May Your Days Be Merry card by Jennifer Grace

Put A Bow On It (Part 2) – Paper Bow Tutorial

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2013 Blog Event)

The last post was about satin bows, but I also love paper bows for adding a special finishing touch to my projects, like this card…

May Your Days Be Merry:

May Your Days Be Merry card by Jennifer Grace

It may not be as shiny as a satin bow but it makes a great focal point, plus it’s still easy to jazz up the middle of the bow if you want too!

Here’s a step-by-step for a paper bow – there’s probably other ways and tutorials out there but this is the way I put mine together…

Paper Bow Tutorial:

Step 1: Cut four rectangles of double sided patterned paper (mine are from the Glitz Designs Hello December 6×6 Pad). The large rectangle should measure 6″ long by 1¼” wide, the next size down rectangle should be 1¾” long by ¾” wide, and the two smallest pieces should be 1½” long by ⅝” wide:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 2: Turn the large rectangle so the pattern you want showing is flat on your work surface. Draw a line at the centre point (3″), and fold the two ends in to meet at the centre – don’t make the creases too sharp:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 3: I normally cut the bow shape by eye, but here’s how you can measure it.

On the flaps you’ve folded inwards mark two vertical lines, each ½” away from the centre point (the lines will be 1″ apart from each other). Draw a dot at the top and bottom of each of these lines, ⅛” away from the edge of the bow. Now draw lines from the corners of the bow down toward these dots, and join the dots up horizontally across the centre point, so you have the bow shape marked out like this:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 4: Cut along the lines:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 5: Open the bow out again, and draw a spot each side, about 1″ away from the centre line, and equidistant from the top and bottom of the bow:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 6: Pile 3D foam pop-dots on top of these spots. I made my pile three high but it depends how puffy you want your bow to look – the foam dots stop the bow going flat when the card is mailed or if it’s squashed in an album. Also put a flat glue dot at the two ends of the bow:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 7: Fold the ends back into the middle and stick them down. When you turn it over you’ve already got a nice looking bow:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 8: Fold the next-size-down rectangle around the middle of the bow, adhering with flat glue dots:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Step 9: Cut notches into the ends of the smaller rectangles, and adhere them to the back of the bow, also using flat glue dots:

Paper Bow Tutorial by Jennifer Grace

Stick it onto a festive project! You can also decorate the middle of the bow with glitter, gems, etc – I used a Waco White Pearl Pen to make dots on this one:

May Your Days Be Merry card by Jennifer Grace

I love it because I don’t always have the right colour, length, or pattern of ribbon, but I always have a ton of patterned paper scraps that I can use for this!

NB: Other supplies used on this card are more Glitz Designs Hello December 6×6 Pad Papers, Whatnots, Title & Accents Sticker Sheet, and Giant Rhinestones. Also Glitz Yours Truly Washi Tape, American Crafts Gold Glitter Ribbon, a kraft 6×6″ card blank, red gems, a gold ink pad to ink edges.

Have you ever made a paper bow?

Be Inspired:

Add a bow to the bottom of a wreath or circle

Use 3D foam pop-dots to stop something getting flat in the mail or in an album

Use yellow and gold next to each other

See you again at 9pm for a sponsored giveaway!

Jennifer x

P.S. If you are enjoying this event, I’d love it if you can support me by sharing the projects you like via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or however you like! There are sharing buttons below to make it easy for you – thanks! (Not obligatory but appreciated!)

  • I’ve never made a paper bow….so this tutorial is really helpful…thanks. The bow looks so effective.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm
  • Love this bow and seems fairly simple to make for a stunning result Tx

    November 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm
  • Jean Bullock

    Your card is lovely. Thanks so much for the bow tutorial. I am definitely going to try this.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  • Very pretty card. I love the bow. Thank you for the tutorial on how to make my own.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  • Such a cute bow. I’m currently doing my Christmas cards so will definitely try this.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm
  • Love the bow – will definitely be having a go at making one of these 🙂

    November 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm
  • Lisa Swift

    This is so pretty! Thank you for the tutorial!

    November 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm
  • Sarah

    This looks easy!! I’m sure even I can do this!! Ha! hopefully I’ll get chance this weekend to give it a go!! x

    November 8, 2013 at 10:09 pm
  • Laura G.Turcotte

    Now this looks like something I can make! Would add a nice touch to some cards, I think!

    November 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm
  • Jackie Edwards

    That is a clever idea Jennifer!!! I Like to make everything match!!! Thank you for the tut!!

    November 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm
  • Bethany Hardy

    You can keep trying, but you CANNOT make me make a bow. No. You can’t. Not even if you say pretty please with glitter on it. 🙂


    November 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm
  • Great tip with the foam dots – duh! How could I not have thought of that?

    November 9, 2013 at 1:28 am
  • Now that’s Christmasy! I love the textured dots.

    I Create Purty Thangs

    November 9, 2013 at 2:09 am
  • Cassandra Duchaine

    Great idea to use paper. I often don’t have matching ribbon so I love this idea!

    November 9, 2013 at 3:41 am
  • jengd

    Love your bow on this card! Looks great!

    November 9, 2013 at 5:40 am
  • Janis in ID

    I’ve never made a paper bow before, but I like this tip for using scraps for making them.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

    November 9, 2013 at 8:23 am
  • I am so trying this …. Great tutorial

    November 9, 2013 at 8:55 am
  • Looks like a pretty simple way to make a bow, I’ll have to keep it in mind for my Christmas projects. Thanks.

    November 9, 2013 at 9:29 am
  • Great tutorial, think I might be making a few of these – thank you 🙂

    November 9, 2013 at 10:17 am
  • I think I could manage a paper bow more easily so this is great inspiration!

    November 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm
  • lilgik

    Ack, love this version even more than the satin bow! 🙂

    November 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm
  • Marilyn Tucker

    I have never thought about making a paper bow. Awesome. Thanks for the tute!

    November 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm
  • Cool idea and I agree it is a cool focal point

    November 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm
  • Brenda W

    Must try this. Also checking back to say I completed the blog hop.

    November 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm
  • Aison

    Clever idea..thanks for the step by step for Dummies tutorial!!
    Alison xx

    November 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm
  • Margie

    Beautiful card and bow!

    November 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm
  • Oooo pretty bow. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

    November 10, 2013 at 4:41 am
  • Kelly B

    Great tutorial…thanks!

    November 10, 2013 at 5:00 am
  • Annie

    beautiful bow – brilliant idea! 🙂

    November 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm
  • Dawn

    great idea!

    November 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm
  • Miriam Prantner

    Simple and easy! Great tutorial!

    November 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm
  • Lisa H

    great way to add bows – I never really thought of making them from paper – might just give this a try – pinning for later!

    November 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm
  • Brilliant idea, i’ll definately be trying this out x

    November 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm
  • So we were right about one of the sneaks! It looks great.

    November 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

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