Today's post is a throwback to a DIY tutorial I wrote for my old mommy blog back in the day. My girls loved wearing hair bows, but they also had a tendency to tear them apart to "recycle" the ribbon whenever the mood struck. So I took to making their hair bows.
With the holiday coming up, I thought I would share a basic tutorial on a simple but pretty bow my girls loved. They're even designed to be intentionally lopsided, so they're more or less goof proof.
So, here's what you need for a pair of clips: about two and a half feet of half inch satin ribbon, scissors, hot glue gun, needle and thread, two alligator clips, and some scrap paper to catch the inevitable glue drips.
Start by cutting your ribbon. You'll need two pieces about nine inches long, and two about three inches. (I forgot to show it here, but you'll also need another set of roughly three inch pieces to line the clips.)
I would suggest going ahead and threading your needle now and have it waiting in a pin cushion, or just the plush outer lining of your sewing kit if yours is like mine. This will make things much easier in later steps.
Find the middle of your first nine inch length of ribbon.
Loop one end around until it meets just past the middle point of the ribbon. You can use a very sparse smear of glue to hold the ribbon in place if you like. However, it will make shaping the bow much more difficult. (I've broken needles working with double layered bows that way!)
Bring the other end around to create a slightly lopsided figure eight. This is what creates the difference in your loop sizes.
Lift your first loop and bring it straight over to meet the middle.
Do the same with the other loop.
Now here's the tricky part. Turn the bow ninety degrees and create a pleat. You do this by folding the bow in half and then fold both sides back down. Pinch and push your needle through the pleats, pull tight, and make a couple more stitches through the same path.
Wrap the thread around the bow a few times. Pass the needle under the wrapped thread and knot to secure.
There you have the main body of your bow.
Take one of your short lengths of ribbon and tie a knot in it. You'll have long ends, but this is a necessity to get your knot tied neatly. I pulled a bit tighter than I normally would for a finishing knot because I thought the more rounded top suited the bows better than a point.
These clips definitely need to be lined to look their best, so here's how you line an alligator clip.
First, slide your ribbon into the clip.
Run a bead of glue down the clip, and if your ribbon is a bit wide like this one is, make sure to get the sides lined with glue as well.
Fold the ribbon over and press down firmly. Be careful of glue that may ooze out of the sides. It can be hot enough to cause blisters, so you want to avoid touching it directly whenever possible.
Trim the ribbon down to about an eighth of an inch or so. Add a dab of glue onto the inside of the leaver and press the remaining ribbon into place.
Turn your lined clip over and run a bead of glue down the middle.
Center your bow and press down. Make sure to press the loop overlaps down as well for durability. Bows glued only in the middle tend to not hold up to a child's wear and tear for long.
Center your knot. Open the clip and squeeze a bit of glue into the middle.
Fold one side of the ribbon over and press it down. Trim away the excess. Then, add another drop of glue and do the same for the other side.
Use a dab of glue to seal off the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying, and you're done.