How to Make Upcycled Gift Bows

Give magazines new life — and save some holiday cash — by crafting these one-of-a-kind gift toppers.

Materials Needed

  • full-size, glossy magazine page
  • ruler
  • pen
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • glue
  • optional: second full-size, glossy magazine page for "ribbon"
  • optional: double-sided tape

Measure and Cut Paper Strips

Use the ruler to divide the short side of the page into nine segments that are 3/4” wide (Image 1). (You’ll have a bit of the page left over, which you can discard.) Tip: If you’d like to create paper “ribbon” to complement your bow, tear out both pages of a magazine spread so you’ll have material in similar colors to use later on. Using your guide marks, cut the page into nine long strips (Image 2). Leave three of the strips full-length, then shorten three of the strips by one inch, shorten three more by two inches, and cut your final strip down to 3-1/2” (Image 3).

Fold, Staple and Glue Bow Segments

Fold each strip into a pointed figure 8 (Image 1) and secure at the center with a staple (Image 2). Glue each of the three largest strips on top of one another, points spaced evenly (Images 3 and 4). Tip: A hot glue gun can replace both the stapler and the glue in these steps.

Finish and Secure Bow

Repeat the fold-staple-glue steps with your second and third groups of strips (Image 1). Glue the shortest, single strip in a loop, then glue it to the center of the bow (Image 2).

Add Bow to Wrapped Package

If you’ve set aside a second magazine page for “ribbon,” cut it into strips and use double-sided tape to secure them to your package (Image 1). Secure the bow to the package with a bit of glue or double-sided tape (Image 2). Choose magazine pages in a variety of colors and with and without text to create a colorful display under your tree (Image 3).

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