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How to Make a Christmas Bow

Updated on September 30, 2016
CassyLu1981 profile image

Cassandra is a Photographer out of Spring Lake, NC. She loves to travel, do many different crafts and really enjoys being an Army spouse!

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Bows used for christmas decorationsBows that match wrapping paperRegular Christmas bowsCurly bowsTiny bowsBows with a little something added to the centerBows that match wrapping paperFun bowsLarge wreath bows
Bows used for christmas decorations
Bows used for christmas decorations | Source
Bows that match wrapping paper
Bows that match wrapping paper | Source
Regular Christmas bows
Regular Christmas bows | Source
Curly bows
Curly bows | Source
Tiny bows
Tiny bows | Source
Bows with a little something added to the center
Bows with a little something added to the center | Source
Bows that match wrapping paper
Bows that match wrapping paper | Source
Fun bows
Fun bows | Source
Large wreath bows
Large wreath bows | Source

The Christmas Bow. The one that is so fancy on the box that you don't even want to open it for fear of ruining the bow. I've gotten many of these bows and have just recently started giving these bows during Christmas time. They are easy to make and don't make a mess (minus getting some of the glitter from the glitter ribbon all over the place). All you need to make Christmas bows is the ribbon of your choice (I use wired ribbon and curling ribbon) and a pair of scissors. Everything else comes with attaching the bow to the wrapped package and most of that can be done with tape or more ribbon.

There are a lot of different kinds of Christmas bows you can make. Here's a list of some of the more popular kinds.

  • Bows used in Christmas decorations such as hanging them on trees or tying them to candle sticks.
  • Bows that are bought with ribbon that matches the wrapping paper that is being used for the gift.
  • Regular large Christmas bows used for wreaths.
  • Bows used to top off a gift.
  • Bows that have a little something extra in the center to give it a little more decoration.
  • Curly bows.
  • Large Christmas wreath bows.
  • Fun and stringy bows.

Wired Ribbon

The very first step in making a bow is to, of course, buy the ribbon. There are many places to buy ribbon. Most ribbon will come on 9 foot rolls. The BEST deal I found was at Sam's Club where I was able to buy 50 yards (150 feet) of candy cane stripped ribbon for just $10!!! All the other ribbon I have bought has been about $1.00 to $2.00 per 9 feet. There are also great deals online such as eBay or amazon and the choices of color and size are endless.

After you have purchased your ribbon the next step is to get it all organized and where you want it to work with it. Make sure you have your scissors handy because that will be the first thing you use.

When you are ready to start take all of the ribbon off of the roll, or cut a strip of ribbon to 9 foot long, and smooth it out so it's not all curled up. I have found that this length works well with most of the ribbons. I've been getting about 8 loops per side using 9 foot.

Wired Ribbon

3.8 out of 5 stars from 28 ratings of Wired Ribbon

From here on it's basically a step by step process:

  1. Cut about a 5-9 inch strip of ribbon from one end of the 9 foot piece.
  2. Find the center of the (almost) 9 foot of ribbon.
  3. Scrunch the center and TWIST.
  4. Make your first loop however large or small you want it.
  5. Scrunch the end of the loop in the center and TWIST.
  6. With the other side of the ribbon make another loop. To measure to make sure it is the same length, place a finger in each loop and pull a little to verify the length is the same.
  7. Scrunch the end of the loop in the center and TWIST.
  8. Continue alternating loops until about 6 inches or so is left at the end of each side, making sure you are TWISTING after every loop. You can leave more or less ribbon at the end, these will be cut as your tails for the bow.
  9. Use the small piece you cut at the beginning to tie a knot around the center/twisted parts of the bow you are holding. Pull tight!
  10. Cut your ends into a "V" shape by folding them in half and starting at the seamed side cut diagonal towards the wired side of the ribbon making a perfect "V".
  11. Spread out the loops of the bow to finish.

