Mary Lovehandmade
Winnipeg, Canada

How to make a ribbon bow

A bow is the most beautiful topper of any present. It is festive, colorful, and lovely. Besides the present’s decoration, bows are often used to decorate the clothes, create beautiful hairpins and other nice things. Birthday, Christmas, Wedding day. It is difficult to find an event where bows cannot be used as a decoration.

Luckily, bows are easy to create. There are thousands of different bows. They can be made of ribbons, paper, fabric, and other materials. Some of them are simple when others are complicated; some of them can be made quickly when others require time and patience.

Let us see several interesting recipes for how to make bows in different ways.

Elementary bow

Most likely, everyone knows how to make a bow out of ribbon because the process is the same as tying the shoelaces.  

  • Form the loop from the one end of the ribbon;

  • Let the opposite end go around that loop and put it through the hole between the loop and the ribbon that goes around;

  • Tighten two loops and spread the ribbon to get a nice bow.

Elementary bow on a fork

This way of making bows is ideal if you need small but still neat and accurate bows.

  • Take a piece of a ribbon and wrap it around the fork;

  • Let one end go backward through the middle gap of a fork under the wrapped ribbon and bring it forward above the wrapped ribbon;

  • Tie a knot making sure that both ends of a ribbon “look” down.

Layered bow

  1. Bow on fingers

  • Put the ribbon on your middle finger. Holding one end with your thumb, coil it around your index and middle fingers;

  • Let one end go backward through the gap between fingers, go around the index finger, and come forward;

  • Now, repeat the same by wrapping your middle finger with the same end;

  • After that, let that end of a ribbon go backward through the gap between fingers under the bow, bring it forward above the bow, and tie a tidy knot here.

  1. Sewed bow

  • Take a wide ribbon, fold one end downward to get a loop. The edge that was folded determines the centerline of the future bow;

  • Form the mirror loop (regarding the centerline) by folding the ribbon downward;

  • Slightly shift the opposite end regarding the first one and wrap it all around the first pair of loops;

  • Make a seam along the centerline by sewing together all the layers. Pull the thread to tighten the center of the bow;

  • Take the ribbon with a smaller width and make the smaller bow by following the same sequence;

  • Use the glue gun to join the smaller bow to the top of the bigger one;

  • Make a tidy knot from the piece of ribbon, wrap the bow with it by placing the knot on the front side, and fix it with the glue;

  • Add two hanging ribbons to the backside of a layered bow.

Extra-voluminous flower-like bow

If you want to make a fascinating flower bow, you may need a simple jig. You can do it by yourself without any additional investments. All you need is a sheet of a hard cardboard or a wooden board and a bunch of nails.

Let us sort out the sequence of making the jig.

  • It is more convenient to work with a round device, so, if you have an opportunity, make an outside contour rounded.

  • For a wooden board, all you have to do is to cut out the hole at the center of that board. The hole has to be approximately 1-2 inches (depends on the size of the future bow).

  • If you are going to work with the cardboard, make several identical pieces of it (about four circles), cut out the hole at the center of each piece, and glue them together.

  • Once the base is ready, draw a circle on it. The diameter will determine the size of the future ribbon bows. Now, hammer nails evenly along that contour. The nails have to be hammered from the backside and get about 1-2 inches past the top side. The number of nails will determine the number of petals (eight is an optimal number). From the safety perspective, put a little glue on each nail.

That is all. The device to make amazing flower bows is ready to be used.

Now, with the device at hand, let us find out how to make bows by using it.

  • Take a long ribbon of a moderate width. Let the end of the ribbon go through the inner hole, and fix it to the backside of a device with a duct tape, glue, etc.

  • Start coiling the ribbon around the nails by joining two neighboring nails and then switching to the opposite pair. For example, if you have eight nails and number them in a row, the sequence of coiling will look like this: 1-2, 6-5, 1-8, 5-4, 8-7, 4-3, 7-6, 3-2. It is the first layer. You can finish here or continue coiling the ribbon to get a more voluminous bow.

  • Let the end of the ribbon go through the center of the future bow and tie it with the opposite end (the one that was fixed to the back of the device).

  • Take the ribbon of another color (it can be a ribbon of a small width or a thick thread as well), fix the safety pin at the beginning of it, and let it go through the center, from the backside to the topside. Now, push it through the first petal (the space between 1-st and 2-nd pins). Go back to the center and continue the same sequence for each petal. Tight each stitch thoroughly to get a reliable bow. In the end, tie the end of the ribbon with the opposite end and leave them to hang from it.

  • Take out the bow from the device, and use it as you want.

As you can see, making bows is an art worth to be mastered.

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