Knowing how to make a big ribbon bow is a handy skill. Here’s a quickie hack to make you look like a pro. This is the easiest way around!
This post shares my personal hack for creating a big ribbon bow, the easiest way possible. It takes VERY little skill and doesn’t require WIRE (yes, you’re very welcome)! AND, as an extra bonus, you’ll also get to see how I made this beautiful holiday arrangement from start to finish.
Not trying to be cocky or anything, but I’m a darn good bow maker. BUT, big ribbon bows are always a pain in the neck for me. I’ve watched a TON of how-to videos. They either use wire or end up with an ornery wad of twisted ribbon in my hand that just frustrates me.
I thought to myself that there had to be an easy, low-stress way to make a big ribbon bow. And then it just came to me. It’s so easy. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Or, if they have, why didn’t they let ME know about it?
Because I’m much kinder than anyone else who has come up with this hack, I’m sharing it with you! haha. Let’s look at this and then we’ll get to the arrangement surrounding this beautiful big ribbon bow!
There’s a video at the bottom for you to see me making a BIG and BEAUTIFUL bow using this technique!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post 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 – pretty basic except for one!
For this trick, the only kind of weird thing you need is a cardboard tube. While a toilet paper roll tube will work in a pinch, I prefer something with a little more grit to it. I find that the inside of ribbon rolls or wrapping paper tubes work really well.
You’ll also need to be able to cut the tube, hole punch it, and then naturally there’s the ribbon. Funny thing, I pulled this ribbon from my stash. I’ve had it for more years than I can remember and never really used it because I don’t like it all that much. So I picked it for my test ribbon, thinking I’d switch to one of my favorite crushed silk 4″ ribbons for the real deal. Turns out, once I made the bow, I love this ribbon. Go figure!
Here’s the full list:
Total side note, this hole punch is the best one I’ve ever used.
AND it can go 2″ deep to punch a hole. Very handy to have in your toolbox!
The steps – easiest ever big ribbon bow hack
I’m showing this with a lot of loops but you can make as many loops as you want. Experiment and see how it goes!
Step 1: Cut the cardboard or plastic tube
Cut the tube to approximately 1/2 the width of the ribbon. I did make a few for my front door with a 3/4 to ribbon width ratio so this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Step 2: Punch holes in the middle on both sides of the tube
Go roughly halfway into the tube and punch a hole. Make one first and then turn the cardboard tube around and make one on the opposite side.
This is another reason having a hole puncher that goes up to 2″ deep comes in handy!
Step 3: Accordian fold your ribbon
Decide how big you want your bow and then accordion fold your ribbon going back and forth, making sure to have equal loops on each side.
Trim the ends so they are roughly 3/4 of the width of your folded ribbon as shown below.
Step 4: Gather up the ribbon and slide inside the tube
Are you catching a gleam of what we’re going to be doing? I bet you are and also probably wondering WHY you never thought of this trick!
Gather together the accordion folded ribbon and slide the tube to the middle.
Step 5: Push ends of ribbon through each hole
Make a little pinch of each ribbon end, one at a time, and push each through the hole in the cardboard tube. This is probably the most challenging part of this hack, so yes, this isn’t a challenging hack.
Step 5: Cut a long tail for the bow
You need to decide how long you want the tails of your bow to be. To this length, add on about 7″ plus a little for trimming the ends.
Now tie the tail around the cardboard tube as shown:
If your big ribbon bow is going to be someplace really visible, you may want to wrap a piece of ribbon around the tube before doing this step. I’ve done it both ways and they’re equally nice depending on where the bow is ultimately going to go.
Step 6: Fluff your big ribbon bow
Now just fluff away! I wouldn’t spend a ton of time getting it perfect at this point. You’ll do more of it once you’ve attached your big ribbon bow to its final place of honor.
As well, hold off on trimming the ribbon tail ends. I find that the length of trimming really changes once the bow is in place.
Voila, you’re all done! Now let’s use this trick in a holiday floral arrangement.
A holiday display to fill a gap
In our family room, we have a LONG TV stand. I offset the TV intentionally in order to leave a space for display. For Christmas, I cleared out the plant I normally have there in order to add some holiday flowers.
This was the perfect spot for a large brass-colored wall vase (I can’t think of what else to call it) that I found a while back at Homegoods. Originally I was going to hang it on the wall off of our kitchen but it stuck out too far. Wandering around looking for a spot to hang it, I noticed that my wreath stand could handle the job.
I love having a wreath stand. It is useful in so many ways and is totally adaptable, as shown here!
My preference for floral arrangements is to have dimension. I love a trailing vine or ivy. That’s the first step. Oh, side note, there is a half-round of floral foam inside the wall vase to hold the sprigs in place.
Then, I wanted to add a soft green backdrop to fill in where the more ornamental greens may be spotty. I found a lovely frosted sprig selection for this purpose.
The next layer has subtle ornamentation, in the detail of white berries. There are also very subtle sparkles on the leaves that look beautiful in the flickering light of the flameless candles nearby.
Finally, before the big ribbon bow staring in this production is an unusual choice. Well, for me that is. Normally, I don’t really care for BIG RED FLOWERS! While I love red accents, I’m just not drawn to them in the faux flower section. Until I saw this beauty. It was all alone and just called out to me, “Pick me, pick me!” And so, I did.
This is certainly pretty enough without a bow, yet the entire point of the arrangement is to showcase the big ribbon bow I showed you how to make. Turns out, it looks absolutely perfect!
I decided to tuck the tail ends into the arrangement after I played with it for a bit. I like how it looks with just the greens falling off the front.
In this photo, I edited it going slightly overexposed. I love how that pulls out the frosted and sparkly parts of the faux greens.
Here are some of the other photos that don’t fit in this write-up yet I think are pretty!
If you love this post, let me know in a comment below as well as adding it to one of your Pinterest boards. I have a PIN all set for you (I’m good like that, lol).
I bought all of the greenery shown at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts and, as I mentioned, the container at Homegoods. Unfortunately, I don’t have the access to links from either of these stores so I tried to find some options for you to try on Amazon.
Watch it real time!
are you feeling inspired?
If this post got your creative juices flowing, check out these others that are among ASC’s most popular:
- How to Make Red, Black & White Minimalist Ornaments
- How to Finger Knit a Chunky Bolster Pillow
- How to Make a Rustic Wreath for Your Front Door
- How to Start a Cricut Maker Obsession
- How to Use Scandinavian Decor as Holiday Table Inspiration
Still, want to see more? I have your back. Check out ASC’s Pinterest Boards, where there are always new pins happening! In fact, better yet, follow ASC on Pinterest so you know when I add more to my boards (I find great pins!).
Do you have a question or a suggestion? No problem! Email me with all of it and I’m happy to respond.
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Have a fantastic week! Namaste,