Top It Off With a Fabric Scrap Bow




About: Hi; I'm Andrea. I am passionate about DIY projects and I focus on creating lovely for less. My days are filled with bringing the ideas in my head - to life. Aside from that, I'm a grandma who just stepped i...

For the most part, a bow is a decorative knot tied with 2 loops and 2 hanging ends. As children, we associated them mostly with our hair, shoe laces and the waist ties at the back of our gathered dresses.

Today, bows have evolved. They are available in all ranges, colors, sizes and patterns. One of the most popular choices for making bows is ribbons. Their finished woven edges make them convenient, quick and an easy option.

But guess what? Your fabric scraps collection is also readily available and within reach. So, let’s shift focus to the fabric scrap stash and discover.


Before you start, you might have some questions:
What type of fabric scraps do I use to make a bow?

Short answer: Because a bow is mainly a decorative feature, you may use any fabric you have on hand.

What are some ways I can use fabric scrap bows?

Answer: Use bows as accents on clothing and accessories; e.g. hats, gloves, bags, hair ties; decorate cards, journals, book covers and as gift toppers.

Step 1: Cut Fabric

Cut a rectangular strip of fabric to accommodate bow size. (I used 6 ½” x 5 ½”)

Cut another small rectangle for middle of bow tab. (I used 3” x 2”)

Note: in all instances, keep bows end-use in mind; e.g. if making items for hair, choose fabrics that are smooth and wouldn’t snag or pull on contact.

Step 2: Fold and Stitch

Lengthwise, with right sides together, fold both rectangles in half. Stitch a ½” seam along the length of both rectangles, leaving short ends open.

For smaller bows, use softer, lighter fabrics; consider sewing them by hand. It will allow you to maneuver the tiny elements way better than a sewing machine.

Step 3: Trim and Turn Over

Trim seams, turn right side out and press or finger press depending on fabric.

Heavier fabrics are better suited to larger bows; again, if making a smaller bow with thicker fabric, you’ll get better results with hand sewing.

Step 4: Stitch Large Tube Ends

Hand-sew or machine stitch short ends of larger tube–right sides together to make a loop; turn over

Keep in mind: If using a sewing machine and knit fabrics to make bows, use a slight zigzag stitch. As knits stretch, this will allow you to turn over smaller tubes without breaking stitches.

Step 5: Adjust and Center

Adjust seam at center back of loop and hand tack at top and bottom

Step 6: Determine Small Loop Size

To determine the final size of the smaller loop, gather the center of the larger loop and wrap the smaller one around it; use a pin to secure. Adjust gathers, leaving enough room to slide loop through.

Step 7: Remove Small Loop

Remove small loop from around larger one; use pin as seam allowance guide; stitch in place, trim and turn over.

Note: The small center loop has a two-fold purpose: At the front, it gathers the middle of the larger loop and creates the bow; and at the back, it’s designed to allow fastenings to slide through. For that reason, avoid hand-tacking directly in the middle of small loop.

Step 8: Gather Adjust and Tack

To finish, push and pull larger loop through small loop; adjust gathers, center small loop in middle of larger one; hand-tack in place.


How do I attach this bow to other surfaces?

This bow is is made to thread ribbons, string, cord and other materials through the back. With that option, you can use it for hair ties, belts and sashes, closures in garments, necklaces, bow ties, gift toppers and napkin ties to start. Apart from that, it can be attached to other fabric surfaces with a needle and thread. Also, double-sided tape, hot glue or other fabric adhesives are added options.

I hope you’re on your way to creating your best scrap fabric projects.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.

For more creative fabric scraps ideas visit



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    4 Discussions


    10 days ago

    Love this. I always have so many scraps from upcycling my clothes-- will try!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 days ago

    Thank you! That's a great idea! And you can make loads of pretty stuff for the little ones in your circles. I'd love to see when you make them.