How to Make Cheer Bows With Mystique


With a few household items and some items from the craft store, you can make your own cheerleading hair bows. Mystique is a spandex material that comes in a plethora of colors and patterns. It is the material commonly used in cheer competition uniforms and those worn for gymnastics and dance competitions. Match your team's hair accessories to their uniform by adding mystique to your cheer bow.

Things You'll Need

  • 30-inch piece of 1 1/2-inch-wide ribbon
  • 30-inch pieces of 7/8-inch-wide ribbon, 2, plus 4 inches for the center knot
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Clear thread
  • Heat and Bond iron adhesive
  • 30-inch-long pieces of Mystique, 1 1/4-inch wide
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Rotary cutter
  • Fabric ruler
  • Candle lighter
  • Ponytail holder
  • Zip tie
  • Cut one 30-inch piece of 1 1/2-inch-wide ribbon and two 30-inch-long pieces of 7/8-inch-wide ribbon. Lay the wider ribbon in the center and the smaller-width ribbons on each side.

  • Set your sewing machine to a 1.5 zigzag stitch, and secure the ribbons together just as they were laying on the work surface. Do not overlap them while sewing, just use the zigzag stitch to keep them together.

  • Iron out the wrinkles commonly made when using a zigzag stitch from the ribbon on an ironing board. Use a cotton setting but avoid scorching the ribbon by leaving the iron on the ribbon too long.

  • Adhere two Heat and Bond strips to the back of the Mystique fabric on an ironing board, following package directions. Cut the two 1 1/4-inch-wide strips apart, with the Mystique on the opposite side, using the scissors or a rotary cutter and a straight-edged fabric ruler.

  • Iron the two 30-inch-long Mystique strips over the sewn lines on the ribbon using the Heat and Bond strip. Parts of each ribbon section and the Mystique should be visible. Allow the fabric to cool and make certain not to melt the spandex Mystique fabric with the iron by holding it in one place for a long period of time.

  • Cut each end of the ribbon and Mystique strip at an angle, or create a fishtail by folding the strip in half and cutting both layers simultaneously at an angle. Unfold the strip to view the fishtail design.

  • Heat-seal each end to prevent fraying by waving the ribbon ends back and forth over a lit candle lighter. Do not hold the ribbon over the flame too long or the ribbon and Mystique will burn.

  • Lay the ribbon horizontally on your work surface and gently fold each end in to the center, creating thirds in the ribbon. Pull each ribbon end out of the folds, toward you, which should reveal a bow shape. Arrange the bow how you'd like it to look by fluffing the bow sections and organizing the ribbon tails.

  • Place the center of the ribbon bow over a ponytail holder and secure all layers of ribbon and the elastic hair tie with a zip tie. Pull the zip tie tight to keep the ribbon secure.

  • Cut a 4-inch piece of the 7/8-inch-wide ribbon and heat seal the ends using the candle lighter. Tie the center into a loose knot and place the knot in the center of the front of the bow. Wrap the ribbon ends around the center of the bow and secure it to the zip tie with a hot-glue gun. Fold the ribbon ends over one another and use a hot-glue gun to secure the ends together and to the zip tie. Avoid gluing the ribbon to the hair elastic because, when it stretches, it may break the bond.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use any two or three complementary colors when choosing the ribbon and Mystique for your cheer bow. Ensure that the bow matches the competition or cheer uniform exactly or very closely to avoid uniform penalty during the contest.

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