Fly Through Our Window



Since I’ve never been one for keeping secrets (especially not ones that can save people lots of $$) here’s a quick tutorial on how to make a hair bow. I hope that some of y’all will find this useful (Dena, I hope you don’t lose any business by me doing this!). If you want to share the love with other moms feel free to link.

Supply list:
- 1 yard of ribbon of your choice & width, unwired grosgrain does best (I like ebay for fun unique ribbon, I’ve even bought from Bobo in China, but it did take a couple weeks for the ribbon to get here)
- a couple inches of coordinating ribbon in narrow width (1/4″) to wrap around center of bow
- fine gauge wire
- hot glue gun
- hair clip of choice (Alligator/pinch clip or barrette clip for older girls. Pinch clips can be found at Sally’s Beauty Supply stores or Ebay and barrette clips can be found at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.)

- wax paper (not just to keep a clean surface but also for attaching the completed bow to the clip)
- lighter
- if you tend to be anal you can lightly starch your ribbon and with a cool/warm iron press it… it will make for a better looking bow! I did starch my ribbon prior to starting this bow.
Step 1)

Take the ribbon (I’m using 1 1/2″ ribbon in this tutorial) and make the shape shown above, always be sure to keep the “right side” (ie- printed side up in center). Make sure the long side of the ribbon is in the back with the longer side of the ribbon hanging down to the left.

Step 2)

Bring the long side of the ribbon up over the existing ribbon so that the long side of the ribbon is now up and to the right.

Step 3)

Take the long side of the ribbon (that is up and to the right) and bring it back down BEHIND the top piece of ribbon in the center of the bow. The long piece will now be hanging down towards the center of the bow.

Step 4)

Take the piece of ribbon that was hanging down towards the center/left bottom and bring it to the upper left side of the bow. This would be a good time to make any adjustments to your bow to be sure all the loops are even.

Step 5) Turn your bow sideways (horizontal) and in the center carefully fold the bow (see picture above). For wider ribbon you should fold it so that there are 3 peaks in the center.

Step 6)

Using your fine gauge wire tightly wrap the wire around the center of the bow and twist it on the back side of the bow and trim off the long pieces. Press the wire down so it’s not sharp.

Step 7)

Singe one end of the smaller ribbon (I always use a long candle lighter– fray check is expensive and I’ve found it to not work as well) to prevent fraying and starting on the back of the bow where the wire is tightened and cut off, glue one end of your small ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the center of the bow. Trim off excess ribbon and singe again and glue down on back of ribbon. It’s important to completely finish the bow prior to attaching it to the clip. Especially for the alligator clips. Some clips are made with the center ribbon wrapped around the entire clip and this causes the clip to not close entirely and the clip won’t stay in as well. This way the “seal” on the clip is tight.

Step 8)

Tear off a piece of the wax paper and fold it over several times. Clip the alligator clip to the wax paper and load the clip (the angled side) up with hot glue. And stick your bow to the glue covered clip. Allow the glue to dry completely and then peel away the wax paper that is in the clip. Trimming away any excess that can be seen from the front of the bow. This should leave a very smooth and even surface inside the clip so that it will hold the hair! Trim and singe the ends of the ribbon with the lighter… be careful though… just barely get the end of the ribbon near the flame… the ribbon will turn black if burnt.
Step 9)

Place the bow in your daughter’s hair and try not to eat her alive! :)

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  • Comment by Becky Brodbeck — April 8, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

    Yeah!!!! I was going to ask you how to do this-not that Phoebe has enough hair yet but she will:-) Thanks!

  • Comment by the brown's — April 8, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

    you read my mind. i was JUST TODAy thinking, “i need to learn how to make prettier bows!!”

    thanks, i now have a project for post-dylan’s bedtime!

  • Comment by Tara McClendon — April 8, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    I’m so glad you did this! I still have those instructions you sent me but this makes it so much easier now that I have real pictures to go by. It shouldn’t be legal to be as crafty as you are…

  • Comment by simply seleta — April 8, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

    Best thing I’ve read in weeks.

