How to Make Festive Bows

Need a fun gift-wrapping idea? Learn how to make a bow (or three!) to create gorgeous gifts. We'll show you how to tie three different bows -- classic, layered, and rosette -- with ribbon.

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How to Make a Bow: Get Started!

Use bows to embellish a package for little expense. Master these three simple bow-making techniques and your gifts will always stand out in a crowd. To make handmade bows you'll need:

  • Ribbon in your color of choice
  • Sharp scissors
  • Double-stick tape (for layered bow)
  • Ruler (for layered bow)
  • Florist's wire (for rosette bow)

Read on for our videos and how-to techniques.

Love gifting? Check out our handmade gift ideas!

How to Make a Classic Bow: 4 Steps

Step 1

1. Make two loops in the ribbon. Form the left loop first. Make sure the tails of the ribbon are in back and that the slack between the two loops points toward you.

Editor's Tip: Pick a two-sided satin ribbon for this bow. Avoid ribbons with wire edges, which are more difficult to manipulate.

Step 2

2. Cross the left loop over the right loop.

Step 3

3. Continue wrapping the left loop over and behind the right loop. Pull it through the opening created in the slack area, and form a loose knot.

Step 4

4. Adjust the loops and tails, then pull the loops to tighten the knot. Trim tails on an angle.

Make a Layered Bow

How to Make a Layered Bow: 4 Steps

Step 1

1. Cut several pieces of ribbon, each two inches longer than the previous one. For the center loop, cut a piece two to three times as long as the ribbon is wide.

Step 2

2. Lay ribbon facedown. Adhere a piece of double-stick tape to the center of each ribbon. Fold ends to the center and press to adhere, forming two loops. Tape ends of center loop together. For the bottom layer, cut a piece of ribbon slightly longer than the longest looped piece, and notch the ends.

Step 3

3. Stack the looped ribbons on top of the bottom layer from longest to shortest. Adhere the centers with double-stick tape.

Step 4

4. Center the bow on the package. Thread a long ribbon through the center loop and wrap it around the package, securing it at the back using tape.

Make a Rosette Bow

How to Make a Rosette Bow: 4 Steps

Step 1

1. Wrap the ribbon around your palm 8 to 10 times.

Editor's Tip: Pick a flimpsy ribbon. Ribbon with wired edges is very difficult to cut in Step 2. Also, if you'd like a larger bow, use a scrap of cardboard that's wider than your palm as your wrapping surface.

Step 2

2. Hold the wrapped ribbon between your thumb and fingers, and use scissors to notch the ribbon at the center point on each side, cutting through every layer. If your ribbon is too thick to cut all the layers at once, cut half at a time.

Step 3

3. Wrap florist's wire around the ribbon in the notches. Twist the wire tightly and trim the ends.

Editor's Tip: Pick a wire that matches your ribbon color as closely as possible. This camouflages the wire in your finished bow.

Step 4

4. Spread out the loops. Add tails to the bottom of the rosette if desired.

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