Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How-To's Day: Decorate Gifts with Recycled Bows

I know so many people with birthdays this month, I thought I would share some tricks and tips to add that unique touch to that special gift. Today's project is a quick and easy recycled paper gift bow that anyone could make. :)

I am a magazine freak and I love that making handmade bows can utilize old magazines. Do you have a fashionista friend? Use some fashion magazines to finish off their presents. Film buff? Find some old films at a garage sale and you the most amazing bows out of film.  Just about anything you may have in a strip is perfect to make bows out of!

Here is a quick way to make your own recycled paper bows:

I found that using strips that are 5/8" wide works really nicely for this project. You can use any type of paper, but heavier weight magazine paper works really nicely. If you want to vary the size of the bow- The bigger the bow the longer your strips need to be, and if you make them longer and not wider your bow will look stringy. Make sure you lengthen the strip you also widen the strip too. The reverse for smaller bows--thinner, shorter strips.

You can make a wide range of all types of bows just by using varying sizes of this "infinity symbol" paper strip and stacking them together.

Basically to make the bow, you make an "infinity symbol" out of the strip. Take the top of the strip and wrap the bottom part around and back in front at the mid-point. Then do the opposite/ reverse to the other side joining both cut ends together in the back of the middle of the strip with double-sided tape.
Here is the above directions in picture form:

Now that you got the strip mastered, to make a bow you need:
three (3) strips of 11" long pieces of paper, two (2) 9" strips and one (1) 2" piece of paper: All 5/8" to 1" wide.

I am using plain white paper strips that I have around the studio for the steps... use whatever material you'd like.

Make three (3) infinity loops in the 11" length and overlap them in an "X" first, then an asterisk. You can use small pieces of double-sided tape to tack everything to each other.

Above: what the bottom layer will look like.

Make two (2) Infinity loops in the 9" length just like making the longer strips.

Take the two smaller infinity loops and overlap them also like an "X" inside the bottom layer. Make sure to align everything in the in-between places of the loops. Using small pieces of double-sided tape to tack everything to each other is a must and when you are done it should roughly look like this:

I am not quite sure why I love using a stapler, but I do! So, here I staple tack the middle. Think about it-- when people buy pre-made bows there is usually a staple.  I don't mind using them, I actually like staples used properly/ tastefully. You can also glue or use double-sided tape each piece to each other if you want to skip the staples or if you are making a bow too large or too small to staple.

Staple into the middle of the bow. Be careful not to smash the bow when you staple them. 

Take a 2" section and stick it to itself with double-sided tape. Then stick double-sided tape to the bottom of the joined circle and stick it down over the staple.

Now that the bow is finished-- it is ready for your special package. ;)

Also- I did find a video tutorial on YouTube from coveredincrafts on how to make gift bows with smaller strips of 1"wide by ~5" long where the pieces are all individual and use more double sided tape. Check it out and try out making all different types of bows for this holiday season!

Here is a previous post on how to make mini enclosure envelopes you can add a small note with your gift.

I love adding mixed paper tape(s) and stickers to add some flair to presents. Paper tapes are quite popular now and they are totally a well needed addition to your supply chest. Here are some awesome ones from Etsy sellers to add to your supply:

Enjoy! The recipient of your pretty gift sure will. ;)  

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