How to make a Tutu Hairbow Holder
Free Tutorial and Step by Step Instructions
One thing you may not know about me is that I started out in the big online worked of entrepreneurship as a crafter. I know its funny considering I don’t do a ton of terribly crafty things on MomDot (and really should), but I must admit that I create sparkle, tulle, and shine on every self made project I touch. My very first tutorial here on MomDot was something simple: How to make a tutu.
I owned a little online business for a few years and sold tutu hair bow holders, handmade, to fussy and frilly mommies like me. I had a wonderful clientele, repeat customers, and still get requests (actually I got one today) to make bowholders. Because they take so long, I eventually stopped making them to focus more on family. Ironically I spend just as much time blogging, but at least my clothes do not drop glitter anymore.
For the longest time when I left crafting I didn’t want to share how to make bowholders, because I never knew if I was going to some day go back to my business. I have a really special place in my heart for them and it nearly hurts to write this post, but I am not going to start ever again and want to be able to pass on my old clients, friends, family, and others out there that either love to craft and create or are looking for an online business, a little knowledge from an old pro.
This post on bowholders is going to be so long I am going to break it up into a few different posts. Otherwise the pictures will be out of control and hard to follow. Links to the next post will be at the bottom of each post and connected together.
First, you need some stuff. You have to decide if you want to make a big or small holder and that will determine how much tulle, batting, ribbon, and fabric you need, but for this purpose I am going to showcase a “small” tutu bow holder so we are going to go with that.If you need larger, please double this order below and also note that I have been doing this so long I just cut on instinct.
I may have overestimated a little bit of the ribbon to give you some leg room on mistakes.
How to make a bow holder
- glue gun/hot glue
- VERY GOOD scissors
- fray check
- 3/4 yard fabric
- 1/2 yard batting
- 1/3 yard felt or 9 x 12 square piece of felt (they come precut)
- 6 yards of tulle
- 1 1/2 double faced satin ribbon, approx 1 yard
- 1/8 inch roll of ribbon (you can buy in a spool for 99 cent)
- 3/4 inch gross grain, 3 yards (do not cheap out here, get the really good stuff)
- cardboard box or foam board
- straight razor
- embellishments like flowers, spray glitter, rhinestones, etc.
1) First thing you have to do is to decide on a design. Sometimes wandering up and down the fabric aisle will help you on the right direction. Be careful not to get too enamored with stiff fabrics. Cotton or flannel works best. Note that flannel is more pliable but can fray quickly, so heed the warning on fray check!
Here are a few of my past designs to get your juices flowing:
For this tutorial, I am not adding wings. I just didn’t have any matching ones laying around. If you want to do wings, you can get them from Hobby Lobby in the birthday party section or order from Halo Heaven. Those are the two places I purchased my wings.
2) You need to create yourself a pattern for the bodice. The easiest way to do this is to take a sheet of paper, fold in half, and draw out the arms and dress. Then cut and unfold. I have experimented over time on different body types and this is my favorite. Doing it on the paper will ensure that your bodice is symmetrical.
3) Take your pattern and lay on either your foam board or your piece of cardboard. Trace out TWO pieces. Then use a straight edged razor to cut out. Be very careful!
Hot glue both pieces together so they are very strong. I personally have always used cardboard (thin tough kinds), because it’s soft if the piece ever falls off the wall but is VERY strong and durable. If you only use one piece your bodice is more likely to bed over time, so make sure you do two. If you use a piece of scrap cardboard, make sure that any picture/words face INSIDE. The brown of the cardboard should always be your “top”.
4) Once your pattern is cut and two pieces glued together, lay on your batting. I always use THIN batting. If you are making more than one, you can buy a piece of batting for quilting for about $12 at walmart. Its enough batting to make about 25 bow holders or more. Otherwise you can buy buy the 1/2 yard at places like Hobby Lobby.
Hot glue the FRONT of your bowholder to the batting.
Then cut out the excess and do it again so its doubled.
5) The next thing we are going to do is place the fabric. When you are picking out a fabric, its important to look at the pattern. Some fabrics look weird if pieces of it are missing when you cut, so make sure you find the part of the fabric that you want showing and cut a large enough piece that you can center your bodice. I wanted the little pink bird on mine, so I am cutting my fabric around that.
Place your bodice over the part of fabric you want and cut into a square around, leaving a few inches around the entire piece. Then, once centered, cut the pattern of the fabric to the bodice, leaving about 1 inch on all sides. If you are in doubt, leave extra material.
You can always cut some off, but you cannot add it back in if its too short!
6) This is one of the tricky parts. To get the fabric to lay flat and be easily bendable, you are going to need to cut little slits up and down. If you do it too close to the bodice, your seam will split to the front. If you do it too far, it will crease the fabric. Your best bet is to start in the middle and cut and do little cuts up and down, stopping just short of your shoulders and the bottom of the bodice. Before doing the other side, go ahead and place your hot glue on the cardboard and then start IN THE MIDDLE and pull and stick, pull and stick. All the way up and then down. Then reverse and do the other side. Make sure you pull taut enough to keep creases from the front.
*Note: You can pull most fabric creases out from the bottom, so dont stress if you have some at this point.
FRAY CHECK! FRAY CHECK! FRAY CHECK!
Fray check your slits on the backside to prevent them from ever ripping to the front.
7) Now cut the slits for the neckline. These are probably the most difficult thing to do in the entire craft. If you cut these too long, it WILL bleed to the front. But at the same time, its a really close call. If you leave too much fabric it gets all bunchy, so its something that will come with time and practice. Also, because you are working quickly here, you have more of a chance to hot glue your fingers at this point. HA!
FRAY CHECK FRAY CHECK FRAY CHECK
8) Fold the inside of the shoulder in, and then the outside. I generally fold in, but if you have too much excess fabric you can cut and then fold. Glue down.
Note: I always use the fold to go along the seam of the cut to clean them up and help with nice finishing work. You can see on the picture below on the “inside” that I have folded it along the edge of the neckline cuts. The more care you take during the craft, the nicer it will be in the end.
9) The last part of the bodice is to pull the bottom. By now all your sides, top and shoulder should be done. Flip to the front and then pull your fabric tight. If you have any creases in the front, this is where you can pull them out. Then glue down in the back.
10) I will be the first to admit that I didn’t take ultra care on my creases….I knew I was putting embellishments on that would cover any additional ones, but I still highly recommend taking care during the process, SPECIFICALLY if you are selling an item.
To continue your bowholder making, there are other links! The post got too long so I had to break it up.
You get to add your skirt next!
- How to make a tutu hairbow holder (step #1, this post/bodice)
- Free Tutu Hairbow holder Tutorial (step #2, skirt)
- Tutu Hairbow Holder Instructions (step #3, back and detailed work)
- How to make a tutu (completely different tutorial so when you are done with this one!)
Cannot wait to hear your feedback!