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Here is a simple way to make an awesome bow .With this, you can make the tiniest ribbon flawlessly.Lay your fork on a flat surface facing up then insert the lace underneath the fork. Flip the lace on the left so that you have a top and a bottom ribbon. Make sure that the bottom ribbon is longer than the top. With your left hand, hold the fork and the ribbon firmly. Take the bottom ribbon and flip on top of your thumb before inserting on the middle opening of the fork. Bring it up from the middle before letting go or your left thumb. Make a square knot. Remove the lace from the fork and make some adjustment if needed.
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The JoJo Bows Deluxe Bow Maker Contains
– 2 fluffy pom pom key rings– Ribbon maker base– 8 Ribbon maker rods– 8 large ribbon lengths– 8 medium ribbon lengths– 8 thin ribbon lengths– stick on sparkly gems– 4 medium and 4 large metal hair clips– White glue– White string– 8 JoJo Charms
– Bow hanger
So What Did We Think Of The JoJo Bows Deluxe Bow Maker?!
All the materials are really good quality. The ribbon in particular needs a special mention as it’s the same quality as the ribbon used in the premade JoJo bows you can wear. There are plenty of gems but they do come off so it might be worth investing in some fabric glue to keep them stuck on (they stick via little sticky pads already attached). I can’t say how good the glue is as we didn’t use it. My advice would be to use a glue gun if possible.
Extra’s you will need apart from the glue gun are – scissors, iron (not essential), plus needle and thread if you want to sew on the charms. Personally, I think they should have included needle and thread.
The biggest let down is the instruction leaflet. The bow maker itself is really easy to use it’s just a shame that the instruction leaflet is so poor. If they made some changes and added in some of the steps I’ve detailed above I’m sure it would be a massive hit. I think the way the instructions are laid out at the moment is going to result in a few disappointed bow makers especially if you don’t have crafty parents.
All in all the JoJo Bows Deluxe Bow Maker is great value for money when you consider how expensive the premade bows are to buy. You get enough material to make 8 bows plus you get a pre-made hanger and you can continue to use the bow maker to design your own bows afterward. It currently sells for around £14.99.
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Disclaimer: We were sent this in exchange for writing a review. All thoughts and images are my own.
Tools and Wood Selection
In the video below he goes through what tools you will need and how to pick the right piece of wood. I didn’t use Gorilla Glue because after doing some research I found that Titebond III wood glue is better for bow making because it “flex’s” and lasts longer.
Choosing the right piece of wood for your bow is crucial because with all the work and attention to detail you will be putting in, picking the wrong piece of wood will cause problems down the line.
Finding the right piece of wood is easier said than done, you won’t be able to find a “perfect” piece of wood from Home Depot, but do the best you can.
I chose a 6ft 1 x 2 piece of Oak because Oak is a strong wood. You can also use wood like Hickory, White Ash, Green Ash, Black Cherry but Oak is just fine. Softer Woods to avoid would be Aspen, Cottonwood, Poplar, Balsa and Pine.
Measuring, Gluing and Cutting
This video goes through the main part of taking a 1 x 2 and making it start to look like a bow. He explains how to taper the top, bottom and sides of the bow.
The video also shows how to glue the handle and the end pieces on. I chose maple for this because I wanted a different wood grain, but you can use the Oak if you like.
It’s a little tricky getting the wood to stay in the right place when gluing, but don’t worry, you will be filing and sanding this later anyway. I used two clamps for the handle, and one for the ends
Backing and Handle Shaping
This video goes through how to apply the backing and shape the handle for your bow. In this video he used epoxy, I decided to go with fiberglass tape because I couldn’t find the epoxy and glue is cheaper.
The video also goes through how to taper the ends of the handle to curve to the bow. Be careful not to cut too deep. I did, and it’s not only hard to sand out, it can weaken the bow.
As you can see in the picture below I applied a layer of glue, then 1 strip of fiberglass tape. I did this three times alternating the direction of the threads in the tape.
If you decide to go with the fiberglass tape method, make sure and use extra strength Fibatape. This tape flex’s and has cross threads. press the glue flat between each layer to make sure the glue seeps through the tape.
The Tillering Tree
A tillering tree is important because you want to exercise the wood and condition it to the bending and flexing.
The above video explains how to build the tillering tree and in the video below he explains how to use the tillering tree.
Tillering requires a lot of rinse and repeat. Take your time with this though, the better you do at this, the better your bow will perform and reduces the risk of snapping.
I used some leftover wood to make the base, and a pine 1×2 for the stem. The notches are cut 1″ apart (angled up) and the scale under the tree will give you the pull weight.
Tillering requires finding the weak spots at certain draw lengths and sanding them out. Be prepared to test, sand, test, sand, test, sand until you get the bow to bend evenly at different pull weights.
Finishing the handle
After you have the bow tillered you will cut out the arrow rest and begin to shape the handle and give it some character. This video shows how easy it is to get it to fit your hand even if you have minimal wood working skills.
This is also where you will round off all the edges. You will need to round off the tips of the bow, down the edges and make everything look nice and professional before your apply the stain or finish.
Important: I am a south paw so I hold the bow with my right hand and pull with my left. The arrow rest should be inside, between you and the bow. The video shows how to do this for a right handed bow, I just reversed everything.
You will want to use really fine sand paper because once you apply the stain (if you choose to) all the little imperfections will be magnified.