How to Make a Ribbon Bow

Updated February 21, 2017

Ribbon bows are a great decorative touch. You can add them to floral arrangements, tie them on your mailbox or the big tree in your yard. They can be expensive at a store where you can special order them. Why do that when you can make your own?

Cut an 8 to 10 inch piece of ribbon. Tie a knot in the centre.

Pull out several inches of ribbon away from the spool, leave it attached. Grasp the ribbon and pinch it between your fingers five inches from the loose end. Make a loop approximately three inches long and pinch it tightly between your index finger and thumb. Repeat on other side for a second opposing loop. Twist ribbon if you need to. You want the satin, print or right side up so the ribbon is not inside out.

Continue holding bow in firm pinch and make two more loops on each side for a total of six loops. Fluff out the loops if they are sagging, have a crease or appear crushed.

Lay the single centre knot ribbon piece right side up over the centre of the bow that you are still pinching. Include the knot into your pinch hold. The knot is the centre of the front of your bow. Pull the tails of the single knotted ribbon around the centre of the bow and tie them tightly with your other hand. Cut the ribbon that is still attached to the spool leaving a tail to match the one on your bow. Trim them on a slant for a more uniform appearance and to keep the ends from fraying.
If you choose to use wire you can substitute an 18 inch piece instead of the knotted ribbon centre. Wrap the centre of the wire very tightly around the centre of the bow. Wrap at least three times and pull firmly.

Tie a secure knot at the back of the bow. Shape and fluff the bow. Use it to decorate your newest project. If you have chosen wire for the centre twist the tails around themselves 3 or 4 times so that ribbon is very securely. The tails of wire can be wrapped around a section of a shutter, the mailbox flag or wrapped around a stick and inserted into an arrangement or wreath.


A medium size ribbon that is 3 inches wide is a good size for new bow makers.
You will be able to make tiny bows for crafts, small bows for corsages and medium to large bows for all types of needs after you have practised. A first bow can take minutes to do. With practice you will be able to make one in seconds.


Make sure the centre of a bow is secure with a knotted ribbon or tightly wrapped wire or it will fall apart.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon of choice
  • Sewing scissors
  • Wire, if desired
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.