Monday, September 22, 2008

Brooklyn's Basic 4 Inch Hair Bow

Whew! Finally, some step by step instructions on bow making. I didn't realize how time consuming picture taking and blog writing could get when you do it step by step, but it was a lot of fun!

Now these instructions are a combination of a bunch I've found online and others that I've learned on my own through trial and error. I've taken a little here and there, and adapted them into what works for me. That's the genius behind bow making. You take the instructions and adapt them to what works for you!

To start off there are a cast of characters that you'll need:

Ribbon, scissors, thread, glue gun, hot melt glue, measuring tape (or ruler), cigarette lighter, hair clip, ball-point pen, and small elastics (I prefer the ones from Sally's Beauty Supply because they stretch easily). A few of these you won't need until we attach the bow (instructions for that to follow shortly).


STEP 1: Lay your ribbon down next to your measuring tape. You are going to start by making small marks on the ribbon. I've numbered them for you so you can see them step by step, but often times I just make a small dot. Your first mark you are going to make at 2 inches in. This gives you a tail on your bow.

STEP 2: Move down 4 inches to the six and make your second mark. This time we are going to mark it at the TOP of the ribbon.

STEP 3: Move down 4 more inches to the ten and make your third mark. This time make the mark in the middle of the ribbon again.

STEP 4: Move down 4 more inches to the 14 and make your fourth mark, this time at the bottom of the ribbon.

STEP 5: Your final mark will be made here at the 18, and put it in the middle of the ribbon again.

Before you cut, be sure to move down two more inches to the 20 so that you have another tail. Cut at the 20 inch mark. And now you are ready to fold.

Now, remember when you are folding to make sure the marks match up as best as possible. If it isn't right on, don't worry sometimes my marks are a little off too. As long as the bow looks balanced at the end you are in good shape!

(*Helpful Hint #1: When folding, the marks in the middle (ie: 1, 3, and 5) will always be on top where you can see them. The marks on the edges of the ribbon (ie: 2 and 4) will be folded behind where you can't see them.)

STEP 1: Fold mark #1 over top so the tail is hanging to the right at a 45 degree angle. Match up #1 with #2 (remember number two will be around back so flip the ribbon over if you need to see where it's at).

STEP 2: Take the long part of the ribbon and fold mark #3 on top of mark #1.

STEP 3: Take the long tail again and this time fold it down and behind, matching up #4 with #2 (remember it doesn't have to match up perfectly!)

STEP 4: Now, it's quite possible that this is the most tricky of all the folding steps. With your long tail behind and hanging to the left, you want to hold the folded ribbon tightly with your left hand, and with your right swing the tail to the right (it's not going to want to go that way) and take it over the top of the tail and rest that final mark in the middle on top of mark #3.

Does your ribbon look like the one above? Sometimes it takes a couple tries just folding the ribbon. So go ahead and try it again.....

Ok, you ready to turn it into a bow?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't sew anything to save my life. I'm pretty sure I failed the sewing section of Home Ec in 7th grade, but that's another topic for another day. So for me, these elastic rubberbands are my life saver when making bows!

First you want to fold and pinch the bow down the middle.

Take one elastic and stretch it around the center. You may have to wrap it 3-4 times. I try and stretch it far enough so that it doesn't pull at the folds while I'm wrapping it.

Once you've got the elastic secured, place your thumb and forefingers through the loops to fan it out.

On to the tails! Take a pair of scissors and cut diagonal across the tail of the ribbon. You can cut whichever way you prefer, I like to cut mine up from the edge.

Here's how the first tail looks. One tail down, one to go!

This is the part where that cigarette lighter comes in. I always get funny looks when I tell people to use a lighter, but it's the fastest and easiest way to heat seal the ends. Flick the lighter on, and holding it about 1/4 inch from the ribbon, run it up and down until you see the ends melt. This will keep the ends from fraying! It's amazing!

We're coming to the if you are still with me, hooray for making it this far! Cut a piece of thread about 12-18 inches long. Then tie it around the elastic leaving about a 3 inch tail.

With the longer part of the thread, wrap it around the middle, covering as much of the elastic as you can, until there is about three inches left. Tie the two ends together and double knot them. Use your scissors to trim the remaining thread as close to the knot as you can.

And there you have it! You have folded your first bow!

Stay tuned for the basics on wrapping clips in ribbon, tying knots, and putting the whole bow together!


Anonymous said...

Thank god for you and your instructions. I really needed a strawberry shortcake bow for my daughters birthday party. I was running outta time and came across this site. Needless to say, I made one by myself with your instructions and had it in time for my daughter to wear at her party thank you soooo much!

Mormishmom said...

I can't wait to try these! I'm going to the ribbon store this week!