Today, I’m showing you 2 ways to tie a bow with ribbon perfectly for your gift wrapping projects!
Yes, I have a knack for having many ways to tie a bow. My skills at tying bows are legendary in my family! In fact, ever since I was young, people have always commented on how perfectly tied my bows are on gifts. I really didn’t get it as how hard is it to tie a bow? Well, I guess hard enough if you want it perfect!
Lucky you! I’m going to show you my tricks … as it really just takes a moment of patience.
As a bonus, I’m also going to take you step-by-step on how to sew a perfect bow that will be an Earth-friendly reusable option if you’re willing to take about 5 minutes upfront. Then, you get to save time later when you already have a bow ready to go. OR your beautiful box and bow become part of the gift for the recipient to reuse.
Either way, it’s a win so let’s go!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The supplies you need to follow part 1 of this DIY
My first suggestion is to use nice boxes to tie your bow around. You can find them easiest at Christmas time but they’re around all year if you look. Keep an eye on sales at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby!
If the box is sturdy, the bow tying is SO much easier. The box I have in my example is from Sugar Paper. That’s the company that Target gets all their yummy Christmas wrapping supplies from. LOVE!!!
As for ribbon, my preference is at least 1″ wide. Grosgrain holds the knot the best but satin is pretty too. Not trying to sound snobby, but I really don’t like cheap ribbon.
Finally, invest in a good pair of scissors. Actually, two pairs: one just for fabric/cloth and the other for paper. Using scissors on paper dulls them, so keep one just for fabric.
Three supplies! Pretty easy tutorial, right!
part 1: how to tie a perfect 2-loop bow
The first way I’m going to show you is basically how you tie your shoelaces. Just with a little more attention to detail.
- Wrap your ribbon around the box. Cut it leaving about 14″ to 18″ on extra length on each side depending on how big you want your bow to be.
*Once you’re a master at this, you can leave the ribbon attached to the spool. That reduces waste but it does take a little practice.
- Wrap both ends around each other and pull perpendicularly to each other. Hold this half-knot with a finger.
- Loop the bottom end of the ribbon and pinch together with the center half-knot. Now hold both together.
- Wrap the top end of the ribbon around the loop and pull LEAVING A LOT OF SLACK.
I think this is where most people get into trouble.
The loops are pulled too tight into the knot.
- Hold the center knot (this is key) as you adjust the bows and ends to be symmetrical. Open ribbon wrapped around the center knot.
- Pull the loops to make the knot tighter but still leave slack!
- Go through this process again, adjusting all parts to be symmetrical.
- Open up the bows from the inside and the ends to be full.
- Snip off the ends in a point or snake tongue.
Part 2: how to make a reusable 2-loop bow
This is my favorite way to present a gift. It’s clean, simple, and classic.
While it’s easiest to use a sewing machine, you can definitely hand sew this without any trouble. If using that sewing machine you have stored in your closet makes you nervous, don’t be. This just takes a few simple straight stitches.
In addition to the supplies from Part 1, you’ll also need:
I suggest you read through all of the steps BEFORE you start on your own bow. Yes, I sound like your 5th-grade teacher, lol.
Step 1: Cut the ribbon
Measure the perimeter of the box. Add 2″ to this measurement for the back seam. Add another 1 1/2″ or more again for the front loop. If your ribbon is over 2″ thick, then you may want to add 2″ for your front loop.
So the equation looks like this:
Perimeter + 2″ + 1 1/2″ = Length to cut
*Add 1/2″ if your ribbon is over 2″ wide. Remember this number!
Cut your ribbon to this length.
Step 2: Make a Flat Felled Seam (look at you getting fancy!)
Stitch the ends together leaving 1″ seam allowance.
Note, if your ribbon has a right and wrong side, then the make sure the wrong sides are together, which means you see the right sides!
Trim one of the ends, leaving only about 1/4″ seam allowance.
Fold long end over short to meet the seam.
Pin in place.
Open up the big loop of ribbon and edge stitch this fold to one side. This means to stitch the flap down just on the inside of the fold edge.
This is how the back side looks.
Step 3: Make the Loop for the Bow
Fold the big loop in half, with the flat felled seam on one side.
Take HALF of the front loop measurement you used in your equation above and stitch with that much seam allowance. So if you used the suggested 1 1/2″, then the seam allowance here is 3/4″. If you made it bigger because your ribbon is over 2″ wide, then you have a 1″ seam allowance when you stitch this loop.
This is how it looks from the side.
Step 4: Make the Bow
Layout another piece of the ribbon on your box and decide how wide you want the bow to be. Fold over the length again two times leaving about 2″ extra on each end. This is easier to understand in the picture.
Fold the ends of each third in and pull through the loop you sewed above.
Pull the ends out to extend about 2″ each. Don’t worry about making it too pretty yet.
Step 5: Finish her up!
Slide the big loop around your box. Yes, it will be very snug so just be gentle and patient.
Tidy up the loops and trim the ends to be symmetrical.
This is how the back will look. Isn’t it so professional looking!
Voila! You have the most beautiful Pinterest perfect bow anyone has ever made! And you did it!!
Can’t get enough? well let’s share the lovin’
Isn’t it fun to give gifts especially when they look so pretty!? I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial and want to see even more. You know, the more ideas that come my way, the more DIY tutorials I’ll make. That means you need to send me those stubborn “How do I???” questions and I’ll do my best to answer each and every one!
If you have a question, email me!
That’s it for this DIY, my friend! I hope you have an amazing day. Namaste,