Throw a Bow on It: How to Make a Bow That’s Great for Hair, Presents… Everything

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Photo by Kamau Ware

This project is from my book, “Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas.” I totally dig bows and the young fashionistas who take my sewing workshops love them too! I was inspired to include a bow in Sew Fab because this classic accessory can be worn with flair and used in many, many stylish ways. When in doubt you can always put a bow on it!


  • Sewing basket (your usual tools and supplies)
  • Small pieces or scraps of fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Needle and thread
  • Hair clip, bobby pin, or safety pin

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Photo by Kamau Ware

Step 1:

Cut your fabric. Use your ruler and chalk to draw to rectangle onto a piece of fabric and cut it out. For the bow above I used two 5-by-7-inch pieces of fabric. I like to measure and mark the dimensions on paper to create a pattern and use that pattern to cut out each piece, but you can also measure directly onto the fabric. After I cut the fabric, I pinned the pieces with the right sides facing each other.


Once you have your fabric set, you can double thread your needle and knot it.

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Photo by Kamau Ware

Step 2:

Start stitching. Use a tight running stitch to sew around the sides. Leave a small hole about 3/4 inches on one side. Tie off the thread to secure the stitches, then cut.

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Photo by Kamau Ware

Step 3:

Carefully turn the fabric rectangle inside out. Use your point turner, or a chopstick, to shape the corners by placing it inside the rectangle, and wiggling it about. Whip or invisible-stitch the hole closed. Once it’s closed, tie off the thread to secure the stitches, and then cut. As an alternative, you could also use double-sided tape to close the hole too.


Press your rectangle flat with your iron.

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Photo by Kamau Ware

Step 4:

Add a knot to make your bow! Cut a small piece of fabric or simply add a ribbon (like I did). If you are using fabric, cut a rectangle about 1 by 2 inches. Fold the long edges toward the center to make a strip. Fold your bow like a fan and wrap the fabric, or ribbon, around the center. Pull tightly and secure by stitching the strip in place on the back of the bow, leaving a little room to slide your hair accessory or pin through.


Once you add a hair clip or safety pin to your bow, you may want to place a few stitches or a dab of fabric glue to hold it in place. This will make your bow reusable beyond the holidays and oh sew fab!

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Photo by Kamau Ware

Step 5:

Make your presents POP with your gorgeous DIY bows! Best thing is that the topper is a gift in and of itself.