How to Embroider Ribbon Hair Bows with a Machine

Hey there! The academic year is back, and I’ve taken to crafting personalized ribbon hair bows with sweet monograms for my little one. Even though I’m passionate about crafting, creating bows from scratch isn’t my specialty. Instead, I adore enhancing ready-made ribbon bows with beautiful embroidery. After a bit of tinkering, I’ve mastered the art of embroidery on ribbons, achieving a flawless finish. I’m super excited to guide you through the process!

Master Machine Embroidery: Create Stunning Ribbon Hair Bows!

Essential Tools for the Task ️

  • Machine: Embroidery machine along with a hoop
  • Bows: Hair bows with a sufficiently long ribbon tail (I opted for 4.5″ ones)
  • Stabilizer: Sticky, self-adhesive tear-away type
  • Thread: Embroidery thread (I recommend 40wt polyester; however, 60wt might be ideal for certain patterns)
  • Needle: A 75/11 embroidery needle
  • Small scissors and marking tools like a water-soluble fabric marking pen
  • Design: Your choice of embroidery design (Check out how to monogram with SewWhat-Pro!)

Stabilizing Tips for Grosgrain Ribbon Bows ️

When working with a pre-made bow, it’s crucial to ensure the ribbon is firmly attached to the stabilizer during the embroidery process. I experimented with wash-away and PolyMesh stabilizers but found them lacking in providing the grip needed to avoid puckering. However, the self-adhesive sticky stabilizer proved to be a game-changer! It offers the grip required for a smooth embroidery experience. A helpful trick I discovered: starch and press the ribbon tails before you start, giving them added firmness. If you notice designs sinking into the ribbon’s texture, just layer it with water-soluble topping to rectify the problem.

Selecting Your Embroidery Design & Ensuring Optimal Stitch Density ✨

Remember, embroidery on a ribbon bow requires a petite design. If your chosen design’s stitch count is too high, it might cause the ribbon to bunch up. So, resizing a large design without adjusting its stitch count might not give the best outcomes. For monogramming, I found using fonts designed specifically for small sizes worked wonders!

Choosing the Right Hoop Size

Initially, I tried saving on stabilizer by using the tiniest hoop for my machine. But this didn’t yield the results I hoped for. The bow touched the hoop’s side, leading to inadequate grip on the stabilizer below. Ultimately, I found that a hoop allowing the entire ribbon tail to fit within its frame was the best choice.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Embroidering Ribbon Hair Bows

  1. Prepping the Hair Bow: Mark the bow’s center for design placement. Using water-soluble pens or chalk wheels works wonders for this. A template from your embroidery software might also be of great help!
  2. Setting Up the Hoop & Bow Position: Hoop in the sticky stabilizer. After removing its paper backing, center the bow on the stabilizer, ensuring alignment of marked lines.
  3. Embroidering the Bow: Position your hoop in the machine, making sure the design is set correctly. Once ready, let the machine work its magic on the ribbon!
  4. Final Touches: Post embroidery, take the stabilizer off gently from the ribbon’s back. Finish by snipping any excess threads and cleaning the marked areas on your bow.

Final Words on Embroidering Hair Bows

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge, dive into the world of DIY monogrammed hair bows! They make perfect gifts and are a delightful way to usher in the new school year. Happy crafting!

Quick Reference Table
Equipment Details
Machine Embroidery machine with hoop
Bows 4.5″ hair bows
Stabilizer Self-adhesive tear-away type
Thread 40wt or 60wt polyester
Needle 75/11 embroidery needle
Design Embroidery design or monogram


Complement the information with the following video: