Tuesday, September 8, 2015

DIY Gift Bow

Do you ever go into a shop looking for a gift bow and think to yourself, "Why am I paying $5 or £3 for this silly little thing that someone is gonna rip off and throw away?" If it's one bow, it may seem like no big deal, but if you've got 3 gifts to give on one day, you can spend a fortune on gift wrap and bows that no one will care about at all 3 seconds after seeing it. It doesn't make you cheap if you're nodding your head in agreement right now… Frugal maybe, but not cheap.

I am often faced with this because I'm totally that girl that puts a lot of thought into my gift wrapping. Every year I color coordinate the Christmas presents under the tree and I take a lot of pride in the gifts I give to family, friends, loved ones and hosts or hostesses. I unapologetically want them to look pretty and interesting. I would never judge someone else's gift by its appearance, but I'm not really a sling it in a gift bag and forget about it kind of girl. I'm just not. Raise your hand if you're with me!

I have always loved a good tissue paper poof or flower and I've been making them with my mom since I was knee-high to a duck as they say in the American South. It occurred to me recently when I wanted to spruce up a bottle of wine that I took to a dinner party that I could just make a little bow. It takes only a few minutes, but looks so pretty and I think people appreciate something homemade. It's thoughtful and you put your time into it… Of course they'll love it! 

These little bows are fun and easy to make as well as an affordable way to decorate a gift. I found everything I needed for this project on Amazon, however you can probably find them at any craft store if you have one nearby. 

Here's what you'll need:

5-6 sheets of tissue paper in complementary colors
Florist wire

1. Start by cutting the lengths of tissue paper into strips about 6 inches wide and stack them on top of each other in the color order you prefer. I went darkest to lightest for this one, but you can choose any color combo or order that you like. Also, I find it easiest to cut them all together. You won't use the rest of the tissue paper so you can set it aside for another project or more bow-making later.

2. Start folding the papers all together like an accordion until you've gone the full length. You want the folds to be about an inch or maybe 3/4 of an inch wide. Don't worry about measuring them or making sure they're all perfectly the same size because they won't be, but shoot for that size with each fold.

3. Once they're all folded, secure as tightly as possible with a length of florist wire. You want the wire to be long enough to have some slack at the end as this is what you'll use to attach the bow to the gift later.

4. When it's tight enough and fully secure, start fanning out the accordion.

5. Once it's all fanned out, very gently start from the middle and easily pull up the pieces of tissue paper one at at time, layer by layer.

It will look messy at first, but that's okay.

It also gets more difficult towards the last layers, so don't try to pull them up as far as the first couple of layers.

6. When all of the layers have been pulled apart, scrunch and bunch where necessary to make sure the bow is tidy and full all over. If you are using it for a boxed gift, trim the wire and simply tape it to the present. If you're using it for a bottle, use the wire slack to make a loop around the neck of the bottle and tuck the slack so that it doesn't cut anyone. Secure it and trim the slack. 

And there you have it… Easy peasy homemade gift bows. They're homemade, thoughtful and super pretty! Who wouldn't love a gift with a gorgeous poof on top?

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