DIY Hair Bows: How to make hair bows out of ribbons

By: | Last Updated: October 20, 2023

Hair bows have always been a constant in the world of hair accessories. Just like other accessories, they would look better if they are personalized just for you.

Luckily, hair bows are very easy to make at home! As a DIY project, you can choose how you want your hair bows to look. 

If you want them quirky and colorful or chic and elegant, it is all in your control.

Good thing you found this article because this provides clear and easy-to-follow steps on how to make different hair bow patterns using various materials — but especially grosgrain ribbons.

In this article, you will learn about:

  • Different hair bow patterns
  • How to make different hair bows out of ribbons
  • How to make fancy hair bows
  • How to make DIY hair bows using other materials

Different Hairbow Patterns

Before you begin making hair bows, first you need to know the different types of hair bows (check out our in-depth guide!) But just as well, we’ve sum it up for you below:

1. Butterfly Pattern

The butterfly pattern is perhaps the simplest hair bow pattern of all. It looks like the kind of bow that men wear with their tuxedos, only smaller. 

Much like a butterfly, it comes with two same-sized loops on both sides separated by a center ribbon. But unlike other ribbon patterns, it does not have tail ends.

2. Basic Ribbon Pattern

A basic ribbon hair bow has two loops and two tails. This is the most common ribbon pattern and is probably the first image that comes into your mind when you think of “ribbons.”

3. Pinwheel Pattern

The pinwheel pattern is fancier than the first two patterns I mentioned. Pinwheel bows have four loops (two on each side) and two tails (one on each side) facing away from each other.

4. Multi-loop Pattern

Multi-loop hair bows are the fanciest hair bow patterns on this list.  They also have several loops, tails, and embellishments.

The sky is the limit in making multi-loop bows. You have the freedom to mix and match different types of ribbons in varying sizes, colors, and patterns.

CHECK OUT: Different types of hair clips and pins

How to Make Hair Bows Out of Ribbons

1. Butterfly Hair Bows

To make butterfly hair bows, you only need a piece of grosgrain ribbon, no matter how thick. 

You can estimate the length of the ribbon. Just take note that the final hair bow will be half the length of your original ribbon. 

For the center ribbon, you’ll need a thinner ribbon that’s around ⅓ to ½ of the thicker ribbon’s thickness.

Begin with laying your ribbon flat on a surface. Bring the two edges of the ribbon in the middle and glue these edges together. 

Using your fingers, fold the ribbon’s middle similar to an accordion. Wrap the thinner ribbon around the middle.

Insert the upper part of your alligator clip into the center ribbon. Secure it with glue as well. And that’s it! You already have a simple butterfly hair bow.

For variety, you can place two to three butterfly bows on top of each other. Just make sure the bottom ribbons are slightly longer than the ribbons on top of it. 

Or you can place them side-by-side to create a four-looped bow.

Here’s a video tutorial that shows how to give your simple butterfly bow a twist:

2. Basic Ribbon Hair Bow

In making a basic ribbon hair bow, you need a piece of ribbon, no matter how thick. Remember that the longer the ribbon, the bigger the bow. 

You also need a thinner ribbon for the center, an alligator clip, hot glue, and scissors.

It’s important to use the right size of ribbon to make the right size of hair bow. You can even use a hair bow maker to make things easier.

Fold your main ribbon in half and create a crease at the center of your ribbon. Twist the ribbon to create an awareness ribbon fold. 

The creased part of the ribbon should be on the center of the loop. The tail of the bow should intersect a few inches away from the edge of the ribbon. 

Adjust the loops and tails according to your preference. Bring the creased part of the loop to the intersection of the tails. From there, you can already imagine the ribbon figure.

Fold the center of the ribbon into an accordion and secure it with a wire, zip tie, or thread. Anything would work for as long as it secures the fold.

Wrap the thinner ribbon on the center of the bow and secure it with glue. Make sure to leave enough space for the clip.

