Lamb’s ear – it’s the highlight of any perennial garden, especially for kids. The soft, silvery leaves of this wonderful, easy-to-grow perennial (also known as Stachys byzantina) just invite kids to reach out and touch. Not only is lamb’s ear a great point of contrast in the garden, its soft and easy-to-work-with leaves can be used to make a natural bow that will enhance any flower arrangement, wreath or gift.

All it takes is a few materials and a bit of time to get through five little steps.

Materials

  • Five lamb’s ear leaves: two large (about 5 inches long), two medium (about 1 inch shorter than the large leaves) and one small (about 1½ inches shorter than the large leaves). Leave about a ½ inch of stem on one of the large leaves, but break off the stems on the others.
  • A round toothpick or approximately 10 inches of raffia

Lamb’s Ear Bow

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 1

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 1

Fold the large leaf with the stem in half end to end – but don’t crease it. Hold it in your left hand. Then gently fold the other large leaf end to end, and place it over the first leaf by slightly overlapping the two ends. This forms the “loops” of the bow.

Photo Credit: Lorraine Shannon

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 2

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 2

Hold both leaves in your left hand and add the medium-sized leaves on a slight angle to the back of the “loops.” This forms the “tails” of the bow.

Photo Credit: Lorraine Shannon

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 3

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 3

Holding all four leaves with your left hand, fold the smallest leaf in half lengthwise, and wrap it around the other leaves so that the ends meet in the back.

Photo Credit: Lorraine Shannon

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 4

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 4

Hold the leaves together by weaving a round toothpick through the back of the bow, being careful not to have the toothpick show through in the front. (A flat toothpick is not recommended because it’s not as sturdy or sharp as a round one.) This method of holding the bow together can be tricky because the leaves may tear as the toothpick is positioned, so be very careful.

An alternative way to hold the leaves together is to tie some raffia around the center of the bow, knotting it in the back to hold it all together. Cut the extra raffia off near the knot, or use the long strands to tie the bow to an arrangement or wreath. (Keep in mind that the bow will shrink as it dries, so tie the raffia as tightly as possible without breaking the leaves.)

Photo Credit: Lorraine Shannon

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 5

Lamb’s Ear Bow - Step 5

Tie it to whatever you want to decorate.

Photo Credit: Lorraine Shannon

And that’s all there is to it!

This bow is sure to impress. Sure, you can use other materials to accent arrangements, wreaths or gifts, but the soft texture of lamb’s ear leaves gives this bow – and whatever it adorns – a unique, natural, standout look.