Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tutorial: Cheerleader Bow

This style of bow is my most-requested product for cheer teams. It's perky, easy to make, and the material combinations are endless! I usually make mine from polyester satin fabric and polyester ribbon, but you can use pretty much anything you'd like. So, gimme a B-O-W and what does that spell? Cuteness!

Cheerleader Bow

12x5" piece of fabric
12" piece of ribbon (any width)
3" piece of ribbon or fabric (for bow center)
Fusible webbing (I use Heat 'n Bond Extra Strength )
Wire (24-28 gauge)
Hair elastic or alligator clip
Glue gin and glue
Fray Check Solution, wood burning tool, or clear nail polish
Iron and ironing board

1. Cut three pieces of wire about six inches long. Bend each wire in half to look like a hairpin. Set them aside and iron your fabric piece so it's nice and smooth.

2. Use a ruler to cut a 2.25x12" piece of fusible webbing. Lay your fabric piece on the ironing board face down and place the strip of webbing right down the middle.

Iron it down (use the dry heat setting for your fabric. Since I used satin, my iron wasn't very hot) And let the fabric cool. Remove paper backing from webbing.

3. Carefully fold one edge of your fabric toward the center of the webbing strip. Iron it down, but be sure that your iron doesn't touch any exposed webbing. If it does, you'll have a gooey mess all over your iron (I learned the hard way...not fun). Repeat on both sides of fabric.

4. Cut a strip of fusible webbing that is 12 inches long and slightly narrower than your ribbon. Iron it to the back of the ribbon and let it cool. Peel off paper backing.

5. Place your ironed fabric piece seam side up on the ironing board. Position your ribbon on top of your seam and iron down.

After it cools, trim off any extra threads. Cut the whole stack half, so you end up with two 6-inch pieces.

6. Grab those hairpins you made earlier and bend one of them into a hooked shape. If you're using an elastic, slip it onto the hook like this:

Lay it to the side for another minute.

7. Take one of your fabric pieces and fold it in half like a book to gently crease the center. Pinch the edges toward the middle along the center crease and secure it with another one of your wire hairpins.

Make a lark's head knot by slipping the straight ends through the loop.

Use pliers to create leverage to get a nice, tight knot. Wrap the extra wire around the center of the fabric piece in the opposite direction to secure. Repeat with the other fabric piece.

8. Use the last hairpin (with the elastic threaded on it) to tie the bow halves together. Use a lark's head knot again, and gently wiggle the bow streamers to arrange them Nicely while you tighten the knot. Wrap the loose wires around in the opposite direction like before.

9. Put a small blob of hot glue on the front center of the bow. Stick the center of your 3-inch ribbon to the glue and let it dry. If you're using fabric, fold each long side in toward the middle. Glue it to the bow with the raw edges facing under.

Wrap the ends around and hot glue them in the back.

10. Trim off any extra threads or stray pieces. Trim the ends of each streamer into a notch, taking care to even up the length. Apply Fray Check or clear nail polish tithe cut ends to prevent fraying (or melt the edges carefully with a wood burning tool).

Ta da! You're all done. Now pull up your hair into a high ponytail and rock your cute new bow with a head nod and spirit fingers.

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