How to Make/Tie a Wired Ribbon Wreath Bow the Easiest Way
The Easiest way to Make Wreath Bows
For years I've struggled with making bows. My mother, on the other hand, has some sort of magical bow powers that allow her to create the most beautiful bows I've ever seen. I recently told her I wanted to learn how to tie a bow for a wreath I just made and she excitedly told me just how easy it was. Her instructions - like many I've seen online - involved making loops and twisting. After twisting my way through feet of ribbon and creating messes even a mother couldn't be proud of, I decided there had to be a better way.
So here it is - a virtually fool-proof way to tie a bow. You can make it large for a wreath or smaller for a gift. Either way, you are sure to create a bow anyone would be proud of. You don't have to possess three hands to hold everything in place or amazing spacial awareness that lets you create perfect loops. All you need is ribbon, some wire, and a book.
Supplies for Bow Making
- Wired ribbon
- Jewelry or florist wire
- A book (9 or 10 inches long for a wreath bow)
- A lighter
How to Tie a Bow
Gather all your supplies before starting the project. First and foremost, you need ribbon, preferably wired ribbon. In case you don't know, wired ribbon has thin wire in channels along its edges. This wire helps the bow maintain its form. You also need scissors, jewelry or florist wire, and a book. Pick your book based on how large you want the bow to be. If you want a large wreath bow, find a book that is 9 or 10 inches long. This book will act as your template for making the bow. You may also want to have a lighter or matches on hand.
There are so many fun wired ribbons to choose from!
Bow Tying Steps
After assembling your materials, you are ready to get started. All of the steps are pictured below, so scroll down if any of the written instructions are confusing.
- Place the ribbon's end at the midpoint of the book's cover, as shown below.
- Wrap the ribbon around the book. Be sure to wrap securely and neatly, but do not pull the ribbon overly tight or it will be difficult to remove the loops from the book.
- Continue making overlapping wraps around the book until you have created as many loops as you would like. I suggest at least five wraps, but no more than nine.
- Once you have reached a satisfactory number of wraps, cut the ribbon free from the spool, taking care to cut at the book cover's approximate midpoint. If you want a symmetrical bow with the same number of loops on its right and left sides, cut the ribbon opposite from its starting point. In other words, if you put the ribbon on the book's back cover in step #1, cut it on the front side of the book. Many people prefer bows with an odd number of loops. For an asymmetrical bow, cut the ribbon on the same side of the book. If you placed the ribbon on the book's back cover in step #1, cut it on the back side of the book now.
- If you want to make sure the ribbon does not fray and unravel, you can carefully melt the cut edge with a lighter or matches. Do not put the flame directly on the ribbon or it will catch on fire! Simply hold the flame near the ribbon's edge, as shown, and move the lighter back and forth. You should see the ribbon curl slightly as it melts. Alternatively you can seal the edges with a product like Fray Check, or even super glue. If you are not worried about fraying, you can skip this step.
- Carefully slide the loops off the book.
- Pinch the loops in the middle.
- Wrap the pinched middle with your wire and twist the wire around itself like you would a twist-tie on a bread bag. Snip the wire's ends close to the twists and bend them so they lie flat along the ribbon.
Making the BowClick thumbnail to view full-size
Uses for Bows
Wreaths aren't the only way to display your new found bow-making prowess.
- Use an elaborate bow to dress up a simple gift bag.
- Use a large bow as Christmas tree topper.
- Create your own gift baskets by wiring a bow to basket handle.
How to Finish a Bow
After creating the bulk of the bow, you need to make it a knotted centerpiece and tails.
- Determine how long you want the bow's tail ends to hang down. For a large bow, tails of a foot or more look good. If you want tails 1' long, cut about 2.5' of ribbon. You can always trim the ends if they're too long!
- Find the ribbon's midpoint and tie a basic overhand knot. Simply form a loop and then bring one end of the ribbon through the loop, as shown below.
- Carefully tighten the knot, but do not over-tighten it or it will look strange.
- Place the knot on the wire-wrapped midpoint of the bow's body, as shown below.
- Bring the ribbon's ends behind the bow and hold them securely.
- Use your wire to secure the knotted ribbon in place, as shown. To easily attach your bow to a wreath, leave several inches of tail on the wire. This allows you to wrap the same piece of wire around the wreath.
How to Finish the Bow
All that remains is making the bow look, well, bow-like!
Simply separate the loops and fan them out to create your beautiful bow. If you used wired ribbon, you can bend the loops out a little to make them look more full and rounded. You may also choose to pull some loops forward and others back to create a layered appearance.
For added flair, consider using a different ribbon to create the knot and tails - contrasting colors and metallics usually look nice. You can also attach extra ribbons to create multiple tails. If you really want to get creative, you can wrap the book with two different colors of ribbon to create a multi-colored bow.
To make a themed bow, glue an object to the central knot. For example, you could attach a bell, seashell, a jewel, or some other type of charm.
The Easiest way to Tie a Bow
And there you have it - the easiest way to tie a beautiful bow. By wrapping ribbon around the book, you can create perfect loops without expensive gadgets, measuring, or extra pairs of hands.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and please let me know if you have any questions.
Happy bow making!