If you know how to tie your shoes, then you likely know how to tie a bow. When it comes to gifting, though, we think a little extra know-how in the art of bow-tying makes all the difference in presentation.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to make a bow that’s worthy of any gift wrap aisle. And the best part? It’s so easy!

Here's what you'll need:

  1. Your wrapped gift
  2. Wire ribbon
  3. Curling ribbon
  4. Paper towel roll
  5. Tape
  6. Scissors
wrapped gift, wire ribbon, curling ribbon, paper towel roll, tape, scissors

Use your scissors to cut the end of the paper towel roll so that it’s approximately the length of your hand — around 7 or 8 inches. You can discard the small end since we’ll need only the longer end to form the bow.

Step 1 - cut the end of the paper towel roll

Starting at about three-quarters of the way down the roll, gently wrap the wired ribbon around the paper towel roll lengthwise. Do this until the ribbon runs out.

Step 2 - Starting at about three-quarters of the way down the roll, wrap the wired ribbon around the paper towel roll lengthwise
Step 3 - continue to wrap the wired ribbon around the paper towel roll lengthwise
Step 3 final - finishing the wrapping of the ribbon around the paper towel roll lengthwise

Hold on to the ribbon with one hand and carefully remove the paper towel roll with the other. Then fold both sides of the ribbon toward each other to find the middle.

Step 4 - Hold on to the ribbon with one hand and carefully remove the paper towel roll with the other
Step 5 - fold both sides of the ribbon toward each other to find the middle

Use your scissors to cut a small slit on either side of the ribbon, about 1/3 of the way through.

Step 6 - Use the scissors to cut a small slit on one side of the ribbon, about 1/3 of the way through
Step 7 - Use the scissors to cut a small slit on the other side of the ribbon, about 1/3 of the way through
Image with the small slits in the ribbon

Take your curling ribbon and tie a tight knot between the two slits.

Step 8 - Cut a piece of your curling ribbon
Step 9 - put your curling ribbon between the two slits
Step 10 - tie a tight knot between the two slits

Tape the ends of the curling ribbon to your gift to attach the bow, then cut off any excess ribbon. Make sure your bow is securely attached to the gift before you begin fluffing.

Step 11 - Tape the ends of the curling ribbon to your gift to attach the bow, then cut off any excess ribbon

Now comes the fun part! Separate the loops of the bow and spread them out, twisting and pulling on each loop to create volume. 

Step 12 - Separate the loops of the bow and spread them out
Step 13 - twist and pull on each loop to create volume

Loops of ribbon look best in groups of three, but you can play around with the appearance of the bow until you get it the way you like.

Step 14 - play around with the appearance of the bow until you get it the way you like

You’ll end up with one excess strip of ribbon. (If you’re using single-sided ribbon, it may also appear upside down. If so, just twist it over.) To finish the bow, cut a “V” at the end.

Step 15 - Cut the excess strip of ribbon
Step 16 - To finish the bow, cut a “V” at the end
Image showing the final result of making a gift bow

And you’re set! Keep in mind: you can easily adjust the size of your bow by using more or less wire ribbon.

Gift wrapping paper

Gift bows

Gift packaging

Discover more fun and creative ideas

Keep me up to date on making the world a more thoughtful and caring place.

Required *