Using the thin ribbon and glue, wrap your alligator clip from the upper teeth of the clip down to the bottom. 

Insert the upper teeth of the alligator clip to the center ribbon. Once again, secure with hot glue.

Easy peasy, right?

Here are ideas to get more creative with your ribbon hair bows:

3. Pinwheel Hair Bow

This bow requires a thick and thin ribbon, hot glue, scissors, and a hair clip.

Pinwheel hair bows have more loops than the first two bows, so it requires a longer ribbon. Take any ribbon of any size, but usually, a 1 ½ inch would do.

Cut a piece of the ribbon that is three times longer than the length of the final product that you want, plus a little allowance for the tails.

Wrap the ribbon around your palm three times. Make sure that the ribbons don’t overlap each other. 

If you want your final product to be wider than your palm, simply loop the ribbon three times. Remember that the length of each loop should be the same as the preferred length of the final product.

After this, the ribbons should look like three diagonal lines beside each other. Adjust the tails in such a way that it is slightly longer than the loops.

Then, fold the middle of the bow like an accordion. Secure it with a thin wire, zip tie, or thread.

Wrap the middle of the bow using your center ribbon. Using ribbon and hot glue, wrap your clip with ribbon as well.

Insert the upper part of your clip to the center ribbon and secure with glue.

Here’s a video that shows you how to make pinwheel bows at home:

You can also make a freehand, no sew pinwheel hair bow by following this tutorial.

4. Multi-loop Hair Bow

As said earlier, multi-loop bows are complicated and fancy. So, the process of making it would be slightly harder than the first ones. But I assure you that it will be worth the outcome.

For this, you will need at least four ribbons of varying colors, sizes, and patterns. You have the freedom to be as creative as you want.

You have to have different ribbons for a base bow, a topper bow, supplementary bows, and spikes. 

The ribbon for the base bow should be thickest (at least 1 ½ inch), followed by the supplementary bow (at least ⅜ inch), and the topper bow (at least ⅞ inch), respectively. 

The spikes can come in any size, depending on your preference. Unlike the bows, which will showcase loops, the spikes will serve as decorative tails.

Use your base ribbon to make a pinwheel bow and set it aside.

To create spikes, simply cut three equal-length ribbons using your spike ribbons. Place them diagonally across each other so that they would resemble an X-shape. 

Fold in the middle and secure using thread. Determine how many spikes you like for your bow. Add more according to preference.

For your supplementary bows, simply twist your thin ribbons to make four loops. Secure the middle with glue or thread. Make one to three supplementary bows.

For the topper bow, you can choose any pattern you want. It is safest to use the same pattern as your base bow, but you can try other patterns if you want to.

Finally, assemble your bow. Start by placing the base bow at the bottom, then add the spikes and supplementary bows alternatingly. Then, top off with the topper bow.

Use any thin ribbon as the center bow and secure with glue or thread. Add embellishments and then attach the hair clip.

Here are video links that will help you get more ideas on how to make various designs of multi-loop bows:

How to Make Fancy Hair Bows

1. Use other materials aside from grosgrain ribbons.

To make your hair bows fancier, you can combine different kinds of ribbons. You can use organzas and pair them with silk satin ribbons. 

Combining silk satin ribbons and lace is also a good idea. You can also use tulle and velvet on one hair bow.

Do not limit your creativity to the conventional.

2. Add more loops

If you like your hair bow to be more noticeable, then add more loops and spikes! This works best for children who like big and colorful hair accessories. 

However, if you want to go for fancy yet simpler and more elegant bows, then check out the next bullet.

3. Add embellishments

Embellishments are like the cherry on top of your ice cream. They are optional, but they sure make the bow a lot prettier.

You can choose from buttons to sequins to beads and gems. These little details will add a more personal touch to the final product.

Pearls look great in hair ribbons! Check out the video below:

4. Experiment with colors and patterns

You can pair stripes with polka dots or simply solid colors. You can try unconventional color combinations like purple and yellow. 