    Must admit that I bought yards of gorgeous grosgrain ribbon a few weeks ago. I brought it home, stared at it and thought to myself, “Now what?”

  • Comment by Household6 — April 8, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    Oh how I wish i had a use for this skill….

    Love from VA,


  • Comment by Anonymous — April 8, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

    First off… I’m a lurker!! I found your blog through JM, and love reading your blog. I just wanted to add… that I made these type bows for my daughter and your instructions were great and so much easier than the pain I put myself through on getting to the finished product.

    Down to the business…. As much as I hate to plug wal-mart (TARGET JUNKIE HERE), they have a soldering iron pencil in the craft section, that I use instead of a lighter – girl I would burn myself up with a lighter. Just thought I would pass along.

    Kristi O.

  • Comment by Lucy — April 8, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

    I love your blog.I have a little girl (only 10 months old) and she is just starting to get enough hair for bows, so this was the perfect post for me to read. Thanks so much for giving such detailed instructions. I am inspired by all the craft ideas that you have revealed on your blog. I also love the matching outfits that you have made for your girls. I got a sewing machine for Christmas because I was inspiring to be crafty, but I have yet to open it. Where do you get most of your patterns (if you use any)? Thanks for your great blog.
    xxLucy (a frequent reader)

  • Comment by Robin — April 8, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

    Could I make an order for some bows ? Just kidding. That was great. You are so crafty..Still working on the pictures for you. I have another recipe ,also. Robin

  • Comment by Haydee — April 8, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

    The only bad thing about this post is that I just paid about $7 on Ebay for a tutorial on this and your instructions are better. Only I would pay for a tutorial for something so basic, but this is a real money saver for us moms with girls.

  • Comment by Wrights — April 9, 2008 @ 6:40 am

    Thank you for this post!!! I am a bow fanatic and have a two year old who also has to have a bow with EVERY outfit (even p.j.s!) But they are so stinkin’ expensive. I can’t wait to try this out.

  • Comment by Marianna — April 9, 2008 @ 6:54 am

    I’m so glad for this post! I’m a friend of the girls you know in Decatur and was in ID school with your sister at Auburn. I love your blog. Ashley Collins has told me a few times that my little girl reminds her of Paige. So cute!

  • Comment by Dena — April 9, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

    LOVE IT! Thank goodness most people aren’t as crafty as you!

  • Comment by LeslieW. — April 9, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    Awesome! They look great. I do this every now and then all at one, with like 30 bows. It’s about that time though…thanks for the wax paper tip. I’ve never tried that before!!!

  • Comment by Jennie-Marie — April 9, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

    this is great, I was such a bow-head. We may have to make some for Julianna this weekend, Emma Hensley is still working on her hair. haha

  • Comment by Abby Maddox — April 10, 2008 @ 5:23 am

    Did you get your nails done before this handy demonstration? I could never do close-ups of my own hands. Yours look lovely, and I am sure this will be very helpful the next time I decide to get brave and crafty.

  • Comment by Laura — April 10, 2008 @ 9:55 am

    Thanks so much. It’s hard for me to spend lots of $$ on bows when we’re constantly losing them. I’m excited about my next project!

  • Comment by Anonymous — April 10, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

    Thanks for this!! My new favorite post. I will be making bows this week now!

  • Comment by Stacey — April 11, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

    I found your blog through my roommate from Auburn, Beth’s blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I have a one year old without a stitch of hair on her head but I am dying for her to wear bows. I am going to have to keep these instructions for future reference. Thanks for the post!

