How to Make a Quilted Ornament Bow Top

I love autumn, but on the other hand I’m always sad to see summer go.  It’s definitely a busy time and even though the days are longer, they never seem long enough!  But the ending of summer and beginning of fall and winter means that the holiday season is rapidly approaching.  Time to get out my fabrics, ribbons and what nots and start creating ornaments again.  My mind hasn’t ever really stopped thinking of new ideas, but finally I have some time to start putting them together!

 I know that a lot of quilted ornament fans are purchasing patterns, fabrics and ribbons and learning to create their own Christmas (and other holiday) decorations. Those handmade creations will be wonderful family keepsakes for many years. The possibilities and variations are endless and the satisfaction of having made your own creations is priceless!

One of the things that I really struggled with when I began making quilted ornaments was how to make a nice bow for the top. Some of my earlier attempts were pretty pathetic – or it took longer to make the bow than to make the whole ornament! As I worked with them I finally came up with a way to make my bows which is quick and simple and they turn out nearly perfect every time. I thought I’d share my method for making a two layer bow with you and hope that it will help you.

I have found that the best ribbon for making the bows is 3/8″ width ribbon. Once you learn the method, though, you will be able to use other widths which can add a nice variety to your toppers.

I begin with two rectangles made out of stiff plastic or cardboard – whatever you have on hand. I’m using cardstock here, so that I can make marks to show you how to place your ribbon around the rectangle, but you may want to use something a little more durable so that it can be used over and over. (see all photos below)

The first piece (for the bottom half of the bow) is 2 1/2″ high and about 3″ wide and the other (for the top half of the bow is 2 1/4″ high and also about 3″ wide (see example below). You will need a 23″ piece of ribbon for the larger bow and 21″ for the smaller bow.

I have made a mark to show the center of the width of the template. Place the end of your ribbon about ¼” below the center mark as shown in the picture and wrap the ribbon around the cardboard 4 times holding the end in place with your thumb. When you come up with the 4th wrap, move your thumb up to hold all 4 wraps against the cardboard and cut the end off ¼” ABOVE the center mark on the cardboard. That way you have about a 1/2″ lap of the beginning of the ribbon and the end.

Slide this wrapped ribbon carefully off the end of the card board holding all 4 wraps between your finger and your thumb. See picture. Once it is off you will need to hold all strands together as shown. Making sure you catch both ends of the ribbon, push a pin thru all 8 layers of the ribbon as close to the center as possible.

Now you can push the pin into the top center of your quilted ornament and then fan out each side of the bow.

Using the smaller cardboard template, make another bow to place exactly on top of the first one . Fan it out, adjust the loops to your satisfaction and you have a nice, perfect bow for your ornament. Make a loop with a 6″ piece of ribbon and attach it to the ornament with a ball topped pin.

**Note**  To make this bow for the Wired Ribbon Pinecone Ornament, adjust the size by making the height of the first template 2 1/4″ and the second template 2″. 






































If you would like a printable file of this tutorial, please contact me at the link to the right and I will email the complete tutorial to you. 

For some ideas on making different bows and using different materials, be sure and check out all of my ornament creations available at:

Copyright © 2012 by Darlene Anderson

All rights reserved. No part of this pattern or illustrations may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying.


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