Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Make ribbon embellished hair elastic bows

by: Jo

My daughter and I were walking through Target the other day when she noticed there were princess things in a bin. She didn’t know what the things were but she knew she wanted one. It turned out to be a really cute hair elastics with ribbons and sequins that make an adorable pony tail bow. When I went to put it in her hair for a party, I noticed that it was basically a large, no-damage hair elastic with ribbons tied onto it. Hmmm… that would be easy and I could make them in any color I wanted… sounds like a project!

Target hair ties

I decided I wanted to make one for her to wear for the Fourth of July (yeah, I know it’s a bit early) so I went to my local craft store to pick out some ribbon that would work well together. I didn’t want the ribbon to be too wide and I also didn’t want it to be too thick. Also, make sure you don’t pick up any ribbon that has wire in it. I saw the cutest pattern and was heartbroken that it was wired. I did find one really cute pattern I liked so I got that and the rest I picked out were solid, organza type ribbons in a red, white, and blue, of course!

Selecting the ribbons was the hard part, and making the bow was the easy part. All I did was pick the order of the ribbons I wanted and follow it repeatedly. I did the patterned ribbon first, followed by the red, white, then blue. I tied each one on in a simple knot and pushed the knots together along the elastic.

ribbon ponytail holders

ribbon ponytail holders

I continued knotting the ribbons in the same sequence all the way around the elastic. For the final touch, I glued red stars to both sides of the white ribbon.

ribbon ponytail holder

The possibilities are endless for the embellishments if you want to add them. Check the scrapbook aisle, jewelry-making section, and the notions section of the fabric department for small embellishments to compliment your color scheme. Be careful they aren’t too big or hard, because we don’t want any head injuries!

This project was so quick and easy, I decided to make another one with ribbon and yarn I had left over from another craft project. Once I started looking at all the ribbon I already owned, I noticed that by adding a few solid organza colors to my collection, I could make tons of these elastic bows! They look so cute on a ponytail.

ribbon ponytail holder

ribbon ponytail holder

This would be a great project for a slumber party, Girl Scout troop, or school team (make the bows in the school colors). It’s an easy project for a wide range of ages, too. If you can tie a knot, you can do this!

Update! Chica discovered that strips of fleece work equally well for this project, too!

44 comments so far:

  • 1
    Kristi 03/26/2008 at 11:09 am

    Everyone that scrapbooks with me knows that I have a small ribbon addiction. I never let puny wires stop my using a ribbon. Just cut off the length you want, wiggle the wire out of one of the ends and pull gently. The wires will slip right out.

    Now get back to the craft store and get your ribbon.

  • 2
    Jenny 03/26/2008 at 1:52 pm

    Very cool easy idea! I like the idea of making my own so that I can make the lengths of ribbon shorter, since my daughter’s hair isn’t very long.

  • 3
    momo15 03/26/2008 at 10:33 pm

    I have done these for my granddaughter another way is to single crochet eyelash yarn around your pony tail holder.these are also easy and take about 10 to 15 minutes to make,The coloe variations of the new yarns are endless.they make cute party favors for girls parties and stocking stuffers at Christmas.
    I also found that they sell great at Flea Markets

  • 4
    imzadis 03/27/2008 at 10:38 am

    You can use Tulle (sorry spelling maybe wrong) just tie strips on. I make these quick and easy

  • 5
    Marianne 02/25/2009 at 12:40 pm

    Wire can be removed from wired ribbon very easily with pliers. My daughter has a beautiful personalized canvas tote (a gift) which was decorated with wired ribbon. When the wire broke and started poking through the ribbon, I used pliers to pull out all the pieces of wire. The bag is usable again!

  • 6
    Kat 03/16/2009 at 3:58 pm

    I make these for my daughter’s softball team all the time (they keep losing them).BUT,Im getting tired of the same exact ribbon at all the fabric stores. Being that I only have 3 colors I can use to match their uniforms, I try to find different patterns or shades with no luck. Any suggestions?

  • 7
    Jo 03/16/2009 at 4:20 pm

    Kat, my first stop for a different selection of crafting supplies is always You can search for ribbon in the “Supplies” category at the top of the page. You could also try to dye some white cotton ribbons. A tie dye effect using the softball team colors could create some very unique designs. You could even try cutting small strips of fabric with some pinking shears to tap into the wide variety of patterns on fabrics. Just make sure the fabric is really lightweight or you will have really heavy bows!

  • 8
    martha 05/26/2009 at 9:53 am

    how long did you cut the ribbon to tie it on there?

  • 9
    Jo 05/26/2009 at 1:21 pm

    Martha, I cut mine about 4 inches or so but it really depends on the thickness and type of ribbon you are using. Cut the ribbon to different lengths to add even more interest. Would love to see pictures of what you make!

  • 10
    Melissa 05/29/2009 at 9:04 am

    How long are you cutting the ribbons? I love the ones in the pictures above, but think I’d like a little longer. What length do most of you use? I’ve read on some sites they do 10-15 inches long. What do most of you do?



  • 11
    Jo 05/29/2009 at 9:32 am

    Melissa, I usually cut them between 4-6 inches long depending on the ribbon type. I suggest cutting and tying a few much longer and then trimming to your taste.

  • 12
    suzanne 07/23/2009 at 11:41 am

    I saw the ribbon ponytail holders at a craft show for $8.00 each!!!! needless to say I bought the elastic fabric holders and ribbon and made several for a lot less in a few minutes

  • 13
    Chica 07/23/2009 at 11:54 am

    Way to go, Suzanne!

  • 14
    Margi 09/11/2009 at 8:56 pm

    Very cute and easy..just what I was looking for! My daughter just started soccer and I wanted to do something like this. I found another site that gave instructions to a similar ribbon elastic and it required sewing and glue. I’m so glad I found your instructions..I just made a cute one for her first game! Thanks.

