Instructables

Gift Bows (from recycled paper)

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It's inevitable. You are almost finished wrapping gifts and you run out of bows!

Now there's no need to run back to the store, or leave out the bow altogether when you can make your own bows with recycled paper. Use left over gift wrap, a magazine page, newspaper, craft paper, scrapbook paper, sheet music, comic pages, children's story book pages or just plain old white paper!

They are easy to make and only require a few basic tools.

Let's get started!
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Paper: 
Use gift wrap, a magazine page, newspaper, craft paper, scrapbook paper, sheet music, comic pages, children's story book pages or just plain old white paper.
Pencil
Ruler
Scissors

Adhesive: Fast drying glue, glue stick or double sided tape
Small clothes pins or paper clips (To temporarily hold paper until glue dries.)
Small Stapler with staples (This is optional. Glue is sufficient if stapler is not available.)

Step 2: Making the Gift Bow

Standard sized bow (Gold print wrapping paper is used):
Cut paper to 11" x 6 3/4". Measure and draw lines for 9, 3/4" wide strips that are 11 inches long.
Cut out all 9 strips of paper.
Leave 3 strips 11 inches long. Make 3 strips 10 inches long. Make 2 strips 9 inches long and make the last strip 4 inches long.
Discard the cut off ends.

Small bow (Silver magazine page is used.):
Cut paper to 7 1/2" x 4.5". Measure and draw lines for 9, 1/2" wide strips that are 7 1/2 inches long.
Cut out all 9 strips of paper.
Leave 3 strips 7 1/2 inches long. Make 3 strips 6 inches long. Make 2 strips 5 inches long and make the last strip 3 inches long.
Discard the cut off ends.

Tip: If you follow these instructions, you can adjust the strip widths and lengths to make much larger bows and mini bows.
canucksgirl (author) 2 years ago
I hope there were many homemade bows under the Christmas Tree this year. :D

Happy New Year Everyone! :)
They look way better in person ;)
canucksgirl (author)  idontremebermyname2 years ago
Thank you my son... :)
Thanks! That is what I love about instructables! If I need something I know I can find it here! I don't have to buy books and patterns!
sunshiine2 years ago
Awesome! Do you have more to share? I really need to learn how to make pretty bows for all my girly stuff. I love this. Thanks for sharing.
Sunshiine
canucksgirl (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
Thank you! I'll see if I can make time to write an 'ible for other styles of bows. For now, this traditional style can be adjusted to make even bigger bows or make mini bows!

For example, to make really BIG bows cut wider strips (about 1 inch or more) and make the lengths longer, like 16 inches. Then just adjust the other lengths accordingly.

The same principles apply to making mini bows. You'll want to make the widths about 3/8" or 1/4" wide and the longest lengths only 6 inches. Again, you'll adjust the other lengths accordingly. If the bow you want is really small, you can omit 2 strips and use only the 2 longest lengths, 2 of the next size, 2 of the shortest and the single (for the center) for a total of 7 strips vs the 9 in the 'ible.

Thanks for your comments and interest.
susanrm2 years ago
So pretty. I almost included these in my magazine wrapping paper instructable, but I thought the bow instructable had already been made. Yours is great.
canucksgirl (author)  susanrm2 years ago
Thanks. There are a couple gift bow ibles, but none are made the way I make them. Plus it seemed like the right time since I ran out of bows while gift wrapping. lol... murphy's law.
fjordcarver2 years ago
Beauty eh.
canucksgirl (author)  fjordcarver2 years ago
thanks canuckdude
I love this! I've never known how to make these bows! Thanks for sharing this!
canucksgirl (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
You are so welcome! - They look store bought, that's the nice part.