How to Make Bows:
Corscrew Ribbons

For years I wondered how to make bows like I've seen in Gymboree know, the cute curly ones that match all the outfits they have?

how to make bows

I adore those corkscrew-style bows, but when you have two girls, it costs a fortune to buy matching hair bows for all of their outfits!

Luckily, after much trial and error, I figured out the perfect way to recreate these curly boutique-style bows.

Items You'll Need to Make Ribbon Bows:

  • 1 Yard (0.9 m) of polyester ribbon: 1/4" (7 mm) or 3/8" (9 mm) wide
  • 18" (45.7 cm) dowel, 1/4" (6 mm) diameter
  • Two wooden clothespins
  • Embroidery thread
  • aluminum foil
  • oven

How to Make Hair Bows:

In order to make the ribbon curly, you need to first heat set it in the oven. You MUST use 100% polyester ribbon (grosgrain works well).

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees (135 degrees C). Attach one end of your ribbon to the dowel using a clothespin, and begin wrapping the ribbon around the dowel, being careful not to overlap it.

how to make hair bows

2. When you're done wrapping the ribbon around the dowel, secure it at the other end with another wooden clothespin.

how to make a hair bow

You can put more than one color on a dowel, and put a few dowels into the oven at the same time.

how to make a bow

3. Put aluminum foil on the middle rack of your preheated oven, and place your dowel(s) on it to bake for 15 to 20 minutes. When set, remove the dowel(s) from the oven, and let them cool. Remove the ribbons.

hair bow ribbon

4. Cut the ribbons to equal desired lengths, and trim each end at a 45 degree angle to limit fraying. I recommend that you seal each end of the ribbon to further avoid fraying. You can seal a ribbon end using fray check, glue, clear nail polish, or with a flame or heat sealing tool.

ribbon crafts

5. Stack the ribbons on top of each other in a varying pattern, and hold them up to create a flat spot in the middle.

how to make ribbon bows

6. Place a hair barrette or rubber band behind the stack of ribbons, and tie embroidery thread around both to secure the ribbons to your hair clip. Tie a 5" coordinating piece of ribbon around the center of the stack (over the embroidery thread).

corkscrew bows

7. Now that the ribbons are secured to the hair barrette or band, gently spread the ribbons out to give fullness to the bow.

Want more ribbon crafts? Did you enjoy making this hair bow? If so, check out our basic hair bow or Blossom Bow designs!

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