Because sometimes, even rough-and-tumble zombie hunters need to look cute.
I created these bows for a family cosplay where my littlest was Daryl, my eldest was Negan, and I was the Governor.
Anyway, I cut the bows right from the sleeves of her cosplay shirt. This would work for an adult as well, though you may have to cut the sleeve down for a more manageable bow size. Personally, I like big bows. But that’s up to you.
Despite my wordy instructions, this is a fairly simple project. If you’re a novice, it can be completed during an afternoon binge-watching The Walking Dead. If you’re a practiced bow-maker, you could probably finish it within an episode.
*For best results with this project, I suggest you have some basic hand-stitching knowledge. BUT, all the stitching can be substituted with hot glue if you’re not comfortable sewing. Keep in mind, hot glue alone doesn’t give the best hold but will work in a pinch. Sewing best reinforces the bow for the longest wear.
Plaid shirt or 1.5″ wide plaid ribbon
5/8″ Arrow ribbon
5/8″ ribbon in black or red (for clasp)
1/8″ red ribbon (I used Organza)
Wing “beads” (I found a chain of 7 in Michael’s jewelry making section)
Needle and thread (black)
Hot glue gun and sticks of glue
Bow clip of your preference (I prefer the smooth alligator clips because they don’t mess up your hairdo if you have to move them around.)
1. Before anything else, plug in the glue gun so it warms up.
2. Cut the sleeves off whatever plaid shirt you’re using for this cosplay. (Skip this step if you’re using plaid ribbon.)
Then, cut the end of the sleeve to make as straight of a segment as possible for your bow’s base. (In the image below, it’s the far right cut.)
For those using plaid ribbon instead of a shirt:
For two bows, cut two segments of 11″ ribbon.
3. Remove four wings from the chain using wire cutters.
4. Start building your bow. To do this, gather the plaid segment into a bow shape, then run needle and thread through the center to hold it in place. Keep wrapping and then running the needle through the bunch until you’re satisfied with the hold.
Run the needle through:
Wrap. Here’s a closeup of the thread wrapped around the center:
Now, tie off the thread and cut it off. This is how the finished plaid segment should look:
If using plaid ribbon, the process is similar, but you’d first make a loop out of your cut with a one-inch overlap in the back, then bunch and sew exactly as above. Since I don’t have plaid ribbon, I’ll illustrate what I mean with the arrow ribbon below. Just use your imagination that it’s bigger and plaid.
Gather and sew:
Tie off the thread and set the bow aside.
5. Next, cut four strips of arrow ribbon to the length of your plaid bow. (Anywhere from 4-5″.)
I also like to give mine tails. To do that, you fold each end of the ribbon in half, then cut it at an angle.
Then, I run a lighter over the edges to keep them from fraying.
6. Crisscross your arrow strips and sew them together in the middle, gathering and wrapping the same way you did with the plaid.
Tie off thread.
7. Sew or glue the arrow ribbon to the plaid.
7. Next, sew and/or glue the wings in place near the center. I did both for security and to keep them stationary.
8. Wrap your red ribbon around the center. Cut and glue in place at the back. Since the ribbon I used was so sheer, I wrapped it three times.
This is the bow’s completed look! I went ahead and hot glued any frays that were sticking out and glued my tails down so they weren’t flopping around, but that part is optional. Frays may even add to the Daryl Dixon look!
Now, we just have to put it on a clip.
9. Clip the 5/8″ red or black ribbon inside the alligator clip. Then, run some glue on top of the ribbon and clip- just this side, though. And then press the ribbon tail down over the top.
Cut about a half centimeter excess ribbon, and burn the end. Then, run glue along the excess and fold it over like so:
10. Now, just run glue along the ribbon side of the finished clip, and stick it to the back of your finished bow, right in the middle, like so:
And guess what? Just like that, you’re finished!!
Some notes on the cosplay as a whole:
This was a really fun family cosplay. We couldn’t walk twenty feet without someone wanting to take a picture of the girls in their little gender-bend outfits. Nothing I did cost much money. I mostly used items from around the house, and cheaply DIY’d the rest.
Here’s the fantastic link that inspired our Daryl Dixon vest.
I hope you enjoyed this rare Walking Dead edition of Making Sh*t with Jen P. Remember to comment below if you try this craft. I’d love to see your finished projects.
Happy zombie hunting, Geeks!