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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  1. Kristen says

    Wow your bows are super cute! I just came across this because I have decided that I want to start making my own bows for my 3 year old. This tutorial is the best ever! Cannot wait to get started this evening :)

  2. Maddy says

    I made these in my cheer leading colors and gave one to everyone! I bought special letters that stick on extremely well and put base, flyer, back and everything on it!!! They LOVED them! I want to make them on hair ties tho !!! Thanks for your help :)

  3. Beverly Chabot says

    I needed this Tutorial as I have a Great Granddaughter that, bless her little heart, has very little hair & what she does have is very light. She wears a tiny ponytail (like Pebbles) atop her head so ribbons will make her ponytail very special. Thank you Christy!

  4. crystal says

    What size/brand of ribbon do you use? Is it the grosgrain or satin? 1 1/2 inch or 2? Im really intrested in trying these for my daughter and will have to order supplies online so please let me know….. Thanks and God bless

  5. Kacie says

    I love you, lol!!! I had so much fun making hair bows your way, I am also in complete agreement with you on other ways to make bows, measure, measure, measure, NO THANKS!!! I make flowers for my girls hair if you would like the website for the supplies just shoot me over a message, they also have 100 alligator clips, thats what I use, for $2, When you have a family SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Well keep up your awesomeness!!!

  6. Martha says

    Dear Christy thank you for this tutorial this is such a great way to make bows I can{t wait to make them for all my 4 girls and also get them started in making their own! Loved your ideas and creativity!! God Bless You

  7. Danielle M says

    Christy, This tutorial is awesome! I am a new mommy, due this thanksgiving. and the day i found out i was having a little girl was one of the happiest days of my life (next to my wedding day of course :) ) I am a huge arts and crafts person and i LOVE this!!!! i am about to go buy enough bows to make my one for everyone of her outfits i already have for her. I was wondering if you have found any tutorials you like or have done for hand bands since i feel headbands are easier with babies. :)

  8. Linda says

    This was the best tutorial I’ve seen on how to make hairbows – and I’ve watched my fair share and have tried to make them without much success. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the video – it helps so much to WATCH how you do it.

  9. Lyvonda says

    Thank you for the tutorial! I know you said to watch the video, but I think the pictures tell the instructions just fine!! I kind of had an idea about how to do this, but you sealed it for me!! Thanks again!!

  10. April Moore says

    I absolutly love your creative work! It has helped me make many different an very pretty bows, etc… Your tutorials are so easy to go by and to understand.
    I have learned how to make so many amazing, beautiful and funky bows!!
    I love it, an also because of the creative knowledge about making hair bows etc… I have created a FB page an along with what you have taught me, I have also came up with my own creative style and I just really want to say
    “THANK YOU”.
    *Thanks a bunch,
    April L. Moore :)

  11. Amy says

    Thanks so much for your tutorial Christy!!! I started last night with a tutorial and it had me measuring out and all that and when I came across yours it made it SOOOO much more easy and more fun :) Do you have others besides this one? I’ve been looking around on this site and didn’t see anything.

  12. martha dickel says

    Your bows are amazing. My college granddaughter saw your site and asked me if I could make her some. So I guess its for all young girls. I would like to know where you get all the cute ribbon and for the low price that you said that you pay. I went to Michaels and they didn’t have much and it was not cheap. Thank you in advance for suggestions. Martha

  13. samantha says

    These are so cute! I have a little sister who loves bows but it’s so hard to find any really cute ones that aren’t too expensive! This tutorial is great and I’m probably going to start making her some bows now instead of buying any more! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Nathalie says

    Thank you so much! I play on a softball team and we LOVE bows. When my mom found this, she made us these pretty bows! I just figured out how to make them so I’m going to make them for myself! Thanks again(:

  15. Olivia says

    Wow! Thank you so much for posting this! You made everything so simple and I am not a measure kinda person either! So excited to get started on my girls new hair bows instead of paying other people to make them for me!

  16. Kaitlyn says

    Love the tutorial, thanks!! Do you have any tips for working with smaller ribbons (1/8”)? I have such a hard time pinching everything together while I try to make the loops/secure with thread.

    • Cailyn says

      When I was making mine I found that the easiest way while trying to sew them together is just to hold your thumb where you want the needle to go and then as lightly as you can push the needle through. You kind of have to stab yourself a little bit but I haven’t actually punctured skin yet so it’s been working just fine

  17. Cailyn says

    I’m a highschool girl and I LOVE bows!! I have not been able to find a tutorial this easy so far!!! My schools football team has themes for every game like neon night and americana night, and I already made bows to match my outfits for both of them!!! They turned out super cute and I cannot wait to make more :) I’m about to head out to the craft store to get some more ribbons!!! Thank you soooooooo much 😀


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