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Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Electrical-Tape Bows

Chloe Lau (aka, Miss Panda), craft contributor, gives a tutorial on her handmade hair bows. She created these bows as gifts for her friends.

I am very excited to be the first guest blogger on Nifty Nest. Lately, I've noticed that bows are everywhere. They are very classic and cute accessories that really complete an outfit. I always look for them, but find them way too pricey for the tiny bit of fabric you get. Most are about $2 to $5 each. Crazy, right? Here is a bow made only from electrical tape! Not only is it a cheap alternative but it is also fun to make and very durable.

These are the supplies you'll need: electrical tape (found at Orchard Supply), bobby pins, and scissors.

Step 1: Cut one piece of electrical tape. A good length is about 2.5 inches, but you can give or take a bit.

Step 2: Cut another piece of tape identical to the first.

Step 3: This is perhaps the trickiest step, so you'll need steady hands and a few tries. Attach the pieces of tape to each other. They should be aligned with the sticky parts facing each other. This will make the bow stronger and more flexible so that it won't crumple when you hold it. Plus, it won't get stuck in your hair. ;)

Step 4: Cut a 3-inch piece of tape lengthwise down the center to make two thin strips.

Step 5: Cut two pieces of tape about 1.5 inches long and stick them together like in Step 3. You now have a small piece and the big piece you made earlier.

Step 6: Center the small piece on top of the big piece. They shouldn't stick together yet. 

Step 7: Keeping the pieces together, pinch the middle to make that bow shape. The tape is very flexible, so it's okay if you make a few mistakes.

Step 8: Remember those thin strips you cut in step 4? Take one and carefully wrap it around the place where you pinched the bow. Keep wrapping until you reach the end of the strip and press down to secure. You can add the second strip on top of it for more strength. This holds the bow together and gives it the "knot." It's also where you'll attach the bobby pin.

Step 9: Attach the bobby pin to the back of the bow. Just slide it right into the "knot."

You're done! You should end up with an adorable bow like this. Most people can't even tell it's homemade. Plus, it won't come apart or unravel because the tape is very sturdy. Experiment with different tape colors and sizes. Duct tape works too, but it's harder to work with. I use these bows for many things other than fashion. I often decorate presents with the bigger bows and put the smaller bows on stuffed animals for ties.


  1. So cute! I made a bunch of these and attached to an electrical tape headband. Several designers used electrical tape in hair in Fall 2012 fashions. Thanks for tutorial!

  2. People commonly see electrical tapes in a plumber or electrician tool kit for home repairs. But after your post, which is cute by the way, they will definitely look at it in a more creative way. They may even discover other use for them! Cheers!

    Lauren Woods @ Adhesive Tapes

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback. Have a BOWtiful day!

  3. For anyone struggling with Step 3, I've discovered an easier way to do it: cut a longer piece of tape and then make a loop with the sticky side on the inside. Then flatten it out. It will look the same and use way less time and tape. Your comments are all appreciated!