Bow making can be really tricky. I've compiled my best bow lessons into one easy to follow bow making guide. These simple steps can save you big money if you plan to purchase bows this year. Learn how to construct a bow, proper securing techniques, and get tricks and trips I've learned along the way!
While making a bow on site for a client at a carwash, a women waiting in the lobby struck up a conversation with me about making bows. I was in absolute shock that she had just paid Hobby Lobby over $5 to make a SMALL machine made bow, NOT including the ribbon. WOW, I'm still in shock. $5 may not seem like a lot until you think about how many bows you will actually need.
For the past two years I have decorated homes for Christmas. If there is one thing that I have learned it's where there are christmas decorations, there are bows..HUNDREDS and hundred of bows! When I first started decorating homes, I was like most of the world, baffled by bow making. I had no idea where to start and when I did get a start, it never worked out. This year I had a master bow maker teach me the ways, and I am going to share those with you in this post. Watch the Full Video or see it broken down below. I will also post a "short" video for those of you who are speedy!
HOW TO START:
Step 1: The Pinch
Leave whatever length you would like for a tail on your bow. Grab the ribbon and push into a very tight gather. This is your pinch. You will be pinching this tightly the whole time.
- If you listen to nothing I say, listen the this. THE PINCH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! If you start with a bad pinch, you will not have a pretty bow in the end. You can go through all the steps and never know what you are doing wrong which was my problem. I could go through the motions but my bows were not "pretty". It wasn't until my awesome bow guru had this same conversation with me that my bows became "pretty".
Tip: If you sew, this is very similar to a gather or pleat. Nice, neat and tight.
Step 2: Make a loop. This is the SMALLEST loop in your bow. Use your judgement for the size bow you will need.
Step 3: Turn your wrist toward you so you can see the ribbon.
Step 4: TWIST. You must only twist ONCE. Your fabric SHOULD be right side up again. You want to make sure your gather in the twist is nice and clean. A folded or waded up twist does not make a pretty bow.
Step 5: Make another loop. This loop needs to be the same size as your first loop just on the opposite side.
TIP: Your bow layers must stack on top of each other. This will come with practice. The faster you can train yourself to keep each loop clean the better your bow will be.
Step 6: Repeat step 4. This will put you make at step 2. This time make a bigger loop and continue that pattern until you have reached the size bow you want.
Step 7: The Tie Off
When you are ready to complete your bow you have a few options. For the most simplistic method we will use a Pipe cleaner OR wire tie. You could also use a smaller ribbon. Bend the pipe cleaner into a "U" shape and place over the center of the bow. Twist two times as tight as you can. The tighter the hold around the bow the better the fluffy will look:
Step 8: Fluffing
Fluffing your bow by pulling two of the loops the opposite direction. Once you have fluffed all your bows, smooth out any wrinkles and round out any square parts with your fingers.
Bonus Content: Tricks to add texture, EASY!