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Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Create a Simple Twisted Boutique Hairbow

The Twisted Boutique Bow

a.k.a. the TBB

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create a super cute and simple boutique bow? These bows are adorable for all ages and can be made in any size you like. They are cute by themselves, or can be used as part of a stacked boutique bow. 

To start with, we're going to need some supplies, so before you head to your local craft store, here's what you'll need: 
  • needle and thread
  • straight pin (longer pins work best for larger bow sizes, but use the size you have on hand)
  • scissors (make sure their sharp!)
  • lighter
  • 7/8, 1.5 or 2.25" ribbon
  • 3/8 ribbon
  • hair clip of your choice (I'm using an alligator clip, but you can also use a French barrette or a headband) 
  • something fun for the middle (optional)
  • Stiffener (optional, but if you like a nice stiff bow, you can use either a spray starch or a max hold hair spray) 
  • hot glue gun (high temp works best)
Yes, I know my glue gun looks like it's been to battle, but it still works :)

Ok, everyone back from the craft store? Got your goodies out of their hiding places from your craft stash? Let's begin! 

Now, first we need to measure out our ribbon. The length you'll need depends on what size bow you'd like. These are the measurements I like, but feel free to tweak them to your liking. 
  • 3 inch bow - 21" of 7/8" width ribbon 
  • 4 inch bow - 28" of 1.5" width ribbon 
  • 5 inch bow - 36" of 1.5" width ribbon 
  • 6 inch bow - 42" of 2.25" width ribbon 
  • You'll also need 2-3" of 3/8 ribbon to wrap your center.
For this bow, I'm lining my pretty polka dot Boutique Sprinkles ribbon with some plain white ribbon, so I cut 2 lengths of my 7/8" ribbon. 

Now, cut ribbon can fray on the ends, so you'll want to seal your ribbons to prevent this. I use my lighter to heat seal them, some people prefer fray check (available at your local fabric store). To heat seal, simply run the ribbon through the end of the flame to slightly melt the ends (note: try not to burn the ribbon, you'll end up with an ugly scorch mark)
Ends all nice and sealed so their are no loose threads

Now comes the fun part. If you're using 2 ribbons, you'll want to stack them so that the pretty ribbon is on top and line up your ends, if you are just using one ribbon (which is perfectly ok!), hold your ribbon so that the pattern is facing up. For directional ribbon (such as a cute saying), the top of your pattern should be on the left. Wrap the ribbon around your hand twice, overlapping the ends a couple of inches. If you're bottom ribbon is showing on top now like mine is, that's perfectly fine, we'll fix that at the end. This happens when you wrap the ribbons. 
I feel like I should've painted my nails for this... maybe next time... 

Now find the center of your ribbon and pinch it down. You can either fold your ribbon in half or guestimate if you're good at that kind of thing. Poke a straight pin through the middle. 

Your straight pin will now act as a pivot as you form your loops. First, take the inside loop and pull it down gently. 

Then pull out the top loop so that you form an "X" in the center of the bow. Once your loops are nice and even, you can pin the bow in place with the straight pin.

If you haven't already, thread your sewing needle, making sure to have a nice knot at the end. Now run a couple of stitches through the center of your bow. 

Wrap your extra thread around the center of the bow 2-3 times, then pull tight, forming a nice crease.
 Tie your thread off in the back of the bow. I use my needle to tie a knot around the wrapped thread so that it stays in place and doesn't unravel.

Flip your bow over, if you'd like to stiffen your bow, do so now. A quick spray with some starch or hair spray will stiffen your bow right up so that your loops won't flop around. Once bow is dry, continue.

Put a dab of hot glue on the center of your hair clip. Then place the bow on top of the clip, pressing it into the glue so that it stays put. 

Put a dab of glue in the middle of your bow, then wrap the middle with your piece of 3/8 ribbon. I typically use either a matching or coordinating color. Make sure to thread the ribbon between the clip so that you can still open it when you're done. This covers up the thread and makes it nice and neat looking.

See? Nice and neat. You can stop here or proceed to add a fun center for your bow. I also trimmed up the the ribbon ends so that the white end was even with the polka dot end on top. Be sure to seal the end of the ribbon so that it doesn't unravel.

I have an embroidery machine, so I embroidered a monogram on a piece of felt (if you don't have a embroidery machine, some fabric paint on felt will look cute also). You can also use bottlecaps, rhinestones, buttons, felt stickers from the craft store, fabric flowers, or anything else that strikes your fancy to pretty up your bow. Use hot glue to attach your centerpiece to the middle of your bow. (Side note: if you're using a metal center, be sure to use a glue that will bind metal, e6000 is a popular choice, as is Loctite craft glue or good old super glue)
And voila! You're all finished with your new twisted boutique bow! Hope you enjoyed learning how to make it! If you have any questions for me, just ask. I'd also love to see your creations in the comments. 

Happy crafting! 
Tiffany Rankin

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