Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Handmade Gift Bow//Step by Step Instructions

I know most everyone has been thinking about the tragedy in Oklahoma this week. Honestly, I can't imagine what it might feel like to lose every single possession, family photos, treasured notes and cards from my children...that, on top of losing your home. Can't fathom it.
There was a sweet 94-year-old woman from Oklahoma on the news the other day. She had suffered the loss of her home back in the nineties from another tornado, and then a second home this week. This woman was smiling! Her face bore the bright peace and contentedness that accompanies those who have endured the trials of life and come out stronger. With a twinkle in her eyes, she told the reporter that God had been with her the first time, and He was with her now. Period. End of story. That was all she needed. I've been thinking about that all week. How I long for that to be true for me, too.

While I keep those affected by the tornado in my mind and heart, this post is actually about something lighthearted. And to make an easy gift bow! My mother has made these my entire life and I just figured everyone on the planet also knew about them. I guess not! People constantly question me about them at parties and such, so I though I'd share a quick step-by-step so you can make your own gift bow.

This is the perfect way to use up those leftover pieces of wrapping paper! You'll want a good sized square or rectangle since you'll be folding it in half. As you can see, no need to be nice and neat!
I cut through the double layer to make the strips -- you can certainly open the square back up and cut strips individually if you prefer. Be careful not to cut too close to the fold at the top.

Forgive this lousy shot -- the strip of paper should be taut, and it looks pretty slack in the photo. Basically, you're going to hold the top of the strip by the fold with your thumb and index finger (to keep it in place) while you run the edge of the scissor blade down the back side of the paper to form the curl.

The tightness of the curl depends on how tightly you pull the blade down the paper. If there is a lot of tension in the strip as you pull the scissor blade down hard, the curl will be very tight. Loosen up and the curls loosen up. You can see the difference below.

Don't worry about tearing off a strip or two (or five) -- it happens a lot until you get the hang of it. Here it is after you've curled all the paper strips.

Now fold the rectangle in half.

The gift bow will be adorable on its own, but if you want to add a little something, curl some long pieces of craft ribbon, holding onto the center. Staple through all the layers in the center, or place the ribbons on the folded bow and staple through all layers.

Fold the wrapping paper rectangle in half again and secure the ribbons to the center with either tape or a staple.

The last thing to do is fold one more time, enclosing the ribbons in the center. Staple again to secure this last fold (tape works too). And that's it! You did it!

I usually put a piece of tape on one side of the bow to attach it to the gift -- sometimes the bulk makes it a little tricky and you have to play around with it. 
It looks so pretty when you're all done!

Frugal and win!

This bow works well with a taller, vertical gift, too -- cut the trips longer and thinner for a cascading effect!

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Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I love it! I would love for you to link this tutorial for these gift bows to Party In Polka Dots! Your bows and photos are beautiful!


KC Coake said...

Very cute idea! I've never see the idea with cutting the paper before. I really like it.

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