Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Recycled Magazine Bows

In continuing with my Greener Holiday Wrapping Theme, I decided to try my hand at recycled magazine bows that look similar traditional bows.

This is one of my later bows; you will see at the end of this post the 12 bows I made and you can tell which ones were earlier ones and which ones came after practice. To be honest, there was a 13th bow, but that very first bow was too awful to not immediately go in the recycling bin. 

The supplies need are minimal, a magazine, scissors, tape & a stapler. You could use a paper cutter if you had one or a brad fastener (if you have some.) I did have a paper cutter, so I decided to use that to help me cut nice straight lines, but I did use a stapler to secure my loops.

I used the directions on Free Kids Crafts and worked from there to make mine. Check out their pictures if you need a better idea of making the loops.

I found it was best to make a loop and place it directly across from another loop, then the second two loops will go perpendicular to the first ones. Then shift your hold so that the next set of 4 loops go between the first set. And for the 3rd set you will shift your direction back so the third row of loops lines up with the 1st set. Then secure the loops in the center with a stapler (or brad fastener). If you use a brad fastener, you will need to put holes in the end. I thought it was just easier (& cheaper) to staple in the center, although to do this you need to be able to hold & fold loops at the same time.
Next you will need to make a loop for the center. I just used a very small amount of tape to secure the loop together and then another very small amount of tape to tape the loop to the center of the bow.

I did see bows like these selling on Etsy for $12 for 12 bows. That seemed like a lot of money to me, but after I started making them I realized they are not super quick to make. I was getting faster by my last few bows, but you are definitly paying for someone's time for these bows.

I just think they are fun & quirky and a great way to re-purpose something from my recycling bin.

A couple more tips:

* Use magazine with heavier paper (the Martha Stewart magazine worked much better than Parents Magazine)
* Trim the ends if the are too long as you put each loop on.
* A width of 3/4 inch filled in a bow much easier
* Try out other paper you might have  (a book your child tore apart or you were going to get rid of), scrap booking paper, kids art projects, etc.
* Have fun!


Jen said...

WoW! Very impressive! :)

Unknown said...

Great idea! I do not like buying bows that are going to be thrown away. This is a great eco-friendly alternative.