Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to make hair bows -- Tutorial (take 2)

Let's try this again!
1.  Cut some cardboard into a C shape like these.  The taller the C, the bigger the bow.  These "bow formers" will make 1.5 in. bows and 2 in. bows.
2.  Wrap the ribbon around the cardboard like this using hair clips to hold it securely.  If you wrap it like this, it will give you 2 loops on your bows.  The more wraps around the cardboard, the more loops you get.  (I will show you different numbers of loops later)
3.  Using a needle and thread sew the ribbon together right down the middle of the letter C.  Try and keep the stitches pretty small, but don't worry if they aren't uniform.  You won't see them when we are finished.  It also doesn't matter what color thread you use.  You won't see it either.
4.  Once you have sewn it completely, take it off of the cardboard.  (Hint: fold the cardboard slightly and the ribbon will slide right off.)
5.  Slowly start pulling on the thread and start cinching up your bow.  You don't need to do it as tight as you can.  Just do it until the bow looks like you want it to.  Once you have cinched it to where you want it to be, tie it off.  I like to wrap the thread around a couple of times and then make a little stitch around the wrapped thread and tie a knot on top of it.  However you can get the knot to stay is fine.
6.  Now you need something to cover the center of the bow.  You can wrap it with ribbon, add some bling, sew on a button, or cover it with a knotted piece of ribbon.  For this one, I used knotted ribbon.  I tie a knot, and then tie another knot in the same spot.  It makes it stick up a little more, but it is personal preference.  Once you have tied the knot, cut the ribbon so that it is just short enough to wrap around the bow and can be secured to the back with a dab of glue.  BEFORE you glue it down, burn the ends of the ribbon so that they don't start to ravel.  THEN glue your knot onto your bow.
7.  Now we need to make the clip that the bow will go onto.  Do these just like the clips we used for the hair flowers.  Burn the ends of the ribbon, and then glue it to the clip.
8.  Before you glue your bows to the clips, cut the ends of the ribbon to where you want them to be.  I like to just to use an angled cut like you see here, but you could also to a V cut.  After you cut the ends, burn them slightly to keep them from raveling.  Then glue them to the clips and you're done!

Now, if you want to make bows with more loops, or bigger bows, keep reading.

This is a 4 loop bow with thin ribbon and different ideas for covering the center of the bow.  These are glued onto ribbon covered clips as well.
This is how to make a 3 loop bow.  This one is also much bigger than the others.  (4.5 in.)  They can be whatever size you want.  Just remember to make your cardboard C bigger.
I think the knot over the middle looks really nice, but I wanted to show you that with these bigger bows, you can put a smaller bow on top and it looks even better.  Both of them are 3 loop bows.  I glued the smaller bow onto the larger bow and then I put the knotted ribbon around both of them and then glued it to a clip.
And here are some of the bows that I have made.
You can also experiment with gluing flowers into the middle, or anything else you want to. They are your bows, so have fun! If you have any questions, or want me to demonstrate how to do something else, please email me at

P.S.  I'm turning off comments because I keep getting spammed.  If you want to leave a comment, just email me instead.  Thanks!


Elizabeth "Betsy" said...

Thanks for a great tutorial! Can't wait to see who wins the towel!

Linda said...

Great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing.

Linda said...

I forgot to ask you what the dimensions of your card board was?

Sarah @ Pumpkin Patch said...

Several people have asked about the cardboard templates. The size of the bow depends on how tall your letter "C" is. If you want 4" bows, then you need your C to be 4" tall. The top and bottom of the C can be any length as long as your ribbon can wrap around it as many times as you want it to. I recommend making them 3-4 inches long. That should accommodate pretty much any size bow. If you have more questions, please email me at