Make a Bow

26 Nov

It’s that time of year where we are wrapping gifts and always looking for unique ways to make our packages special. The bows on the package are like the cherry on the top of the ice cream sundae. You have to have one!

I am happy to welcome another guest blogger this week. Linda Schwarz has created this great tutorial on how to make your own bows using whatever you might have on hand – old magazines, old map books or art books, calendar pages, scrapbooking paper, etc. It’s a great way to be ‘green’, to use up stuff you might otherwise throw away, and your bows will be unique to you! You can also use the leftover pieces to make matching tags for your package. Very cute! Linda says these instructions are for the ‘glue-impaired’, so NO GLUE involved! Here you go!

Make a Package Bow from magazines, old art books, scrapbooking paper and more. by Linda Schwarz (Nov 2011)


Paper Hole punch (cropodile or big bite) – Brads – Rotary Cutter – Ruler – Rotary Mat

Suggested paper cuts:

Paper Type Strip width

1st round

3 cuts

2nd round

3 cuts

3rd round

2 – 3 cuts

Center Loop

3 holes punched 3 holes punched 3 holes punched

2 holes punched

Standard Magazine


Height of Paper Height minus 1” Height minus 2” 3 cuts

3 ½”

Standard Magazine


Height of Paper Height minus 1” Height minus 2” Only 2 cuts

3 ½”

12” x 12”


Height of Paper Height minus 1” Height minus 2”3 cuts 

4 ½”

12” x 12”


Height of Paper Height minus 1” Height minus 2”3 cuts 

4 ½”


1. Cut paper.

Paper cuts

2. Punch holes.  Three holes (end, middle, end) in the 1st three rounds. Only end holes in the center loop.

holes punched

3. Beginning with center loop, match holes and place brad from the center out.

center strip with brad

4. Hold brad in place, take a paper from round 3, placing wrong side facing you and thread the center hole on the brad.

5. Twist the left end of the strip up, keeping the color side out and thread the end hole on the brad.

twist paper

6. Twist the right side down keeping the color side out and thread the end hole wrong side of the paper facing you on the brad.  With the two twists, you create a figure 8.

each strip twisted

7. Continue with papers from round 3, then round 2 then round 1.

8. Open brad to secure.

9. Voila!

finished bow


I tried a couple of variations myself. Going with the ‘green’ notion of the bows, I used some of my wax paper that I place under projects to catch paint spills, etc. These are about the size of a magazine page, so they seemed the right size to use (measure your paper before cutting to be sure you have enough to make a bow). I thought it might be fun to use some of my decorative tapes. I covered two wax papers, one with decorative packing tape, and one with the paper tape, and then cut them into my strips. I thought the packing tape weight didn’t make quite as nice a bow as the paper tape did, but they were fun to do! We love all those fun tapes, but there is a lot of tape on each roll, so using part of it for bows is a great way to use it up. Plus you can add tape to your packages and the bows will match. How fun is that?

pages covered with tape

I also thought I would try to use some ribbon to make a pretty bow. I used some 7/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon, which is just the perfect strip width and the perfect weight of ribbon to make a pretty bow. However, it does take nearly 2.5 yds to make one bow, so it might be nice for that special package, and then wrap extra ribbon around the package to match. Here are my finished bows.


You can download a printable version of the directions by visiting the Blue Twig Studio home page and clicking on the link there. These are easy to do, and quite addictive. You will be looking around your studio trying to find something interesting to make more bows with. What bows will you be making? ~~Deb

13 Responses to “Make a Bow”

  1. Sonja Milojevic November 26, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    This seems to be very easy and surely looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing, I will try making them my self!


    • lifeofdeb November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

      Very easy to do, once you get the twist part figured out.


  2. Linda November 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks Deb. The blog turned out great and the pdf is awesome. I made 120 bows – 90 to sell and 30 to share with the library staff and volunteers. I hope you get some traffic to your web site.


    • lifeofdeb November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

      Good luck with the library sale! Thanks for doing the demo for the blog!


  3. lurusamui November 27, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    Thanks DEB. I’ll try to do it again. my first bow are break last night . xD


    • lifeofdeb November 27, 2011 at 7:45 am #

      Oh, sorry you were having trouble. Once you get it figured out, you will start making bunches of them.


  4. sadielankford November 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    You make it look so simple LOL


  5. Lotti xx December 1, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    These are really cute! Will definitely be giving them a try, as the ones I buy always tend to get squished … 😛


  6. Spread The Word PR December 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Okay.. I am not even going to lie here.. I know this should make it all look easy.. and the tutorial is awesome.. But I will leave the bow making to the pros! LOL!


    • Deb Prewitt December 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      That’s OK. You don’t need to make the bows. But really it is very fun and easy. Thanks for visiting.



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