a little kid my mom used hair bows with velcro to try to stick them to my head! I’ve alway had such fine hair. It’s really good to know I’m not alone because sometimes it feels that way!

  • Duni April 6, 2017, 04:56

    So sweet!
    Also, I didn’t realize a hot glue gun could be temperature regulated! I guess mine is just a standard one. You’re right, the jewelry glue is really toxic.

    • Natashalh April 6, 2017, 09:49

      Some of the glue guns here are “dual temp” and a have a selector switch. Obviously the low temp is cooler so you’re less likely to burn yourself, but the hot holds so much better in the long run! I was so glad when I discovered that because those other adhesives are so nasty.

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