  • Comment by Leslie — April 21, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

    You are saving mommy’s everywhere! I am a mommy of two boys with a new baby sister on the way….I’m headed to the store right now to begin this new project!! Thanks again~Leslie from Mississippi :)

  • Comment by Kelley Brown — April 22, 2008 @ 12:24 pm

    Ooh! I can’t wait to make some bows!! Great instructions. Now I just need a baby sister for Carter. :)

  • Comment by beki — April 22, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial! Now if only my 2 yr ols would keep the darned things in her hair! At least I know my 7 yr old will appreciate them :)

  • Comment by Laurie — June 27, 2008 @ 4:56 am

    DARBY!!!!!!!!! I have absolutely loved reading your blog this morning. Your precious little girls are getting so old. I just called a friend of mine in Nashville yesterday and said, when I come visit next month you have to teach me how to make those great bows! Thanks for the step by step instruction. We are expecting our little Caroline to arrive in November and every little girl should have a matching bow for each outfit, right? Glad to see you are doing great :)

  • Comment by The Nuzzo Family — August 7, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

    This was great and very helpful. I just made 10! Thanks Darby!

  • Comment by Anonymous — August 9, 2008 @ 12:24 pm

    These are adorable! Thanks for the how-to with the pix!


  • Comment by Lisa — August 28, 2008 @ 11:17 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, Darby – it is awesome! I have to say, I was never much of a “bow” girl myself, but now that I have this beautiful daughter (with hair to spare!), I am having a blast making these for her. And she looks adorable! Thanks! You are amazing…I don’t know how you do everything you do.

  • Comment by Anonymous — January 11, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    I’m a lurker who did a google search to learn the secret of these pesky things…this is perfect! I made my first one today and it looks great. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  • Comment by The Buchanan Family — January 15, 2009 @ 8:03 am

    I did it! I can make a BOW! Thanks for the step by step tutorial!

  • Comment by Fields of Plenty — January 26, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    Thank you so much! I am super excited, I tried the tutorial tonight and was so impressed with myself! This will save me so much money, I posted a few pics of my first attempt! Thanks again and God Bless you and yours!

  • Comment by Mama — April 2, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    Love this tutorial! Beautiful! Thanks! :)

  • Comment by Rebecca — April 3, 2009 @ 7:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. My 22 month old loves bows (asks for them every day) and I love letting her wear them!! I am so tired of paying $5-$10 for ONE bow so this defintley helps!!! Thanks again!!

  • Comment by Michelle — November 1, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

    Cute Cute CUTE!

  • Comment by Sommer S. Blackburn — November 11, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

    Yeah, thanks Darb…I just made my first 2 bows for Addyson and they aren’t bad! You’re the best! My husband says thank you too…saves us $5 a bow! Love you~S

  • Comment by Sarah — November 24, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    So even though I’m a blogger (although not one who has readers outside of family!) and avid blog reader, I rarely comment on blogs…but I had to comment on this. I just made some bows for my daughter since I couldn’t find one the right shade of red for her Christmas dress and this tutorial was so helpful! I’m thrilled with how they came out and generally I’m not the craftiest person. Thanks for sharing the tutorial (and your life! What a sweet family and such a blessing to read about someone raising their children to love the Lord.)

  • Comment by Gloria Chiras — December 29, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

    I love the bows. My grandaugter is three. She is one of a triplet, The other two are boys and she has a another brother who will soon be 2. She does not want a bow in her hair…afterall the boys don’t wear bows. Once before I tried to make yhese bows…without success. Tonight I followed your tutorial and Yea I made 8 for Lily Clare. Hopefully soon she will agree to wear these beautiful bows.

  • Comment by Angela Timms — December 15, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

    Oh my gosh thank you so much for this tutorial. This was JUST what I was looking for! :)
    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing!!
    TOODLES!! Angela

  • Comment by Nancy — February 25, 2011 @ 6:54 am

    Thanks for the instructions! My daughter and I are going to make some this weekend.

  • Comment by Leslie Bullock — January 25, 2012 @ 8:08 am

    Tk u tks u Darby! I have been dying to learn how to make these crazy expensive bows! much appreciation! leslie
    Love your blog – such a great “VIEW” of our wonderful COASTAL LIFE!

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