How to Make a Bow Tie Out of Ribbon

Updated April 17, 2017

Bow ties are an ideal accessory for a girl's hairstyle or for a boy's suit. Ribbon is an good material from which to create a quick, simple bow tie using just a few sewing items. Ribbon comes in a wide array of textures and patterns, from satin to matt. Once you create this simple bow tie, you can use it in hairpieces, centrepieces or as part of an outfit.

Cut a piece of ribbon about 9 to 10 inches long using a pair of scissors. Cut another piece of ribbon about 4 inches long. Set the second, shorter piece of ribbon to the side and lay the longer piece of ribbon on a flat surface with the right side facing down.

Fold 1/3 of the right end of the ribbon over the back of the ribbon. Fold the left end of the ribbon over so that the left end overlaps with the folded right end by about 1/4 inch. The ribbon ends should have the right side of the ribbon facing up and comprise the back of the bow tie. The section of ribbon still lying flat on the table is the front of the bow tie.

Pick up the folded ribbon and keep the folded ends in place by pinching them between your thumb and index finger. Tack the two folded ends in place using a needle and thread. Pass the needle through the ribbon about five times to secure it.

Pinch down on the tacked area of the ribbon, crunching the ribbon lengthwise to create the hourglass shape of the bow tie. Wrap about a foot of thread around this narrow area to hold the bow tie shape in place. Tie together the two ends of the thread to secure the folded centre of the bow tie.

Wrap the shorter ribbon from step one around the centre of the bow tie with the right side facing out and the two ends coming together at the back of the bow tie. Sew the two ends of the ribbon snugly in place using needle and thread.


Use a hot glue gun instead of a thread and needle to hold the ribbon ends in place if you do not like to sew.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • 1 to 2 feet of 1-inch wide ribbon
  • Needle
  • Thread
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.