Giant bows are a decorative accessory with a lot of impact which are easy to incorporate into your festive decor. We've always used large red velvet bows for our Christmas decorations, but never seem to have the right number of ones that match, and they get bedraggled fast. New ones are expensive, or you can't find quite what you'd like. I got fed up and decided to make my own; it worked well enough that I made lots, and now I'm passing it along.
In this Instructable I'll be sharing with you a method I came up with for making a "faux" giant bow (no tying required!) with basic supplies and tools. I made mine for Christmas, but they'd be stellar for wedding decorations too, or whenever else you want some bang for your buck. Remember, you can use whatever color or style of ribbon you like to fit in with any personal style!
Don't get intimidated by the number of steps - it really is EASY! (It may take a bit to get the hang of it, so I wanted to be as clear as possible.)
Please feel free to ask me any questions you have.
Step 1: Materials and Safety
- Wired* ribbon, two types/widths in this case but you can do it with one if you like. I used:
+ Candy cane stripe, 2.5" (6.5cm) wide
+ Snowflake ribbon, 3.75" (10cm) wide
- Twist ties, four: one short, two average, and one long. You can substitute light gauge wire.
- Strong scissors (or wire snips), don't use your fabric scissors as the wire in the ribbon will dull the edge
- Flexible tape measure (ruler will work)
- Hot glue gun and sticks (use LOW setting on dual guns, or a low temp gun!)
- *Heat proof gluing mat (recommended)
- *Butter knife (recommended)
*Note: It's not necessary to use a wired ribbon. But because non-wired ribbons are generally for garment use, they're much softer. They're harder to work with, you're more likely to burn yourself through the thin material, and it's harder to fluff them when you're done and after storing. My ribbons came from JoAnn and Hobby Lobby; Michael's has a good selection as well, and you can also get high-quality ribbon designed for wrapping at CostCo during the holiday season.*
Bow making sounds innocuous but you can still hurt yourself. I am not responsible for any injury YOU sustain by being dumb. Only the ones I have.
Take precautions, know your tools, and stay alert. Never craft in a poorly lit room or while fatigued, and keep your workspace clear of hazards.
My favorite truism for all crafting: HOT GLUE IS HOT. Be careful. Trust me, I have had serious burns, I have had friends require the ER, it is not a good time. It's much easier to be careful than to deal with the pain of a bad burn. Use the LOW setting on your glue gun whenever you can. In this project, the glue isn't structural; it's just to help you hold things in place.
Be careful with cutting and handling wired ribbons. Wire is pointy. Any small child will tell you being poked is not fun. If your scissors can cut wire, they can certainly cut you. My scissors are nicknamed "the death scissors", because they cut everything and do a heck of a job on you. I have the blood stain in my sewing room to prove it.