DIY Faux Bois + Real Wood Gift Bows


Oh craft fails! There have been so many in my life lately. In fact, today’s project came out of the aftermath of a particularly disappointing project gone wrong. What started as a hopeful bunting morphed into a heap of wonderful wooden gift bows, and since several of you asked me about them over on Instagram, I thought I’d share how I made them so you can make some too!

I initially hesitated to share this project because I used real wood veneer (on the pricey side) for my first bows. I’m an equal opportunity crafter, and believe that everyone should have a chance to make something great, so I came up with a more wallet-friendly solution: paper bows that are printed to look like real wood! I’ll be sharing the tutorial for those below.

If you’d like to try your hand at some true wood bows, simply follow the steps below, skipping the paper printing step and substituting the printed paper for Band-It Paper Backed Veneer Facing Sheets (found in some hardware stores – I found mine at Ace Hardware).

diy_wooden_bow_suppliesSupplies Needed:

  • Cardstock paper
  • Color printer
  • Woodgrain printables | Found via How About Orange
  • Scissors
  • Low-heat hot glue gun with glue sticks | Resist the urge to use other glues or tapes…I tried them and they do not adhere well enough for this project
  • Pencil
  • Adhesive glue dots (optional) | Used to easily attach finished bows onto gifts


Start by choosing which woodgrain pattern you would like to use. Print it onto one side of your cardstock. Allow page to dry for a moment. Flip printed page over and print same woodgrain pattern onto the backside of your paper, so that both sides have a woodgrain pattern printed on them.

Trim off any white areas. Use your ruler and pencil to lightly mark long strips of “wood.” You can do anything from .5″ to 1.5″ in width, depending upon the bow size you’d like to make. The bows I created here were around .5″ wide.

To create bows like the ones I made here you will need to cut your .5″ wide paper strips into several different lengths. You will need the following:

  • Main bow portion: 8.5″ length (CUT 1)
  • Bow loops: 4.5″ length (CUT 2)
  • Tails: 2.5″ length (CUT 2)
  • Bow center: approximately 1″ length (CUT 1)


Curl your longest strip of paper around until the ends overlap, and glue together.  Place a dab of glue inside the center of the paper band and press down to adhere.


Place your shortest strip of paper onto the center of your bow, wrap around and seal with a dab of glue on the backside. Prepare your two bow loops by gluing ends together. For a neater bow, it helps to cut an angled portion off of the end of each loop (as seen in the image above).


Prepare your bow tails by cutting out an inverted V-shape from the bottom of each paper strip, and removing an angled portion from the top of each. Attach bow loops onto the top backside of your main bow loop with ends pointing in towards the middle. Finish by gluing on the bow’s tails beneath the bow loops.


Decorate your gifts…and your home. I put some of the bows I made onto our Christmas tree and love them! xo Ez


Find more DIY projects and inspiration in the Creature Comforts DIY Gallery.