How to make a hair bow holder on a canvas

Welcome back for another instalment of the ‘Little Girl’s Bedroom Make Over’ Series. It’s so lovely to have you here again. It’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama, and I’m going to teach you how to make a hair bow holder on a canvas.

In case you’ve missed it, I’m in the process of revamping my daughter’s bedroom. I’m sharing my ideas on Sew McCool for some sweet projects, including upcoming tutorials for cushion covers, a quilted pillow sham and a bed runner.

And we’ve already covered making a pretty pillowcase, a personalised head band holder, and a bed pocket for soft toys and books.

This tutorial is a great beginners project that is quick, simple and requires no stitching or sewing. We’ll be using an artist’s canvas, some fabric, wadding (batting) and ribbon (and a few extra tools) to make a fabric covered canvas. You can then use it as fabric wall art, or add ribbons to create a hair clip holder.

Use paper clips and tiny pegs on the ribbon to change the project into a practical noticeboard for displaying invitations, memos, photos and more. Versatile, simple – what could be better?

How to make a hair bow holder on canvas by Molly and Mama for


What You’ll Need

* a white artist’s canvas. I used a 45cm square (approximately 17.75”) that had sides that were 1.8cm deep. For wider canvas sides, be sure to add extra fabric.
* a 55cm square (21.5” square) of quilter’s weight cotton
* a 45cm square (17.75” square) of thin cotton quilter’s wadding
* five 53cm (21”) lengths of 1” wide or 0.75” wide grosgrain ribbon. You can purchase ribbon many places, including from one of our sponsors, The Ribbon Retreat.
* a staple gun (used for upholstery)
* a heat sealer or cigarette lighter
* pinking shears (zig zag scissors)
* spray adhesive
* ruler or measuring tape
* iron, ironing board and press cloth or fabric scrap
* marking pen
* two small removable wall hooks

How to make a hair bow holder

Select your Fabric and Ribbons

I chose a pretty pink floral cotton fabric for this project. Cotton fabric works well because it doesn’t stretch out of shape as you pull it over the canvas.

Before cutting your fabric, be sure to think about the pattern placement. Is the pattern directional? Consider whether you’ll need to centre your design too.

I also selected some co-ordinating grosgrain ribbon in pale pink, pale blue, and lilac. You could also use satin ribbon, cotton sewing tape, or other types of trims on the board. However, I like the ridges in grosgrain ribbon because they help stop your clips and bows from sliding down the ribbon length.



Attach the Wadding (Batting)

Your cotton quilting wadding should be exactly the same size as your canvas. Carefully iron your wadding (covering it with a press cloth) to remove any creases if necessary. Spray the top of your canvas with the spray adhesive using the directions on the can. This step is best done outside or using an old fabric drop cloth on the floor. Place your wadding carefully over the canvas and smooth it with your hands to secure it. Trim off any excess wadding.

how to make a hair bow holder 2 on by molly and mama makes


If you don’t have spray adhesive, you can use a larger piece of wadding and staple the overhang onto the back of the canvas (use the same instructions as displayed for ‘Attach your Fabric’). However, I feel it adds a lot of bulk. You can also use an iron-on interfacing or pellon instead of wadding. You can iron it to your cotton fabric. I have found though, that sometimes the cotton fabric isn’t as forgiving when you need to stretch and pull it over the canvas. Go with what works for you best.

Prepare your fabric

Your fabric square should be a 55cm (21.5”) square. If using a different sized canvas, the fabric should be 10cm (4”) larger than your canvas size. Use your pinking shears (zig zag scissors) to trim all fabric edges. Trim no more than a 0.5 cm or 0.25” from the edge. This helps to stop the fabric edges fraying on the back of the canvas.

Attach your Fabric

Press the fabric with a hot iron to remove any creases. Place the fabric right side down on a flat surface. Centre your canvas over the fabric square, with the right side also facing down.

Starting on the top side, fold your overhang back so that it covers the back of the canvas frame. Start at one end and secure your fabric by pressing a row of staples into the centre of the wooden frame. Make each staple about 8cm (3”) apart.



If you haven’t used your staple gun before, I recommend getting in some practise! Be sure you know how to use it and store it correctly and safely. Don’t forget to keep your fingers out of the way too!

