How To Make A Bow Out Of Ribbon

Learn how to make a bow out of ribbon to decorate presents, floral arrangements or for wedding or other special occasion decor. Most bows are derived from the basic bow and are adaptable to whatever size you want to make to suit your needs. Other materials can be used to make bows with, but for the purpose of this article, ribbon will be the material of choice. Ribbon can be purchased in varying colors, widths and styles. It comes in double faced (meaning it's shiny or patterned on both sides) and it may have wire to hold its shape. These directions to make a bow out of ribbon will use a wired style ribbon which is the most versatile for many different craft projects.

You will need:

  • Wired ribbon: three yards
  • Thin craft wire: six to twelve inches
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  1. Purchase ribbon. Buy a roll, or at least three feet of ribbon. Typical ribbon widtn will be once inch but it can be wider depending on personal preference. Keep in mind the wider the ribbon, the harder it'll be to hold the ribbon as you're forming the bow. Ribbon can be found in the craft section of most larger stores or in arts and craft supply stores.
  2. Cut it. Use scissors to cut the ribbon to a length of three feet. This will allow for a standard basic bow with about five loops on either side of the ribbon. Longer lengths will allow for more loops resulting in a fuller bow, and a shorter length will make a bow with less loops in it.
  3. Pinch it together. Use your fingers and thumb to pinch the ribbon together about seven inches from one end (one of the tails) holding it firmly with one hand.
  4. Make a loop. Form a loop using about six inches of ribbon and twist it where your fingers are pinching the ribbon. Secure this loop with your fingers.
  5. Rinse and repeat. With the ribbon now facing the other side, make another loop opposite the first one. Again, twist the ribbon where your fingers are holding the ribbon. Grasp each loop twist as you make it. Continue back and forth making loops until you have about five on either side of your fingers. Loops can be the same size or they can be progressively smaller with each set of two that you form.
  6. Form the final loop. Make one final smaller loop in the center then twist the remaining ribbon towards the back of the bow to form the other tail. Cut any excess off so the tail is the same length as the other one. It can also be left slightly longer or shorter to add interest to the bow.
  7. Secure bow. Use the craft wire to wrap around the pinched bow where your fingers are. Wrap the wire under the final small loop so that it is hidden by the loop. Twist the wire in the back of the bow to secure it.

When you make a bow out of ribbon, take into consideration that some ribbon is slippery (think satin), doesn't hold its shape and may only be single faced. These are harder types of ribbon to work with for bow-making. Wired ribbons are generally the easiest, come in many different sizes, colors and patterns and can be shaped and fluffed out as needed.

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