Recycled Crafts: How to Make Paper Bows

November 16, 2012 at 10:30 am 3 comments

The holidays are going to be here soon, and now is a great time to get started on gifts and gift wrapping! We don’t normally think about it, but modern day gift wrapping such as ribbons and bows are made for that one purpose and then usually sent to the landfill. A greener alternative that’s also easier on your budget is repurposing paper from books, old maps and other scraps that might be thrown away otherwise. This also helps give a more personal touch to gifts!



scrap paper from old books, magazines or maps

hot glue gun or Elmer’s glue

Step 1:

Start by cutting 16 strips of papers, each measuring about 3″ long and 1/2″ wide.

Step 1

Step 2:

Using either a hot glue gun or Elmer’s glue (we used hot glue) take one end of a strip and curl it to where it makes a loop, as shown in the picture. Glue end in place. Take 7 more strips and make the same loop.

Step 2

Step 3:

Now take these 8 strips and arrange them in a circle, gluing them together in the center as shown.

Step 3

Step 4:

Now that the first circle of loops complete, it’s time to start on the second circle. Take the other 8 strips and make a slightly more elongated loop. To achieve this, you simply glue the end a little further down along the paper strip, so that these 8 strips can fit in the second row of your bow. Arrange them in between the first circle of loops and glue each one in place in the center.

 Step 4

Step 5:

Now cut 5 paper strips measuring 1 1/2″ long by 1/2″ wide for the final inner circle and center. Take 4 of these and make loops in the end, and set the fifth strip aside. Arrange them in the center and glue each in place.

Step 5

Step 6:

Now for the center of the bow! Take the paper strip from the previous step and glue it into a cylindrical shape. Add a bit of glue on the outside of the seam and press it into place at the center of the bow.

Step 6

Step 7:

Now for the finishing touches. Cut out two longer strips of paper for the tails. At one end, cut out a triangle shape as shown.

Step 7

Step 8:

Put a dab of glue at the top of each strip and attach to the middle part of the bow’s backside. Voila! You now have a gift-worthy bow.

Step 8

Thanks for reading, and check back on Fridays for more upcycled craft tutorials!


Entry filed under: Crafts. Tags: , , .

Donating to Recycled Reads We’re thankful for you.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. isobelhigley  |  November 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I do this with newspaper but maps are a great idea.

    • 2. recycreads  |  November 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      We’re lucky to get so many maps that have been taken out of circulation at the library. Newspaper is cool, but oh so fragile! Any tips?

      • 3. isobelhigley  |  November 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        Try coating it in PVA or mount the news paper on card.
        Magazine covers can also be used as they are slightly thicker and make for very colourful bows.

        Next time I come across an unwanted map I am defiantly making these!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 118 other followers

Comments? Suggestions?

Send us an e-mail

or call the store: (512) 323-5123

Our hours:

  • Thursday - Sunday
  • 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Our address:

Follow us on Facebook

Other Austin Public Library links:

%d bloggers like this: