{How-to} Make Curly Ribbon Hair Bows

Ribbon was on sale last week at my local craft store.  Regardless of the fact that I already own 5 times the amount ribbon any one person should own, I suddenly felt the need to buy more!

I found an adorable ribbon with rainbows on it, and knew I “needed” to buy it for a rainbow themed birthday I’m planning for a little girl turning one in June.

I thought the rainbow ribbon would be the perfect base for some pretty hair bows.  I’ve seen hair bows made with ribbon that is in beautiful ringlets, but I’ve never made them.  I thought this would be the perfect chance to give it a try.  A quick search on the web and I was ready to go  (I found the same general information on several different sites).

The process was quite easy, and I was really happy with the results.  I think my daughters are going to be wearing lots of hair bows this summer!

Step 1-

Select the ribbon you plan to use (I only used grosgrain ribbons, since that’s what I’ve seen used before.  I’m not sure if you could use satin type ribbon as well)

Wrap the ribbon around wooden dowels (available at Wal-Mart, or most any craft store) and secure the ribbon with straight pins (used for sewing) or wooden clothes pins (much easier- too bad I only had one around at the time!)

Step 2- 

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees (F).

Lay ribbon wrapped dowels on a foil lined baking sheet.

Bake ribbon for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Step 3-

When the ribbon has cooled, remove the pins and gently remove ribbon from dowels.

At this point, I paused for a moment to admire the fact that it actually worked!

Step 4-

Cut the ribbon into pieces 3″- 4″ long, depending on how large you want your finished bows to be.

Note:  If you notice that the ribbon seems to want to unravel at the ends you may “heat seal” the ends. This can be done by using the heat from a lighter to ever-so-slightly melt the end. I was able to do this with no problems, but it obviously has great potential to burn your fingers. Hold the end of the ribbon with one hand, and bring the flame of the lighter up next to the ribbon, but not touching it, until you see the ribbon shrink or melt just the slightest little bit.

Step 5-

Attach the ribbons by either using a needle and thread to stitch them together, or by using a little dot of hot glue between each ribbon.

Step 6-

Assemble the bow.  There are about a thousand and one different ways to put these together.

You can use any number of ribbons to achieve whatever size bow you want.

Since I wanted to incorporate the rainbow print ribbon I looped the rainbow ribbon over several times and simply hot glued the loops in place.  Then I took the curly ribbons, with the needle and thread still attached,  and pushed the needle through the glued rainbow ribbon.  It took a bit of effort to get the needle through the area that had been hot glued, and I think I probably could have just hot glued the curly ribbons onto the rainbow ribbon.

Step 7-

Attach a hair clip (available at most craft stores, sometimes in the beading area). I found that using the hot glue on the high setting worked best to secure the ribbon to the metal clip.

 Step 8-

Admire your cute new hair bows!

Step 9-

Find a little girl to model the bow  =)

61 comments

  1. Fabulous Glory!! great step by step!

  2. Those are soooo cute! You did a great job, thank you for taking the time to show us how you did them!

  3. Super cute! I've made a lot of different types of bows – but not these. Looks like I have a fun project in store!

  4. absolutely gorgeous! my mum used to make me these when i was little!!

  5. Fabulouso!! Can I move next door??

    Best,
    Andrea

  6. Están preciosos, gracias por el tutorial, muy clarito, a ver si compro yo unas cintas con motivo de Minnie, para el cumple de mi niña de este año 😉

  7. You can also sew these on socks and clothes to match and they stay curly in the wash!

  8. Wow, thanks for the tip Lisa! I would have never guessed they would stay curly after a wash!

  9. I cannot wait to make these for my daughter!

    And may I ask… I was planning a police man party for my sons first birthday and am coming up completely blank on ideas. Seen anything useful?

  10. Megan- Thanks for the comment! I've been thinking on your police theme…. Of course the colors that come to mind are blue, white and gold. I was thinking you may be able to find some of that yellow "Caution" tape and tape off an area, maybe hang a sign that says "Crime scene, do not cross".
    Another idea… You could send some kind of official looking ID with the invitations, and let the guests know that you'll be checking for proper ID at the door.
    Oh, and for food, you could include coffee and doughnuts! =) For kids, the "coffee" could be chocolate milk.
    Hope this adds to your ideas. I'd love you to send me the link to your party photos after you have it. I'll love to see what you come up with!
    -Glory

  11. Awe.Some!

    Buying already-made bows like these is pretty pricey….but I already have everything I'd need to make these except the clips. I'm guessing they're not too pricey?

  12. Becki D.-
    Thanks for the comments. The plain clips are not too expensive. The ones I found at Michale's craft store (look in the ribbon section) were 2.99 for a pack of six clips, I think. Since then I've also found some nice ones at ULTA (a beauty supply store) that were a good price as well.

  13. You’ve been inspired me to get into sewing and make some baby hair bows for my niece. I might have to try this out. Thanks!

