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Research shows that creative pursuits relax the mind but even if crafting doesn’t come naturally to you, never fear – for Week Two of our Cool Cucumber Christmas we’ve teamed up with talented illustrator, screen printer and mid-century addict, Helen Entwisle from Memo Helen. Below she shares her top tips for making easy-peasy bows from recycled or brown paper. Don’t they look just fabulous paired with our Special Edition Gift Collection?

Memo Helen’s Guide to Festive Bow Making

Paper is always in abundance at Christmas, lots of festive patterns and vibrant gift wrap sitting under the tree.  I find myself salvaging the bigger pieces, smoothing them out and saving them for next year.  These neat gift bows are a great way to recycle last year’s gift wrap or you could coordinate with a particular paper of your choice.  For this demonstration I’ve painted a little holly pattern onto brown parcel paper, using the gorgeous, bold Booja-Booja colours as inspiration!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Used gift wrap (not too creased) or brown paper



Scalpel & cutting mat (optional)

Mini stapler


Double sided tape


Step 1: First of all, cut the paper into strips (either with a scalpel and ruler on a cutting mat / protective mat. Or with scissors if you’d prefer. Per bow, you’ll need:

Three strips measuring 22cm x 2cm

Three strips of 20cm x 2cm

One strip of 8cm x 2cm.


Step 2: Fold each strip into a figure of eight position and staple in place – staple the smallest strip into a loop shape. Next, cut six small pieces of double sided tape and stick into the centre of each figure of eight piece.



Step 3: In turn, starting with the larger pieces remove the paper from the tape and fix in place, rotating the position of each piece to sit neatly inside the one underneath.  Continue this pattern until all six pieces are used up and fix the mini loop piece inside the centre, push down here with your finger to make sure all the pieces are firmly stuck in place.  Add a square of tape to the base of the bow then it’s done, ready to decorate a gift!



Once you’ve got the hang of the method you can easily produce a big stash of paper bows in an evening, an enjoyable creative task even more fun with a Booja-Booja truffle or three!


Top Tip for Mini Bows:

You can also make a mini version of the bow by cutting 3 strips of 16cm x 2cm and 1 strip of 8cm x 2cm – assemble following the same method above.

Decorate gifts with the bows, attach with thread to create a hanging garland, Christmas tree decorations or include in a festive table display.  Most importantly, I hope you enjoy the making process and a moment of calm in the busy festive season!


To explore more of Helen’s beautiful, inspiring work visit 

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