korker bow tutorial

Even if you don't have twenty Cheerios to prepare for competition after Christmas, you might like to know how to make cute korker-style hair bows. They'd be sweet on any girl over the holidays, or they'd be lovely on packages.

For Saucy, making korker bows for the Cheerios is about economics - bows like this retail for ten to fifteen dollars each. Saucy got all of the materials to make enough bows for everyone for less than fifty dollars. She only made this one... it's a prototype. If it is Cheerio-approved, then they can come over during the holiday break and set up an assembly line to make their own competition bows using the steps in Saucy's tutorial:

Gather your materials: 5/8" grosgrain ribbon in any colour you desire, medium sized wooden dowels, wooden clothes pins and sharp scissors. You will also need: clear nail polish (or Fray Check), yarn (any colour) and zip ties (small and medium, one for each bow).

Start by wrapping your ribbon around the dowel as shown. Don't overlap it, it should just be wrapped snugly, not tightly. Secure both ends of the ribbon at either end of the dowel with a wooden clothes pin.

Repeat, repeat, repeat! You'll need about fifteen pieces of curled ribbon that measure 4 to 5" long...

Bake your ribbon sticks at 275 degrees for twenty minutes. This is why your clothes pins need to be wooden.

Important: remove from oven and let sticks cool completely, at least five minutes.

When thoroughly cooled, the ribbons can be gently and carefully removed from the sticks.

Cut your curled pieces of ribbon to the length you desire. A four or five inch length will make a nice, full bow. If you want a cute compact bow for a younger child or parcel, cut to three inches.

When they're all cut, use your Fray Check or clear nail polish at each end of the curled ribbon and let dry thoroughly. This step will prevent the ribbon ends from fraying and unraveling.

Next, stretch about eight inches of yarn onto your work surface and tape it down. Begin stacking your curled ribbon pieces as shown. Seven on the bottom...

Saucy wanted straight spikes too so she cut them on a diagonal to four inches, dabbed them with nail polish, and stacked them in with the curled pieces.

The next stack of five curled pieces and some more straight pieces goes on at a diagonal.

The final stack: this can get tricky... goes on at the opposite diagonal. It's going to get all sloppy and fall and Saucy readily admits she gave up at this point and could have added a few more curled pieces but her medication was wearing off with it goes her patience. More pieces would give a fuller and firmer corkscrew bow. She's going to remind the girls to be better stackers when they have the work bee.

Remove the yarn from the taped surface and tie it, cinching all of the ribbon pieces. You don't have to tie it extremely tight at this point.

Why? Because that's what you have your handy zip tie for. Now that the bow is gathered, use the zip tie as a secure, tight cinch in the middle.

Then, cut out the yarn... it's not holding anything at this point anyhow.

Finally, you can use your korker bow as is, or you can fasten it to a larger, traditional bow using a larger zip tie and then attach it to a ponytail holder to use in a hairstyle or use a glue gun to attach it to a barrette blank.

Saucy stores the Cheerio hair bows in a nice flat container and attaches them to their high ponytails moments before they compete using - you guessed it - zip ties. That way, she knows they'll never go astray. After the competition is over, she and Mustang Sally zoom around with side cutters and clip them out of everyone's hair and put them back into storage.

It's a finely tuned machine, people.


Gail :) said...

I adore the staight pieces mixed in as well. You can use your drill to twirl the dowel around as you wrap the ribbon if you are making loads of bows :) (just slide the dowel into where the drill bit goes and guide the ribbon)

MJ said...

Wow. May I never have to make those bows ever. What a lot of time & patience involved!

Saucy said...

Not to worry MJ, they weren't that labour intensive... making the one bow was almost a half hour, including the "figuring" time of it. However, I'm not interested in trying to crank out 20 of them by myself so I'm calling in the girls!

Gail is right and the drill trick would work like a charm. I found listening to music and winding the dowels pretty relaxing. Again, twenty? Not so sure.

Anonymous said...

I am lovin the straight spikes mixed in there!


jen said...

yay!! these are cute, and im sure ill need to make some someday ;)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...


Bethany said...

Ugh. I don't even want to tell Saucy & Co what we paid for these for my daughter's all star team this season. Let's just say at ten or fifteen we'd have been given a price break.

Next year! We'll ask Saucy to make them hee hee!

Faye said...

I need to make 36 of these-let's just say most of the girls are shall we say "craft challenged " as are their cheer mamas. LOVE the zip tie trick! Thanks for the tutorial. I make fun bows with heat bond tape to attach smaller ribbon on top , large polka dots with smaller ribbon down center really pops-and really inexpensive to make. I just made all three squads one in 1/2 a day.

Jerri-Lea said...

Making these for CJ and her BFF for their summer cheer camp!! Thanks!

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