Monday, 13 January 2014

Nana Connie's Beautiful Bow Tutorial

Hi everyone!

Wow, we have a fabulous tutorial for you today.  Nana Connie has done us proud with this one as I'm sure you'll agree.  

So...over to Nana Connie!


    As part of my DT commitment with Scribble & Scrap, I get to do a tutorial once every 10 weeks or so.  So two things inspired today's post.  Volunteering to be the first of the DT members to do a tutorial for Scribble & Scrap was one, and the other was more personal.  For many moons now I've been promising to do a tutorial about the bows I make by the dozens and toss into my stash for future use.  It was impossible to do the steps and photograph them at the same time without a much more sophisticated system than I have.  But, now that I live in the same city as my daughter and her family, I recruited some help.  Thanks, daughter dear.  :-D  You're the best!

     I should note that for those of you who either don't have a needle and thread or don't want to ever sew anything, you can buy these types of bows at most of your local fabric shops in packages of 4 or 5.  They tend to be expensive if you use as many as I do on your cards and projects.  Being somewhat budget conscious and loving to sew, I learned to make these by taking apart one of those I bought and figuring out how to make them myself.  It took some practice, so don't give up after the first one.  I can now make about 15 of these in an hour.  Making them myself also means that I have a much wider variety than just blue, white, and pink, which is mostly I see in the fabric stores.

What you will need:
Thread - matching the color of the ribbon  (For demo purposes, I used black ribbon and white thread)
Small pearl or other decorative bead
Scissors for trimming ribbon tails

     For the photographs, I used 5/8ths inch wide ribbon but I usually use 3/8ths inch for the bows and that results in a tighter "middle" of the bow.  You can actually use any size or style of ribbon you choose but 'softer' ribbon works better than stiff ribbon.


Step 1. --  Cut a length of ribbon about 4 inches long (for 3/8ths inch ribbon -- longer for wider ribbon.  You'll be trimming it at the end.)  Fold it as though you were doing a "remember" ribbon, with a loop sticking up above the crossed tails.  The loop should be twice the length which you want for your finished bow loops (both measured together.)  Photo 1a isn't actually anything you're going to do but is there to show you that getting your needle in the exact center of the loop is vital!   What you will do is fold the very top of the loop down to the back of the center spot where the tails cross.

Step 2. -- Bring your needle and thread up from the back in the exact center of the crossed tails.  This will be done holding it in your hands but we had to lay it our on the table for photographic purposes.


Step 3. -- Wrap the thread around and around the mid-point (top to bottom), pulling it as tightly as possible.  The tighter the wrap, the smaller the middle and the closer together the tails will be when finished.  I've done two different angles just to give you a view of how it would look when completely wrapped.

Step 4. -- Bring the needle and thread from the back side up through the right side loop, close to the wrapped middle.  Add the pearl bead and pull the thread through.

Step 5. -- Push the needle and thread down through the left side loop, again close to the middle, pulling it tightly and centering the pearl.

Step 6. -- Sew a "tie-off" of the thread at the back of the bow, keeping the pearl as tightly against the bow as possible. Clip the thread.

Step 7. -- Trim off the excess tails to make them the appropriate size for your bow.  Some people like longer tails so trim them to your preference.  I happen to prefer shorter tails on the small bows I make which are approximately 1/2 inch across and only a smidgen taller than that.  Here's a photo of a finished bow I did using the 3/8ths ribbon.

     You'll notice that the tails are much closer together when I don't have them deliberately spread out to photograph the various steps.  However, I will advise you that either stiffer ribbon or wider ribbon will result in a wider spread between the tails and a larger mid-point because there is more ribbon in the wrapped center.  It's just not possible to wrap that much ribbon as tightly so you won't get a really tight mid-point.

     That doesn't mean the wider bow isn't exactly what you want on your project.  I have done many bows in different sizes and styles.  But when I sit for an entire weekend afternoon and sew these little bows together for my stash, I tend to do the smaller, tighter bows mainly because I have a ton of pearl beads in the smaller size and I intend to get rid of them by making as many bows as possible over the next decade!  :-D  It'll take that long to use them up.  Experiment with the basic idea and come up with something that totally pleases you.  It doesn't have to be what I make.

     Have a great day, my crafty friends.  NanaConnie


  1. Thanks for the wonderful and easy to read are

  2. That was a great tutorial, thanks. It will save me a mint at the shops.

  3. Thanks - you have made that look so easy

  4. Fabulous tutorial, Connie, am going to give this a go hun, thank you for sharing xxx


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