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How to make Fabric Bows

how to make a bow

Gifting season is here! And with Gift Wrap Green, generosity doesn’t have to be incompatible with a sustainable lifestyle. In the book, Camille Wilkinson shares tips for how to wow friends and family with beautifully wrapped gifts while minimising waste. Here she shows how to make two different fabric bows.

by Camille Wilkinson

For those occasions when you want something a little less formal than a traditional satin ribbon bow, these two fabric bows are ideal. The burlap bow has a rustic charm and the rag bow brings a touch of shabby chic to your gift wraps. I made mine from an old cotton pillowcase
but a combination of fabric, ribbon and lace could be used.



What you need
Burlap ribbon | Jute, twine or other sturdy thread | Scissors

burlap bow step 1

  1. Lay out a length of burlap ribbon horizontally and, taking the two ends, cross over in front as shown.burlap bow step 2
  2. Pinch the centre of the ribbon to form a bow and secure with a length of jute, twine or any other sturdy thread.



What you need
Old cotton pillowcase | Sturdy coordinating thread | Scissors

  1. Tear five or six long strips of fabric 1.5cm (approx. ½in) wide, working along the grain of an old cotton pillowcase.
  2. Lay out the strips horizontally and leaving all but one strip in place, bring all the loose ends to cross over at the front to form the structure of the bow (see Burlap Bow, step 1). Next, using a length of sturdy coordinating thread, pinch the centre of the loosely formed bow and secure at that point with a single tie. You will have one long length remaining with which to wrap the bow around your gift in step 4.
  3. Adjust the fabric loops to separate and arrange the layers. Once satisfied, pull the tie taut again and complete the knot to hold the bow fast. You may wish to add a button or other embellishment at this point.
  4. Finally, attach to the gift and trim the ends.

gift wrap gree

Find more ideas for sustainable gift wrapping in Gift Wrap Green: Techniques for beautiful, recyclable gift wrapping by Camille Wilkinson. Photograph by Michael Wicks. Illustrations by Georgie McAusland.