2 Cute DIY Bows And 6 Even Cuter Ways To Wear Them

I'm REALLY bad at crafts and was still able to make these things.
Publish date:
September 6, 2013
How-To, DIY, bows, hair bows, crafts

Truth be told, I'm a pathetic crafter. I love the idea of crafts, I constantly pin craft ideas to inspiration boards on Pinterest and collect dainty craft supplies; but when it actually comes down to it, I am far too impatient for most craft endeavours. Make this tiny intricate piñata in 25 easy steps? Yeah, I'll probably get to step 5 and abandon the project to go eat cookies in the kitchen with my glue-covered hands.

Bows, however, are different. For a long time, I scoured the shelves of every Claire's and Ardene for perfectly poufy hair bows, but they always fell a little flat. Recently, as part of a constant parade of experiments where I put things in my hair, it clicked: Hair bows are so easy to make. SO easy maybe even I could do it.

Turns out I can.

For this little how-to, all you'll need is:

  • a hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • strips of whatever ribbon or fabric you'd like
  • a bobby pin
  • a barrette clip piece (which can be found online in bulk or often at a local fabric or jewellery supply store)
  • sharp (preferably sewing) scissors

I got a little fancy with my bows this time and splurged at Mokuba, the ribbon store of ALL ribbon stores, but really any ribbon from the dollar store should do just fine.

Truth be told, I wanted to do a Disney's Aristocat-inspired colour scheme because I'm going to Disneyland soon, so I chose what I thought a ritzy cat would choose. Don't judge me.

The Tiny Bobby Pin Bow

I've found this bow to be endlessly useful when I'm in a rush to look cute and need to stick something dainty in my hair. For this little fellow, I chose a soft mint velveteen ribbon that feels like heaven, but again, any ribbon or strip of fabric will do fine as long as it's thin enough to slide into the end of a bobby pin without holding it open and rendering it useless.

1. Tie a bow to your liking.

2. Slip a bobby pin through the back loop of the bow with the flat side facing up.

3. You can stop right there! It's actually that easy! But you can also (as I did) add a little dab of glue under the top of the pin to hold the bow into place so it doesn't slide around on your head; but this really isn't necessary if your bow is a thicker fabric like mine.

Big Poufy Pink Barrette Bow

For this larger (Marie, the white kitten inspired) gem, a little more work will be required. You can use a super-wide chunk of lace, ribbon, or cut some fabric. I ended up using roughly a ruler-length of giant silk ribbon and it worked famously.

1. Measure how wide you'd like your bow to be.

The fabric is going to be folded over itself to create a big loop, and then squished in the middle to form the bow, so try doing this to get a feel for the size you'd like. When you've decided, cut off the excess and KEEP IT. You'll need it later.

2. Fold the ribbon onto itself so no rough edges show and glue it down. This should create a thick loop of fabric that you could, if it's big enough, wear as a bracelet.

3. Take the spare bit you cut off before and glue it into a small neat strip. This will be the centre of your bow, so make it whatever width you like aesthetically, but try not to make it too thin and thick (as I did) or it will be hard to work with. Also be sure to fold any rough edges in and glue them first, because pretty.

4. This is by far the hardest step. Pinch the middle of your big loop with the "glue seam" in the middle at the back so it's hidden. When you've got it pinched to your fancy, use the thin strip you created to wrap around the centre, and glue it in the back. If you have a friend to help you hold the pinch while you glue, your chances of glue burn will be much lower but still not eliminated. BEAUTY IS PAIN.

5. Glue on the little barrette clip piece to the centre of the back of the bow (where it can be clipped into your hair, obviously).

Personally I like my bows with a bit of *pop*, so I glued my barrette on top of the middle loop to make the bow sit high off of my hair. For a more secure and flat clip, glue the barrette on during step 4, after the pinch and before the secure, and then put the securing loop through the convenient square area on the bottom portion of the metal barrette. You can also sew it on this way using the two holes at the ends of the clip, but my fabric was too thin for that.

6. You've given birth to a sweet baby bow. Congratulations.

Now that you have not one, but two new hair bows to wear any way you want.

What weird places to put a bow am I forgetting?