Step by Step – How to Make a Bow

10 Oct
Make a bow - step by step guide

Ever wonder how folks make beautiful bows out of ribbon? Turns out, it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. Here is a step by step guide for you to follow so you too can make beautiful ribbon bows for every holiday or occasion.General things to consider before you begin:
• How many ‘loops’ do you want in your bow? When making a bow, you make it from the center outward (and backwards) – the more loops, the fuller the bow
• What kind of ribbon do you want to use? Wired ribbon can be molded and will keep its shape
• Is your ribbon one sided or two? One sided ribbon means that there is a front side (with a pattern or glitter) and a back side (that is plain). Two sided ribbon is the same on both sides. In the instructions below, two sided ribbon doesn’t need to be ‘twisted’ between loops since both sides are the same. 

make a bow - supplies needed

• Spool of ribbon
• Scissors
• Floral wire – green or silver – I prefer to use the wire that blends the best with the ribbon

Make a loop with the ribbon and then twist the one sided ribbon a 1/2 turn so it's ready for the next step.

Depending on how large you want your bow to be, make the center loop by making a circle with the ribbon that will be proportional and hold it with your fingers (front side of ribbon showing). For one sided ribbon, you will need to make sure that the top of the ribbon is facing upward before you start the next step. Where you are holding the ribbon loop together, you need to twist the ribbon a ‘half turn’.

Make the left side of the loop - like when you make the loop when you are tying your shoes...

This first loop will sit on the top of the bow – next to the center loop – so it should be the smallest of all the other loops. Other ‘left side loops’ will be slightly larger than this loop and will sit ‘behind’ this loop. This loop of ribbon is similar to the loop you make while tying your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

If you are using one sided ribbon, you need to twist the ribbon a 1/2 turn so that when you do the next step the pretty side of the ribbon is face up.

On the back side of the bow (the side away from the center loop), twist the ribbon so that the front side of the ribbon is facing upward and ready to make the right side loop. If you are using a double sided ribbon, you can skip this step.

Make the right side of the loop - remember - like tying your shoes...  and don't forget to twist!

From the back side of the bow, make the loop for the right side of the bow – same loop as when you tie your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 to add as many loops as you would like to your bow - the more loops, the fuller the bow.

Continue to make as many loops as you want for your bow
Repeat steps 2,3, and 4 as many times as you want (left loop – twist – right loop) for your bow.

Make a large loop with the ribbon which will eventually represent the "tails" of your bow.  The loop will be cut in half so make the loop as large as you'd like so that 1/2 it's length will become one "tail".

To make the part of the ribbon that hangs down, you need to make one larger loop from the back of your bow. This single loop of ribbon will become 2 ‘tails’ that hang from the finished bow, so the length of this loop should be twice as long as a finished ‘tail’. Secure this loop to the rest of the ribbon by using approximately a 5 inch length of floral wire. The floral wire should be thread through the center loop of the bow and twisted several times (10x or so) at the back of the bow. The bow can be cut away from the remaining spool of ribbon. Any excess floral wire can also be cut away.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge.  If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge.  When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge. If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge. When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

Did we inspire you to get creative and make your own bow for something special?  Please share what type of bow or where you are planning to add one in the comments section.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

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2 Responses to “Step by Step – How to Make a Bow”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Make a Pumpkin Planter | BaptismalGownsPlus - October 17, 2013

    […] Most of the supplies that you will need to make this planter are pretty obvious – a pumpkin, and a plant.  You can certainly use any plant you would like, but I think the mum is the seasonal favorite…  You will also need something to cut the pumpkin with, something to scrape out the pumpkin with (forgot to put this in the pic below), and the supplies to make a bow – or use a pre-made bow.  Instructions for making a bow can be found in last weeks post: https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/step-by-step-how-to-make-a-bow/ […]

  2. Make an Autumn Wreath | BaptismalGownsPlus - November 7, 2013

    […] Now is the time to make the bow for your wreath.  Our How-to guide can be found in this post: […]

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