How to Use the Bowdabra to Make Unique Christmas Bows

The Bowdabra is a handy little tool that gives you the effect of an extra pair of hands. With it, you can create unique and beautiful bows for just about any special occasion. The Bowdabra is especially suited to making bows that contain more than just ribbon. It is also great for making big, bold and unforgettable bows of all sizes. Follow these steps to make one-of-a-kind bows for your Christmas presents.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon
  • Tinsel
  • Wired décor
  • Fabric
  • Floral wire or pipe cleaners
  • Wire cutters


    • 1

      Decide on the types, colors and widths of ribbon you want to use (as defined in the Tips section). Choose ribbon that will complement the wrapping paper, rather than matching it exactly. With the Bowdabra, you can mix and match more than two or more types, colors and widths of ribbon.

    • 2

      Make a list of the supplies you need to make bows for your packages. Keep the ribbon type, color and width in mind when making your final choices. It will take about 2 to 5 yards of ribbon to make a pretty bow. Less ribbon will result in a more tailored bow; more ribbon will result in a fuller, more complex-looking bow.

    • 3

      Read the instructions that come with the Bowdabra, along with those noted below to make certain you have a clear comprehension of the bow-making process.

    • 4

      Cut 12-inch lengths of floral wire for the number of bows you intend to make. You can also choose to use pipe cleaners in lieu of floral wire.

    • 5

      Decide on the size and design of the bow you want to make. For example, decide if it will be all one type of ribbon or two or more layers of various types and colors of ribbon together. If you are going to use wired tinsel, it should be used as the top layer or in conjunction with another ribbon throughout the bow.

    • 6

      Cut lengths of ribbon based on the decision you made in the steps above. Cut all of the ribbon for a bow at the same time. Cut each bow layer at least 4 to 6 inches shorter than the one before it if you are planning to layer different types, colors or widths of ribbon together.

    • 7

      Lay the wire that will be used to secure the bow in the place provided by the Bowdabra. Make sure you can easily reach it to remove the bow once it is constructed. If not, then cut out longer lengths.

    • 8

      Use the ribbon that is to be the top layer of a two-layer bow first. Lay it through the Bowdabra in a length that is about 4 inches shorter than the total length desired for the bow. In other words, if the bow is to be 12 inches in total length, the top layer pieces should be around 8 inches in length. Press the ribbon down with the Bowdabra wand so that you can add more layers. Make as many layers as you want to the top section.

    • 9

      Add the next bow section using the ribbon you have chosen for the bottom of the bow. Follow the same instructions as indicated in the step above.

    • 10

      Remove the bow from the machine by pulling on both ends of the wire. Once it is free of the machine, twist tie the bow in place and fluff out as desired

Tips & Warnings

  • Wire-edged ribbon works best, although Bowdabra will work with any ribbon. Type of ribbon refers to the materials out of which the ribbon is made. Ribbon types typically include fabric, metallic and paper. Colors of ribbon can be solid, ombred or printed with many different designs. Ribbons that are at least 2 inches in width work best within Bowdabra, although it will handle any width. Using wired tinsel as the bottom layer of a bow is ineffective. It doesn't show well from beneath wider ribbons. Use a poinsettia to accent the top of the bow. Shred wider ribbon, leaving the ends intact until after the bow is complete. Then cut away the ends for a fun, funky bow. The Bowdabra can be purchased online as well as at most hobby and craft stores.
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