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How To Make a Easy Gift Bow

Learn how to make a easy gift bow following this very simple tutorial. Gift bow can be the crowning glory on a present and some times even a beautifully wrapped gift can look a bit undressed without a bow.

These bows have a great retro chic feel to them since they began to be popular in the 1950's  and 60's. You can buy them by the bagful at dollar stores but they tend to look cheap and flimsy and that's not what you want.

You can use all different types of paper or plastic, real leather or even faux leatherto make these gift bows.

(And why would you want a leather gift bow? It would look stunning on a gift or a pair of shoes!)

The only requirement of the paper is that it has to be sturdy enough to work with but not too stiff. Tissue paper would be too flimsy and Bristol board would be too stiff.

How to Make a Easy Gift Bow Tutorial

Gather together your materials. You will need enough paper to cut into 1 inch strips 45 inches long.

  • Paper
  • Scissors (a paper guillotine if you have it)
  • Stapler
  • Glue stick

You need to cut your paper into 1 inch strips. If you are using a sheet of standard paper 8.5 x 11 then you would cut 4 strips along the long edge. If you are using a paper that has a pattern on it make sure that the pattern is in the center of each strip.

Glue the strips together using the glue stick. It is best to let the glue dry completely before starting to make your bow.

You are making a series of cones to make this bow. Practice first just making a cone shape from a scrap piece of paper.

Start by making a loop of the paper. Then let this loop loose. You will be making this back into a loop at the end of the bow as it will hide where you staple the bow together.

Make your first cone shape.

Gently, in the middle of the bow rotate the paper to the left so the first cone is towards you and make a second cone. You will always be making the cones behind the ones you have already made and you will always be turning the bow to your left to make the next cone.

Rotate again and make another cone shape.

Again making sure the paper is on the bottom rotate the last cone and make another cone.

With the paper on bottom rotate again and make one more cone. You will now have the base of your bow with the five cones. 

You are going to continue making cones and rotating to the left until you have used up your strip of paper.

Take your stapler and place it between two of the cones and staple in the middle of the bow.

Using your glue stick glue the loop into the middle of the bow to hide the staple. Tada! Your bow!

How to Make a Easy Gift Bow from Leather

It is surprisingly easy to make a leather gift bow once you have mastered the paper type. The sequence is the same except that you don't start with a loop in the beginning and you finish it by sewing a bead in the middle.

I had a very old leather coat that was made from a fine leather that I have taken apart and used for different projects. I turned the leather side down, trimmed the end so it was straight and cut a 1 inch strip to make the bow. Because the piece of leather was only about 36 inches long I made a slightly smaller bow with less cones.

Make your first cone.

Turn the cone to the left and with the leather in the back make your second cone.

Continue turning to the back and make the third cone.

You will continue turning and making cones for as long as you have your strip of leather.

I could not for the life of me make a hole in the leather with just a needle so I took it into the basement and banged a small nail through the center to make a hole. 

Holding it tight, remove the nail and taking a long sturdy needle, go through the hole that the nail made with a thick thread, place the bead on the needle and then push the needle back through the hole to the backside and tie off the thread. Cut any loose threads.

And there you have it, a leather bow that you can either place on top of  gift of use as a decorative accent on clothes. 

To make it into a brooch you could get a bar pin

Easy to make an a bit addictive as well! You will be eyeing all sorts of paper (and leather) to make these charming bows! Easy gift bows to make!

My ebook Make Inexpensive Gift Baskets That Look Expensive is now available! Read more HERE