Tying up a bow is not something that anyone can do, since you need a certain amount of dexterity, the right materials, and the right inspiration. While some can create elaborate and perfectly-formed bows with their eyes closed, others need a little help getting started.
The purpose of today’s article is to provide inspiration for those who want to start making their own bows. We’ve compiled a list of the best DIY bow ideas we could find, from simple ribbon bows to more complex designs.
What are some creative ideas for making a bow?
We’ve compiled a list of 34 creative ideas for making a bow, so feel free to try out a few and see which ones you like the best.
1. Pink ribbon bow
A pink ribbon bow is timeless for any occasion. This elegant yet simple design relies on using several types of pink ribbon, thread, and glue. A pink ribbon bow is ideal if you prefer a rich and vivid bow to wrap a present, create a hanging wreath, or accessorize an outfit. Check out our tutorial for a DIY pink ribbon bow to get the instructions and list of materials.
2. Christmas bow ornament
A Christmas bow ornament is a wonderfully festive idea that the entire family can enjoy. This design uses a red ribbon with black felt and silver foam paper that looks like the belt of Santa Claus. A Christmas ornament in the shape of a bow is a great seasonal gift since it can be hung up on a Christmas tree and reused year. Find out more in our full guide for making a Christmas bow ornament.
2. Festive ribbon bow with long tails
A festive bow with long tails is a great way to spruce up the front door for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other special occasions. Long tails make gorgeous bows, but they can be difficult to achieve. A simple way to decorate a festive bow with long tails is described in this guide from Clean & Scentsible, which uses glittered wire ribbon.
4. Bat bow
A bat bow is a fantastic idea to celebrate Halloween if you feel like decorating your home or making your own spooky costume. For instance, you can attach several bat bows to a family room wall. To learn how to make a bat bow, go to DIY in the Forest. All you need is faux leather, a glue gun, scissors, and a hair clip.
5. Simple red bow
A simple red bow is a stylish way to wrap last-minute presents. And you can use any leftover ribbon you make a simple red bow, as described by Pebbles Inc. Blog. The bow tutorial is part of a larger post about making back-to-school cards, but you can also use it for other purposes, like gift wrapping.
6. Fabric ribbon bow
Fabric ribbon bows have a certain classic charm. And this design from Treasurie uses strips of fabric to create a bow that’s both stylish and easy to make. Check out the tutorial to find out more. You can choose any color or pattern of fabric you like, but since the bow is relatively big, we recommend bold colors and patterns to make it stand out.
7. Hair bows
Hair bows are popular with young girls and teens alike. Hair bows are a great way to add a touch of personality and style to your hair, and they can be made from all sorts of different materials, including fabric, leather, or wired glitter ribbon.
This hair bow design from The Girl Inspired uses fabric and can be attached to the hair with the help of a metal single-prong clip, so be sure to check out the tutorial if you’re interested.
8. Perfect bow with long tails
A perfect bow with long tails is symmetrical and can be made with minimal effort, without any thread or glue. A perfect bow with long tails is trickier to pull off due to the skill required, but it can be masted with practice.
If you want to learn how to make a perfect bow with long tails, read the step-by-step tutorial from Evermine.
9. Simple paper bow with free template
A simple paper bow design is the best solution for DIY bows without fabric, ribbons, or leather. Only paper is necessary, and you don’t need a lot of paper since there’s little folding and cutting involved.
The folks at Gathering Beauty have a great step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how to make an elementary paper bow, which also includes downloadable cutout templates.
10. Buffalo check ribbon bow
A buffalo check ribbon bow is ideal for people that want to make bows that feel unique, thanks to the interesting checkerboard patterns. The buffalo check ribbon bow uses a combination of colors and patterns that are both eye-catching and festive.
If you’re interested in learning how to make this bow, then check out the original blog post from Living Locurto.
11. Ribbon bow with various materials
A ribbon bow with various materials is great when you have plenty of leftover fabric that you were planning on throwing away. For example, this ribbon bow with various materials from Re-Fabbed uses silk ribbon, regular burlap ribbon, and mesh ribbon strips, all of which have different widths, colors, and patterns. You can improvise using whatever materials you have on hand, just as long as you’re creative.
