Craft 35mm Film Bows for Holiday Gifts

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 23

Your stockings are hung, your halls are decked, and it’s time to wrap up all of those presents. But you’ve got a problem. You’re tired of boring old candy cane paper and ribbons.

We’ve got an answer for this holiday head-scratcher, the 35mm film bow!

Get excited to wrap, this DIY will you have your showing off your festive craftiness AND your love of photography at the same time. It’s nothing short of a holiday miracle!

Make Gift Bows Out of 35 mm Film

p.s. Get free 2-Day shipping for U.S. orders over $100 in the Photojojo Shop!

Why it’s cool:

Upcycling is everywhere, and this is a crafty, simple, and creative way to take all of those negatives that might otherwise sit in a closet or on a shelf for years and put them to use! Plus, we can’t think of a more impressive way to top of a gift for a photo-loving pal.

Best of all, you might even have everything you need to make them around the house already. Mark our words, film bows are gonna be all the rage this year.

What you’ll need:


  • Film Negatives
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Scissors

STEP 1: Develop

paint-smHere’s the best part of this step – you might not even have to do it!

If you already have negatives laying around in a box somewhere, pull ‘em out! If not, you can shoot new ones, or even have blank film developed.

(You can even give your favorite friendly local film developers a call and see if they have any cast offs or abandoned negatives that were never picked up.)

For the project, you’ll need 6 standard sized strips about 6” long each.

Step 2: Stick some shapes

paint-sm To make each petal you’ll  want a strip of double sided tape around 1″ long.

Stick it down ⅛” from the short edge of your negative strip, remove the backing, then bend the strip over so the edges are even with the tape sandwiched between them. Squeeae it to make sure the adhesive sticks.

Go ahead and keep going at this step until you have five pieces.

Step 3: Spiral stack

paint-sm Next, you’re making a flower shape with the five petals. One at a time, add a piece of double sided tape near the flat end of a petal, remove the tape’s backing, then stack another piece on top.

Do this until you’re out of petal pieces.

A tip: each petal will need to be less than 90 degrees from the previous one in order for all five to fit evenly.

Step 4: AKA the cherry on top

paint-smNow for that last lonely negative strip.

Cut it down to a shorter size, about 5″, then use another strip of double sided tape, but this time make a circle instead of a petal.

Add one last strip of tape to middle of your flower, and press the round piece down on it.

Step 4: Decorate!

paint-smJoy to the world, you’re done with your bow! Now’s the time to stick it on a gift, then sit back and enjoy some gingerbread.

Why Stop There?

  • Make adorable minis with just parts of your negatives.
  • Use different types of film (like black and white) for different colors of bows.
  • Wear one on your head as a fascinator.
  • Use a film bow on a gift wrapped in photo-wrapping paper for a DIY double whammy!