It’s all up to you how you want to glam up and personalize your hair bows. This is the beauty of DIY-ing–you get to be freely creative on your craft. The sky’s the limit. 

How to Make Fancy Hair Bows Using Materials Aside From Grosgrain Ribbons

You can skip the grosgrain ribbons and use other materials instead to add more spice to your hair bows!

I listed different materials that you can use aside from grosgrain ribbons. I also included pattern ideas that will go well with these.

Lace Hair Bows

Using lace to create hair bows is very easy since you do not need to sew them more often than not.

Here are the things you will need to create a no-sew lace hair bow:

  • Lace ribbon (I recommend 1 ¾-inch thick ribbons for starters)
  • Glue Gun
  • Alligator Clip


  1. Cut your lace into three pieces, two that are 7 inches long and one that is 4 inches long.
  2. Get one of the 7-inch lace ribbons. Take the two edges of the ribbon and fold them so that they both meet in the middle. 
  3. Secure the fold by gluing together the part where the edges meet. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to the other 7-inch ribbon.
  5. Take the 4-inch ribbon and fold it lengthwise twice. In other words, fold it lengthwise in half and then fold it again. Secure the fold using glue.
  6. Put the folded 7-inch ribbons on top of each other. Fold the middle parts of the ribbons using your fingers so that they look like an accordion. Secure using hot glue.
  7. Wrap the 4-inch ribbon around the middle of the 7-inch ribbons, covering the glue marks. Cut off the excess length. This will serve as the center ribbon of your hair bow.
  8. Get your alligator clip and place it where the center ribbon is. Slide the upper teeth of the clip into the center ribbon for better security. Attach the clip to the ribbon using glue.
  9. Use glue to secure the center ribbon and the alligator clip.

That’s it. Add embellishments if you want to!

If you want to spice up your hair bow, you can pair the lace ribbon with a satin silk ribbon. Simply glue the lace and silk ribbons on top of each other and then follow the steps above.

Here’s a tutorial for lace hair bow patterns that you can follow:

CHECK OUT: Heatless Hair Curling Ribbon Review

Velvet Hair Bows

Velvet, when used in making hair bows, can be a little stiff. Velvet hair bows have a fixed and rigid shape. These look best on formal hairstyles.

Materials needed:

  • Velvet ribbon (preferably one ½-inch thick, 17 inches long)
  • A thinner velvet ribbon for the center ribbon
  • Alligator Clip (small)
  • Zip tie
  • Glue gun


  1. Cut a 17-inch long piece of your velvet ribbon. Trim the edges of the ribbon by folding it in half, then cutting a small triangle at the edges. 
  2. Next, lay the ribbon flat in front of you. Take the left edge of the ribbon, then fold it diagonally upwards. Take the right edge of the ribbon and fold it diagonally downwards.The ribbon will look like two diagonal lines beside each other, with one tail end facing upwards and the other facing downwards.
  3. Fold the middle part into an accordion. Secure the accordion-fold using glue, thread, or a zip tie, whatever works for as long as it secures the fold.
  4. Wrap the middle part of your bow using the thinner ribbon. Secure using hot glue.
  5. You can also wrap your alligator clip with the thinner ribbon. Start at the upper edge of the clip’s teeth. Glue the ribbon from there until the clip is wrapped 
  6. Insert the clip on the center ribbon and secure with glue once again.

Here are video links that will help you create more hair bows using velvet ribbons:

You can also check out this tutorial from Martha Stewart showing different types of hair bows made with velvet.

DIY Hair Bows Are Fun!

Getting all crafty is fun, especially if someone guides you along the way while still giving you the freedom to be creative. I hope this article did just that for you!

But what’s more fun is having someone to do it with you. Luckily, you can share this article with your friends so you can get creative with your favorite people! 

Let us know what you think about this article in the comments below.

Leave a Comment