How to Make Bows: Bowdabra
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Ribbon and Bows T Shirt back to school wear

How to Make School Wear T Shirts

It’s that time of year for thinking of cute ideas for back to school wear. I found t-shirt at a fabric store on sale, 4 for $10!  Altering t shirts is so much fun when you’re getting ready to go back to school.  Here’s an easy way to dress up one with ribbon & bows using your Mini Bowdabra! It’s so versatile that you can switch out different ribbon and bows for a totally new look!

To get started, you will need:

  • Ribbon – 4 yds. 1 1/2″ wide
  • Ruler
  • Chalk/pen fabric marker
  • Craft knife
  • Masking tape
  • Safety pins or needle/thread for tacking
  • Mini Bowdabra
  • Bowdabra wire
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue

back to school wear crafts


1. Lay your t shirt on a flat surface and apply masking tape starting under the sleeves and straight across the front.

Back to School T Shirt

back to school wear crafts ideas

2. Using a ruler and marker, make vertical lines at 1 inch intervals the width of your ribbon (in this case, 1 1/2″) on tape.

3. Carefully cut the lines on the tape through both layers of the t shirt.

How to make back to school wear

ribbon and bows back to school wear

4. Weave ribbon through slits, beginning and ending in front where you want to place bows. Straighten and adjust ribbon for a smooth fit. Tack or pin ends together.

back to school wear tutorial

To Make Bows:

Cut 15″ of Bowdabra wire, fold in half and place into the Bowdabra, tucking ends under.

Bow maker tool
Cut 7 1/2″ of ribbon for tail and dove tail ends by folding together and cutting at an angle. Seal ends.

bow maker tool with ribbon

Insert dovetailed ribbon into Mini Bowdabra.


Cut 12 1/2″ of ribbon, bringing ends together overlapping, forming left and right loops and insert into Mini Bowdabra.

How to make a bowHow to make ribbon bow

Scrunch ribbon down with the Bowdabra wand.

Ribbon bow making idea

Push wire ends through loop, pulling wire tightly.

Bow making instructions

Remove bow and tie wires to the back.

Bow making tutorial

Make a finishing ribbon by cutting a small piece of ribbon 4 inches long and fold into three parts.

Place a drop of glue along back of wire and press folded finishing ribbon on glue. Wrap ribbon around front and to back securing with additional glue. Cut off excess and seal ends.

Bow making crafts ideas

Pin or tack bows onto t shirt. This makes the ribbon and bow easily removable to switch out to other colors and prints or to wash.

How to make perfect bow


Best Bow Making Craft Ideas for T Shirt

DIY ideas for back to school wear

Super cute, simple and easy to do that only costs a few dollars to make.

Happy Crafting, Gail!

Visit Bowdabra designer Gail at her blog Purple Hues and Me for more of her awesome creative projects!

Bowdabra's easy-to-create bow-makers are available at the Bowdabra website's online store and also at various retail establishments such as Amazon, AC Moore, Pat Catan's Stores, Jo Ann store, Michael's, and Walmart.

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