Bows are just adorable, aren’t they? They are and they are super easy to make yourself. I’ve attached mine to simple two-prong clips and Scunci No Slip Snap Clips to make some awesome hair accessories but these fabric bows are really multipurpose. My son asked for one to have as a clip-on bow tie.
Hair accessories are a great way to dress up a ponytail, braid, or updo. While I think these bows look cute on women of all ages, they are especially great for girls. See?
In this post, I’ll show you how to whip up some bows including color-blocked, painted, and no-sew versions. This great scrap-busting craft is so easy that once you get started, you’ll want to make a bunch of them. Get the step-by-step instructions after the jump.
DIY Fabric Hair Bows
For this bow you will need some fabric scraps, a ruler or measuring tape, fabric shears, pins, iron, ironing board, coordinating thread, and a sewing machine.
1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric at the following measurements:
- Skinny bow – 7.5 x 2.5″ and 2 x 2.5″
- Large bow – 10 x 4.5″ and 2 x 3″
- Mini bow – 5 x 2.5″ and 1.5 x 2″
2. Fold each rectangle in half lengthwise, right sides facing, and pin.
3. Sew both pieces along the long edge on the open side with a 1/4″ seam allowance to create a tube.
4. Use a chopstick or pencil to help turn both tubes right-side out.
5. Flatten your tube with the seam in the center and iron.
6. Fold each tube width-wise, right sides facing and sew ends together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Note: If you would like to attach your bow to a hair elastic, slip it around the center piece prior to sewing it closed.
7. Bring the seam to the center, butterfly the excess open and iron flat.
8. Turn both right-side out.
9. Accordian fold the center of the larger piece by pinching it in the center then folding up the outer edges down to form a “M” shape.
10. Slide the larger “bow” through the smaller tube and you’re done. Skip ahead to the For All Bows section to learn how to attach clips, barrettes, and/or hair elastics.
Note: After making a few bows, I found it’s easiest to wrap the center piece around the folded bow and mark where it should be sewn for a better fit. Just be sure not to make it too tight or pulling your bow through the tube will be a giant pain.
For this bow you will need some fabric scraps (at least two colors or patterns), a ruler or measuring tape, fabric shears, pins, iron, ironing board, coordinating thread, and a sewing machine.
1. Cut out 5 rectangles as follows:
Fabric A (pink in this demo): 1 – 2.5 x 4″ piece, 2 – 2 x 4″ pieces, and one 2.5 x 3″ piece
Fabric B (zebra print in this demo): 2 – 2.5 x 4″ pieces
2. Pin the two 2 x 4″ pieces of fabric A to the two pieces of fabric B, along the long sides, with right sides facing and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
3. Connect to two ends together with the 2.5 x 4″ piece of fabric A. Pin the right side to the right side of either end piece (along the 4″ side), with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
4. Iron all seams open and then proceed with steps 2 through 10 of the the basic bow.
Don’t have a sewing machine? Hate to sew? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
For this bow you will need some fabric scraps, a ruler or measuring tape, fabric shears, 3/8″ iron-on adhesive hem tape, iron, and ironing board.
1. Cut one retangle at 9.5 x 4″ and one at 2.5 x 3″.
2. Fold one edge of the the larger piece lengthwise, eyeballing it so that the edge extends about 1/2″ past the center width. Iron into place.
3. Place a 9.5″ long strip of your adhesive tape along the edge.
4. Fold the second side over length-wise over the adhesive and iron to fuse.
REPEAT STEPS 1-4 WITH YOUR SMALLER RECTANGLE AND SET IT ASIDE.
5. Fold in one side width-wise, again eyeballing it so the edge extends about a half inch beyond the center and place your adhesive strip. Note: If you would like to attach your bow to a hair elastic, slip it around this piece prior to ironing it closed.
6. Lay the other edge over the hem tape and iron to close the bow.
7. Accordian fold the bow in the center and wrap the smaller piece around it. Mark the correct length and trim the piece 1/2″ larger than that measurement.
8. Fold one side as you did before, place a strip of no-sew adhesive, fold the second side over the tape and iron to fuse, creating a ring.
9. After the adhesive has cooled, slide the larger piece through the center ring. Jump to the For All Bows section to learn how to attach the hair accessories.
I used fabric paint to add accents to a couple of my bows. After allowing the paint to dry, follow either the basic bow or the new-sew option to create your bow.
1. For the painted color blocked bow, fold ends of your longer piece in to the center widthwise with a 1/2″ overlap to determine where your stripes should land. Use washi tape or painter’s tape to mask off the areas and paint. Peel off the tape when the paint is dry.
2. For the mini hearts, I used a heart hole punch on some scraps of adhesive contact paper. Peel off the backing of the paper and apply to the larger rectangle. Dab the paint onto the hearts and remove the contact paper when dry.
I attached my bows to clips, barrettes, and hair ties. These Scunci No-Slip Grip snap clips are fantastic for slippery hair like mine. You can simply slide the clip or barrette through the center of your bow and call it a day. For added security, glue or sew the clip in place. You will need a hot glue gun or needle and thread.
To attach a clip or barrette using glue:
1. Hold the clip so that the flat side is facing up. Apply a little hot glue on the inside, on the bottom prong.
2. Slide the clip through the center ring on the back side of your bow.
3. Lift up the bow on both sides and add a little more glue to attach the ends to the bow.
The steps are the same for a clip, making sure that the back of the clip faces up.
To attach a clip or barrette with a needle and thread:
1. Hand sew a few stitches on both sides of the clip or barrette through the center hole and around the outer edges to secure in place.
To attach a hair elastic:
1. Slip the elastic tie around the center piece before closing it into a tube. Slide the bow through and move the elastic to the back. If you forget to add your hair tie before you close the center ring, you can just sew it on.