A Guide On How To Make A Bow With Ribbon In Easy Steps

It’s time for crafting! If you already made a new scrunchie, a peg bag or even a picture frame, then it’s time to find your new project! Bows add a splash of life and colour! From gift wrapping to dressmaking, DIY ribbon bows can be used for various purposes. We all master tying shoelaces as kids, and then never look back. 

Box in craft paper with red ribbon on white table

However, making a bow with a ribbon is an entirely different story. Don’t be intimidated – it is not as hard as it looks.  In this article, we have put together easy DIY instructions on how to make a bow with ribbon in simple steps. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Choosing the right ribbon for your bow

1. Think What the Bow is For

Firstly, you have to decide what you will use the bow for. This will help you select the ribbon by colour and texture. For instance, if you are going to add the bow to a garment that you are sewing, or if it is part of an accessory, such as a hair bow, you should match the ribbon to the texture or the colour of the other items that surround it. 

2. Consider the Quality

Choose the ribbon by its quality. Usually, satin is the standard type of ribbon that is used for bows. However, for someone who is a novice bow maker, satin can be a bit slippery. For beginners, grosgrain is a better option.

Sheers, cotton, Lurex, velvet, prints, etc. are suitable as well. For bouquets and gifts, ribbons with wire edges work perfectly. If you can tie the ribbon into a tight knot, then you can make a bow out of it. On the other hand, some ribbons are stiff and can’t be made into bows without the help of wires or stitches.

3. Trial and Error

It is a good idea to experiment with various kinds of ribbons and widths so that you can find what you are looking for. Remember, to make a bow, you need a lot of ribbon. All the tying and folding takes up a lot of material. Therefore, keep a spool or two of ribbon at hand.

Stack of colorful ribbon roll in pink background

How to make a basic bow

Things you will need

  • Ribbon spool
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wire (optional)
  • String (optional)

DIY steps

  1. For a simple, classic, and easy bow, you should choose a double-sided ribbon like silk for the best possible results.
  2. For a medium-sized bow, cut around 35 cm of ribbon. It is better to have extra length so that you can have a long tail.
  3. Place the ribbon somewhere flat. 
  4. Without twisting the ribbon, bring both ends of ribbon to the centre.
  5. This will result in two loops at the top and another at the bottom centre. 
  6. Cross the right loop over the left loop. This will create another small loop, right where the bases meet.
  7. Ensure that the tails are flat and of equal length. This will help when you trim the simple bow.
  8. Take the left loop and fold it behind the right loop. The next step is to take it through the bottom loop you just created.
  9. Pull the loops tight and form a knot in the middle of the bow.
  10. Trim the tails and gently tug the loops to even out each side. 
  11. Secure the bow with a wire or string.
  12. If you want to create a knot in the middle, you can cut a small piece of ribbon and glue it in place.
  13. Voila! You have learned how to make a simple bow. Keep repeating until you achieve perfection.

How to make a grosgrain ribbon bow

Things you will need

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Box
  • Tape
  • Glue

DIY steps

Hands making a grosgrain ribbon bow

  1. Measure and cut around 2 m of ribbon. 
  2. Take a box and wrap the entire ribbon around it.
  3. Join it to the box using tape or glue. 
  4. Bring back the ribbon’s end in the center loop. Keep the ribbon in position using your finger. 
  5. At the loop fold, crease along the length of the ribbon. 
  6. Fold it back and create another loop. Tape it in place.
  7. Create another loop like this.
  8. Shift to the opposite side of the centre and create 3 more loops similarly. Simply bring them to the centre, and glue/tape them in place.
  9. Your work is done! This bow is great for adding to a beautiful gift box

How to make a wired ribbon bow

Things you will need

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Wire
  • Glue
  • Thread/Needle

DIY steps

Woman making flower from ribbon

  1. Cut a long piece of the ribbon.
  2. Mark the middle using a pencil and bring both the left and right half of the ribbon towards the centre.
  3. Overlap the loops in the middle. Make sure to leave some of the ribbon length as tails.
  4. Tape the ribbon from the center of the bow or hold it in place using your finger.
  5. Take a wire and wrap it around the middle.
  6. To conceal the wire, use another piece of ribbon. You can use a piece of the same ribbon, or you can use a different ribbon to add contrast.
  7. Stitch or glue the tied ribbon in place.
  8. Adjust the tails and loops for symmetry. To keep the tails from fraying, cut them slightly.
  9. You can use this for party decorations, hair clip accessories, floral arrangements, gift-wrapping, etc.

How to make a loopy double bow

Things you will need

  • Ribbon
  • Wire
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Glue gun

DIY steps

A double ribbon bow in a black box

  1. Measure and cut around 115 cm of ribbon.
  2. Measure 2.5 cm from one end and make a loop. Pinch the loop between your fingers to keep it in place. Twist the ribbon so that the front side faces out.
  3. Create a loop on the left side of the loop you are pinching, by bringing over the long end of the ribbon. Twist this loop as well. Hold it between your fingers.
  4. Create another loop, but on the opposite side. Keep making loops in the same fashion. Alternate each time so that you make pairs. Create around 5 paired loops.
  5. Wrap a piece of wire over the bow’s centre. Twist it tightly and then trim off the excess wire using wire cutters. 
  6. Wrap a piece of ribbon to conceal the wire.
  7. Stitch or glue the piece in place, using a hot glue gun.
  8. As a finishing touch, fluff the loops you created so that they look like a blooming flower.
  9. This beautiful bow looks like a ribbon flower in bloom. You can use it for crafty decorations, as a gift topper, for accessories, etc.

How to shape the tails of the ribbon

Apart from the loops, the tails play a major role in determining how a large bow looks in the end. Not all bows have tails. However, for those that have, it is important to make the tails look neat and sharp. 

When you are making bows, keep the tails long. You can shorten them if they are too long, but you can’t make them magically longer if they’re too short. If you cut the tails of the ribbon, it will keep it from fraying.

To cut the tails diagonally, simply cut diagonally along with the fabric. For a chevron style tail, select a centre point. Make a diagonal cut from both right and left side so that you meet in the middle of the selected point. 

Woman making gift decorating with ribbon

Making bows is a pretty simple DIY project. Once you learn how to make one at home, you will never have to buy one from the store again! For fabric bows, you can go with satin ribbon, velvet, etc. If you are creating bows for gifts, wire bows work great.  In this bow tutorial, we have shared various ways of making the perfect bow with ribbon.

Have fun with the bow making DIY crafts, folks!

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend