How to Make Grosgrain Ribbon Hair Bows


Hair bows can complete an outfit, a costume or even a uniform (band, cheerleading, softball). It is simple to go into any store and find hair bows for sale, but you may not find the color or size you need. However, making your own hair bows is also simple. Just use grosgrain ribbon from any craft store, available in a rainbow of colors sure to match any outfit.

Things You'll Need

  • Grosgrain ribbon (three size varieties: 1 1/2-inch, 7/8-inch and 3/8-inch in width, in colors of your choice)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Needle and thread
  • Elastic ponytail holder
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Roll out your 1 1/2-inch grosgrain ribbon. Use a ruler to measure 20 inches of ribbon, and cut that length of ribbon. Repeat this step with the 7/8-inch ribbon and the 3/8-inch ribbon.

  • Cut a v-shape into both ends of the 1 1/2-inch ribbon. Repeat with the 7/8-inch ribbon and the 3/8-inch ribbon.

  • Use a lighter to seal the ends of each ribbon. Quickly pass each end of the ribbons through the flame of the lighter. Do not catch the ribbons on fire, simply passing the ribbon through the flame heats the end of the ribbon and prevents it from fraying.

  • Lay the 1 1/2-inch ribbon on a table. Place the 7/8-inch ribbon, centered, directly on top of the first ribbon. Put the 3/8-inch ribbon, centered, on top of the 7/8-inch ribbon.

  • Lift the ribbons up together by holding onto one end, pinching all three ribbons together on that end.

  • Bring the end of the ribbons (the one that you are not pinching) up to meet the end that you are pinching. Pinch both ends together so that the insides of the widest ribbons are touching. (You will now have a teardrop shape, with the point of the teardrop being the ends you have pinched in your fingers.)

  • Pinch the other end of the ribbons now (the loop) to make a crease in the ribbons. The ribbons should now be folded in half.

  • Run a threaded needle through the crease, from the backside of the ribbon (the back of the widest ribbon) to the front, until the knot in the thread stops.

  • Hold the ribbons with your left hand and run the thread around the ribbons to cinch them in the center. You do not need to sew here, just wrap the thread around the ribbons to secure them (10 to 20 times will do the trick).

  • Flip the ribbons over so that the backside is on top. Place an elastic ponytail holder directly on top of the thread you used to cinch the ribbons.

  • Wrap the thread around the ponytail holder 10 to 20 times and secure the ponytail holder to the ribbon by running the needle through the ponytail holder two to three times.

  • Tie a knot in the thread, close to the ponytail holder, and cut off any excess thread above the knot.

  • Cut another 2-inch piece of the 3/8-inch wide ribbon and seal the edges with a lighter as instructed in Step 3.

  • Flip the bow over so that the ribbons are face down on the table and the ponytail holder and backside of the ribbons are facing up. Place a drop of hot glue on the thread on the ponytail holder.

  • Place a backside end of the 2-inch piece of ribbon on the glue and press it down. Wrap the ribbon around the thread on the ribbons and ponytail holder to cover it up.

  • Wrap the 2-inch ribbon around the center until you have run out of ribbon to wrap. Place a drop of hot glue on the back side and press the remaining end of the 2-inch piece of ribbon into the glue.

  • Allow glue to dry for one to two minutes. Hair bow is now ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient when learning this procedure, as it becomes easier the more you do it.
  • Be careful when working with lighters and hot glue, as both of these things become very hot and can cause burns if not properly handled.

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  • Photo Credit ribbon rolls image by TekinT from
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