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Cut off about 9-12 inches of ribbon off one end of your long ribbon piece.Find the center of your long ribbon.Pinch the center of the ribbon togetherTwist the center of the ribbonMake your first loop with one side of the long piece.Scrunch the end of the loop.Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunchedMake a loop with the other side of the long piece of ribbon.Scrunch that end of the ribbon like the previous one.Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunched.Continue making loops and scrunching and twisting.All the loops are made and twisted and there is a few inches left at the end of the ribbon.Lay the ribbon onto the first ribbon you cut and laid aside.Hold the bow in place to tie the knot.Tie just a regular knot making sure it is tight around the center twists of all your loops.This is what it should look like after it's all tied together.Make sure the ends of the piece you tied on are the same length as the ends that were left on your long piece of ribbon.Cut the end of the ribbon into the perfect "V" shape.More of the perfect "V".Spread out the end of the ribbon to make sure it's right.And there you have the perfect "V" for the ribbon ends.Start seperating and fluffing the ribbon loops.Fluff one side.Fluff the other side.
Cut off about 9-12 inches of ribbon off one end of your long ribbon piece.
Cut off about 9-12 inches of ribbon off one end of your long ribbon piece. | Source
Find the center of your long ribbon.
Find the center of your long ribbon. | Source
Pinch the center of the ribbon together
Pinch the center of the ribbon together | Source
Twist the center of the ribbon
Twist the center of the ribbon | Source
Make your first loop with one side of the long piece.
Make your first loop with one side of the long piece. | Source
Scrunch the end of the loop.
Scrunch the end of the loop. | Source
Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunched
Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunched | Source
Make a loop with the other side of the long piece of ribbon.
Make a loop with the other side of the long piece of ribbon. | Source
Scrunch that end of the ribbon like the previous one.
Scrunch that end of the ribbon like the previous one. | Source
Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunched.
Twist the end of the loop where you just scrunched. | Source
Continue making loops and scrunching and twisting.
Continue making loops and scrunching and twisting. | Source
All the loops are made and twisted and there is a few inches left at the end of the ribbon.
All the loops are made and twisted and there is a few inches left at the end of the ribbon. | Source
Lay the ribbon onto the first ribbon you cut and laid aside.
Lay the ribbon onto the first ribbon you cut and laid aside. | Source
Hold the bow in place to tie the knot.
Hold the bow in place to tie the knot. | Source
Tie just a regular knot making sure it is tight around the center twists of all your loops.
Tie just a regular knot making sure it is tight around the center twists of all your loops. | Source
This is what it should look like after it's all tied together.
This is what it should look like after it's all tied together. | Source
Make sure the ends of the piece you tied on are the same length as the ends that were left on your long piece of ribbon.
Make sure the ends of the piece you tied on are the same length as the ends that were left on your long piece of ribbon. | Source
Cut the end of the ribbon into the perfect "V" shape.
Cut the end of the ribbon into the perfect "V" shape. | Source
More of the perfect "V".
More of the perfect "V". | Source
Spread out the end of the ribbon to make sure it's right.
Spread out the end of the ribbon to make sure it's right. | Source
And there you have the perfect "V" for the ribbon ends.
And there you have the perfect "V" for the ribbon ends. | Source
Start seperating and fluffing the ribbon loops.
Start seperating and fluffing the ribbon loops. | Source
Fluff one side.
Fluff one side. | Source
Fluff the other side.
Fluff the other side. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cut enough blue to use for the tie at the end of the bow.Using two colors of ribbon made sure they were the same lengthPut the two ends of the different colored ribbon togetherTwist those ribbons together really tight so they don't come apart.Do the same as the above ribbon with the loop, scrunch and twist for each loop leaving a bit of a long tail of each color.Scrunch together in the center to tie the last part of blue on.Cut the blue as short to the center as possible.A finished multi color bow!
Cut enough blue to use for the tie at the end of the bow.
Cut enough blue to use for the tie at the end of the bow. | Source
Using two colors of ribbon made sure they were the same length
Using two colors of ribbon made sure they were the same length | Source
Put the two ends of the different colored ribbon together
Put the two ends of the different colored ribbon together | Source
Twist those ribbons together really tight so they don't come apart.
Twist those ribbons together really tight so they don't come apart. | Source
Do the same as the above ribbon with the loop, scrunch and twist for each loop leaving a bit of a long tail of each color.
Do the same as the above ribbon with the loop, scrunch and twist for each loop leaving a bit of a long tail of each color. | Source
Scrunch together in the center to tie the last part of blue on.
Scrunch together in the center to tie the last part of blue on. | Source
Cut the blue as short to the center as possible.
Cut the blue as short to the center as possible. | Source
A finished multi color bow!
A finished multi color bow! | Source

Two tone wired bow

For doing a two tone ribbon like the blue and white one below it's basically the same just with a different starting point:

  1. Cut two pieces of ribbon the same size, I did 4 1/2 foot pieces.
  2. Cut one small piece that you will set aside to tie the center with.
  3. Put the two different colored ends together, one inside the other.
  4. Scrunch the center and TWIST.
  5. Make your first loop however large or small you want it with one color of ribbon.
  6. Scrunch the end of the loop in the center and TWIST.
  7. With the other color of the ribbon make another loop on the opposite side. To measure to make sure it is the same length, place a finger in each loop and pull a little to verify the length is the same.
  8. Scrunch the end of the loop in the center and TWIST.
  9. Continue alternating loops until about 6 inches or so is left at the end of each side, making sure you are TWISTING after every loop. You can leave more or less ribbon at the end, these will be cut as your tails for the bow. When doing this you should have both colors on both sides of the bow.
  10. Use the small piece you cut at the beginning to tie a knot around the center/twisted parts of the bow you are holding. Pull tight! Here I cut the ends of this ribbon really short so I would only have two tails instead of four.
  11. Cut your ends into a "V" shape by folding them in half and starting at the seamed side cut diagonal towards the wired side of the ribbon making a perfect "V".
  12. Spread out the loops of the bow to finish making sure the colors are in different spots.

