Thanksgiving Bows

The Problem: Thanksgiving is coming up and my pups need to look festive on a budget!

The Solution: Five new collar bows that fit my little boy and girl!

Thanksgiving Bows Cover
Here’s my little girl with the array of bows, but I got the best picture of her and her brother wearing his/her turkeys that I’ve got to find somewhere to put in this post…

(Little) Table of Contents:

  • Pilgrim Hat Bow
  • Apple Bow
  • Pumpkin Bow
  • Bling-ucopia (HA – I make myself laugh)
  • Turkey (His and Hers)

Pilgrim Hat Bow

Step 1: Cut a length of thick ribbon (mine is 3″) and origami it into a hat! Is origami a verb? It should be.

As you go you’ll see where bits need to be glued down. When you’re done you can iron it down on a low heat setting if you want! You may want to use some parchment paper between the iron and the hat, though, because hot glue will likely stick up your iron if you don’t.

Step 2: Add the ribbon belt.

Hat Belt

Step 3: Make a small square with some wire and sew it on center front.

Adding the buckle
I chose to sew rather than glue because since the wire’s so thin, the glue surely would have shown and because I wanted to use the thread to cover up where the two halves of the wire came together.

Step 4: Add a felt back.

Adding a felt back
Adding the felt will both cover up the ugly-looking back and stiff the hat up a bit so it doesn’t curl.

Step 5: Add a strip of felt to the back with an elastic looped through it.

Adding the elastic
Make sure the felt strap runs horizontally along the hat so that when the elastic goes around the collar, the hat sits upright.

Apple Bow

Step 1: Cut the apple in half.

Cutting the apple in half
This is just a little plastic apple I found at a Michaels. To cut something this small, I would suggest wrapping it in a paper towel to protect it from getting clamp marks) clamping it down, then using a metal saw (which has very fine teeth) to saw it in half. Once you get the blade in, you can clamp the saw instead of the apple then move the apple back and forth to finish the cut. This technique will work for almost any small pieces.

Step 2: Make the ribbon background.

Gathering the ribbon
Start by threading a needle in and out of one side of the ribbon to gather it. I highly suggest if you’re using a loose-knit like I did, to put a dab of hot glue over the knot in your thread to make sure it doesn’t pull through the ribbon.
Making the circle
Eh, that looks like enough. How much ribbon you need depends on how gathered you want it to be.
Sewing back through the beginning
Once you decide you’ve gathered enough, cut the end off the spool then thread the needle back through where you started to complete the circle.
Finishing the gathering
Pull the thread tight and knot it!

Step 3: Add the apple and felt back.

Adding the apple and back felt
Cut out a piece of felt that’s about the same size as your apple, then glue it onto the green background and glue the apple to the other side.

Step 4: Add a strip of felt to the back with an elastic looped through it.

Adding the elastic
Make sure the felt strap runs horizontally to the apple so that when the elastic goes around the collar, the apple sits upright.

Pumpkin Bow

Step 1: Cut out six pieces of ribbon all the same length.

Cutting out the pieces
The length of the pieces depends on how big your bow. The pumpkin part of the bow will be about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of each piece.

Note: Now is a good time to mark the middle of each length which will be important for the next step.

Step 2: Thread each length of ribbon onto a needle as shown below.

Threading the pumpkin
For each length you want to thread the end of one piece not too close to the end of the ribbon will fray), then the other end, then the middle. Do this for the other five pieces, too.
Squished pumpkin
This is what it should look like once you push all of the ribbon pieces to the bottom of the thread. Nows a good time to organize the ribbons a bit to fix the spacing.

Step 3: Cut small lengths of curled ribbon (preferably green like a vine) and dab a little bit of hot glue on one end to keep it from fraying. Then go ahead and thread those onto the needle with the pumpkin.

Adding the vines
Make sure the side of the ribbon that you’re threading on the needle is the one opposite from the one that you glued. Yikes! Sorry about the picture; it’s crazy blurry!

Step 4: Sew a small brown button on the top for a stem!

Complete pumpkin
Voila! The pumpkin part is done!

Step 5: Make the green ribbon background.

Making the background
Cut out three pieces of thick ribbon and fold each end into the center of each piece. The length of the ribbon after folding will be just slightly longer than the diameter of the bow. Then, sew the three folded pieces together. The pins in the picture above represent where the needle should be threaded – in and out twice on each length. When all three have been threaded, pull the thread to gather the pieces together and tie off the thread!

