How to Make a Bow with Pro Bow the Hand
Still struggle with making a bow by hand? Are you like me, suffering from sore and stiff hands that limit your ability to handle the ribbon while making a bow? Do you have small children and frequently get interrupted, needing to start your bow over from the start? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then learning how to make a bow with Pro Bow the Hand could be a lifesaver!
Pro Bow the Hand was developed by floral expert and wreath designer, Regina Sellers. Having a florist shop and making many bows daily, she needed to come up with a method for making bows that would be easier on her aching hands. Thank goodness she did!!! I love my Pro Bow! Even though I am very comfortable making a bow by hand, I still use my Pro Bow pretty frequently. Mostly, I use it when I am needing to make several bows, or if it is necessary that the bows are exactly the same size and shape. I also feel like one can make a more “formal” bow with the Pro Bow.
That being said, there is a learning curve when starting to use the Pro Bow. Being patient is KEY ! For me, I watched Regina’s tutorials over and over, only to fail time after time. Then…all of the sudden it clicked! I promise with practice YOU CAN make designer quality bows with the Pro Bow. Once I got comfortable with it, I wondered how I had gotten by without it!!!
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- Pro Bow the Hand– If you are considering buying the Pro Bow, the large will be sufficient for most bows you make. The “ultimate” would only be required for making very large bows, to use on a gifted car for example.
- Wired ribbon of choice– I recommend using only one or two ribbons to start. The ribbon must be wired. Trying to make a bow with unwired ribbon will doom you to failure. Look for ribbon the has a fair amount of body, like a quality canvas ribbon. However, try to avoid ribbon that is too stiff as well, especially when learning the Pro Bow. If the ribbon is too stiff it will be difficult to pinch tightly. Also, do not try using heavily glittered ribbon till you get comfortable with the Pro Bow.
- 26 gauge floral wire– You will need two pieces wire, 26 inches long each . I like to use this gauge wire for my wreath bows because it is easy to twist but still offers strength to the bow center. Be careful not to twist too many times…It can break, forcing you to start all over! If I am making a larger bow, such as for a tree topper, I like to use 20 or 22 gauge wire. Remember, the smaller the number, the thicker/heavier the wire.
- Sharp scissors
- Wire cutters
- Bow Fluffing box (highly recommended, but optional)
Step by Step Instructions
Please watch the video below. Maybe have the instructions by your side and stopping to read as you need. It would be very hard to imagine the bow making steps without the video, IMO. The video shows how to make two bows, one everyday and one patriotic.
- Place the Pro Bow centered in front of you
- Cut two 26 inch pieces of floral wire. I like to fold in half before setting one piece aside.
- Place your ribbon on the spools/holder. If using more than one ribbon, decide which order you will be using your ribbon. Keep in mind that you will be working from the top loop to the bottom loops.
- Measure the length of ribbon tail you desire. I always measure longer than I think I will want. I wait till later to trim. However, this first loop will be on top, so the tail should be a bit shorter.
- Pinch the ribbon in the place you are going to wrap the wire. This will be the center point of your bow. Wrap the floral wire tightly around this point. I usually go around two times.
- Holding the wire to the base of the center peg, loop the ribbon around the peg directly in front (the center peg of the arc. Next, bring the ribbon back to the center peg.
- Now, pinch the ribbon together and wrap the wire around it. Pull the wire tight.
- Take one piece of wire (I use the left handed end) and wrap around the top of the center peg. Take the other wire end below. There’s a little nail that sticks out on the bottom of the board. Wrap the wire around the nail several times. Tuck the remainder of the wire underneath the board, out of your way.
- Now that the ribbon is secured to the board, you can let go of it if you need. At this point, any interruptions or whatever, you can take care of it without losing your place. How cool is that?
- Next, to start with remainder of the bow loops, wrap the ribbon around the closest peg to the center. Bring it to the center again and pinch the ribbon together.
- Tightly twist the ribbon while holding near the center. The twist is going to give you two things. One, it is going to give you more body to your bow loop. Two, if your ribbon only has a pattern on one side, the twist will place the pattern on the correct side of the bow when finished.
- Now that we’ve twisted the ribbon, bring it around the next peg on the other side of the middle peg.
- Bring the ribbon again to the center. Pinch it and put it directly on top of that previous twist. Twist it again.
- Now you are going to need the second piece of wire. Slide the second piece of wire down and inside the center loop. Bring it all the way down to the bottom and bring it out of the right side of the center peg. Tighten the wire and twist ONLY once.
- Here you can cut the ribbon to leave a tail, if using more than one. If using one ribbon, keep going in the same pattern, moving outward from the center peg each time. Remember to twist the ribbon each time you come to the center. Also, it’s very important that the twist is right on top of the other. If not, your bow center is going to be messed up when you are done.
- If using more than one ribbon, pinch the ribbon and place on top of the twisted wire and twist wire around the pinched piece of ribbon.
- Continue this same pattern until you have the size bow you want. Once complete, bring the ribbon to the center and twist, securing the final loop. At the same time, unwrap the wire from the top peg and then the nail on the bottom. Tie the wire tightly around the bow center. Avoid twisting too much or your wire will break.
- Now you need to fluff your bow. For that I’ve got a “fluffing box”. I held off buying this for a long time, thinking it was an extra I could do without. I finally made the plunge and bought one. It really does allow you to make a better bow and it’s so much easier to fluff them. Regina Sellers has them available on her site for purchase. It is a very heavy box with an eye hook in the center and a little nail to one side.
- Place the bow center at the eye hook and snag the wire underneath the hook. Next, take the tail end of the wire and wrap around the nail. Now you’ve got both hands free to work with your bow.
- Starting with the bottom loops, separate the bow loops. If you used more than one ribbon, try to place them into alternating patterns. Your bow will look better if you don’t have two of the same ribbons right next to each other.
- When fluffing the bow, place your fingers on the inside of the bow loop and expand, stretching the ribbon loop open. If you only tug the loops out straight, you will have a flat bow. Get in there and open it up, making the loop nice and rounded.
- Work your way upward on the bow. Don’t be afraid…You can “manhandle” the ribbon if you need. Pull the ribbon loops apart, fluffing and twisting as you go.
- Just like that…You’ve got a beautiful bow!
How to Make a Bow with Pro Bow the Hand
Don’t let fear and intimidation keep you from creating beautiful designs! I am certain with patience and perseverance YOU CAN find a way to make beautiful bows. If you are unsure you want to invest time or money in learning to make a bow with the Pro Bow, there are other bow tutorials here and here my on my blog that should be of help.
If you have any questions, please use the comments below. I will try to help as best I can.
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