12. Tulle bow
Tulle bows are easy to make since you don’t have to pay as much attention to the knot as the regular ribbon bows; all you need is to make them look as fluffy as possible.
Tulle bows are great for all occasions, from baby showers to weddings.
This tulle bow tutorial comes from Satsuma Designs and it’s a great starter tutorial for those that have never worked with tulle before.
13. Fancy gift bow
A fancy gift bow is always a good idea, especially if your goal is to make presents look more luxurious.
We found this design on Charlet’s Website, and all you’ll need will be a glossy paper ribbon with a red Christmas pattern on one side and silver on the other. The secret to this gift bow’s unique design lies in folding and gluing the ribbon in a certain way so that the two sides are visible, all while giving it a distinct floral shape.
14. Loopy puff bow
A loopy puff bow is made by sewing tens of loops together at the center, unlike common bows made by creating a fancy knot on a piece of ribbon.
We found a great loopy puff bow tutorial at The Ribbon Retreat which uses four types of thin grosgrain featuring the U.S. flag’s pattern.
15. Seuss-inspired bow
A Seuss-inspired bow is what every Dr. Seuss fan needs, and it’s not as difficult to make as it looks.
This design comes from Occasionally Crafty, and it’s just like the loopy puff bow mentioned above, except that it uses Seussian colors (combinations of white, red, and cyan). The combination of colors will make your bow look like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss illustrated book.
16. Satin ribbon dahlia
A satin ribbon dahlia is a perfect way to add a touch of elegance to any present. This is yet another bow design from The Ribbon Retreat and the way you make it is very similar to how you’d make a DIY hair scrunchie. However, there are a few extra steps that involve folding and cutting the ribbon in a certain way, and then gluing a neat costume gem in the center.
17. Burlap bow
A burlap bow has a certain rustic appeal to it that many will appreciate. This design uses 4 strips of burlap of different lengths, and unlike traditional bows, there are no knots or loops involved, just a bit of glue.
This bow idea from Mommy Suite is perfect for classic wreaths, garlands, and other decorations that would look great with a bit of country charm.
18. Pinwheel bow with a Sally’s clip
A pinwheel bow with a Sally’s clip is a great DIY project since it lets you test out your creativity. Unlike other bows that start taking shape as you craft them, this pinwheel bow with a Sally’s clip doesn’t look like a bow until the very last step when you pull on a thread to crease the center.
The people at Make Bows & More wrote a complete tutorial on how to make the pinwheel bow with a Sally’s clip, and they’ve included detailed instructions and illustrations.
19. Curly paper bow
A curly paper bow is something almost everyone has seen on presents. The secret behind making this curly paper bow is knowing how to curl long strips of paper using a pair of scissors. You then finish by gluing the curls together in the middle.
We found a great tutorial for a curly paper bow at Two Yellow Birds Decor. They look fun, and they’re a lot easier to make than you may think.
20. Origami bow
An origami bow is a great way of showcasing your paper folding skills. The origami bow looks original, and unlike typical paper bows, where you use one long and thin strip of paper, this bow is made out of just one square piece of paper.
This design comes from Instructables and is great for beginners since it also lets you cheat and use a pair of scissors.
21. Wired ribbon bow
A wired ribbon bow is perfect if you want to make a sturdy bow that doesn’t lose its shape.
This particular bow design from Francois et Moi. uses a combination of regular gold ribbon and gold wire ribbon, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for that regal look. Wired ribbon is very malleable, so it’s perfect if your project requires that the fabric stays in a certain shape or position.
22. Colorful accordion bow
These colorful accordion bows are a good starter DIY project, especially if you’re not advanced enough for origami. You can learn how to make these colorful accordion bows at Gold Standard Workshop.
Accordion bows are perfect for wreaths, garlands, or other decorations that could use a pop of color. Besides, since you don’t need to use sharp scissors, kids can also help with this project.
23. Tissue paper bow
A tissue paper bow may not look as neat and elegant as other bows, but they’re a great way to start practicing your crafting skills.
This tutorial from 100 Directions explains everything you need to do to craft a tissue paper bow. You’ll need colored or patterned tissue paper sheets, a glue stick, and some twine.
