Mario Buatta's New York Apartment Featuring His Picture Bows

Simple DIY Mario Buatta Picture Bow You Need to Make

The Mario Buatta picture bow. There’s no denying it’s iconic status.

The man himself is a household name for anyone familiar with Grandmillennial style. And if you’ve ever seen images of his home in New York, then you know he loved silk bows.

Now that I have trim molding in my home, I’ve been thinking about how to decorate all of the narrow panels. I knew I’d use art, but I wanted to make it a little more special.

I wanted to inject more pattern onto the walls, so I decided to do so with a DIY Mario Buatta-inspired picture bow. This turned out to be a simple sewing project, but it is nonetheless a great decorative touch.

Materials List

  • Fabric – 1 Yard
  • Matching Thread
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Safety Pin
  • Sewing Machine
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tailor’s Chalk
  • Clothing Iron

One yard of 45” wide fabric will yield about one bow, with some fabric remaining. For two bows, you’ll need about 1-½ yards of fabric. Medium to lightweight fabrics are best for this project. Thicker fabrics will not gather well and will alter the look of your bows.

I would stick to cotton, cotton blends, linen, and silk fabric.

Also, the seam allowance for this project is ½”.

Cutting Your Fabric for Your Mario Buatta Picture Bow

First off, you will need one of every piece below for each bow you make. 

A: 6” W x 11” L (Fold line 4” from the left and right side.)

B: 11″ W x 19″ L (Fold line 3” in from top & bottom side.)

C: 11” W Length is up to you (Fold line 3” from the left and right sides.)

Use the diagrams below to visually assist you as you cut your pieces. Make sure to mark the fold lines on your fabric with the tailor’s chalk before you start to sew. They will be very useful later.

Sewing Piece A

Fold piece A in half, right sides together. Pin in place and straight stitch across the top. Press open your seams.

Turn so that the pattern side is out. Position the seam so that it sits in the middle of the fabric panel. Press flat with an iron.

Next, flip your fabric so that the seam is towards the back. Fold over the top and bottom of the fabric towards the center. Follow the fold lines you marked and press the folds flat.

Then, fold your folds towards the backside so that both sides meet where your seam is located. Press your fabric flat.

Fold piece A in half, right sides together. Pin in place and straight stitch the open ends. Press the seam open. Flip the loop so that the seam you’ve just made is located inside. Finally, set it aside to work on piece B.

Sewing Piece B

To begin, fold piece B in half lengthwise. You should be looking at the backside of the fabric. Pin in place. Sew the two sides together with a ½” seam allowance. Press open your seam with an iron.

Turn your fabric inside out. Position your seam so that it is directly in the center of your fabric. Press your fabric flat with an iron.

Next, bring your open ends towards the center. Ensure your ends overlap. Using a needle and thread, hand stitch your bow. Make sure you are sewing through all layers of fabric. Tie off the ends of the thread when done.

You can now slip piece A through your bow. Make sure the seam on piece A is located at the back of the bow where it will not be visible.

Sewing Piece C

With the backside of the fabric up, fold down your ½” seam allowance from the top of piece C. Pin in place and press flat.

Then, fold your fabric lengthwise so that the right sides are together. Use pins to keep your fabric in place. Straight stitch along the side, ensuring the ends are left unstitched. Press open your seam allowance.

Open up piece C so that your seam sits in the middle, and follow the fold lines outlined in the diagrams above. Sew the fishtail end of your streamer. After, use a pair of scissors to make a small cut at the center of the fishtail. This will release the tension in your fabric.

Turn your project right side out. Press it flat. Straight stitch along the open top where you folded your seam allowance. Your seam allowance should be hidden inside the streamer.

Flip your fabric so that you are looking at the center seam running along the back. Fold down the top of the streamer by 4-½”. Using a needle, baste stitch across all of the layers of fabric. Then, pull your thread to gather your fabric. Tie it off to keep your gathers in place.

Putting All Your Mario Buatta Picture Bow Pieces Together

Attach the safety pin across the back of your completed bow. Then, thread it through the front of your streamer, where you gathered the fabric. Pin in place. You can also hand-stitch the bow to the streamer.

To hang your Mario Buatta picture bow, you can hand sew a hanging ring to the back of the uppermost bow.

To attach your picture frames, stick a thin nail over the bow wherever you’d like your picture frame to hang. The nail should puncture the fabric so that the bow is pinned against the wall. Finally, you can use the nail to hang your picture frame.

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