How to make amazing wallpaper bows

Make perfect bows every time with this amazing bow tutorial. read more

To celebrate #NationalBowDay we enlisted the help of amazing paper engineer and paper cut designer Sarah Matthews. Learn how to make amazing bows of all shapes and sizes from your leftover paper and wallpaper scraps. For this tutorial Sarah used our wallpapers in the designs: Waxham Dark SeasprayHeacham Stripe Dark SeasprayPussy Willow Off White/MidnightPussy Willow Midnight Floral, and Montague Midnight. Our Midnight Seaspray Paint was also used.

nice

If you’re after a quick, simple way to turn your paper scraps and wallpaper off-cuts into something with real wow factor, this is the ideal project for you. These paper bows add a playful finishing touch to any paper project or a dose of colour and fun around your home. Attach them to a blank folded card to make a special handmade greeting, use them as gift toppers to take your wrapping to the next level, attach a cocktail stick to make an adorable cake topper or display them around your home, adorning plant pots, picture frames, storage boxes – the possibilities really are endless!

These bows are they are deceptively easy to make, but give such a big impact and the template pieces can be mixed and matched to suit your project, making the bows as simple or elaborate as you would like.

There are eight templates – four loops (straight, curved, narrow and twisted), three tails (straight, curved and narrow) and one centre, which can be combined in countless ways to create different looks. The tutorial explains the basic techniques, which you can then apply to any combination of the pieces to make your bow!

LA Materials

Materials and Tools

Templates (see at the end of the blog post)
Paper (wallpaper offcuts are ideal)
Scissors
Pencil
Bone folder (if you don’t have one, you can substitute a ruler or the blade of your scissors – be careful not to cut yourself if you opt for scissors)
Glue (either tacky glue or a hot glue gun)
Optional: Paint (left over emulsion is great)
Optional: Small pegs or clips to hold the paper in place while glue dries

nice1

Instructions

To make the ‘loop’ part of the bow, for all options except the ‘twisted’ loop:

1. Curve the piece with a bone folder, using the same technique as curling ribbon with scissors. To do this, hold the paper piece right-side up (this only applies if you are using a paper with a front and a back), with the bone folder underneath in the position shown and your thumb pressing down on top of the paper. Turn the bone folder to slight angle, then run it along the underside of the paper from the centre to the end, keeping your thumb pressed on top. Rotate the piece 180 degrees and repeat from the centre to the other end.

LA Loop 1

2. Apply a small amount of glue to the back of one end and press it onto the back of the centre, then repeat with the other end.

LA Loop 2

To make the ‘twisted’ loop:

1. Curve the two parallel edges with a bone folder, using the same technique as curling ribbon with scissors. To do this, hold the paper piece front-side up (this only applies if you are using a paper with a front and a back), with the bone folder underneath in the position shown and your thumb pressing down on top of the paper. Turn the bone folder to slight angle, then run it along the underside of the edge of the paper, keeping your thumb pressed on top. I find it easiest to do it in two sections – from the centre to the corner, then rotate the piece 180 degrees and curve the from the centre to the other corner. Repeat with the parallel edge.

LA Twisted loop 1a LA Twisted loop 1b

2. Turn the piece upside down, so that the corners are pointing upwards. Apply a dot of glue to the backs of the two corners on one half of the piece, then bring them both to the centre of the piece as shown. Hold in place while the glue dries, either with your fingers or a small peg/clip.

LA Twisted loop 2

3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining two corners.

LA Twisted loop 3

To attach the ‘loop’ to the ‘tail’, using the ‘centre’ piece:

1. Turn the loop piece upside down and apply a small amount of glue to the back, then turn it back over and press onto the centre of the tail piece.

LA Tail 1

2. Curve the centre piece, running the bone folder along the back from one short end to the other.

LA Tail 2

3. Apply a small amount of glue to the back of one short end of the centre piece and fix behind the centre of the loop and tail, pointing upwards, then apply glue the back of the other end, loop the piece around the front of the bow, then attach to the back. I like to not pull it too tightly, leaving the piece curved over the front of the bow with a gap underneath, rather than pulling it flat.

LA Tail 3

Gluing Tip: If you’re using tacky glue, you may want to use a small peg or clip to hold it in place while the glue dries, whereas hot glue from the glue gun dries quickly so you wouldn’t need to do so if using this.

nice4

Optional: To tie the bows in with your décor, you can paint the paper using left over emulsion before cutting out the pieces. I painted the back of a coordinating wallpaper with Laura Ashley Midnight Seaspray paint, so that flashes of the wallpaper pattern are visible on the finished bow.

Herotime

Different bows designs

Using the principles above you can create a number of stunning bow designs, perfect for any occasion.

nice5

Guide to template pieces used in grid photograph:

Top Row

1. Straight loop, curved tail, centre
2. Twisted loop, straight tail, centre
3. Straight loop x2 (curve and glue each individually and then glue one on top of the other), curved tail, centre
4. Twisted loop, narrow tail, centre

Second Row

1. Straight loop x2 (curve and glue each individually and then glue one on top of the other), straight tail, centre
2. Curved loop x2 (curve each, then glue the middle points one on top of the other at 180 degrees to each other, then glue the loose ends onto the back), curved tail, centre
3. Narrow loop x3 (curve and glue each individually, then curve and glue the centre on one. Glue middle points on top of one another), narrow tail x2, centre
4. Straight loop, centre

Third Row

1. Narrow loop x2 (curve each, then glue the middle points one on top of the other at angle shown, then glue the loose ends onto the back), curved tail, centre
2. Narrow loop, narrow tail, centre
3. Narrow loop, straight tail, centre
4. Narrow loop x2 (curve each, then glue the middle points one on top of the other at angle shown, then glue the loose ends onto the back), narrow tail, centre

Bottom Row

1. Curved loop, curved tail, centre
2. Narrow loop x2 (curve each, then glue the middle points one on top of the other at angle shown, then glue the loose ends onto the back), straight tail, centre
3. Straight loop x2 (curve and glue each individually, then curve and glue the centre on one. Glue middle points on top of one another)
4. Straight loop, straight tail, centre

Bow Templates

Template 1:
Laura Ashley Bow Templates

Template 2:
Laura Ashley Bow Templates

This post was created in collaboration with Sarah Matthews of Sarah Louise Matthews using our wallpaper samples and paint.

Are you keen to try your hand at making some of these bow creations? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave us a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *