I was working at a major chain toy store when Hexbugs first started popping up on the shelves, when the Hexbug craze hit and we dedicated a whole aisle to the things.
I thought they were the stupidest toys in existence.
Alright, maybe not the stupidest. But pretty dumb.
My initial deep disapproval faded after the first few crazy weeks, settling into a quiet, complete indifference that has remained constant until…well, until February’s Loot Crate, which featured the theme “Play” and included an assortment of tabletop, card, and online gaming gear.
The Hexbug was the immediate choice for “hacking”, both due to my lack of anything else to do with it (the Transformers Hexbug from June’s crate has been sitting in a corner unopened since I got it) and a budding idea for something fun.
I dug into this one immediately. And then figured I’d try it out to see the dumb little thing in action. Just so I knew.
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Twenty minutes later we’re still howling with laughter as it careens around the room, scuttling furiously.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that I was wrong and Hexbugs are freaking awesome.

I’m still making mine the subject of this month’s Loot Crate hack.
Because lets face it, my nifty little scarab bug is going to look fabulous adorning my hair in a fascinator-esque hair accessory.

Each month’s Loot Crate brings new and exciting nerdy gear to incorporate into my excess of nerd lifestyle. Subscribers know the theme, but don’t get to know what’s inside until the crate arrives on the doorstep (or until, you know, they watch one of those nifty unboxing videos). The element of surprise is partially what makes every crate such a fun treat every month. It’s an amazing way to discover new items, brands, and even interests. But with such a varied and unpredictable lot, there are bound to be an item or two that you just don’t know what to do with. Resale is, of course, one option, but I think there’s another choice. Especially with the things that you definitely want in your life but simply don’t know where it would fit. Thus, “Loot Crate Hacks” was born. Every month, I’m going to select an item that can be crafted into something new and unique. Let’s get creative! After all, nerdy shit and crafting are two of my ultimate favorite pastimes!

February’s Loot Crate bore the theme “Play” and was filled with engaging games and toys to play with. A customizable Munny figure by Kid Robot, a special Loot Crate Superfight deck, dice game, online code for the Firefly Universe game, and cool deconstructed Pac Man poster were a few of the other nerdy goodies included this month. Since the Munny figure’s purpose is decorating and creating, we won’t be “hacking” that, although I plan to deco the hell out of that guy over the weekend, so stay tuned for that! For now, we’ll be demoing some hair accessories with Hexbugs as the main feature.

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Helpful Supplies:

  • hot glue gun
  • barrette clip/hair pin/headband
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  • felt scraps
  • needle and thread

Optional Adornments

  • large fabric flowers
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  • ribbon
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  • flatback crystals, stones, or other cabochon pieces
  • lace
  • etc…whatever crafting supplies you have laying around!
  • as long as it, you know, fits on a bow and is safe and all

The best thing to use for this project is a hot glue gun–it’s fast, bonds well to everything we’re working with (even the felt, it just takes a little more patience), and allows for freedom to adjust if needed. Just be VERY careful when using it…I’m queen of hot glue burns, but you shouldn’t be!

Now that you’ve gathered everything you could possibly want to glue onto your hairpiece, it’s time to be creative!

Putting together the pieces is a matter of personal choice, so don’t let the examples I’m showing you here limit what you can do. For the sake of accessibility, the two pieces included use only the basics: some combination of hot glue, felt, ribbon, fake fabric flowers, and the Hexbug.


 

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The easiest and quickest method of creating an eye-catching hair accessory would be with the fake flowers.

These are easily purchased at Michaels, Joann, any local craft store, and even a dollar store. I love the enormous Gerbera daisies, and they come in a huge selection of colors. My project also included a larger petaled blue flower and the leaves that came as part of that stalk. Leaves are not necessary to create the piece, but they do help stabilize the shape and add a pop of green foliage.

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Take apart any flowers and leaves from their stems, and this is what you’re left with. As you can see, the flowers stick out slightly in the back, which can be a challenge when gluing down flat. There are a few solutions to that. I chose to layer the blue piece underneath my flower. The blue flower had a much flatter back. I also arranged my leaves underneath as an accent, positioning them in a way that helped shape the piece as a whole. The last thing I did was include a small felt square to create a flat, easily glued surface where I could attach my hair clip. The felt is always helpful for this purpose, even directly under a single flower.

Here’s my finished product, which will give you an idea of how the construction went–basically, just stack and adjust leaves and flowers until you like the look of it. Practice positioning it against your head for a better idea of how it will fall. Trying to fit the contour of your head can avoid awkward looking edges.

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Here it is from the bottom. As the picture shows, the leaves are attached to the fabric piece and that is bound to the barrette. Normally, no one is going to see the barrette from this angle–unless, of course, you’re writing a DIY tutorial in the public sphere–so it’s alright if it’s a little messy. I’m imprecise and impatient with hot glue at best, and I was also very concerned with making sure the clip was not going to detach at any point. Also, a solid glue foundation around the base of the clip (make sure not to glue the part that opens and secures the clip down!) helps the piece sit straight and avoid tilting on your head.

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The second style I wanted to model included ribbons that could be used to create a flowered effect. The Hexbug I permanently borrowed from my fiance’s crate was red, so I chose a red, black, and white color scheme.

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I only used ribbon and felt for this creation, both cheap and easily obtained items. Start with a felt circle that your Hexbug can sit atop. This will be our base. Folded pieces of ribbon make up the next layer. I cut mine to about 4.5 inches, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the effect you’re going for. Each one is hot-glued onto the felt circle in a patterned  circle of its’ own.

example

After the ribbon circle was complete, I created another felt layer cut into the shape of petals. This was glued directly over the center of the ribbons. For good measure, I folded up a felt flower-esque shape–play with the folds until you’re happy and hot glue everything down! Whichever hair clip you decide to do can be glued down to the base felt at this point, too. Make sure to use plenty of hot glue to thoroughly secure it!

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After holding it in position and placing the Hexbug in the direction I wanted it to face, I hot glued that down too.

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These make for cute and easy accessories that don’t shy away from the nerdy, and they’re appropriate for children and adults!


 

Tips

Position the piece on your head before attaching the clip/barrette/headband in order to determine which way you want the piece to face. Similarly, make sure you’re happy with which way the Hexbug is going to be facing, since it will look very different at various angles. Do this BEFORE hot gluing anything down!

Don’t be afraid to try something weird! We’re already sticking a bug on our head, so get funky with those colors or throw some elegant looking feathers in. If I had some birdcage lace I probably would have made a proper and true fascinator.

fas bugs fas facsinator

For now, I’ll just crudely photoshop Hexbugs onto luxurious looking fascinators and call it a day.  But if it’s an idea that strikes your fancy, there’s a great tutorial on how to make a cool and inexpensive fascinator if you follow the link here!

How Loot Crate Hacks Works

basic ground rules for each month’s hack: I want my crafted hack to be as widely accessible as possible. I know that everyone does not have two rooms full of crafting supplies at their disposal, as I do, so the intent is to create something using as few and as common supplies as I possibly can. That doesn’t mean I won’t try and do some crazy specialized things if the motivation hits, but there will always be a version that can be easily and cheaply replicated.

This project is done entirely for fun. I have no affiliation with Loot Crate, just a love for their nerdy boxes and the cool stuff that comes inside each month. I appreciate the inspiration that their themes and items allow, as well as the opportunity to play with things I would never otherwise purchase for myself.

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It's all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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