How To Make and Use a Wooden Bow Maker

Bows are popular adornments for wreaths, crafts and other decorations around your home. And they're a necessity when giving a gift! But bows can be expensive to buy. You can easily make your own bows at home for a fraction of the cost. All you need is a wooden bow maker to make beautiful, trouble-free bows every time. These instructions illustrate how to make and use a wooden bow maker.

Step 1

Gather your materials. In order to create a wooden bow maker, you will need the following:

  • 1 x 4 wooden board
  • Dowels
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

Step 2

Cut the board. To begin, start by cutting your wooden board to 12". Use the sandpaper to sand down the edges. (This prevents splinters during use, and also contributes to a nicer look.) Then, using your measuring tape, find the middle of the board and draw a horizontal line down it.

Mark the center point of the entire board with an ‘X'. Then on either side of it, measure a ½" out and mark that with an ‘X' too. Use a quarter-inch drill bit to drill on each of the two ‘X's you just marked (not the center ‘X'). Don't drill any further than halfway through your board.

Then, measure out 1" increments from each of the ‘X's you just marked (again, not the center ‘X'). Do this along the entire length of the board. Drill holes in each of these places, ensuring that you don't go too deep.

Step 3

Cut the dowel. Next, measure four 3-inch sections along a piece of dowel and then cut them (carefully!) with a hand saw. Try not to splinter the wood by cutting too fast. Sometimes tape around both sides of a cut will prevent this. Sand one edge of each piece of dowel.

Step 4

Insert the dowel into the board. On your wooden board, insert some wood glue into both of the holes directly to either side of the middle ‘X'. Then insert a dowel into each, making sure to push it as far into the hole as it can go with the sanded side up. Once dried, these two dowels will be where you form the center of your bow using ribbon or lace.

 The other holes that you drilled at 1" increments are meant to make your wooden bow maker adjustable. So don't put any glue into these. The remaining two dowel pieces can be placed into any set of holes in order to change the size or length of your bow.

Step 5

Use the wooden bow maker. Your wooden bow maker is now ready to use. Find some ribbon and place it through the center of the two dowels that were glued in place. Then loop it around the other two dowels (which you placed in your desired outer holes). To make a simple bow with two loops on your wooden bow maker, just do this motion once. Tie a piece of wire around the middle of the bow and then remove it from the wooden bow maker. For bigger bows, loop the ribbon around the outside dowels several times. You can now use your wooden bow maker to make any size or type of bow.


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