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Handmade Gift Bows Tutorial

Updated on March 20, 2012

If you love creating things out of paper, you will appreciate this tutorial on handmade gift bows! Each bow has it's own unique look. When you look at a store bought gift bow you may think it looks too complicated to make but it really isn't. In fact, gift bows are super simple to make and they are just as fancy as the store bought ones. What is nice is you get to pick out what colors and patterns of paper you want for your gift bow and the possibilities are endless. This is a great way to recycle paper too. You can even use newspaper, magazine pages, pages from a book, scraps of wrapping paper or you may choose to use new scrapbook paper or a page with your own art work on it.. whatever you like as long as it's paper it will work. The bows below I made with sheets of paper that I painted first with water colors. There are three different types of bows that I've learned how to make and I'm excited to share them with you. Enjoy!

easy handmade gift bows
easy handmade gift bows
handmade gift bow
handmade gift bow | Source

Handmade Gift bow #1

This is the most common look for gift bows and they are super simple to make. Use any kind of paper to make these as long as it isn't too flimsy.

You will need: Paper, Paper Cutter or Scissors, Glue dots and a Stapler

#1) Take a 8.5 in by 11 in piece of paper and cut it into 3/4 inch by 11 inch strips. A paper cutter works great for this. Once cut into strips, stack them all together and fold in the middle.

#2) Start making each of them into a S shape and staple in the middle.

#3) Now start layering them together by putting glue dots on back of them in the center.. 3 will make a the bottom layer and then start stacking them on top, pushing down in the middle with a glue dot in place. The glue dots will hold them all together and start to form the bow. See illustration below.

#4) Once you have all the layers glue down, make a loop out of another 3/4 inch strip of paper and stick it in the center

There you go! A pretty handmade gift bow. Now stick a couple glue dots on the back, stick it to your gift and your ready to go!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
DIY gift bow
DIY gift bow | Source

DIY Gift Bow #2

This one is very simple to do as well. It has a little bit of a different look to it.

What you Need: Paper, Paper Cutter or Scissors, Staples and Glue Dots

#1)Cut a 8.5/11 inch piece of paper into 3/4 inch by 11 inch strips. Fold the stack of strips together and fold in the middle. Now take the ends of the strips and bring them together forming a circle and then squish the circle and staple in the middle where the fold is. See photo # 3 in the photo illustration below.

#2) Start layering them on top of each other as shown in the illustration.

#3) When you come to the last stapled strip, bend the loops toward each other and secure them together with a glue dot-like in photo #12. Then put a glue dot on the back and stick it to the top of the bow.

Wallah!! Another beautiful handmade bow.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Homemade Gift Bow #3
Homemade Gift Bow #3 | Source

Hand Made Gift Bow #3

This bow is more like #2 above but with a little twist.

What you need:8.5x11 sheet of paper, paper cutter or scissors, glue dots and stapler

Step1) Cut paper longways about 3/4 inch wide strips and then take the strips and fold them in half.

Step2) Now one strip at a time, bring the ends together and instead of stapling straight down in the middle, like in bow #2 above, slightly criss-cross the strip before stapling down the middle. It's hard to explain but I'm hoping the pictures below will help show you.

Step 3) Just like the 2 bows above, start layering and adhere with glue dots. See the illustration below. As you layer, the bow will get thicker and by the time you get the last strip stuck on your bow will be done.

Just apply glue dots to the back and stick it on your gift!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Thank you for stopping by :)

I hope you have enjoyed learning how to make your own gorgeous gift bows! Feel free to experiment using different widths of paper strips and more layers. One time I made some but instead of using a straight cut for the strips I cut the strips out with decorative edge scissors and they turned out really cute. I hope you have as much fun making these as I do.

Did you enjoy reading my hub? Please take a second to leave some feedback and tell me what you think. Any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you.

Happy Giftbow Making :)

What do you think?

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    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      3 years ago from Texas

      peachpurple-Thank you!

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      3 years ago from Texas

      prettynutjob30-Thank you so much!I hope you were able to do this with your kids. I'm sure they would love it!

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      3 years ago from Texas

      sunilkunnoth2012-Thank you! I appreciate your votes and also for sharing!

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Ronna Pennington-Thank you so much! I'm glad this hub was useful for you. I bet your wrappings turn out beautiful :)

    • Ronna Pennington profile image


      4 years ago from Arkansas

      Prettiest bows ever! Perfect timing too! (I just promised myself I'd make really pretty wrappings for Christmas this year). Love it! The pics help!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Good job. Impressive and informative post. Voted up and shared.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image


      4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up, shared and more. These bows are so pretty, I will have to try making these with my kids, they love helping me make crafts.

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I love to try different craft project, this bow craft is easy, shared

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      5 years ago from Texas

      dkNY- Yep, they are super easy! Glad you enjoyed the hub... Have fun!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Who knew these were so easy to make ! I'm gonna go crazy making bows for the holidays ! :)

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Sunny, it is just like everything else... I made one and then I couldn't stop! I have like a whole bag of them now LOL! I did the watercolor ones because I had seen some embellishments somewhere that were made like that. They painted the colors on stripe by stripe and the blended effect was really neat..I think they then punched shapes out of the painted paper. The second bow I saw somewhere and the third bow- I used to work at a cheerleading hairbow place and one of their bows were made by taking a loop and holding it together and in the middle sort of making X with them which causes both sides to sort of poof out. I hope I'm making sense LOL! Anyway, that's where I got the idea for that one.

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      7 years ago from Texas

      laurel536, Thank you for dropping by! I'm glad that you found the photos useful.. I was afraid it may have been too many photos but I wanted to make sure every step was illustrated :)

    • sunbun143 profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I only knew of the first clever you are. And the watercolor paper is beautiful!

    • profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina, United States

      Thanks for creating such an interesting hub. I have experimented with paper bows, but I have never tried making ones like this. I especially love your photographs.

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      7 years ago from Texas

      A.CreativeThinker: Thanks so much for stopping by! Glad you found it useful. The bows are super simple to make and really turn out nice. It can be addicting :o) Take care and thank you again.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a very informative and useful hub. Thanks for sharing. Take Care. :)



    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @d.william: Thanks for commenting... I appreciate it!

      @marellen: Glad you enjoyed the hub..thanks for the comment!

      @szts77: Yep, that's another great thing about learning how to make these.. you'll always be able to have a pretty, personalized bow. Thanks for reading!

      @kashmir56: Thanks so much for reading! I'm glad the pics help with the illustration. I know these things can sound complicated in writing. Thank you for the vote up!! God Bless :)

      @randomcreative: EXACTLY..Why spend money on gift bows when we can make them ourselves! They really do turn out pretty, too. Thanks for reading!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great pictures! I don't usually use gift bows because they are expensive, but there's no reason that you can't make your own. Thanks for sharing this!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very nice article with lots of great information and so beautifully illustrated !

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • szts77 profile image


      8 years ago from Spain

      Thank you for the hub! Now I know how to make gift bows and I won't have to run to the nearest store every time I need to make a present pretty. :P

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes I did enjoy this hub. I agree it does look easy to do. Thanks for all the tips and how too.

    • d.william profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Nice article. Very informative. I will have to bookmark this one so i can refer to it from time to time, to personalize those rare occasions when i buy gifts. Thanks for sharing.


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