  • 15
    Jo 09/12/2009 at 7:27 am

    Margi, glad you found us! This is one of my favorite projects to do because it is so easy and my daughter loves the results.

  • 16
    mimi 09/17/2009 at 11:14 pm

    where can I purchase a gator bite it is a tool for for putting ponytail holders on ribbon or does any one know anything else that will work?

  • 17
    Chica 09/18/2009 at 6:54 am

    Hi mimi. I found something called gator clips. Is that what you are looking for? Or maybe these?

  • 18
    mimi 09/18/2009 at 5:46 pm

    no that isn’t it I saw it on you tube last week and I can’t find it again..It puts the rubberband on the ribbon after you make it.. I need one badly.. Thanks for trying

  • 19
    Jo 09/21/2009 at 11:08 pm
  • 20
    mimi 09/23/2009 at 6:00 pm


  • 21
    Christy 10/12/2009 at 11:44 pm

    I love these but are they just supposed to go over a ponytail that you already have in? I put them in my daughters hair like a regular ponytail holder and the ribbons get all scrunched up and messy. Any suggestions?

  • 22
    Jo 10/13/2009 at 12:12 am

    I use them as a regular ponytail holder. I usually put it in and then pull some of the ends of the ribbons out. Send me a picture of what you are getting and I might be able to help you more. Perhaps it was the type of ribbon you used?

  • 23
    Julie 01/23/2011 at 7:00 pm

    Hi ladies, I was wondering, is there a certain kind of ribbon to be used? I’ve done this sort of thing in the past, but my ribbon frayed. Thanks

  • 24
    Jo 01/23/2011 at 9:15 pm

    Julie, you can use any kind of ribbon. If you are having problems with fraying, you can quickly burn the tips to melt it or use clear nail polish on the cut ends. Hope that helps!

  • 25
    Carolyn 01/24/2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hi! About how many yards of ribbon do you think you need to make one? I am thinking of making them for my daughters gymnastics team and will need to make a lot of them so need an idea of how much ribbon i need. Really cute ..thanks!

  • 26
    Jo 01/25/2011 at 10:06 am

    Carolyn, it’s been so long since I have done this project, I am not sure! I know it did take quite a bit of ribbon though. My advice is to use any scrap ribbon you might have on hand to make one of the hair ties and measure to see how much you used. Just make sure you measure the piece before tying it onto the hair tie.

  • 27
    Noemi 01/28/2011 at 1:25 pm

    That looks so pretty and so unique and their so colorful.

  • 28
    Christi 03/29/2011 at 8:48 pm

    I am considering selling these at my in laws Market Days. Do you think they would sell? And what price should I sell them for?

  • 29
    Jo 03/30/2011 at 10:02 am

    Christi, I am not sure if they would sell or not. As far as price goes, I would check and see how much you spend on the ribbon to make one and then add extra for your profit. Let us know how it goes if you do make them to sell. Good luck!

  • 30
    Christi 03/30/2011 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks Jo! I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the response.

  • 31
    ROCIO ARDILA QUINTERO 07/11/2011 at 10:20 am


  • 32
    Carol 08/16/2011 at 9:48 am

    I wanted to make these for girl scouts and Im glad I found this! So much easy than the other sites I looked at! Im excited! Thank you!

  • 33
    Kaipo 12/22/2011 at 4:44 am

    So fun! Are you slip tying the ribbon on the elastic or an over hand knot (like tying a shoe lace) or even a square knot so it doesnʻt come off? Thanks for the cute idea!!

  • 34
    Chica 12/22/2011 at 8:08 am

    Kaipo, we just use a simple knot and tie it twice for security, but any of the methods you suggested should work fine.

  • 35
    Patricia 02/28/2012 at 12:24 pm

    great ideal

  • 36
    KeriJ 03/03/2012 at 4:10 am

    Can’t wait to make these for the soccer girls first game tomorrow!

  • 37
    sheila 04/26/2012 at 5:27 pm

    this is the coolest idea and much easier than any other site. im gonna need to make 10 of them for my grandbaby’s softball team. i need them to be neon green-do they have ribbon in neon green? thanks for the great idea.

  • 38
    Jeannine 06/13/2013 at 11:09 pm

    Awesome. Gonna make some for our volley ball team. Your instructions are the simplest I have found. Thank you.

  • 39
    Lisa 01/22/2014 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I had contemplating ordering some through local shops I know but they were wanting roughly $5-$6 a piece…….I need enough for an entire team :) My only question is approximately how much ribbon should I buy when doing 10 of these…..copying your measurements of 4-6 in per ribbon?

  • 40
    Chica 01/22/2014 at 6:00 pm

    Glad you like this project idea, Lisa! It’s very hard to tell you how much ribbon you’ll need, because it will depend on the width of your ribbon and how full you want the bow to be. I looked back at the picture of Jo’s finished bow and tried to count, and it looks like she used maybe 25-30 pieces of ribbon. Your best bet might be to buy extra and then return whatever you don’t use. Hope that helps!

  • 41
    Laure 05/02/2014 at 8:30 am

    I need to make some for my daughters softball team . How long did you cut each ribbon.

  • 42
    Chica 05/02/2014 at 9:12 am

    Laure, you can cut the ribbons to whatever length you like, but 4-6″ is a good starting point.

  • 43
    Taylor 07/22/2015 at 11:34 pm

    When you put them on your daughter’s pony tail, do you double the elastic or no? I tried making one and when I double the elastic the different strands get caught inside the pony tail and it is very frustrating! Any suggestions on elastics, etc?

  • 44
    Jo 07/29/2015 at 1:55 pm

    Taylor, I do double and I just pull some of the strands out of her ponytail.

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