Save yourself some money buying those boutique bows and make them at home yourself. They're easy! I promise!
Step 1: Supplies
Gather your supplies. For this bow I used:
1/4" wooden dowels
small binder clips
If you want to use wider or narrower ribbon, you may want to experiment with different sized dowels. Grosgrain ribbon can also be used and looks really cute. I generally use upholstery thread, but you could even use dental floss if you want.
Step 2: Wrap Your Dowel With Ribbon
Secure your ribbon to one end of the dowel with a binder clip. Wrap it in a spiral until the entire dowel is covered. Secure the other end with a second clip. If you run out of ribbon somewhere in the middle, just add another length and secure with an additional clip.
Step 3: Baking Your Ribbon
The more ribbon you curl, the fuller the bow will be. These eleven dowels will make two medium full bows. For small girls you may want to make teeny bows, so this would make several.
Continue wrapping dowels until you have several. Set them on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about twenty minutes. Let them cool completely.
Step 4: Unwrap
Pull of the clips and gently unwrap your ribbon.
Step 5: Cutting
Your ribbons may look a little wonky on the ends. Trim off any weird pieces.
Cut the ribbons into desired length. These pieces are about four inches long and since I want the bows fairly full, I've used six dowels worth of ribbon.
ETA: Depending on the type of ribbon you use, you may need to seal the ends to prevent fraying. Acrylic ribbon can be sealed by holding the cut end near a flame briefly until it melts very slightly, or dab the ends with Fray Check. Some ribbons may be just fine if you cut at a 45 degree angle.
Step 6: Tying
Center your little bundle of ribbon on a piece of thread long enough to work with. Twelve inches is more than enough. Kind of mix them up a bit so the colors don't clump together too much.
Gather the thread tightly and tie a good, secure knot. Wrap it around one more time and tie it again.
Step 7: Finishing
Glue your hair clip to the bundle. You may want to line the clip with ribbon first, but with a full bow like this, I don't find it terribly necessary.
Once the glue has set, flip it over and trim the ends if you'd like to clean it up a bit.
Now go make a little girl happy!