How To Make Hair Bows, Video & Step by Step!


How To Make Hair Bows

I’ve always loved hairbows, really big ones! I was one of those little girls who identified with Laura Ingalls, but still thought Nellie Olsen was the luckiest girl in Walnut Grove to always have those big old bows perched atop her head! Now that I have a little girl, one of the things I have the most fun with is dressing her up in an assortment of bows. Fortunately, she enjoys them as well or I wouldn’t get to do this.

The other night I stayed up until midnight doing just that, and then posted the fruits of my labor on my Facebook page. My FB friends were so sweet! I received a lot of requests for a tutorial on how to make hair bows so I decided to post a video as well as a step by step photo tutorial. The video is the easiest way to learn, I think, with the photos acting as a good reference for later.

There are countless ways to make hair bows and you can find plenty of other instructions on the net. This is the way that I figured out how to make them a few years ago and I find that it works better for me than any of the other methods I’ve tried.

My husband and I did this video in about fifteen minutes and I spent a grand total of about five editing it so this is just a homegrown production but I think it shows ya what you need to know and I hope you find it helpful! Between the video and step by step photos I’m hoping I make sense but feel free to give me a holler in the comments section if you have any questions. I’d also love to hear from you if you find the tutorial helpful or just wanna say “hi”! :)

How To Make Hair Bows with from Christy on Vimeo.

If you have any problems viewing this video, please see the help section at Vimeo.

And now for the step by step photos!

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You’ll need: Ribbon, glue gun with extra sticks, barrettes, and thread and needle (already threaded with a knot tied at the end)

You’re also going to need scissors.

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I usually start with a thicker ribbon but you can use this method for smaller bows as well, just use smaller ribbon.

Make your first loop.

This first one determines the size of your bow so if you want a larger one,

make a larger hoop and likewise if you prefer a smaller bow.

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Now bring your ribbon around and make your second loop, holding the center secure with your fingers.

(This makes a lot more sense on the video, I think)

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Now make your third loop…

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And finally make your fourth, bringing your tail down to the side of the first one like this.

(honestly, you just gotta see the video to follow me here, I’m afraid..)

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There, now we have four loops and we’re ready to secure it in the middle.

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Run a few stitches right through the center.

Don’t worry about how your thread or your knot looks because no one will ever see this once we’re done.

This is my nice way of saying that if you ever looked at the centers of my bows, you’d see that I make these with all the grace of a bull in a china shop.

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Secure the thread with a knot but don’t cut it yet. Now you’re ready for the next step.

At this point if you want to add contrasting colors or ribbon you set this one aside, cut your thread, and repeat the first few steps with each new ribbon, making them slightly smaller than this one we just did.

Once you get all of your other bows done, sew them to this and don’t cut your thread before going on to the next step.

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Pinch your bow together…

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and wrap the thread (which is still securely attached to the ribbon) tightly around the bow.

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Until it looks like this. I wrap mine four or five times.

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Run  your needle through the back and tie a knot. Cut the thread.

You know, there is no law that says you can only have four loops, if you want more, knock yourself out :)

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Tug at your bow a bit until you have it arranged like you like, spreading out the loops a bit.

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There, I like that. :)

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Tie a knot in a small section of ribbon (a contrasting color is fun to use here).

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Place a dot of glue in the center of the front of your bow.

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Press center of knot down on top of glue.

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Flip bow upside down.

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Place a dab of glue in the center of the back.

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Place open barrette on top of glue.

It’s important that it be open because if you glue that puppy shut its really annoying to try to open it again and get all of the glue mess off.

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Take the top end piece from your knotted segment and pull it through the barrette like this.

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Press down to seal the glue and then cut off excess.

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Place a line of glue just above the barrette.

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Pull the bottom portion of the knotted segment through as well, pressing down to seal the glue.

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Trim excess.

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Now you have a bow!

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Trim tails of ribbon. I like to cut mine at an angle pointing towards the inside.

Some people cut “V”‘s for their tails but those are harder to get even so I stick with the angle cut.

Because I like it when life is easy.

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like this.

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Take a bit of fray check and run it along all raw edges.

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Don’t forget that little bit of exposed edge on the back.

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Voila! Our bow is done!

That fray check is damp now but will be dry in about an hour.

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This is about an evenings worth of work and well worth it. Making your own bows saves a lot of money over purchasing them and allows you to dress up simple outfits or really highlight fancier ones (We do more of the “dressing up simple outfits” at my house, though!)

I had a lot of fun making these and my Katy Rose loves showing them off!


