How to make a bow with ribbon

Learn how to make a beautiful loopy bow for gifts, displays, packaging, and more!

Materials

Instructions

  1. Curl ribbon over to create the center loop and pinch it at the base. Twist the tail of ribbon where your fingers are pinched so that the front side of the fabric is facing up.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  2. Fold the ribbon under to make the first loop. Twist the ribbon to make the front side face out and pinch it in the center. (Note: You will need to twist the ribbon after each consecutive loop in order to make sure that the front side of the fabric will always be facing out.)DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  3. Fold the ribbon on the opposite side of the first loop to create the second loop. Hold up both loops to make sure they are the same length. Twist and pinch the ribbon.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  4. Begin the second set of loops using the same method as the first set. Use your fingers to measure the loops, keeping them at the same length.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  5. Continue folding loops and twisting the ribbon until you have five loops on each side.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  6. Insert ribbon wire through the center loop and wrap around to the back. Before tightening the wire, make sure the ribbon tail is folded back so that the front side of the fabric is facing toward the front of the bow. Leaving one end of the wire longer than the other, tightly twist the wire together at least 3 times. Don’t cut the wire just yet.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  7. Trim the ribbon tail to your desired length. Feed the remaining ribbon through the center loop at least as high as the loops are long. Grab the longer piece of wire from the back and insert it through the center loop over the ribbon and around to the back.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  8. Tightly twist the wire together in the back, trim it, and flatten it down onto the bow. Next, trim the second ribbon tail to match the length of the first.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  9. Arrange each loop up or down to fill out the full circle of the bow.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
  10. Trim the top tail to the same length as the loops.DIY: How to Tie a Loopy BowDIY: How to Tie a Loopy Bow
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Step 2: Tie Your Bow

The Classic Bow

A clean, classic bow is a guaranteed winner for any gift. Ribbons used to make these gift bows are often brightly colored and made of a fine fabric such as satin, but you can make them out of anything you like. We think they look best atop a solid-colored gift wrap or a plain white box. No matter what color combination you choose, here’s how to tie the perfect bow:

  • First, wrap the ribbon around the box so that the two ends can be tied along the top plane.
  • Tie the ribbon in a half-knot.
  • Take one side of the ribbon and form a loop. Find a friend to press their finger down on the half-knot while you do this.
  • Take the other side, wrap it around the loop and pull it through the hole you’ve created, forming a second loop.
  • Grab both loops and slowly pull in opposite directions.
  • Make adjustments to the bow as necessary, and enjoy your beautiful gift!

The Flowering Bow

The flowering bow is more intricate, but still relatively simple to create and yields stunning results. Everyone has their own method, but here’s how we like to make flowering gift bows:

  • Wrap a length of ribbon several times around your hand, forming a coil, then hold that coil loosely in one hand.
  • Pinch the coil together in the center, then fold the coil over on itself.
  • At the spot of the fold, cut notches off each side so that the fold looks like an arrow with a blunt tip.
  • Unfold the ribbon so the notches are now in the center, and join the ribbon loops by tying a small piece of ribbon or string around the notches. Alternatively, use a stapler to attach the ribbons to each other.
  • Now, fan out the inner coils of that bow to make the multiple “petals” of your flower. And voila!
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The Wired Bow

The great thing about wired ribbon is that it holds whatever shape you mold it into. As a result, there are an infinite number of wired bow options a crafter could come up with. Try this special wired bow:

  • Use varying lengths of wired ribbon to create different sized circles.
  • Use a glue gun to close the ends of your ribbon circles together.
  • Loop the circles together to form a chain (the chain can be as long as you like).
  • Glue one or both ends of the chain to the gift box to create a unique, fanciful decoration!

Ribbon bows make a creative and thoughtful addition to any gift — some crafters even stockpile them so they’re always prepared for birthdays or holidays. Practice makes perfect, so get started today!

-Apprx 5/8 to 3/4 yard of 3/8″ ribbon (depending on wrist size)-Apprx 18″ of 1 1/2″ wired ribbon –Embroidery thread (or regular thread)

Cut your 3/8″ ribbon to desired length.  I wanted it to wrap around a few times.  Measure desired length  by placing the middle of the ribbon on top of her wrist and wrapping the ends around her wrist once each to join at the bottom of the wrist (effectively three times around). Add 2 1/2 additional inches for the closure.  My 6 year old daughter required 18″ in length, including the 2 1/2″ required to attach the button and make the closure loop.   If you want the bracelet to be a surprise, measure with yarn or string to get to the appropriate length.

Tie the wired bow.  These are step-by-step directions on how to make a good-looking bow.

Make two loops.

Cross the loops – left over right.Take left loop over the right and through the hole.  It then becomes your right loop.

Now, here’s the trick, its time to flip the bow over. Hold the newly pushed through right loop of the bow in your right hand and let the rest of the bow rotate around it – the left hand tail will flip over the top and the left loop of the bow will also rotate or flip. In this way, the tails both go nicely out the bottom and the center front will be nice and square.

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Tighten bow. Play with it, tightening and loosening, until you like how it looks.

Trim ends to desired length.Use embroidery thread or floss to sew bow to middle of your length of 3/8″ ribbon. Sew in multiple directions so bow is secure to ribbon.

For the closure, fold about 1/2 to one inch of one end of the ribbon over to sew on the button.  This double thickness will add substance and some structure to the end of your bracelet.

Sew on button.

Now its time to sew the closure loop on the other end of the ribbon. If you can, try to fit the bracelet to your child at this point. You want the end of ribbon to fit snugly around button.  If you can’t try it on, it is definitely best to have measured your child’s wrist with something, such as yarn or string.  I used a twist tie and wrapped it around Allie’s wrist two times to get a general measurement of wrist width.  She’s hasn’t seen this yet!

Sew loop in ribbon as follows, with extra tail to secure closure loop with triple thickness of ribbon.   You can trim the tail if you’d like.  I wanted to keep it to be able to increase the size of the bracelet in the future.

The closure loop should fit around the button snugly and look like this:

Adjust bow to your liking – finis!

Allie adored her first gift!  She proudly wore it to school today, much to the admiration of her classmates and even her teacher.  I can’t wait for this to continue.  Tomorrow are some vundebar sparkly headbands–beautiful enough that you’ll want one for yourself!

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