Make Your Own Bows

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A couple weeks ago I wrote a post on gift giving, and I mentioned how great it is to wrap the things that you’re giving. To give you some ideas and inspiration, I’ll do a few posts about creative ways to wrap gifts.

Bows are a no-brainer when it comes to wrapping. Everything looks more polished when it’s topped with a bow (or two or three). It’s easy and fun to make your own.

This easy DIY doesn’t require very many materials, but still feels special and creative. It also helps use up those pesky bills and junk mail envelopes, so you can recycle and be kind to the environment while celebrating the holiday season.

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You’ll need:

  • junk mail envelopes (one envelope makes one small bow)
  • scissors
  • good quality paper/craft glue (I like the Scotch quick-dry adhesive because it’s strong and dries really fast, but any craft glue will do, even Elmer’s)

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Open up the envelope and cut strips. You can then cut the strips in half to make a small bow or leave them long. I found that trimming the reinforced ends made it easier to fold.

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Create the distinctive triangle shapes by taking one end of the paper (printed side down) and curling it at an angle so that the printed side touches the blank side, making a triangle. Put a small dot of glue down and hold until it’s secure.

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Do the same thing on the opposite side, curling the paper in the opposite direction. This is the most difficult part, but once you do it a few times, it becomes much easier.

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Repeat this process with all the strips.

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Begin to layer the strips. You need at least five, but more will make the shape fuller. You want to layer every two strips in an x-shape with a little glue, and then use the next two to fill the gaps.

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When you like the shape you can either leave it, or use an extra piece of the envelope to create a circle to fill any extra space.

Put it on your present and it’s ready for gifting!

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Variations: Once you know how to make bows, there’ll be no stopping you. You can make bows out of old books, newspaper, magazines, ribbon, fabric, felt, or any kind of paper. If you’re using fabric or ribbon, try using hot glue to hold everything in place. You can also experiment with the width of the paper and see how it affects the final bow.

What are some things you do to be environmentally conscious during the holidays?

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