How To Make Barrette Hair Bows With a Bowdabra

The Bowdabra is a tool that enables you to make bows in many sizes. You can make tiny bows for babies, mid-size ones for tiny girls and larger bows for older young ladies to wear in their hair. You can layer ribbons and a tiny silk flower for a prom or wedding hair piece. These hair bows can be quickly attached to plain barrettes that fit any young child or teenager.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowdabra
  • Barrette
  • Ribbon


    • 1

      Choose grosgrain, cotton or satin ribbon for the hair bow. One half inch or smaller will work best.

    • 2

      Cut a 10- to 12-inch piece of 1/4-inch wide satin ribbon that compliments the color of the bow ribbon.

    • 3

      Slide the ribbon lengthwise into the Bowdabra unit.

    • 4

      Make a loop about 1/2 to 1 inch long with the bow ribbon. Slide it into the center slot of the unit.

    • 5

      Continue making loops until there are four or five on each side. Slide the loops into the unit as you form them. You can add the stem of a small silk flower, beaded pearl spray or a bead on a stem to the top of the ribbon loops.

    • 6

      Take the Bowdabra wand and press it down on to the ribbon in the slot. This will press the center tightly. Remove the wand.

    • 7

      Pull the two ends of the horizontal ribbon up. Cross one end over the other. Tie a loose knot.

    • 8

      Remove the bow from the Bowdabra by pulling up on the two ribbon ends.

    • 9

      Fluff the bow and shape it. Trim the hair bow ends on a slant.

    • 10

      Turn the bow upside down. Place the barrette upside down at the center of the bow.

    • 11

      Thread the ends of the ribbon through the slits in the barrette. Tie tightly to secure. You can also add adhesive from a hot glue gun to keep the ribbon from moving on the barrette bars.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use two ribbons in one bow. Make shorter loops with the top series of loops when combining two ribbons.
  • Use metallic barrettes for more stability with a hair bow.
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  • Photo Credit S. Faloon 2009

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