How To Make A Hair Bow
How to Make a Hair Bow
Hair bows are an adorable accessory for little girls. Bows made with more sophisticated fabric can add a fun or elegant touch to your look as an adult, too. Learn how to make a classic bow tie-shaped hair bow to wear yourself or give to the little girl in your life.
(To put your hair into a bun that looks like a bow, see How to Make a Bow out of Your Hair.)
Choosing Hair Bow Supplies
Find the right fabric.You'll need about half of a yard of fabric to make one bow. The classic hair bow shape looks pretty with any type of fabric or pattern. Choose a solid color that matches your favorite outfit or go for a funky pattern that will make a statement. Consider the following options when you pick out your fabric:
- Sturdy fabrics like cotton, linen or denim will make your bow stiff and well-shaped. Stretchy or limp fabrics will create a floppy bow. Choose a fabric with a texture that will create the look you want.
- Large designs won't be completely visible once the fabric has been turned into a bow. Small polka dots, stripes, and other tiny patterns will show up well.
Choose a backing for the bow.There are many ways to affix the finished bow to your hair. Look for the following options at your local craft store:
- If you want to wear the bow as a barrette, buy a plan metal barrette to attach to the finished bow.
- Consider gluing the hair bow onto a fabric or plastic headband.
Buy other bow-making supplies.The fabric and the backing are the most important elements of the hair bow, but to complete the job you will also need these other supplies:
- Thread to sew the bow. Choose thread that is the same color as your fabric or go with a contrasting thread that will stand out.
- Fabric scissors.
- Sewing pins to hold the bow in place while you sew.
- A sewing machine or a needle you can use to sew by hand.
- A glue gun or extra-strength fabric glue.
Sewing the Bow Base
Cut the fabric into two rectangles.Make the first rectangle inches (24.1 cm) wide and101⁄2inches (26.7 cm) long; this will be the main part of the bow. Make the second rectangle inches (6.4 cm) wide and inches (8.9 cm) long; this will be the middle piece that cinches the bow into shape.
Fold the larger piece of fabric in half lengthwise.Make sure the "right" side of the fabric, the side on which the pattern is brighter, is facing in. Only the "wrong" side of the fabric, the side on which the pattern is muted, should be visible.
Sew the long edges together using a straight stitch.You can use a sewing machine or make the stitch by hand. Only sew the long edge, opposite the fold; leave the two short ends of the fabric open. You now have an inside-out rectangular tube with a seam down the longer side.
Turn the fabric right-side out.Reverse it so that the bright side of the fabric is facing out. Lay the piece of fabric flat on the table and position it so that the seam runs down the middle of the tube, rather than the side.
- Make sure the seam is directly in the center of the fabric by using a ruler or measuring tape to measure the fabric on either side of the seam. The sides should be equal.
- Position the fabric so that the seam is on the top part of the tube, rather than the bottom part lying flat against the table.
Fold the tube in half width-wise and sew the raw edges.Using your sewing machine or working by hand, make a zig-zag stitch or a straight stitch along the unsewn, unfolded edges of the fabric. You now no longer have a tube, but a folded and sewn square. Reverse the fabric so that the new seam is facing inside.
Sewing the Cincher
Make a small tube.Fold the smaller fabric piece in half lengthwise so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing out. Use sewing pins to hold the raw edges together. Use a sewing machine or work by hand to sew a zigzag or straight stitch along the raw edges. Remove the pins and turn the fabric right-side out. You now have a small fabric tube.
Fold the tube in half width-wise and create a loop.Use a sewing machine or work by hand to sew the short ends together with a zigzag or straight stitch. Reverse the fabric so that the new seam is facing inward. You now have a small fabric loop.
Assembling the Hair Bow
Pleat the bow base.Take the larger piece of fabric that you sewed into a folded square. Position it so that the seam is running horizontally through the center of the square. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the fabric just above and below the seam, so that the seam is obscured and sandwiched between the pinched fabric. Continue pinching the fabric to make pleats above and below the seam until you have a total of 4 pleats: 2 above the seam and 2 below.
- You might have to practice a few times to get the pleats just right. Try to make them as even as possible, pinching the same amount of fabric to create each one.
- If you want more than 4 pleats, experiment with pinching the fabric to create more folds. Just make sure you have the same number of pleats above and below the center seam.
Cinch the middle.Place a few pins in the center of the bow base through the pleats to hold them in place. Slide the cinching loop over one end of the bow base. Remove the pins and continue sliding the cincher over the base until it is positioned in the middle of the bow.
Attach the bow to your chosen backing.Use a hot glue gun to glue the back of the bow to a plain barrette or a headband.
To make a hair bow, cut your fabric into two rectangles, making the first 9.5 inches wide and 10.5 inches long, and the second 2.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches long. Fold the long piece lengthwise with the patterned side facing in. Sew the long side of the rectangle before turning the fabric inside out. To complete the bow base, fold it widthwise and sew the edges together. With the small piece of fabric, fold it lengthwise, sew the long edge, fold the tube in half to make a loop, and sew it together.
- Paint your finished bow with a light coat of fabric glue and sprinkle it with glitter for a fun effect.
- You can coordinate the colour of your bow with your outfit for a cute look.
- Since people rarely ever wash their hair bows, you can use some fabric paint if you don't have any colorful fabric stores near you.
Things You'll Need
Bow backing, such as a plain barrette or headband
Sewing machine or sewing needle
Ruler or measuring tape
Hot glue gun or super glue
Sources and Citations
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