Halloween Bows

The Problem: Bows are way too small to be as expensive as they are.

Original Halloween Bow
This perfect little girl came home from the groomers with this adorable little Halloween bow on and she didn’t seem to mind it at all. Thus begins her life of being a dog always wearing a bow.

But when we checked online for some new bows for her, we quickly learned they cost what, in my opinion, is way more than a piece of ribbon should. Plus, we didn’t really need 20 Halloween bows in particular, just a couple, then a couple for the other seasons. So when I found myself at the Dollar Store (as I often do) I figured I could just make my own and make them inexpensively the way I wanted to make them!

The Solution: Make them myself!

They’re pretty fun to make and there are so many different types of bows out there! So for a whopping total of $2, I could probably make at least ten bows. I started with three.

Dog Bows cover

Supplies: All I bought were Halloween rings and some ribbon. You’ll also need some sort of small elastic. I used those little hair elastics I had on hand.



  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Needle + thread
  • Hot glue gun + sticks
  • A piece of foam board (that’s what I used, but you just need something relatively flat and a little longer than you want the width of your bow. It’ll make sense in the instructions)

Spider Bow

Step one: Find something flat and a little longer than how long you want the bow. I used a piece of foam board about 3.5” in length. Cardboard or folded paper would work well too. Then go ahead and wrap your ribbon around it three times (twice in the back). Ignore the pins, those are just there so I could take the picture! Once you’re all wrapped up, take some tape and lay it over the three pieces to keep them from unraveling.

Wrapping the ribbon

The yellow in the middle of the the ribbon in the second pictures is chalk from one of my favorte tools! Apparently it’s called a Chalk Wheel. Personally I found mine in my grandmother’s quilting kit. It makes things super easy to mark up and nothing is permanent. 10/10 will buy more chalk powder for mine when it runs out!

Step two: Sew across the ribbons.

Sewing together
Use the tape to help you slip the ribbon off your stencil and onto a surface you can sew on. Sew through the center of the ribbons, making sure you’re getting the back two lengths of ribbon too. There’s no special way to do this, but I tried to get through each length of ribbon twice for a tighter gathering.

Step three: Gether the ribbons and knot to secure. I do the ol’ make a loop and sew through it for my knot.

Gently push the ribbons to the end of the thread to gather them. After that, wrap the thread around where its gathered and knot to secure.
Pretty bow!
The bow part’s done!

Step four: Cut the ring part off the spider.

Cutting the ring off the spider
I used my exacto. The plastic is pretty thin so it was pretty easy.

Step five: Hot glue the spider onto the bow.

Spider on bow
Not too shabby, eh?

Step six: Sew on the elastic.

Sewing on the elastic
Hold the elastic between two fingers and sew a loop around it onto the back of the bow. That way you’ll have a double elastic to loop over the collar.

Spider bow is done!

Bat Bow

Step one: Measure out how big you’d like your bow to be. I’m using the same piece of foam board I used to measure the spider bow.

Measuring size
Like the spider bow, the final size of the bow will be slightly smaller than the how long your loops are now, but not by much.

Step two: Measure out four more. If you’d prefer, you can shorten these ribbon lengths so that each ribbon you cut it a little shorter than the last, but I chose to this later on.Five lengths of ribbon

Step three: Loop each ribbon length and stack it on top of the last, making sure that each place where the ribbon loop comes together is facing down. Here’s where I eyeballed each loop that I made to make it a little smaller than the last.

Stacking the ribbons
I pinned my loops down to my foam board as I made them, to help keep them straight and make sure the ends of all of my lengths were overlapping.
Alternative bow
If you want, you can rotate some of the loops to end up with a more flowery bow!

Step four: Sew directly through where the pin was a few times, then sew an elastic on just like how the spider one was done.

Putting on the elastic
Like the spider bow, hold the elastic between two fingers and loop the thread over the center to attach it. That way you’ll loop both sides of the elastic over the collar to attach it.

Step five: Cut the ring part off, same as the spider, and go ahead and hot glue it on!

Gluing on the bat
Skull Bow
My personal favorite

Step one: Cut five pieces of ribbon all the same length (just a little longer than you want the bow to be in diameter). Cut a “V” shape out of each end.

Cut out five ribbon sections

Step two: Sew in and out of each strip of ribbon, right in the middle.

Sewing the pieces together

Step three: Holding both sides of the ribbons, gently pull the thread so that each ribbon gathers one at a time. Doing those slowly will help the ribbons from twisting which is not as cute.

Ruffling the bow

Step four: Thread the needle back through the stack of ribbons, wrap it around the center, then tie it off to secure it all together.

Tying off the bow
You can choose to sew the elastic on now, but personally, I tied off the bow then sewed the elastic on separately to make sure nothing got twisted.

Step five: After cutting the ring part off with an exacto (see spider bow) go ahead and glue the skull onto the center of the bow!

Gluing on the skull

I had way too much fun with these bows; they get addicting to make! I’ll more than likely do a few new how-tos for some different bows later. I want to get a bunch of different colors which are wicked cheap on Amazon (like these which have excellent reviews) and play around some more.

Until then, thanks for reading! Please comment with any questions, comments, or pictures from trying these bows or altering them! The best ideas are the ones built upon 🙂