How to make car bows

Updated March 21, 2017

Decorating a the bride and groom's getaway car with bows is part of a wedding tradition where members of the bridal party decorate the couple's car with ribbons, empty tin cans and announcements -- which can be written in chalk or washable paint. Making a car bow is easy and only requires a few minutes.

Lay your ribbon completely flat on a hardwood floor or other hard surface. Flatten the ribbon with books, if necessary. Let stand overnight. It is best to complete this task the day before the wedding.

Open the driver and passenger-side doors. Pull one side of the ribbon out both car doors toward the front bonnet. Close both doors.

Drape the ribbon across the front of the bonnet and down the front bumper. Thread the ribbon through the front hood ornament, if you have one. If you do not, don't worry, you will add adhesive pads later. Tie a bow in the same way that you would tie a pair of shoelaces.

Check that the ribbon rests on the front bumper and does not cover the front number plate.

Secure the ribbon to your car with adhesive pads, which are available as part of a wedding ribbon kit.

Set each adhesive pad in place under the ribbon. Press down on the ribbon as necessary to secure the hold. Space the pads along the length of the bonnet and at the front of the bumper where your bow is placed.


Use adhesive pads that are specially designed to temporarily stick without stripping the paint on a car.


Because ribbon is typically spun around a spool, it may need to remain under the books for at least 24 hours to completely flatten.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon
  • Books (optional)
  • Flat surface
  • Adhesive pads
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About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.