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PULL BOWS 101 -
HOW TO MAKE PULL BOWS - CONSTRUCTION AND TECHNIQUE
Learn about pull bow construction and how to make your own pull bows
for gifts, baskets, church pews, baby and bridal showers, wreaths, doors...

 

UNDERSTAND CONSTRUCTION

 

PULL BOWS SHIP FLAT

The common feature of all pull bows is 1 or 2 inner ribbon strings positioned in between two wide ribbons (see figure 1). The function of the strings is to gather the two wide ribbons which automatically form loops when the strings are pulled.

The pull bows come in a great variety of styles and sizes, with sectional or non-sectional construction. They ship and store flat and are reusable.

The most common is sectional construction consisting of a multitude of sections. Each section begins and ends with narrow points (necks) where both wide ribbons and inner strings are gathered and secured with plastic clips (fasteners) or specialty staples. Wide ribbons are positioned  parallel to each other with thin ribbon strings running in between.

Each section forms two loops when the bow is pulled.  For example, if a bow comes with 10 sections, the result is a bow with 20 loops.

Different lengths of sections create different shapes.

Numerous patents for a variety of pull bows were issued throughout the years and new patents are emerging. We sell several patented styles including our patent pending pull bows with two or more layers of ribbon.


P
ull bow measurements explained
using our standard
9" pull bow

 

 


Our 9" pull bows are available with
short or long ribbon and tulle tails.

 

 HOW PULL BOWS ARE MADE?

Pull Bows are factory manufactured using professional equipment and a skilled work force. The output comes either on rolls or is individually assembled and packed. Assembling pull bows is a very labor intensive process and as it happens with many other products that is a major reason why almost all pull bows you see on the market are imported. You can still make pull bows for your personal use by simply copying patterns of those that you purchased or you can follow our instructions.

MAKING VS. FORMING PULL BOWS
Arm yourself with patience as making pull bows is a very time consuming task and should not be confused with forming already made pull bows.

Making a single pull bow will take at least 10-15 minutes of your time.
Forming an already made pull bow will take 10-15 seconds!

We suggest that you use wired edge ribbon or floral satin flat, embossed or metallic ribbon. Don't use fabric satin or any type of soft fabric. Those materials won't hold well this particular type of pull bow. For a large 9" pull bows with long tails, you will need approximately 6 yards of minimum  2-1/2" wide ribbon and the same length of curling ribbons per bow. You will also need tiny florist wire precut in approximately 1" wide pieces. These will substitute for plastic fasteners that are used in professionally made pull bows. For a 20 loop bow, you will need 10x1" wire cuts.           

7 STEPS

1. Fold each 6 yards ribbon strip in half so you'll have 3 yards in each streamer. Let's call "base" the point of folding as that is the only place where the wide ribbon and curling ribbon will be tied to each other. At the base, make two short diagonal cuts on both sides to create the first narrow point as shown in figure 1. Be careful not to separate ribbons when cutting as you won't be able to fix it.

                       

Figure 1                                                           

2. Fold the curling ribbon in half and tie it to the neck of the wide ribbon so that you now have the same length of narrow curling ribbon on both sides.

3. Position wide ribbons parallel to each other and move curling ribbon to the side. Use clothespins or paper clips to secure the wide ribbons together. This will make cutting easier and more accurate.

4. Use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark the length of the sections. The first section should be 8", all others 9" long measuring between the two narrowest points. Keeping accurate measurements and cuts is very important. Making mock-ups will help you with cutting ribbon. You will need 2 mock-ups, one 8" and the other one 9" long (see figures 2 and 3), or you can make one continuous mock up with all 10 sections.  Place mock-ups against the folded ribbon, secure all layers with clothespins and start cutting. 

              
Figure 2, use only for the base                  Figure 3, use for all other sections

5. When you are done with all cutting, move back the two narrow strings and position them parallel to and in between the two wider folded ribbons. Secure both strings and both ribbons together with clothespins and start tying all four at the narrow points using 1" wire cuts. See Figure 4.

Figure 4

6. The wire connection should be left loose to allow the inner strings to run smoothly along the length of the bow, yet the wire should fully and securely encircle both ribbons and strings so that the ribbons do not separate during pulling.

7. Complete tying all 10 narrow points and your bow is now ready for forming - view pull bows instructions

Gently pull the two inner strings all the way to the base and tie them together on the back of the bow. Don't cut off the ribbon strings before making a secure loop.  The loop will prevent the bow from sliding back and disassembling. We actually recommend that you don't cut off ribbon strings at all. Curl them for additional decorating effect or gather with paper clips or elastic bend and hide behind the bow. That way you can always reuse your bow. The ends of the tails can be cut diagonally or "V" shaped like a fish tail.

Use this method to make pew pull bows, Christmas pull bows for gifts, baskets, wreaths, trees Add tulle or organza tails, poinsettias, leaves, roses, beads, pearls, shells, stars, feathers or bells for additional decorating effect.

 09/01/2009 -2011 The pictures and content in this article are the property of GiftWrap Etc., LLC, Artistic Packaging Solutions, PO Box 19064, San Diego, CA 92159 and cannot be copied without authorization.

We hope you'll find this information helpful.  Please contact us with any questions you may have. If you would like to create you own bow style for reselling, we can help you both with designing, manufacturing and logistics.  We have been designing and manufacturing decorative bows for 15 years now, including millions of bows sold through major U.S. retailers.

 

 

 

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