Stacked hair bows were quite the rage back in the 80s – but, then again, in between the spandex, shoulder pads, and gravity defying hairdos, it was probably a bit difficult to even notice them anymore. For the following three decades stacks of ribbons were relegated to more modest roles, such as gift box adornments, centerpiece decorations on wedding tables, and Christmas tree embellishments. And when just about everyone (except for folks down South, where they never really stopped liking their things big and stacked) had given up hope, the popularity of stacked hair bows saw an unexpected revival.
Stacked hairbows are now back in style, largely due to the influence of contemporary Disney films such as Frozen. Everyone and their grandma is becoming interested in how to make hair bows, and don’t think they’re being churned out by crafty DIY-ers just for the sake of little girls. They’re being sported by celebrities and their kids, too, so don’t be too surprised when you start seeing adult women integrating them into their outfits. Until then, however, we’ve prepare the full stacked hair bow tutorial for your convenience, complete with a ribbon size guide and other goodies. Check it out and then don’t hesitate to leave us comments with your creations.
How to Make a Bow Correctly: The Ribbon Width Size Guide
Try as you might, you’re probably not going to manage to produce 6 inch hair bows from ¼” ribbon. If you’re really curious about how to make bows the professional way, then you should know it all starts with selecting the appropriate size ribbon for your bow. Here are the guidelines:
- 1-2 inch hairbows: ¼” ribbon
- 2-3 inch hairbows: 3/8” ribbon and 5/8” ribbon
- 3-4 inch hairbows: 7/8” ribbon
- 3-5 inch hairbows: 1.5” ribbon
- 5-6 inch hairbows: 2.25” ribbon and 3” ribbon (this also works for bigger ribbons, too)
Supplies Needed to Make Stacked Hair Bows
- A good pair of fabric scissors
- Needle and thread
- High temperature glue sticks and glue gun
- Lighter (for sealing off the ends of the ribbons, when working with grospoint)
- Hair bow maker (optional)
- Cutting mat (optional)
Important notes on supplies for making hairbows
- The hair bow maker can be replaced with a pair of sticks stuck vertically into a piece of Styrofoam, or by using two fingers. The device itself will definitely help you make bows faster and easier, but it’s not absolutely mandatory, if you’re only making a few for personal use, or to give away as gifts.
- The cutting board is also not compulsory, but, as a safety precaution, it’s probably best to use a protective cover for your work area.
- Depending on the size of your project, you may choose to buy various types and patterns of wholesale ribbon, or opt for a smaller package. Some crafting boutiques sell selected assortments of several designs, which are perfect for mixing and matching into big, stacked, loopy hairbows.
- You will be stacking several layers of bows, so this is the basic structure you need to bear in mind:
- The base bow – 1.5” ribbon
- Embellishments – spikes, streamers, feathers, or anything else you would like to adorn your bow with
- Loopy surrounding bows – 3/8” ribbon
- Top bow – 7/8” ribbon
The most important ones are obviously the top and base bows, so make sure their colors, patterns and designs match. Feel free to use any style you love.
How to make a hair bow stacked
Step 1: Select the right size of ribbon
If you’re using 1.5” ribbon on the base bow, use a 7/8” ribbon on top. similarly, a 4.5” base bow will look great with a 3.5” top bow. It’s important to keep these proportions going no matter the size of your bows. For a bigger bow, go with 2.25” ribbon for the base bow and 1.5” ribbon at the top. a smaller bow will look spectacular with 7/8” ribbon as the base and 5/8” ribbon on top.
Step 2: How to make bows for the stacked hair bow
Make the base bow – a twisted hair bow, roughly 4.5” in size, out of 1.5” grosgrain ribbon.
Make the spikes or streamers. Their ends need to be cut off and sealed with the lighter flame. A good size is 5.5”, but feel free to make them longer or shorter, if it so pleases you. You can also alternate ribbon sizes for them: have 2 made of 1.5” ribbon and 3 made of 7/8” ribbon. Overlay and cross them, then piece them together into a bow, with the aid of a thread not in the middle.
Make the surrounding bows, out of one of the more narrow ribbon sizes. We used 3/8” ribbon and only made one, but you can go for up to 3. A stacked hair bow with that many surrounding ribbons will look extra loopy!
Make a 3.5” twisted ribbon out of 7/8” grosgrain ribbon. This will be your top ribbon.
Step 3: Assemble the stacked ribbon
First, attach the spikes to the base bow, by gluing them together and also tying them with a knot on the back of the base bow. Then add the surrounding bows, either by gluing them (recommended), or threading them together with a needle. Add the topper bow and thread it through the back. cover the threading with a frontal knot and add your favorite embellishment: buttons, jewels, etc.. At the very end, attach the bow to your preferred hair clip style. You’re all done, you’ve just made the first one of your many stacked hairbows to come!