Any cheer moms out there??? I know some of you luurrv the cheer thing.
I am probably not one of them. As a matter of fact, I keep telling my friends “how did I end up with two cheerleaders?!”
I think what I’m mostly not excited about is how ridiculously expensive all the cheer gear is. And the bows that match the socks and the practice outfit for the week/day. Seriously?! I’m lucky to be wearing two matching socks.
My point is, when I got to looking at how all these practice bows were made and how much we were paying for them, I did something totally ridiculous — I volunteered to make all the practice bows for both the middle school and high school squads.
We have a small school, so that only amounted to 28 cheerleaders.
But that’s 28 cheerleaders x 3 practice bows. Which also turned into a game day bow as well.
And because we did them so inexpensively, later on in the season, a special Homecoming Bow and a cheer bow keychain.
I had initially just said I would do the practice bows because I had never made any bows before, so thought I’d leave the “show bow” for the “professionals.” (That bow alone was going to be $20+, which is actually pretty inexpensive as far as bows here in Texas go.) We’ll I did my mock-ups for the cheer coaches based on what they were asking for to match their practice uniforms.
Funny thing is, when they got the mock-up bow from the person actually being paid to make the game bows, they looked pretty crappy.
Note to all you professional bow-makers out there, don’t turn in a sloppy, not thought-out mock-up. The coaches ended up asking me to make the game bows as well. I’m sure most people who do this for a living don’t “phone it in” and maybe this person was just having a rough week, but it spoke volumes.
And I ended up making the girls first 4 bows each for a total for all of $20/girl….yes, less than $5/bow. And I bought some pricier materials and had stuff left over. I did not charge for my time. I have both a middle school and high school cheerleader, so it was me doing a “mom thing” and helping out.
I’m not going to lie. It took me several days to make all these. But it was summer and I had the time. And yes, my fingers hurt from all the zip-ties afterward.
But I saved myself at least $40/girl. That’s $80 for our family alone. And if you do the math, we saved over $1100 for the whole squad. (There was talk of charging what we would typically pay for the bows and donating it back to the squad, but honestly, that’s a donation/fundraiser that comes from the same pocket. Those never makes sense to me. Make these girls go wash some cars or something.)
Anyhow, there are several tutorials out there and this is just how I worked on our girls’ bows.
Note: I do have a Silhouette and a heat press, because I still save my birthday money that my mom and grandma send me to occasionally buy something big that I would never buy myself (yes, I am a middle age woman – thanks Mom & Grandma!)
This is the heat press I bought last year and I love it!
This is an affiliate link to the PowerHeatPress I bought on Amazon last year. I got no special discounts, I paid the same as everyone else (actually as I write this it’s $175, but I paid $225.)
These bows can still be done cost effectively with an iron and purchasing cut-outs you might want to use from Etsy or Cheerbow Supply.
How I made these different cheer bows can be found in the links below. This post got crazy long, so I split it up into shorter segments that my ADD-self could follow.
- Green Sparkly Spandex Bow
- Purple Glitter Bow
- Simple Grosgrain with Monogram, Simple Polka Dot Bow, Black Glitter Paw Print Bow + Black Triple Ribbon Game Day Bow
Each of the above is not a full, in-depth tutorial. The Green Sparkly Spandex Bow is probably the most detailed and there were several techniques I used in there that translate to the other bows.