How to Make Paper Bows for Gorgeous Wrapped Gifts

Your gifts just got a whole lot fancier.

Skip the traditional ribbons this year and make paper bows instead. They're so easy, you can customize each bow in any size, pattern, and texture for the perfect gift topper. These pretty handmade bows are so picture-perfect, you won't believe how easy they are to create. We'll show you how to make a bow out of paper in two sizes—just use our free pattern.

Whether you use store-bought wrapping paper, make your own, or wrap your boxes in fabric, these three-dimensional bows will make a bold statement atop of your gifts. This year, you'll have the prettiest presents under the tree.

paper bow gift boxes
Carson Downing

How to Make a Paper Bow

Supplies Needed

  • Cardstock, wrapping paper, or felt
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Directions

With a few supplies and these instructions, we'll show you how to make a bow out of wrapping paper. Customize your handmade bow with patterned paper, felt, or embellishments, like glitter.

tracing felt bow
Carson Downing

Step 1: Cut the Pattern

You can make the bows out of felt or cardstock—the process is the same either way. To begin, trace and cut the bow pattern on your desired material: Lightweight cardstock, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, and craft felt—all work well with this technique. Keep in mind that because the bow folds over, you'll want to work with a double-sided material; if you use a patterned paper that is only printed on one side, the blank side will show.

hot gluing felt bow
Carson Downing

Step 2: Attach Bow

Once you've cut out the three bow pieces, it's time to start assembling. Fold the rounded piece of the pattern so that each end meets in the middle (this will form the three-dimensional part of the bow). If you're using felt, attach this area with a hot glue gun. If you're creating a paper bow, you can use hot glue, but double-sided tape will also do the trick. Press the center of the bow firmly to ensure it sticks.

holding bow glue fasten
Carson Downing

Step 3: Finish the Bow

When the rounded top portion of your bow is finished (if you used hot glue, be sure to let it dry completely), attach it to the angular bottom piece using hot glue or double-sided tape. Then, take the small rectangular piece and place it vertically in the center of the bow loops. Fold each edge over so the two ends meet in the back, then secure this with whichever form of adhesive you're using (more glue or tape). When the glue is dry, your bow is ready to style. Use your finished bow to top perfectly wrapped Christmas presents.

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