Saturday 22 June 2013

DIY Hair bows - Denim scraps tutorial



Hair clips - $3 for 6

A while back Ali had a small obsession with denim cut-offs. She cut, bleached, studded and ripped many pairs of old jeans, and ended up with lots of left over denim. The picture below is a stack of some of the pants legs left over from her creations. 
Denim is a nice, sturdy fabric and is cheap and easy to find in op shops or hiding, sad and unworn in the back of your closet. 
So this tutorial is the first of a series in which Ali will show you some cute things you can do with an old pair of jeans.


Hair clips/pins/ties


Sewing machine
Needle and thread
Bleach (optional)


Start off by cutting a rectangle of denim the height you want your bow to be, and twice the length. I made two sizes, big ones which were 22x8cm and small ones which were 17x4cm.

Then you can leave your denim plain, or bleach it like I did with some of mine.

For the bleaching you will need:
A bottle of bleach - I use the cheapest stuff I can find, and usually get the lemon scented one in a vain attempt to mask the bleachy smell a bit.
Newspaper, a container and disposable gloves.

First you need to decide what sort of bleach effect you would like. 
Then pour the bleach into the container and place your denim in accordingly. You could dip half in the bleach for an ombre effect, put the whole thing in for a lighter coloured denim, or use scrappy pieces of denim to twist and tie your rectangle with before you place it in the bleach for a tie-dye type effect.

I also painted some of my rectangles, one with polka dots and one with stripes. Just make to use an old paintbrush because the bleach will cause them to disintegrate a bit.

Leave the bleach on for about half an hour, or until you like the look of your denim.
Then pop the rectangle in the wash, or give it a good hand wash with some vinegar first and then soapy water and let it dry.
Then it's time to start making the bow!
Start by folding the two ends into the centre, right sides together as shown below.

Then sew along each side separately.

So you end up with a wee square like this.

Next turn it in the right way through the opening in the middle.

Then pinch it in the middle, folding it until you get the desired bow shape. 

Then hand stitch through the middle to hold the bow in place. Make sure you do lots of loops and stitches so it doesn't pop back open. 

And there you go, you're done! Now you can hand stitch or hot glue a hair clip, bobby pin or hair tie onto the back and you have a super cute wee hair bow, yay!
You can see below that I experimented with lots of different types of bow, from bleach ombre, to spots and stripes. I also stitched some pretty pearl beads which I found in my stash onto a couple too. 

All of these bows can be made from less than one pant leg, and would make adorable gifts with clips of hair ties sewn on the back. 

Happy clipping,

This is Ali's lovely pooch Hunter, looking dapper in his denim bow tie.


  1. What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of DIY hair bows! Check it out here:

    Have a great day!

    1. Oh thank you so much Julia, I'm glad you liked it!

  2. Woow they are soo cute! Great DIY!

  3. What a great idea! I never ever thought to use our old jeans as bows. I have been looking up how to make a bow for a couple of days now. I have yet to have come across something as cute as this. I love the braid with the bow at the bottom. I am sure my daughter would love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. I absolutely love them! I made a few and they came out rly cute. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  5. Awesome DIY project ...can't wait to try it!! Thank for sharing.

  6. A great job you have already done. I’m really delighted to see your amazing work.
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  8. I love the variety and ideas!! You are so creative!! Thank you so much for sharing.

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