If you’re here, you probably already know what the ‘official’ term is for someone who’s a huge fan of bows. That’s right, they’re called a ‘bow head’, but without the least bit of irony or maliciousness involved. Now, finding unique hair bows for purchase in today’s retail world is a complex issue, believe it or not.
In the age of Pinterest inspiration boards, Etsy online designer boutiques, and countless bricks and mortar store options, hair bows have become anything but unique. And when you do manage to find a model you like, it’s like, all of a sudden, pink bows are worth their weight in gold. Otherwise, it would be difficult to understand why such an accessory could come to cost as much as $10 a piece.
The solution? For genuinely unique hair bows, go full-on DIY. Make your own bows for as little as $1 per bow, make girl headbands, create your own baby girl hair accessories, keep those you fall in love with, then sell the rest online, at a fair price, or gift them to your friends. We’ve got four great tutorials to get your started with your crafting.
Tutorial #1: Button Hair Bow
For this type of bow you’re going to need 24in of 1.5in wide ribbon (for a 4.5in wide bow), or 18in of 1.5in wide ribbon (for a 3.2in wide bow). Preferably, the ribbon should be grosgrain, the type you would also use for making girls headbands. Also arm yourself with a hairclip, a pair of scissors, and a glue gun, plus 6in of fine wire for the under-wiring of the hair bow. Start by folding the two ends of the ribbon into loops, to the point where you get a figure 8-shaped ribbon.
Then fold the ends of the loop inward, and press them onto the center of the bow. Pinch the two loops into each other and press to get a nice looking bow. Pin the center of the bow with a piece of wire, wrap it tightly, then tie it well at the end. Trim off any excess ribbon there might be back there. Wrap the piece of wire around the hairclip and make sure to twist the wiring around, so that it doesn’t poke into the wearer’s head. Add a button, a gem, a charm, or any kind of embellishment you prefer, to the center of the ribbon. Affix it with a glue gun – and you’re done!
Tutorial #2: Layered Hair Bow
Bring out a needle and some thread, your hot glue and glue gun, as many alligator clips as you want, and, of course, some ribbon. Twist the piece of ribbon into a double layered figure 8 (like two eights superimposed onto one another), or a triple one, for an even more charming effect. Sew the loops together at the center with needle and thread. Repeat these steps with another piece of ribbon, similar in length, then superimpose the two onto each other. Sew them together, then take out the glue gun. Draw one strip of glue to the back of the double ribbon and attach it to the hair clip.
You’ve got yourself a layered head bow – and don’t think you need to stop at two layers. Go as wild as you want with the layering, but make sure you’ve got a hairclip that’s large enough to accommodate them all. Otherwise, chances are the ribbon will fall off pretty quickly. If you’re using an artificial blend ribbon for the bow, then heat the ribbon edges with a lighter, to slightly melt them off and prevent future fraying. You can even choose to conceal the clip in ribbon layers, for an ultra-chic effect.
Tutorial #3: Long Hair Bow
This is going to be one big hair bow, so make sure you feel comfortable wearing something as extravagant as this (and why should you, anyway?). Get four long strips of ribbon, in 3/8in, 5/8in, 7/8in, and 1.5in – the kind you would also use to make headbands for girls. Get a large alligator clip, a hot glue and glue gun, thread, add embellishments (optional) and also get a hair clip or Pony O. The first step is to get your first strip of ribbon into a Tails Down Bow. It might be easier to use grosgrain ribbon and only cut out the piece once you’re done folding. You can check out Tails Down Bows tutorials online.
Affix the double at the center with the alligator clip, then tie it with thread in the middle. Then, make a second Tails Down Bow, but keep this one simple, not double. Finally, use the remaining scraps of ribbon to create the streamers – make them as long as you want to! Layer them with the larger bow at the bottom, followed by the streamers, then the small bow. Tie them all together down the middle, glue them in place, and attach them to a hair clip. If using a Pony O, make sure to glue the hair accessory on before gluing the ribbon at the middle.
Tutorial #4: Flower Hair Bow
For this multilayer hair bow you’re going to need 16 ribbons: four 8in ones, four 6in ones, and four 4in ones, a trinket to glue to the center of the flower, an alligator hair clip or barrette, and, of course, a glue gun. Fold the 16 ribbons into a figure 8 each and glue the eights at the center. In the end, you should have two sets of large petals, two medium sized ones, and two smaller ones. Glue them together by size, making sure each forms a plus sign. Then layer them on top of each other, glue the gem or other embellishment at the center of the flower, and glue everything to the barrette or alligator clip. You are officially done!