Tie up a brown paper package with a corrugated bow, and soon it will be one of your favorite things.

By BH&G Holiday Editors
February 06, 2019

We're all about repurposing! Use the extra cardboard from your last-minute gift deliveries to decorate your wrapped Christmas gifts. This reused gift topper is easy to make and adds a farmhouse touch to your holiday presents. Once you've mastered this easy craft, try making another homemade gift bow!

How to Make a Cardboard Bow

Supplies Needed

  • White Gesso acrylic paint primer
  • Water
  • Double-faced corrugated cardboard
  • 2-inch-wide flat paintbrush
  • Crafts knife
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow our simple directions to make your own recycled DIY gift bow. We think this bow goes well with brown paper packages! Make one yourself in just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Whitewash Cardboard

Start with a large piece of thin, corrugated cardboard and paint it to add a festive touch. Mix equal amounts of white gesso paint and water. Use a 2-inch-wide flat paintbrush and brush the whitewash mixture onto both sides of the cardboard with light, smooth strokes. Prop up the cardboard up and let it dry.

Editor's Tip: Streaks in the whitewash diminish as the cardboard dries. If you see streaks, don't panic (and don't layer on more paint). 

Step 2: Use Free Gift Bow Template

Use our free DIY bow template to create the bow shapes. Download the pattern, print out on white paper and cut out the shapes. Trace the template onto the wrong side of your dry whitewashed cardboard, then cut it out using a crafts knife or crafts scissors.

Download Free Bow Template

Step 3: Attach the Bow

Once you've cut out the bow template, wrap both ends of the pattern toward the middle, making end loops, then hot-glue ends to the middle. Wrap and glue a 2-inch-wide whitewashed strip around the middle to make bow. Finally, cut a 2-inch-wide whitewashed strip that's long enough to fit all the way around your gift box and hot-glue the strip ends to the box's bottom. Glue your DIY bow over the strip, let dry, and hand out your gift.


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