How to tie a bow

Hands tying a bow on a red and white gift wrapped box; next to two festive wrapped boxes, including sparkly handcrafted bows. and scissors and tape

Don’t know how to tie a bow? No problem!

Creating a full and pretty bow to add to a gift can feel like a big challenge for the average person. But don’t worry! Here at American Greetings, we came up with an easy bow hack using a common household item that will have you looking like a bow-tying professional in no time!

You’ll need:

  1. Wire ribbon (about 10 ft.)
  2. Curling ribbon
  3. A paper towel roll
  4. Scissors
  5. Tape
DIY Bow Making Supplies

To start off, cut down the paper towel roll to about the length of your hand (for reference, that’s about 7-8″). Place your hand against the roll and cut just above your fingers. Discard the small end; you’ll use the larger section to make your bow.

Cut the Paper Roll

Starting about 3/4 of the way down the power towel roll, gently wrap the wired ribbon around the paper towel until the ribbon runs out. Using the entire spool of ribbon will create a big, beautiful bow!

Bow Tying Tutorial Ribbon

Gently remove the paper towel and fold both sides of the ribbon toward each other long ways to find the middle. Then, cut a small slit on each side, about 1/3 of the way through each side of the ribbon.

Cut Ribbon for Bow Tutorial

Now, take the curing ribbon and tie it tightly in a knot between the two slits.

DIY How to Tie the Bow

Then, tape the ends of the curling ribbon to your gift to attach the bow and cut off any excess curling ribbon. We’ve found it easier to secure your bow to your present before you begin to fluff it.

Tape the Ribbon

Finally, spread out the loops of ribbon. Twist and pull up on each loop to create volume. Loops of ribbon often look good in 3’s, so pull three of them towards the middle. Play with it a little to get it the way you like.

How to Fluff the Bow

You’ll find yourself with one strip of excess ribbon. If you’re using single-sided, it may even be upside-down. Twist it over and then finish it by cutting a “V” in it so that it looks finished.

Handmade Bow Tutorial

There you have it — a pretty bow that will have people thinking, “That’s so crafty!”

Still need some extra help? Watch our full video tutorial: How to Tie a Bow

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