  14. Thank you so much for showing us how to make curly ribbons. I made some yesterday and couldn't believe how easy and quick they were to make !!
    I have used them as embellishments on a Birthday T shirt there http://thatcutelittlecake.blogspot.com/
    I really like your blog, I was already following you on Flickr and you are very talented.

  15. Totally awesome – thanks for sharing!!!

  16. Super cute! I love it on the rainbow ribbon. Would you mind sharing where you found that rainbow ribbon?

    Thanks!

  17. Anonymous- The rainbow ribbon is from Michael's.
    Happy Shopping!

  18. Thanks for the great tutorial, I have linked to your post at my blog http://craft-connection.blogspot.com/2011/09/curled-ribbons.html

  19. Love these! I just saw a curling iron for ribbon at the fabric store, now I don't need to spend anything besides the cost of my ribbon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Love this. Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Crafting,
    Kuhnie

  21. yes, you can use satin ribbon. I always used knitting needles of different sizes. This works great too.

  22. I can't wait to try this , Ur step by step was easy to understand … Thank you ! ELL

  23. I make hair bows all the time for every occasion that comes up…one tip that sometimes helps is get the ribbon and dowel wet (after wrapping ribbon run under sink) or even spray with a heavy starch, it helps to keep the curl. Sometimes they will in curl with a lot of wear!! They can also be hit clued or tied ( with very narrow ribbon) to a plain pony tail holder. I have also been known to glue a decorative button with the shank cut off in the middle!!!

  24. thanks for the tut! I can see my granddaughter having some in every color combo! I will post and link back to you.

  25. Thanks for the great step by step instructions. Who knew they were so easy to make? They were so fun to put together!

  26. So simple and gorgeous, hours of fun too. Love your site Neala

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  28. I love it wow so easy!!!!

  29. This is a fantastic tut. Thank you!

    Do you have any tuts on creating bows?
    I’m trying to teach myself with great difficulty. 😉

  30. Yea!,,, I made one. I make American doll clothes and these are perfect to add an accessiry to their clothing. thank you so much. Hugs. A grandmother

  31. Thanks for sharing with us, so nice step by step and easy :)

  32. ……………………………………………………………………………….. :)

  33. So nice. I’ll try it. Thank you Shaz for sharing this to me…… 😛

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  35. I am so excited, I have wanted to know how to do this for 3 years!!! Thank you Thank you!!!

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  37. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Thank you for sharing. I would have never guessed this was how you did this!

  38. How do you attach the bows to a pony tail holder instead of a clip???

  39. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

    After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  40. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?

    This post posted at this web site is really fastidious.

  41. Thank you for sharing this great idea. I imagine these curly ribbons could be used for lots of crafts!

  42. You can also touch the ribbon to a hot burner on your stove and that seals the ends as well without the flame. I have electric stove.

  43. Thanks for the tutorial!! Just wondering- what size ribbon did you use to curl? I will be attempting this weekend!

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  46. Hey! Thanks for this! Exactly what I needed! I’ve been trying to make some fancy kitten collars for my foster kittens that go up for adoption in Petsmart. Any little bit to get them noticed and taken to a forever home! I linked your page here in my blog: http://cinnamonbite.blogspot.com/2014/01/making-collars-for-kittens.html

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  48. What size dowels do you recommend work best?

  49. Oh I love this idea ! Thank you.

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  51. I just have a quick question. My daughter is wanting me to make some like the curls for grand daughters birthday. We looked it up on a different site and it said to use fabric stiffener. I did. And it did not work at all. I didn’t see if you used any. Suggestions?

  52. Fabulous ribbon deals!
    Valentine’s Day! Wedding! Easter!
    Check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThisnThatCraftSupply

  53. Wow, these are gorgeous. i am looking for a designer to make hair accessories for my shop, but I might just make my own now, they look so much fun to make. xxx

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  55. My family recently moved and we had to trade in our beloved purple school color for red and black. It was homecoming week and we needed a fun hair accessory to go with the t-shirt we bought. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any school color accessories anywhere in town. So I set out to make my own! This tutorial was PERFECT! It was so easy to do and much cheaper than the bows you can purchase at Gymboree or other boutiques. I ended up making 14 (one for each girl and the teacher in my daughter’s class.) I got most of my supplies at Walmart. I bought a package of precut assorted size dowels 8 in a package (maybe about a foot each) for $.97. I used all the sizes of dowels which made for a neat look. I played a bit with putting the ribbons together and used some plastic gems found at JoAnns. Heating the ribbon on the dowels is like ironing a shirt. Overtime it might come undone and as another commenter stated using the starch might help (just like with ironing!) I didn’t try the starch because the bow isn’t something my daughter will wear a lot. Good luck crafting- enjoy!

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  57. I have used pencils -stick-skewers. The drawback to these is that for shirt decorating you need to secure every twist or it will wash out. Even starch will not hold it.

  58. I’m having some difficulty with this method; the ribbon curls but it is not stiff.  In fact, it’s very soft and droopy.  I tried spraying them with spray starch and hairspray to no avail.  Anyone out there having this problem.  I’m thinking of going back to mess, forever-to-dry Stiffy Stuff.

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