How to Make Hair Bows:
The Basic Bow

In a few short steps, you can make hair bows like the ones sold in boutiques! Why spend a fortune on a bow that you can make in minutes?

How to Make Hair Bows

Using the step-by-step guidance below, I'll teach you how to make bows. This is the BASIC bow, which you can further decorate to make more ornate designs.

Items You'll Need to Make Hair Bows:

  • 24" (61 cm of 7/8" (23 mm) Ribbon
  • 5" (12.7 cm) of 3/8" (9 mm) coordinating ribbon
  • Embroidery floss to secure the center of the bow
  • Two clothespins
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun
  • Barrette or rubber band

How to Make Ribbon Bows:

1. Mark the center point of your 24" ribbon with a pencil.

make hair bows

2. Hold one end of the ribbon, and form a loop by placing the end on top of the center mark. This will form the top part of your figure-eight.

how to make ribbon bows

3. Fold the bottom side of the ribbon the same way to form a figure-eight shape.

how to make ribbon bows

4. Bring the center of the top loop to the center and pinch it to form two side loops.

how to make bows

5. Bring the bottom loop of the figure-eight up to meet the middle, and pinch all four loops together in the center.

hair bow ribbon

6.Use clothespins on either sides of the bow to hold it in place while you tie embroidery thread around the center. Tie your coordinating 5" ribbon on top of the embroidery thread, leaving the knot on the front of the bow.

making hair clips

7. Flip the bow over, and overlap and glue each end of the ribbon tails.

making hair clips

8. Trim the excess ribbon from the tail.

girls hair clips

9. Glue a barrette or hair clip onto the back of your bow, and you're finished!

hair clip bows

And here is your completed boutique hair bow!

ribbons for your hair

To add a little more to the basic bow...

making barrettes with ribbon

If you'd like to add another layer to your bow (see the yellow ribbon in the photo above), you'll need a coordinating 3/8" ribbon. I don't know the size you'll need, because that's something you'll need to figure out using the directions below (just for reference, my piece in the photo is 28" long).

1. Using the new 3/8" width coordinating ribbon, form a loop of the desired size, and hold it up to the back of one of the loops of your basic bow. When you find a look and size you like, multiply the amount of ribbon it took you to form that loop by four (to make four loops).

ribbon in hair

2. Lay the ribbon flat, and mark four equal sections using your pencil (to create the four loops).

hair bow clips

3. Fold one section of the ribbon in a loop to meet up with the next section mark, and put a drop of glue to hold it down.

boutique hair bows

4. Bring the second section around to form another loop,and tack it down with glue.

designer bows

5. Bring the third section around to form the third loop, and again tack it down with glue.

homemade bows

6. Now you guessed the same with the fourth loop to complete the entire four-loop look, and tack it down with a dot of glue.

boutique bows

7. Follow steps 1-5 at the top of this page to make the basic bow. Add the layer you just made behind your basic bow, and continue with steps 6-8 to secure the two bows together.

homemade bow

boutique hair bow

Make hair bow

8. Glue a hair barrette or rubber band to the back.

designer hair bows

And here is what it looks like completed...

Making hair bows

Want more ribbon craft? Did you enjoy making this basic hair bow? Try the Blossom Bow or Corkscrew Bow designs!

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