Step 6: Cut out a piece of felt a little smaller than the pumpkin and glue the felt circle to one side while gluing the pumpkin onto the other.

Gluing on the Pumpkin and felt back

Step 7: Add a strip of felt to the back with an elastic looped through it. I don’t have a picture of this for this bow, but it’s the same as how I’ve added the elastic to the other bows. To compensate for the missing picture, please take this one of my nephew, Riley, wearing the pumpkin bow, in its stead.

Riley wearing pumpkin
Whaddya think, does that make up for it?


Step 1: Cut out a cornucopia shape, then duplicate the cornucopia shape adding on some space where the cornucopia opens up.

Cutting out the shapes
Tip: make the cornucopia with the extra front space a little smaller than the other one.

Step 2: BLING!

Adding bling
I used hot glue so I didn’t have to wait for it to dry (whos got time for that??)

Step 3: Cut out around the gems using sharp little scissors, then glue the other cornucopia on top of the blingy one.

Finishing the cornucopia

Step 4: Add some ridges.

Adding ridges
Glue some embroidery floss to the back of the cornucopia, setting it up to wrap around where it opens. Continue to wrap the floss around, pulling it a little right to get the edges of the felt to pop out a bit on the sides. I’ll note here that I decided my cornucopia was too long so I cut a couple gems off the end.

Step 5: Make a background bow.

Making the background bow
Fold some ribbon back and forth in decreasing lengths. I put my cornucopia above the ribbon as I did this so I could eyeball how long I wanted the ribbon to be. Then go ahead and sew the ribbon together in the middle, gathering it slightly before you tie off the thread.

Step 6: Glue on the cornucopia and the loop for the collar.

Putting it all together
Hot glue the cornucopia to the front of the bow and a small strip of felt to the back. This strip of felt is what goes around the collar. This is the only bow that I didn’t put an elastic on, I designed it to use the felt as the attachment, but I prefer the elastic because it has more give.

His and Her Turkey Bows

I’m going to start with hers because that’s the turkey I made first!

Step 1: Cut out a “Bozo the clown” (anybody?) turkey shape, a circle slightly smaller than the turkey shape, a triangle beak, and an oval wattle (that little flappy thing under their beak 🙂 )

Cutting the turkey pieces out
Yay scrap fabric!

Step 2: Make the tail. The easiest way to understand how I made the tail is visually, so below is a step-by-step out of pictures. Keep in mind that I glued all of it with very, very thin layers of hot glue.

Making the tail
Yeah I cut an extra orange strip… I can’t count.

Step 3: Glue on the front and back to the tail.

Gluing the back and front onto the tail
Since the ribbons get a little thick, the front and the back pieces of felt leave a bit of a gap at the bottom. That bothered me so I added a little glue to the end to close the gap. Also worth noting that I’d already glued the strip of felt with the elastic onto the back before I glued it onto the ribbons. If you need clarification on how to do this see one of the above posts.

Step 4: Add the face! I glued on the beak and wattle and sewed on the eyes.

Turkey face
I think the turkeys are my favorite!


Full disclosure:  the main difference between the His and Her turkeys is that the His is bigger than the Hers… and that’s mainly because my boy pup is bigger than my girl pup… But I made the tails a bit differently depending on your taste!

Step 1: Cut out the body, circle, beak, and wattle just like the ones for the first turkey, only a little bit bigger.

Step 2: Cut out different lengths of ribbon and lay out a pattern you like. The length of the ribbon will be roughly twice as long as the tail will end up since the ribbon will be doubled over. Then loop each ribbon and thread it onto a needle, going in and out once per loop.

His turkey tail
It will look like a mess when you get all the ribbons on, but then just pull to gather the ribbons together, organize them the way you like, and knot the thread off.

Step 3: Glue the front and the back of the turkey onto the tail the same way as the Her turkey.

Step 4: Glue on the turkey’s face! I chose to embroider the eyes on the is turkey, but I think the beads were easier.

His and Her collar turkeys
Look at these cuties! They’re both concentrating pretty hard on a squirrel up in the tree that they can hear, haha!

There you go! Five Thanksgiving bows that are easy and fun to make! Personally, I’d keep the apple bow for day use because the apple itself is hard plastic, but all of the other ones are so soft they don’t even phase the pups.

If you decide to make these bows or variations thereof, please comment and post pictures! (This is purely for professional research and has nothing to do with wanting to see as many adorable dogs as possible… 🙂 )