DIY fabric bows are quick to sew with a sewing machine and/or by hand. The small pieces make hand sewing fast and easy, so you can make one in every color!
Fabric bows are also popular items to make and sell since they are low-cost, simple and efficient to crank out in big batches. The bows can then be attached to a variety of different items for various uses.
Uses for Homemade Bows
- Hair bows (barrettes)
- Bow ties
- Pet Collars
- Pet Leashes
The list could go on forever! It’s fun to adorn just about anything with a fabric bow.
How Do You Make a Bow Out of Fabric?
This tutorial will show you, step by step, how to select fabric and supplies for your bow, how to sew a bow, and how to use your bow.
Every step includes a photo with clear instructions that are easy to follow for beginners.
Are you ready to sew a bow? Let’s get started!
What Fabric Do You Use to Make Hair Bows?
Just about any kind of fabric will work for this project from knit to jersey to velvet. The example shows 100% cotton or quilting cotton, which is easiest to work with for beginners.
If you are using a slippery fabric, make sure you use lots of clips to hold the layers in place while sewing.
This variegated thread in multiple colors is great for matching a variety of fabrics and patterns without keeping a bunch of thread colors on hand.
The other basic sewing tools are listed below in case you need to stock up.
Before beginning, be sure to wash, dry and press your fabric. Then use this easy method to quickly square up fabric.
First, cut your fabric to the following dimensions using a rotary cutter and cutting mat or sharp fabric shears:
- 9″ x 5″
- 1.5″ x 2.5″
Next, fold the large rectangle in half to make the short sides meet with right sides together. Clip to hold.
Start sewing about 1″ from the corner where the short sides meet with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Lift your presser foot to turn the corner.
Then continue sewing down the side and off the fabric. Repeat this on the opposite side.
After sewing, a 2″ opening should remain between your lines of stitches.
Pull the fabric through the opening to turn it right side out. Use a turning tool to carefully push out the corners. Press.
Prepare a needle and thread for hand stitching.
Then close the opening with an invisible stitch or ladder stitch. For help with these stitches, check out our guide on How to Sew Common Stitches by Hand.
Next, pinch the center of the fabric to form pleats and create the bow shape. You may need to use your fingers to make the pleats look the way you want. Clip to hold the center.
Then thread your needle through the center and stitch once or twice.
Now take the smaller rectangle that you cut and fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together. Clip to hold.
Sew down the longest side with your sewing machine using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
You should have a tiny tube of fabric at this point.
Insert a safety pin just inside the stitches. Then flip it into the tube to turn the fabric right side out.
Press the tube with the seam running down the center.
Then flip up each end 1/4″ and press.
Now wrap the fabric around the center of the bow with the ends tucked under. Hand stitch in place.
You can also sew the bow onto a barrette, headband, bow tie, pet collar, etc. at this point. Here are a few hardware pieces that work perfectly for this size bow.
Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out some more sewing projects for beginners listed below.
- Cut fabric to: 9" x 5" and 1.5" x 2.5"
- Fold large rectangle in half, right sides together, where short ends meet.
- On short side, sew 1" from corner, turn and continue down long side with 1/4" seam allowance.
- Repeat on opposite side.
- Turn right side out.
- Prepare needle and thread.
- Stitch opening closed with ladder stitch.
- Pinch center of fabric to form bow shape.
- Stitch through center to hold.
- Fold small fabric rectangle in half lengthwise, right sides together.
- Sew as close to edge as possible.
- Use a safety pin to turn right side out.
- Press with seam down center.
- Turn ends up 1/4" and press.
- Wrap around center of bow.
- Hand stitch in place.
While 100% cotton fabric is used in this tutorial, just about any fabric will work for making bows.
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