How to make a burlap bow is, to an extent, open to interpretation. This approach is a bit unconventional, but it’s a foolproof way to create big, double bows from any sturdy fabric. Or burlap ribbon, like the wired kind you can get at craft stores.
I got inspired when I saw a pin on Pinterest on how to make a double bow with a fork. I thought, “if I can make small ones, I should be able to make big ones, too!” And the not-yet-famous leaf rake burlap bow was born!
The bows come out even and straight every time. AND you do not have to hold it together while making it.
Read written directions below or scroll further down the page for a video (which you can also watch on YouTube).
Instructions for How to Make a Burlap Bow
Step 1 – Cut the Burlap or Burlap Ribbon
Cut about three yards of burlap, wired burlap ribbon, or other material, up to four or five inches wide.
Fold the end in half, so you get the beginning of a 2″-2.5″ wide strip of fabric.
Burlap cutting tip: To keep from ending up with a frayed mess, first pull one strand out of your burlap fabric. You then have a convenient guide for cutting straight across, reducing fraying and shedding.
Or you can avoid cutting burlap. Use burlap ribbon instead.
Step 2 – Begin Weaving Burlap Through Rake Tines
Imagine your leaf rake prongs in four sections about 1/4 of the rake wide each, two on each side of the center.
Folding the burlap strip as you go, begin weaving the burlap through those sections. Alternate over and under, like “basket weaving 101.”
Step 3 – Make Five Rows of Woven Burlap
Weave back and forth for a total of five rows.
When you finish, the “tails” should be on opposite sides of the rake.
Step 4 – Tie the Bow
Tie the center together by threading a strip of burlap through the space between the two center prongs.
Secure it vertically around all rows, pulling tightly to cinch the fabric.
Construction of your bow is now complete, albeit still on the rake and face down.
Step 5 – Remove the Burlap Bow from the Rake
To remove the bow, gently bend the rake prongs. Then firmly slide each bow loop off the rake.
Step 6 – Shape It
Primp your burlap bow so it looks as you’d like.
One bow will be slightly smaller than the other.
- You can arrange the bows, so they are stacked on top of one another (as in the bottom bows above) or
- spread out (like on the top).
Optionally, cut a triangle from each tail to make them look more decorative. I show you how to do that in the video.
Burlap Tip: To minimize shedding, spray the bow with matte Mod Podge (it comes in a spread-on liquid, too, but that’s too messy for me!)
How to Make a Burlap Bow Video
More Types & Sizes of Big Burlap Bows to BUY
DIY-ing a burlap bow like this isn’t for everyone. Limits on time, talent, and tenacity come into play for many of us! Here are several different types of rustic bows you can purchase from skilled makers. Look for the links after each description.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. My Online Wedding Help will receive a small commission at no added cost to you if you click and buy a product.
- (above bottom) Rachel’s bows are a popular wreath addition. She sells them in numerous sizes and colors and also sews the edges to prevent fraying. Learn more or buy it here.
- (above top) If the inherent messiness of typical burlap isn’t for you, Adams’ bows will delight! These double bows have a natural, rustic color. But are made from finer-woven natural color ribbon for a clean, beautiful appearance. Learn more or buy it here.
- (above top) Perhaps a more elaborate bow is more your taste. Trina’s stacked 9″-10″ bows are ideal for pew or table decorations. Many put these on wreaths as well. Learn more or buy it here.
- (above bottom) Tanya’s wired-edge burlap ribbon bow is sure to enhance your head table decor. At 10″, and with multiple loops, it can have quite an impact at the ceremony. Learn more or buy it here.
More DIY Wedding Decoration Tutorials