How to Make a Stiffened Topknot Bow

Form a loop with top X to begin constructing the bow.
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Owners of small dogs such as poodles, Yorkies, Shih-tzu and other breeds often coif their dog's long or thick hair into decorative top knots. Stiffened hair bows are affixed to these hair styles for formal shows and for casual attire. Dressing your little dog's hair with cute bows can become an expensive habit. Make your own stiff top knot bows for a fraction of the price of retail doggie bows.

Step 1

Cut a 6-inch long piece of satin or grosgrain ribbon. Align the ends of the ribbon, folding it lightly in half to determine the center of the ribbon. Hold the ribbon's center.

Step 2

Cross the ribbon ends to form a loop resembling a lapel ribbon. You will be holding the center of a loop and the ribbon ends will form an X.

Step 3

Grasp the center of the ribbon loop and bring it beneath the intersection point on the X created by the ribbon ends. It will resemble a bow without a connecting middle. Insert a straight pin through the center layers to hold the bow's shape.

Step 4

Thread a needle with thread matching the ribbon's color. Tie a knot at the end of the thread. Insert the needle through the center of the bow, near the straight pin, and sew in and out several times to securely fasten the bow.

Step 5

Cut a 1-inch long piece of ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the center of the bow. This is the center bow ribbon that will give the bow a "tied" appearance. The flat side will be the bow's front; the two ends will be the back of the bow. Fold the raw edges under and pinch the ribbon ends together.

Step 6

Sew the ends together using a whipstitch or an overcast stitch. Don't cut the thread. Center a toothpick vertically on the back of the bow over the sewn together ends of the center bow ribbon. Sew over this toothpick and through the back of the center bow ribbon about six times to form a thread loop. Cut the thread, but leave the toothpick in place.

Step 7

Place a foam packing peanut into each bow loop to hold the loop shape. Sometimes a small bottle cap from household or cosmetic products will work well if you have two in the recycling bin.

Step 8

Spray the bow all over with fabric stiffener spray. Fabric stiffener spray is sold under various brand names at craft, hobby and fabric stores. Allow the stiffener to dry overnight.

Step 9

Sew around one side (through the loop and around the rubber band) a clear or neutral-colored rubber grooming band with a needle and thread. Don't cut the thread. Remove the toothpick from the stiffened bow. There will be a stiff thread loop at the back of the center of the bow.

Step 10

Insert the needle through the stiff thread loop, pulling the grooming band close to the bow's back. Sew through the stiff thread loop and around the grooming band to secure the band to the bow.


  • A top knot bow should not be used to form the top knot itself. Secure the top knot with a separate grooming band, then affix the grooming band connected to the bow.


  • Grooming bands can be purchased in bulk packages from dog grooming supply and pet stores.

Items You Will Need

  • Satin or grosgrain ribbon, 1/2-inch width
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Straight pin
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Foam packing peanuts, about two
  • Toothpick
  • Fabric stiffener spray
  • Rubber grooming band, clear or neutral