Read, Wrap Recycle: Make Bows from Magazines

Paper bags, old newspapers, fabric scraps -- you're probably already using them for eco-friendly gift wrap. But did you know you could create beautiful bows from the pages of our magazine?

You'll need a page per bow (best if mostly one color) and some double-sided tape.


Cut the page lengthwise into nine 3/4-inch-thick strips of heights shown: Three at 11 inches, three at 10 inches, two at 9 inches, and one at 3 1/2 inches. 


Twist each strip to form loops at both ends. Make a circle out of the smallest.


Secure the ends with a piece of double-sided tape.


Layer and stick, starting with the longest strips. End with the circle in the center.


To make these bows as featured on "The Martha Stewart Show," use strips of paper shopping bags, which result in a more sturdy bow. For a fuller bow, cut strips to be 1 inch thick and make the shortest strip about 4 1/2 inches instead of 3 inches. Sections of bow can be held together easily with double-sided tape, but for added strength, use a screw punch to punch a hole in the center of each bow section and secure together with a gold or silver brad. Attach the final single loop with double-sided tape or hot glue.

Read More


Comments (15)

  • BertaKD 2 Sep, 2013

    Making ribbon bows are my favorite thing to do for birthday presents and Christmas presents. However, I just love this idea of using magazine pages to make bows. Another great idea in reduce, reuse & recycle.

  • angelmoon1302 3 Dec, 2012

    I'm going to start making these throughout the year and put in a special box. Maybe make some as a "special "eco" gift. with a theme and enclose instructions to make. May even have a girlfriend friend Tea Bow Making Party.

  • Mickie_G 31 May, 2012

    I love this recycling idea and must use it on my page at http://www.squidoo.com/book-care-repair-repurposing-recycling-books. Bet a beat up, non-repairable child's book would work great. Remember, most paperback books were not meant to last forever.

  • creativeinkinvites 16 Mar, 2012

    Wow! It looks so simple. I have always wondered how to do these printing my own designs. Thanks so much!

  • melissafish 13 Dec, 2011

    Its actually quick easy and doesn't take much time at all. It might take 10 minutes at the most to make one bow and that is with a child "helping". A scrapbook paper trimmer helps.

  • KileyLagan 7 Dec, 2011

    It's a great idea- but really who has the time for this??

  • jsalemink 20 Dec, 2010

    Daughter and I have been having so much fun making these (even when we had to make up our own lengths!). I've been making multi-colored bows using sale flyers from the receiver's favorite stores. Really cute!

  • HollandRanchOrganics 15 Dec, 2010

    LOVE this idea! I saw something similar to this a week or so ago on www.EcoLizzie.com. Same idea but different shapes. Chek them out :)

  • HollandRanchOrganics 15 Dec, 2010

    LOVE this idea! I saw something similar to this a week or so ago on www.EcoLizzie.com. Same idea but different shapes. Chek them out :)

  • Amanda_MacMillan 14 Dec, 2010

    Sorry for the oversight, everyone! The measurements have now been added. Hope you enjoy the project!
    ~Amanda, web editor

  • judyforkner 14 Dec, 2010

    I had the last piece as 5", but for some reason the last bit disappeared! Those proportions make a nice big bow.

  • judyforkner 14 Dec, 2010

    I used a page that was 12" long. 1st 3 were 12', next 3 were 11", next 2 were 10",

  • lindalalonde 14 Dec, 2010

    I blew the picture up so the strips were 3/4" wide and got the lengths as 3", 6.5", 7.5" and 8.5". I hope these are right - I didn't print them out but measured them on the screen.
    There's no excuse for not including the measurements in the article - it's kind of essential information!!

  • evesilverman 13 Dec, 2010

    What exactly ARE the lengths of the strips because I had difficulty fitting the five smaller loops into the three initial loops ...there was no room.

  • ducksoup 13 Dec, 2010

    Length of strips would be most helpful!

More from Live Green

New from Whole Living Daily

Shared On Facebook