You’ve seen these bags of bows everywhere
They are truly inexpensive! 
But hardly “Sweetwater Style”!
I like these a lot better!
I challenge you to read this tutorial and do way better….and maybe even cheaper!

My daughter has been bugging me to do this post for weeks….
I figured every one already knows how to do this….she says they don’t!
I looked for tutorials out there….couldn’t find one….so maybe she is right!
And now I have to write my own tutorial…and you know how I hate doing that!
I love to make these simple bows.  
I learned how to make them years and years and years ago!
Bear with me while I take a little trip down memory lane!
When I was growing up, we lived in a town where the 3M factory made ribbon.
My dad was the principal of the elementary school in town and he would go to the factory store and get spools and spools of the stuff for free!
We always had huge spools of the stuff in the closet.  Every color you could think of!
My dad taught me how to make these wonderful bows…..and I often think of him when I make them!
So now I am paying it forward to teach YOU how!

Start by making a circle of loops with your ribbon.
Go around as many times as you want loops….usually about 7 or 8 layers.
I keep the ribbon attached to the spool until I have the circle of loops complete.
Then cut it off the spool.
If you are right handed, pinch the circle in the center with your left hand…(you lefties will have to do the reverse 🙂 )

Make a diagonal clip on each side being careful not to cut too deeply.

If the clips are too deep, the bow will fall apart when you start pulling the loops out.

Cut a narrow piece of ribbon about 8 inches long….do this by splitting a piece of ribbon in half….
It is smart to do this ahead of time….
I usually forget and have to let go of the ribbon circle…arghhh! 

So be smarter than I am and save yourself this headache!!!

Tie the narrow ribbon around the two clipped spots in the center of the ribbon circle.

Be sure to tie it tightly…this gives you nice little tails of ribbon to hold on to when you pull the loops out.

It also gives you nice little tails to use to tie the bow on the package.

Now starting at one side, start pulling the loops out.


Start pulling loops from the inside!!!
Pull one to the left….
The next one to the right….
alternating until all the loops on one half are pulled out.

The little clips you made will allow you to twist and pull the loops into an attractive arrangement.

 Then repeat this process on the other half of the bow… will be able to pull and twist up and around until you get a great looking bow!
There you have it!!!!
 Remember the cheapo bows? 
The problem with these… end up sticking them on with no ribbon tied around the box because…..they don’t COME with coordinating ribbon!!!!
And REALLY…who wants a lonely little bow just plopped on the box?
If you make your own….you HAVE coordinating ribbon to tie around the box!!!

The bow ties easily on the package with the skinny ties you left hanging…..

You can fluff and pull till the bow looks like somethin’ you see in a magazine!

And you did it all in less than 5 minutes!

 Those spools and spools of ribbon from my childhood finally ran out after about 20 years….so I had to start finding other sources!
I never go to Goodwill without looking at the shelf with the wrapping paper….
I have found spools of ribbon at garage sales too!
I always wonder why anyone would get rid of ribbon!!!!
In fact….here is a little peek at one of my dirty little secrets….

My Ribbon Stash!
 ARGHHH!  Someday I am going to do something about this…..
In the meantime….I am planning on making a pile of bows….finished except for pulling the loops….
It’s a plan…..probably won’t happen….but a plan anyway!
Oh and I did a bit more research and found this tutorial at Chic and Jo’s….better pictures than mine…and maybe better step by step!
I challenge you to “Go tie one on” !
Related Posts:
Time Saving Gift Wrap Tips

Cute Little Folded Gift Bags

0 comments on “Bows Bows Bows

  1. Jane

    What a fun and super simple bow! They pop a little more and look great. I always want to do great bows but I'm not sure how, so thank you!

    Stopping by from Homemaker in Heels! Have a lovely weekend.

  2. NanaDiana

    Great looking bows! You are so ambitious. I like to do my own thing too and I HATE those stick on bows…but DO use them in a pinch! xo Diana

  3. Andrea @Oasis Accents

    I think even I can handle making those! Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday's Best =)

  4. Anonymous

    Great idea – and I love that you can premake the unfluffed bows while watching TV or something and have a pile on hand for the holidays!

  5. Alecia

    Thank you for the tutorial! I'm very jealous of your ribbon stash too. Truth be told I have a ton but I… can never find it!

    New follower from Katherine's Corner

  6. Chris

    Great thrifty idea TFS, I never think to go to all this trouble but your pics prove it's worth it. I need to get a better stash too.
    Visiting from Katherine's Corner Blog Hop

  7. Cathy @My 1929 Charmer

    You know bow making has never been my thing, what I mean is that Im not very good at it. but I do believe I will be alot better after seeing this tut. thanks so much for sharing. I have alot of those ugle made bows, I feel like throwing them away, now that I now "how" to make some pretty bows. thanks for sharing at Sunday's Best.