When the top is attached, flip your canvas around so that the bottom is now at the top (I find it’s easier to always staple from the top). Fold the overhang of the fabric up over the canvas frame. Pull it gently to ensure the fabric is taut. Place one staple in the centre of the frame. Continue to add staples one at a time, one on each side of the centre. Be sure to gently pull the fabric taut as you go (but be gentle enough to avoid stretches and pulls).



Continue as before until both top and bottom are complete.



With the top and bottom secure, it’s now time to secure the sides to the hair bow holder. Choose a side to complete next and rotate the canvas so it’s at the top. Start again with a centre staple, then continue to add one staple on either side of the centre.

Before you secure the corners, you’ll need to mitre the fabric or pull the corner fabric, so that the folds don’t show or pucker at the front. I try to bring both corner pieces of fabric together. I fold them to one side, then back the other way, and then pull them down tightly and secure them with the staple gun (the picture below will demonstrate this more clearly). You may need to add a few staples to really secure the corner. Do this for both corners on the third side, before repeating the whole process to complete the last side.



Trim off any excess fabric on the corners with your pinking shears.

Once complete, you should have a smoothly covered canvas. You can hang canvasses like this if you want to make an artwork of the fabric or print you use.



But we’ll add some ribbon so it will become a hair bow/hair clip holder!

Add the Ribbon

Each piece of ribbon needs to be 53cm (21”) long or a few inches longer than the edges of your chosen canvas size. I have chosen to add five lengths of ribbon to the canvas.

Each piece of cut ribbon needs to be heat sealed at each end. Use your heat sealer. Or run the ribbon quickly back and forth along the flame of a lighter. This melts the ribbon’s fibres together to prevent fraying.

Measure the canvas and use your marking pen to indicate where you are going to place your ribbons. If you’re using five ribbons, your canvas needs to be divided into 6 equal sections 7.5cm (3”) apart. For example, as my canvas is 45cm wide, I’ll place ribbon marks on the back of the canvas at 7.5cm, 15cm, 22.5cm, 30cm and 37.5cm. You can see them here in blue pen.



Lay your centre piece of ribbon face down on a flat surface. Lay your canvas face down over it, lining up your markings. Pull the centre ribbon overhang back over the canvas frame. Make sure you have an equal amount of overhang at each end. Secure the ribbon to the back with a staple. Pull the ribbon quite taut and secure the other end.



Repeat this process for the other ribbons.



Finish your Project

Flip your canvas over and admire your beautiful work! If the canvas is a gift, you can cover the back with a piece of felt secured carefully with a glue gun. Use the pinking shears to zig zag the felt edges before attaching it to the back if you wish.



Now all you need to do is prepare your hair clip holder for the wall. I have found that hanging the canvas with picture framing wire and a hook isn’t very practical. The canvas slides around on the wall every time you remove or add a clip! Instead, I use two removable plastic hooks and secure them to the wall, making sure they’re lined up to tuck neatly under the far top edges of the canvas. That way it stays securely on the wall without tilting.



Change It Up

You can make additions to your project like adding extra ribbons to hang from the bottom for extra clips. You can also screw half hooks into the base of the frame to hang fabric head bands and hair elastics.

You could also personalise your project by appliquéing a pretty design or the child’s name. You can use the tips outlined in the Head Band Holder Tutorial to help you out.

You can even make a noticeboard instead. Arrange the ribbons horizontally so that you can attach some paper clips and mini pegs. Then your canvas becomes a wonderful way to store invitations, cards, and more.

Need some hair clips and hair bows now that you’ve learned how to make a hair bow holder from a canvas? See my tutorial here on how to make a simple hair clip.

(And if you really want to delve into ribbons and bows – Deanna’s book, 50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make, is available for pre-order – at a pre-order discount – from her Amazon affiliate. It will begin shipping Aug. 5. The book includes lots of hair bow and hair flower projects, in addition to some gift-wrap bows and other ribbon projects.)

Like all my projects, this tutorial was written with beginners in mind. I’m sharing the way I make things and explaining the way I approach the creative process. As there are so many ways to approach a sewing or craft project, you may have an alternative way to complete some of the steps. I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions! That way we can all learn from each other! And really, that’s what is so great about the crafty DIY world.

I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to leave a comment or pop by my blog. You can see the latest tutorial on how to make simple hair clips to go with your Hair Clip Holder. Thanks for being here everyone!

Happy creating, Lauren x

Lauren of Molly and Mama is a contributor on To make sure you don’t miss a tutorial, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! :)

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