24. Crepe paper bow
This crepe paper bow is great for people that lack dexterity. Since crepe paper doesn’t develop fold marks as easily as regular paper, you don’t have to be as careful when making creases and folds. The only downside is that crepe paper can be quite pricey, so this may not be the best option if you’re on a tight budget.
wikiHow has a great tutorial that teaches you how to make crepe paper bows, and they even made sure to include two different bow designs.
25. Duck Glitter tape bow
A Duck Glitter tape bow wins extra points for both originality and final looks. All you need is to cut a strip of Duck Glitter tape, roll it into a loop, and then press it down the middle to create that signature bow shape.
Persia Lou detailed how you can make this bow, and Duck Tape is perfect for these kinds of projects since it comes in various colors and textures, such as gold or silver, glittered, or with a smooth metallic sheen.
26. Leather hair bow
A leather hair bow may be difficult to craft at first, but leather is a crafting material that’s become increasingly popular in recent years.
This particular bow design comes from Tinsel & Wheat, and it uses three leather strips glued and stitched together in the middle. Since leather is naturally sturdy and rigid, these bows keep their shape very well.
27. Leather gift bow
To make a leather gift bow you’ll need seven leather strips that you’ll fold into loops and then overlap in the middle to create that trademark bow shape. A leather gift bow combines the visual appeal of a regular gift bow with the elegance resulting from using leather.
You can find detailed instructions and illustrations for making this leather gift bow on Crafts Pilot.
28. Messy denim bow
A messy denim bow is always a good idea if you have a pair of old denim jeans you used to love that you can’t seem to part with.
For this messy denim bow tutorial from Southern Crush at Home all you’ll need is some old jeans, a pair of tailor’s scissors, some zip ties, and some rhinestone embellishments.
This messy denim bow is certainly a unique idea, and it’s great for decorating your other denim clothes.
29. No-sew messy lace bow
A no-sew messy lace bow is yet another great idea if you’re a big fan of messy bows.
You’ll need the exact same materials as with the previously mentioned messy lace bow, but instead of strips of denim, you’ll need lace. Since lace is the base material, this bow is better suited for more delicate and feminine projects, such as wedding invitations.
Southern Crush at Home wrote an entire guide detailing how to make this no-sew messy lace bow, so give it a read.
30. Measuring tape bow
This measuring tape bow is the perfect gift idea if you’re planning to celebrate someone in your life that loves spending time in the garage or working on DIY projects.
This measuring tape bow tutorial from Tikkido shows you how to put it all together. You’ll require a lot of unconventional materials, such as measuring tape, screws, nails, and even washers.
31. Modern paper flower bow
A modern paper flower bow is the perfect fit for any person that loves futuristic and minimalist designs.
Everything there is to know about making this bow can be found on Maritza Lisa’s website. The original article recommends using a Silhouette cutting machine to cut the paper strips since not everyone is confident enough in their cutting skills to achieve such precise results.
32. Crochet bow
A crochet bow is the epitome of DIY or homemade projects. Everything Etsy has put together a very detailed tutorial that you can follow.
You can use any type of yarn you want and add some embellishments like beads or sequins to make your crochet bows more unique. Admittedly, you’ll need to know some crocheting to make these crochet bows, but only the basics.
33. Large decorative bow
Large decorative bows are for people who like decorative objects that make loud and bold statements. What makes this large decorative bow so special is that it seems even bigger and puffier since the ribbon you’ll use to make it is extra wide.
The original article from In Love with Art details the process of making this bow step by step, but you’ll need Google Translate’s help since the website is in Croatian.
34. Sprinkle bow
Cute sprinkle bows combine two things that kids love most: bows and sprinkles. Sprinkle bows are just like regular paper bows, except that you need to decorate the center with sprinkles, so they are ideal decorative elements on birthday cakes and presents.
You can find the full instructions on how to make a sprinkle bow over at Design Eat Repeat. They also included some downloadable templates that you can use.
Many people can feel overwhelmed when they think about all the different types of bows and how to make them. But after reading this guide, you now know that there are many different types of bows, and each one has its own unique purpose.
You also know that you don’t need to be an expert crafter to create most of these bows. With a little bit of time and patience, you can make any of the bows on this list.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your next DIY project today!