How to make a bow


While Christmas is several weeks away, decorating for Christmas is right around the corner.  Big bows are a Christmas decorating basic and we see them everywhere.    Recently, I had several friends tell me they didn’t know how to make a big bow.  I was a little surprised because it’s such an easy thing to do.  But then, when I thought about it, I probably wouldn’t have known how to make one either if I hadn’t grown up with a mom who was a art teacher. Since we can’t all have moms that were art teachers, I thought I would share my simple way to make a great bow.

So Grab your spool of ribbon and let’s start.


  1. Start by making a small loop and hold it between your thumb and forefinger.  This is going to be your center.
  2. Next twist the tail of your ribbon and form your first loop.   You will twist the ribbon each time before forming a new loop because it helps the bow hold its shape and not slip.  Add the newly made loop to the center loop that you have pinched between your fingers.
  3. Do this till you form about 4 loops on each side.  This does not count the center start loop.
  4. Lastly, make one final extra-large loop that will be cut later to make the tails of your bow.
  5. Insert a wire through the center starting loop and wrap it around the bundled loops you have pinched between your fingers.
  6. Twist the wire ends together to secure your loops.
  7. Use your scissors to cut the ribbon from the spool.  This will form your first tail
  8. Next cut in the center of that last extra-large loop you made.  This will form another two tails.

(if you only want two tails instead of three, when you cut the ribbon away from the spool, make the cut close under your bow so it won’t be seen)

  1. Lastly your bow will likely look rumpled.  Just fix and fluff the loops till you think it looks right.
  2. Wahla you have a beautiful Bow!

Keep in mind…

  • You can use wired ribbon or non-wired ribbon.  But wired ribbon is often easier to work with.
  • Sometimes the ribbon you are gathering between your thumb and finger can get a little bulky and slip.  If that happens don’t worry just start over.  It can take a couple of tries to get the hang of it.
  • The number of loops on each side is up to you.  For a simpler bow add less loops on each side or for a fuller look add more loops.
  • I like to use a chenille stem to secure my bows because they can be easier to work with then plain thin wire.  But in reality I just use whatever I can scavenge up from my basement craft pile.   It’s all good.
I hope this helps someone.

Enjoy your bow making


check out my next project (here)

Palermo home

mud room off garage

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2 thoughts on “How to make a bow

  1. Pingback: DIY Christmas Window Wreaths | Paint Yourself a smile

  2. Pingback: Christmas Home Tour | Paint Yourself a smile

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