How to Design Hair Bows

Vary your ribbons for bows with bang.

Photo: Jupiterimages/ Images

Bouncy, beautiful boutique hair bows add pep to a ponytail or perk up pigtails. Bows can be small and subtle for everyday or over the top for pageants and parties. Ribbons of all sorts, fabric, pompoms and even buttons and beads can dress up your handmade hair bows. Create customized hair bows to match every outfit for the petite fashionistas in your life.


Pick your ribbons and trims. Choose a single ribbon color or a polka-dotted or print ribbon for a simple hair bow ideal for everyday or as a retro accent for rockabilly victory rolls.


Combine coordinating or contrasting ribbons for a bolder, boutique look. Contrast textures, like satin, grosgrain or velvet, in a single bow for a dressy look for your little diva.


Make a basic four loop boutique bow with your main ribbon color. Divide a 30-inch to 36-inch length of ribbon in half and then mark points 2 inches from each end and at the midpoint between the center and each dot. Use a longer ribbon and split each half into thirds to make a six loop bow. Use these dots to form ribbon loops, starting from one end. Bring the first dot to the one closest to it to make the first loop. Then draw the center dot up and on top of the first two to form the second loop. Wrap the ribbon under, lining the fourth dot up with the other three. Loop the ribbon up and over to finish the looped bow. Clip the center with an alligator clip, wrap with elastic thread and knot tightly.


Make a base for your bow. Cut four to six 4-inch to 6-inch lengths of ribbon, trimming the ends into an inverted V shape. Criss-cross the ribbons to form an X-shape and then secure them with elastic thread.


Top out your tresses with additional trims. Make a smaller four-loop bow or use a narrow ribbon to make another set of spikes. Secure the center as you did the bow base and main bows.


Stack the layers of your bow and knot them together one last time to finish the body of your bouncy boutique bow. Start with the wide spikes on the bottom, the main bow, then a smaller bow or narrow spikes to finish off your preschooler's pigtails.


Grab your glue gun and attach your bow to a hair clip or headband. Hold it in place until the glue cools and hardens. Snip a short length of ribbon and glue it to the underside of the clip. Then wrap it around and glue it into place. Trim away any excess to finish off a bow regal enough for any little princess.

Things You'll Need


1.Ribbon in various widths and colors

3.Elastic thread or strong upholstery thread

5.Lighter or fray stopping liquid

2.Alligator clip


6.Glue gun and hot glue sticks


Tips & Tricks


Finish the ends of each piece of ribbon as soon as they're cut by passing them through a flame or applying a fray-stopping liquid.

Use a needle and thread to stitch the center of the bow into place and sew it onto a soft headband for a bow suitable for the tiniest diva darlings.

Skip the stacking and accent a four-loop bow with whimsical charms for a playful look for teens or not so grown-up grown-ups.


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