Enjoy your bows!

The difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary life is finding extraordinary things in an ordinary life.

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Have a wonderful Sunday!
Christy :)
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  2. Jeannie says

    I’ve been looking for a tutorial to make hair bows, but yours is by far the best!! So easy to see what you are doing and you make it so simple. I learned that it doesn’t have to be “perfect.” Thank you so much!

  3. Kristen says

    Just made a couple bows this afternoon – WOW, SO EASY! Thanks for the tutorial. The the bows turned out great, but the “tails” are too long for my 6 month old. I cut them down and the bows still looked cute, but can’t wait until she is a little bigger so I can keep the “tails” on them.

  4. Sharon S says

    I sure wished I would of saw this 22 years ago, I put bows in my daughters hair all the time! Outfit wasn’t complete with out a bow!! I have a granddaughter who gets to have plenty of bows! I can’t wait till my daughter has a girl!

  5. says

    I have my first 2 granddaughters one 6 and one now 10 months. I am addicted to Pinterest. My full time job as a respiratory therapist, really cuts into my grandma time. I wanted to make bows for both of my girls. I started out simple and was pretty proud of them, sending pictures to the mother of the girls. I saw your pin on pinterest and I made the layered bow!!!! OMG it is gorgeous. Thank you so much for the help. Tina Dunlap

  6. Kellie Havlin says

    I just watched your tutorial and found it isn’t all that intimidating to make hair bows!

    The simplicity is right up my alley. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bows! I have a 4 month old daughter and I can’t wait to start dressing her up.

    Thank you for the simple instructions.


  7. Georgina says

    How easy it that! Thank you. I can not believe how simple you have made this. My granddaughter has just now wanted to start wearing hairbows. When her mom was little I made her bow but they were never this cute, thanks for sharing.


  8. Carley Johnston says

    I am a college student and i love having cute bows to wear for fun events like sports games and church events but that also means i am that “poor” college student. I thought about making some of your bows for me and some to sell. Have you ever sold any f your bows and if you did how much did you sell them for? I have people intrested inthem but do not know how much to ask for them. Can you please help
    Thanks- Carley

  9. Eryn says

    Hi I saw that u said it was difficult for u to make the tails of the bow even when doing the v-cut. Thought id just give u a lil pointer I taught myself. If u fold the ribbons tail n half long ways, kindof like ud do when making a paper heart. Just fold it and make one cut from the lower corner upward in an angle and when u open the ribon back up ull have a perfect v-cut

  10. Patricia Hartley says

    I was wanting to learn to make bows for my nieces and my daughters and my step daughters and looked a lot of different how to videos but yours was by far the easiest and funnest to make I have made like 6 so far all yesterday 6/17/14…. So thank you!! Now I can bows for my girls for all occasions :)

  11. ellann says

    KUDOS TO YOU, Christy. You are one of the very few who have produced a video and a picture/ print version of instructions. I am so tired of VIDEO learning. As a former teacher we had to accommodate all learning types. I am not a video learner. I need reference. I also do not have the time to go back and forth to see what I could not do or see. With print I have the time when I need it to refer to pictures or print. I sincerely hope you do not jump on the video band wagon. I hate to use this word but it is almost a type of discrimination not to be able to learn something because it is on video only. I have emailed many sites and have had a reply from only one stating that it was actually harder for her to make the video than to print or take pictures. So, use the print version or at least post both the way you have. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this great bow tutorial and ideas to go along with it. I am indebted to you. I just do not have the words to thank you enough. Ellann

  12. aleisha lippert says

    this is just awesome. thank you so much. i am trying to make hair bows for my daughters cheer group. you are just awesome so down to earth. i want to thank you for being that way !!!

  13. Cris says

    Your bows are gorgeous! I don’t have any girls, but I made my first one tonight to double as a bow on top of a birthday gift for a party my son is attending this weekend. My mom used to do the same thing with handmade corkscrew bows, but it took me nearly three hours just to figure out your basic bow, so that’s what I’ll be sticking to for awhile!

  14. Marie-Jeanne says

    Dak U wel voor die super uitgelegde video om die bogen te maken. Ik heb geen kindjes maar vind het toch fijn om mijn Kerstboom er mee te versieren met dan mooie linten van bijv. zilver en goud.
    enz. Hartelijk Bedankt ga het zeker proberen.

  15. Sergey says

    ben g – As a fellow phehograptor, I have to say I really like your photos. They came out wonderful, and Bob and Mel are a great looking couple. Awesome job guys.June 28, 2011 1:16 am


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