Tutorial: Christmas Gift Bow Pillow

As promised here…it’s tutorial time!



To make the Christmas gift bow pillow:

You’ll need:

  • Approximately 1/2 yard of fabric to make the bow, ribbon, and pillow back (you won’t need quite that much)
  • 16” square of another fabric for the pillow front
  • Small thin cardboard circle (think cereal box material)
  • Hot glue
  • Sewing machine

1. Prepare your loops. To make the loops on the bow pictured, you’ll need 15 fabric strips cut about 2.5” wide and 4” long. (I didn’t actually measure each. I just eyeballed it. As I’ve said before, I like to take shortcuts I strive for efficiency with my projects.) If you want a fuller or smaller bow, though, you can adjust the number of loops as desired. Once each one is cut out, fold them in half and sew shut.


2. Hot glue the fabric to your cardboard circle. Again, no precise measurements going on here, and I just drew the circle freehand, but it took about 4 square inches of fabric to cover a circle that was roughly 3” in diameter. Better to have too much that you can trim off than not enough in the first place, though. You can use an old cereal box for the circle itself—it will be thick enough.



This is what you’ll be left with:


3. Hot glue the loops to the circle. I first had to manipulate the fabric strips so that the seam was on the underside as opposed to the edge:


And then I hot glued them to the circle, starting with the outside edge. I hot glued one end of the strip to the underside of the circle, good side up.


Then I flipped it over and looped the fabric around…


…then hot glued it into place.


Keep adding loops until the outer edge is full.



Then fill in the middle with the remaining loops, all hot glued one end at a time. And ta-da! You have a fabric gift bow.


4. Cut out the remaining pieces. You’ll need one 16”x16” piece of fabric for the front of the pillow, two 12”x16” pieces for the back (to make it removable), and two strips of fabric approximately 4” wide and 20” long for the “package ribbons.”

5. Sew the “package ribbons” to the pillow front. I first folded over and ironed the edges of the “ribbons” to make a clean edge, then pinned and sewed them to the white 16”x16” pillow front.



5. Assemble and pin the pillow back to the pillow front, then sew it all together. I hemmed the edges of the pillow back that would be showing. Make sure your pieces are wrong side out. You can trim off the excess ribbon anytime; I waited until I had sewn the whole thing around the edges just to be safe. I do exercise caution occasionally with these projects.



6. Turn it right side out and hot glue the bow to the middle, and you’re done!




Victory for me on two counts here: one, Rick actually likes this pillow. This doesn’t happen every day. Two, I think I can finally sew in a straight line on the sewing machine. There was a day when the edges of my package ribbons would have looked more like a drunken sailor had stitched them, you know, in between whiskeys and swabbing the deck and battling the symptoms of scurvy.

Now that I’ve wrapped up (har har) this gift bow pillow tutorial, I better go get started on real wrapping…am I the only one who hasn’t started that yet?

***Linking this to the CSI Project!***


  1. "woo-hoo!" for drunken-sailor stitching gone straight!
    Not only that, but you hot glue like a pro. Your gift bow looks fab!

  2. Great tutorial. I thought the bow would be more complicated. Maybe I should stop drinking when I sew...hmmm. I kid, I kid.

  3. I love this pillow!! You make this look so easy - but if I tried it would be a total flop. I keep meaning to learn how to sew - maybe in 2012? Hahah. Doubtful. Have a Merry Christmas!!

  4. I leave a lot of comments saying I love things on blogs, but I really do LOVE this. How cute and creative!! I must do this for next year =)

  5. So smart! The finished product looks much more complicated than it is... unless you're still using the drunken-sailor stitch like I am... :)

  6. Wow, you made that look easy! Now if only I could stop cursing at my sewing machine long enough to actually sew something ;)

  7. This is so cute!! I'm definitely pinning it so I remember to make it next year!

  8. Repeat after me: Hi, my name is ____ and I have a DIY pillow problem.

    Just kidding. I love it! I'll definitely be copy-catting you for next Christmas!

  9. When did your blog get a new look? Was it a long time ago and I am JUST NOW noticing it? I LOVE IT. (I realize this comment has nothing to do with this post.) :-)

  10. Great tutorial. I don't think I will be able to pull this off this year, but definitely next year.

  11. This is beautiful!! I bet you wrap one awesome present, too!! I'm totally impressed.

  12. This is gorgeous! I love the color green you chose against the crisp white. Visiting from the CSI Project!


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