DIY Paper Gift Bows
I’m frugal. And by frugal I really mean ridiculously cheap. Because my work requires it, I buy a lot of craft supplies. And you might or might not know that there are stores that have a 40% off coupon that can be used on one item. Instead of just getting what I need, I’ll stretch it out over days. Or I’ll bring other people with me so that I can get each item at 40% off. I used to drag people around from one to the other and back to them both after a lunch (and shift change) in order to save some dough. That is crazy cheap right there.
So imagine my horror when going to a baby shower when I realized that I spent more money on the gift wrapping than I did the actual present. If you’re like me you’re just gasping right now. That’s pretty darn ridiculous, is it not? But it was one of those things where I didn’t get my invite until late so I had to buy my gift last minute and didn’t really have time to be frugal and price check around like I normally would. I just went and bought a few items on the registry and picked up wrapping while I was there without paying too much attention to just how much that tissue paper cost me.
When I do have the time to be a frugal gift giver I do a lot of DIY wrapping to save cash. Did you know you can really dress up a $1 roll of kraft paper come Christmas wrapping time? Or that you can buy $1 rolls of super cute wrapping paper from Dollar General and sometimes even the buck bins at Target?
But bows are always expensive. Seriously. Check it out and you’ll be amazed that they want $3 for a little bit of paper that just so happens to match what you’ve wrapped a gift in.
And so in defiance today I’m going to teach you how to make your own bows and snub your nose at those high priced pieces of paper that are going straight into the garbage once the gift is opened anyway.
For this project you will need:
- Gift wrap
- Scissors & ruler or Silhouette Cut File
- Glue pen or other adhesive
Okie dokie – first up is gift wrap. For this post I snagged three cute and complementary rolls of gift wrap for a buck apiece Dollar General. Now this paper is a lot thinner than fancy papers but it gets the job done and makes for beautiful bows. FYI – the paper above, for whatever reason kind of tore when I was cutting in my Silhouette Cameo but the other two were just fine. So buy two rolls and use whichever paper cuts the best (or just do two cuts like I did and use the best cut pieces).
If cutting by hand (and there is no shame in that) you’ll need 3 pieces of 3 different sizes for your outer, inner and inside bow sections. For these bows cut pieces to 11.5 inches by 1 inch, 10.5 inches by 1 inch and 9.5 inches by 1 inch. After your first go, you can make them larger or smaller as you choose keeping your strips 1 inch in length shorter than the last. You’ll also need one piece that is 3.5-5 inches by 1 inch for the center loop to fill the bow out.
Take one strip and fold in half to mark the center of the paper.
Take one end and fold toward the center. See how it’s bending like an upside down letter U?
Continue bringing the end to the center to form your first loop. Flip the piece over and repeat for the other side.
And just so you know this does take a bit of practice. So don’t stress if you can’t make the loops perfectly your first go.
Staple the center to hold both loops in place. Continue for the other two strips for the same size.
Combine the three you just folded together by applying tape or adhesive to the center of one loop (by the staple)…
And placing them together like so. Above is my outer and middle portions of the bow ready to go.
Glue those two pieces together making sure to place the loops in the gaps of the loops from the section beneath.
When you have your three layers together, take your smallest piece (3.5-5 inches long) and turn into a loop with the help of your adhesive. Place adhesive on the bottom and jam that business into the gap left in the middle of your bow.
And you have a homemade paper bow all ready to adorn your gifts gorgeously and frugally!
Since I bought three rolls of paper I was able to make 3 different bows to mix and match with wrapped gifts…
I think this combination wound up being my favorite.
But this one was nice, too!
And just to see how things worked out, I tried making a bow with a piece of scrapbookng paper. In the end the bow is much more firm and in place but it’s also a bit more difficult to work with than the thinner paper. Plus the gaps in the bow are much more noticeable. In the end, I loved this pattern but preferred my gift wrap bows best.
And that’s all there is to that! What do you think? Are you going to forgo the expensive bows and make your own next time?