How to make a hair bow
These instructions to make a hair bow are for a 4 inch pinwheel bow.
You will need a few things to get started:
*Your choice of ribbon – 23 inches long. In this tutorial I have used 1.5 inch width. I think this makes very full looking hair bows. I love the look of satin ribbon, but it is slippery and harder to work with, so I recommend using grosgrain to start with as this type of ribbon is very easy to shape into a good looking hair bow.
*Coordinating ribbon to tie around the center (about 6 inches). I generally use a 3/8 inch ribbon when making a 4 inch bow with 1.5 inch ribbon
*Lined Alligator Clip (see previous instructions)
*Hot glue gun
*Heat source (I use a plain old cigarette lighter) to heat seal ribbon ends to prevent fraying)
Part 1 – instructions for how to make a hair bow
This is how to make hair bows with alligator clips!
1. Cut the ribbon ends to make a “V” – I fold the ribbon in half and cut a diagonal line, like this:
2. Heat seal the ends of your ribbon – I use a cigarette lighter – you just need to get the heat close enough to the ribbon to heat it up – it just takes a second. You’ll be able to see when it is sealing.
3. Fold ribbon over at about the 4 ½ inch mark – with the “right side” of the ribbon on the outside.
4. Repeat this folding over three more times – folding the ribbon over on top of itself
**The ribbon ends should not hang over the edges much, if they do – it’s OK, unfold and make that first fold a bit longer.
5. Pull the two ribbon pieces that are the cut ends of the ribbon out so they line up in front of the ribbon bunch.
6.“Bunch” the ribbon together in the middle – making small folds in the center and pinch with fingers.
7.Wrap some craft wire around the center – twisting in the back to assure placement. Clip the wire ends so there is not excess wire hanging off the back.
8.Turn bow over a “fluff” or pull ribbon loops until you are satisfied with look of bow. At this point, you can fix your bow and make it exactly how you want it. If you think that it looks like one side is bigger than the other, slide your craft wire around until satisfied.
9.Wrap smaller ribbon piece around the center of you bow – tying a knot in the back of the bow.
10.Clip the extra ends off of the knot in the back, use your hot glue gun to “seal” those ends to the back of the bow.
11.Embellish center of the bow with gemstone, button, or any decoration!
12.Attach the bow to the lined alligator clip (click here for instructions) with your hot glue gun.
***To make a 3 inch pinwheel bow, you need approximately 15 inches of ribbon to start with, then follow the same directions – your first fold should be approximately 3.5 inches to begin.
***To make a tiny 2 inch bow, you need about 11 inches of ribbon – the 1.5 inch width is too big for these bows, but 5/8-7/8 inch will work great.
Here are some pictures of bows I have created using this method. Soon you too can learn how to make a hair bow.
Part 2 – Making a double layer hair bow
In addition to the previous “ingredient list”, for a layered bow, you will need…
* A four inch bow (made above)
*A three inch bow (made above)
*(optional) 4 strips of coordinating ribbon cut about 5-6 inches long. This ribbon is for behind the layered bow, so generally a width of 5/8 to 1 inch works best – but it’s up to you!
How to make layered hair bows
**Follow the previous instructions twice (once for the 4 inch bow, once for the 3 inch bow)
Once you have made both size bows, follow these instructions next:
1. For added effect, cut 4 pieces of varying coordinating ribbon into 6-7 inch strips.
2. Cut the “V”s into the ends of each of these ribbon pieces.
3. Heat seal each end to prevent fraying.
4. Place a small glue dot in the middle of your first strip and place a different ribbon strip ontop creating an “x”. Repeat this with your two remaining strips.
5. Place another small glue dot on the top of your stack of strips and place the 4 inch bow on top of this.
6. Add one more small glue dot to the middle of your 4 inch bow and place the 3 inch bow on top of this.
7. Press the whole stack together tightly, then wrap with you smaller ribbon pice, tying a knot in the back.
8. Trim the ends of this knot off, and seal with some hot glue.
9. Attach your master piece to a lined alligator clip and embellish the center of your bow with a button, or gemstone, or anything pretty! (Click here for instruction of lining an alligator clip)
Here are some examples of my layered bows:
This is a two part tutorial – enjoy!
Part one – How to line an alligator clip
You will need a few items:
1. Single or double pronged alligator clip. (I personally prefer the double pronged – seems to grip hair a bit better)
2. Sharp scissors for cutting ribbon
3. 4 1/4 inch piece of ribbon (3/8 inch wide to fully line the clip)
5. Hot glue gun
How to line an alligator clip
Step one – Heat seal the ends of your ribbon to prevent fraying. I use a regular cigarette lighter and just barely touch the ribbon ends. You’ll be able to tell when it is ready. It only takes a brief second to seal.
Step two- Clip the ribbon inside the alligator clip, placing ribbon end just after the prongs (don’t put all the way to the end or you’ll fall short in the end!)
Step three – Place glue up and down the front of the clip – don’t overdo it or it’ll get goopy)
Step four – Pull the ribbon tight over the clip and smooth down with finger
Step five – Flip the clip over
Step six – Place glue on the bottom of the ribbon sticking out
Step seven – Pinch the ribbon into the clasp of the clip, then smooth the rest of the ribbon over the back
Step eight – add any embellishments/bling for a stylish hair clip
Part 2 – How to line an alligator clip – Hair bow
For this additional piece, you will need a few more items:
1. Your lined alligator clip
2. One 3 1/2 inch piece of ribbon (3/8 inch wide for this example)
4. One 1 1/4 inch piece of coordinating ribbon
Step one – Take your 3 1/2 inch piece of ribbon and heat seal the ends as before.
Step two – Place a small dot of hot glue to one end.
Step three – Fold the ribbon into an “0″ – connecting one end to the other on top of the glue dot.
Step four – Place a small dot of glue INSIDE the “O” right on top of where you connected the two ends.
Step five – Making sure you are in the center, press down the top of the “O” to the glue. Making an “eight” of sorts.
Step six – Using your 1 1/4 inch ribbon, place a small dot of glue in the center and place the “bow”, top down, on the ribbon.
Step seven – Using small glue dots again, fold over the ends – essentially wrapping the small ribbon around the center of the bow.
Step eight – Take your lined alligator clip and cover the top with hot glue (don’t go all the way to the ends or some glue may show)
Step nine – Place the small bow on the alligator clip, press down firmly.