DIY Ghost Bow

Little girls and hair bows go together like biscuits & gravy…sorry I’m hungry and that was the first thing that came to mind!

For Lily’s costume I thought about attaching a bow to her costume and I knew that I wanted some kind festive bow for her hair. I thought it would be easy enough to complete during her nap. FOUR hours later I finally finished her hair bow and gave up on making other bows for the rest of her costume.

First let me tell you that I am horrible at tying bows. Usually one loop is much bigger than the other.

And for all you perfectionists (usually I consider myself one) and regular bow makers I know that the ends are a little frayed in my pictures…after four hours I could care less about those ends! In the future hopefully it won’t take me so long now that I’ve had four hours of training.

The hardest part was making the actual ghost. Mike said he lost track of the deep sighs (more like grunts) I made every time I messed up. The ghost has several pieces of ribbon and if each one is not glued right, you have to start all over!

The ghost bow is all over Etsy and I foolishly attempted to make it by myself instead of search the web for a tutorial. Hopefully these steps will help a beginner bow maker. At least I can laugh about it now and have a great story to tell Lily when she gets older.

To make the bottom bows you will need following:

19 inches of 1 ½ inch black ribbon
15 inches of  7/8 inch black gingham ribbon
1 inch 3/8 inch black ribbon
White cloth stem wire (found at Joann’s near jewelry and floral dept.)
1.25 inch hair clip
Hot glue gun
Fray Check (found at Joann’s near sewing, keeps the ends of the ribbon from fraying)

1. Take the 1 ½ inch black ribbon and fold the ends over each other (see top left corner of picture).

2. Gather and pinch the center of the ribbon to create the shape of the bow. Wrap the middle with the stem wire (you can use jewelry wire too!) to hold the bow in place.

3. Repeat these steps for the smaller black gingham bow.

4. Apply Fray Check to this ends of the bows to keep them from fraying.

5. Place the gingham bow over the back bow and secure them together with the stem wire.

6. Take the 1 inch black 3/8 ribbon and wrap it around the middle to cover the wires and secure it with hot glue. Trim off excess ribbon.

7. Use your hot glue gun to attach the hair clip to the back of the bow.

8. Once you have your ghost completed you will attach it to the middle of the bow with hot glue.

Making the above bows was simple and fast….the ghost is where I had issues and where the majority of the 4 hours was spent!!! For the ghost you will need the following:

3 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon
5 1/2 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon (make v-cut to the ends)
3 pieces of 3 to 4 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon (make v-cut to the ends)
Hot glue
Black puffy paint (or small googly eyes to be funny!)
Fray Check

Before starting make sure you make the small v-cuts to the pieces of ribbon I listed above and apply Fray Check to the ends of the ribbons to keep them from fraying.

1. Take the 3 inch long piece and lay it down and then take your 5 ½ inch long piece and create an upside down “U”, then use your hot glue gun to secure them together like in the picture. Make sure that the bottom pieces of the “u” ribbon are evenly lined up! FYI the above picture is actually wrong, you want the 3 inch piece to be glued BEHIND the “u” shaped piece!!! This picture just so happened to be one of the many I messed up and of course I didn’t take a picture of the correct way!

2. You will need to flatten out the top of the “u” by using a small amount of hot glue under the crease.

3. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the middle of the ribbon and start to attach the 3 remaining pieces of white ribbon. Remember to keep the bottom pieces of the ribbon even. Do not worry about the top of each piece sticking out over!

4. Once the three pieces are glued to the middle, bend the top of the three pieces back and add a small dallop of hot glue to the top of the “u” and lay the threes pieces back down so they are full attached. Carefully trim the top of all three ribbons back as close to the glue as possible so that they are no longer stick over. You will be attaching a mini bow to the top of the ghost so don’t worry about how it looks!

5. Turn the ghost over and glue back the perpendicular ribbon. You can trim each side off, but I think it looks cleaner to just fold the edges back and secure with hot glue.

6. Turn the ghost over and hot glue the mini bow on top of the ghost (tutorial below) and use black puffy paint to create the eyes and mouth!

I love this little ghost… Thank goodness I only had to make one of ’em! To make the ghost’s mini bow you will need the following (btw I used this tutorial to make this mini bow- I decided to search the web for help after the ghost project above):

Any kind of 3/8 inch ribbon. I scored the orange “boo” ribbon for $.99 at Michaels. You can use as much as you want for the desired length you want the ribbon to hang. I used about 5 inches.
Black thread (or any other color you want to match your ribbon)
Large fork
2 clips (you can used bobby pins, wooden clothes pin or even paper clip!)

1. Place your fork down and lay your ribbon down behind it (if you have a design have it facing down).

2. Fold the ribbon over the edge of the fork and secure it with your clip.

3. Fold the other side of the ribbon over the other side of the fork and secure with clip.

4. Thread your black thread through the middle and wrap it loosely around the middle several times.

5. Turn the fork upside down and slowly start to pull the thread tight as it begins to bunch the ribbon to create the bow. Tie the thread in a knot and trim off the excess thread.

6. Trim the ends of the bow to the desired length and slowly pull the bow off the fork.

7. Glue the mini bow on your ghost. To add more sparkle you could glue a small rhinestone to the middle of this bow!

And there you go! I hope I haven’t scared off anyone from attempting to make this. Because I am a perfectionist this took me much longer. Lately Lily has been taking her bows out of her hair and I was surprised that she actually kept it in. I know it’s because she was having way to much fun sucking on a mini bag of M&M’s while hanging out with her buddy Brady Ley, who was dressed up as Elmo…her favorite!

Great thing about the bow…she can use it every Halloween…so the four hours was worth it!

View Comments
  1. Elizabeth commented:
    October 29, 2012 Reply

    Oh, Amy! That is darling!!! I love it!!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      October 31, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth!!! I just hope Lily keeps the bows in so she will like them when she gets older like your cutie!

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