My daughter wears a hair bow pretty much every day. They can get really expensive, so I make them myself. It saves a ton of money and I can control which colors and patterns we use. I generally make some for each season and major holiday and I’ve just made several for Christmas.
Tip #1 – Get a couple of rolls of ribbon you really like that you can use for several bows.
That way you will get your money’s worth. Before school started this year I bought a few rolls of large ribbon in basic colors and a few smaller rolls with designs. I was able to pair them up in different ways to make several bows to go with her school uniforms.
I also made several variations of bows with this ribbon when she started ballet.
For Christmas, I snagged this ribbon at Michaels for half off. And I paired it with the solid color ribbon I had leftover from the school bows.
Tip #2 – I try to only use grosgrain ribbon. Other ribbon is harder to work with.
Tip #3 – Get a good kit and watch video tutorials.
I have a great kit called the Bowdabra Hair Bow Making Kit. You can get one on Amazon.com for $13. Each kit includes the Mini Bowdabra, Bowdabra Hair Bow Tool, 10 yards of Bowdabra bow wire, instruction book and an instructional CD. I watched the CD to learn the process. You can search for helpful YouTube videos also.
I also use scissors, a lighter, a glue gun and hair clip to attach the bows to.
I start by cutting a small piece of wire and laying it in the middle holder of the Bowdabra.
Then I place the ribbon inside the holder using the measurements on the Bowdabra to make each side equal length.
Then I fold the ribbon over and lay it in the Bowdabra going the other direction.
I do this several times, depending on how big I want the bow to be, then I cut the ribbon.
Tip #4 – Every time I make a cut in the ribbon I use a lighter and quickly and briefly sweep it back and forth a few inches away from the end of the ribbon. It keeps the ends from fraying.
Then I tie the wire around the ribbon a couple of times, making sure it’s tight, while lifting it out of the Bowdabra.
Then I cut off excess wire…
And fluff the ribbon out to make it look the way I want.
Now for the center piece to make it look cleanly put together. I cut a small piece of the ribbon..
And adding a little hot glue to it, I fold it in half to make it thinner. If you are already working with thin ribbon you won’t need to do this.
Then I wrap the folded piece of ribbon around the bow, glueing it in the back. It doesn’t have to be beautiful in the back because it will be covered up by the clip.
Then I put hot glue on the clip to attach it to the back of the bow. You can use the type of clip I used here or you can use bigger ones.
Tip #5 – Choose a clip that works best in your kid’s hair and that is the proper size for the bow you’re making.
If you’re making a giant bow you’d want a much bigger clip than this.
That’s how you make a very basic bow.
You can of course use multiple colors, patterns and size of ribbon. You just layer the ribbon on top of each other in the Bowdabra.