Curly bows

Curly bows are just as easy to make. All you need is a pair of scissors, the curling ribbon and some tape to attach it to the gift box.

  1. Cut ribbon into equal lengths (I did 24 inch lengths for longer curls and a bigger bow).
  2. Tie all the cut pieces of ribbon together in the center.
  3. Use a pair of scissors to curl each strand of ribbon (being careful not to cut yourself).
  4. Once all Ribbon is curled your bow is done.

You can also make a multi color curled ribbon bow by following these steps:

  1. Take two colors of ribbon (I used red and green) and cut ribbon into smaller 12 inch equal lengths.
  2. Tie several pieces of the same color together using a knot in the center.
  3. Use a pair of scissors to curl each strand of ribbon (being careful not to cut yourself).
  4. After all strands are curled, set it aside and make another one of either the same color or a different color.
  5. Repeat the above steps for however many sections of each color you decide to make.
  6. Once all are made, hold all the centers of the sections together and tie tightly with a strip of ribbon. Can be any color used in the bow because you can either curl it's ends too or leave them straight to stick out of the curls.
  7. To attach it to a gift just use tape in the center or around a few of the curled pieces to keep it in place.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cut the curling ribbon into equal lengths.Use this small piece for the center to help hold it on to the gift.Cut the looped ends to make then single strandsHold all strands together in the center.Tie all strands together in a knot in the center.Pull the knot tight.Before curling.Use a pair of scissors to curl your ribbon.This is what it looks after it is curled.A couple curled ribbon bows.
Cut the curling ribbon into equal lengths.
Cut the curling ribbon into equal lengths. | Source
Use this small piece for the center to help hold it on to the gift.
Use this small piece for the center to help hold it on to the gift. | Source
Cut the looped ends to make then single strands
Cut the looped ends to make then single strands | Source
Hold all strands together in the center.
Hold all strands together in the center. | Source
Tie all strands together in a knot in the center.
Tie all strands together in a knot in the center. | Source
Pull the knot tight.
Pull the knot tight. | Source
Before curling.
Before curling. | Source
Use a pair of scissors to curl your ribbon.
Use a pair of scissors to curl your ribbon. | Source
This is what it looks after it is curled.
This is what it looks after it is curled. | Source
A couple curled ribbon bows.
A couple curled ribbon bows. | Source

There are all kinds of different sites that have directions, pictures, and videos on how to make different bows. The following video is by Paperlillies and it shows how to make the little bows you buy in the bags for christmas presents. I actually just bought a ton of them and came home and realized I could have saved money if I would have made my own! So, enjoy the video and happy bow making season!!!!

Comments

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    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

      Thanks for this great Hub, CassyLu! Over the years, I have tried, time and time again, to create the perfect Christmas bow -- even purchasing a variety of bow-making apparatuses -- to no avail. You have inspired me to give it another go this holiday season. I'm off to Target today to purchase ribbon and I will follow your tutorial! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You picked the right time to do this ingenious hub! Everyone loves nice bows but they can be expensive to buy. Your directions are impeccable and your pictures great...anyone can follow them! Of course bows aren't just for Christmas either...Looks like lots of people will be making bows thanks to you.

      Voted this hub up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Oh, shared too! (I'm going to link this to my Christmas hub too.)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      lindacee - YAY! Target had a ton of good ribbon when I was there a few weeks ago :) Hope you are able to find some you like and are able to get the bows made this time around. Don't forget the TWIST is the most important part!!!! Good luck and if you have any questions let me know! Thanks for stopping by and the comment!!!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      tillsontitan - I hope a lot of people get great use out of this hub. I am super excited that I know get to make my own perfect bows that people aren't going to want to throw away! Thanks for all the votes, comment and shares (including the link)!!!!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Great information here on making bows! I can't stand to throw away wrapping paper and bows at Christmastime. These are so beautiful, who would dare throw them out??

      You did an outstanding job with this Hub. I voted it UP, etc. and will share.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      mary615 - Since my kids are growing up they tear apart the wrapping paper so fast that I don't get to keep much of it but I do try to keep the bows if they don't get destroyed in the opening process. All my gifts to family and friends this year will have these fancy made bows on them :) I can't wait to send them all out! Thanks for the votes and the shares!!!!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a detailed article! Thanks for this great resource.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      randomcreative - Thanks :) the detailed part was the fun part to write! Thanks for the comment!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Man, if anybody needed this, it is me. I find it very difficult making a pretty bow. Thank's for great info.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks so much for teaching me how to make bows. I've wanted to know how to do this forever. You have given great directions (even I can follow them:) Voted up, 5* useful, awesome, interesting and sharing!

    • profile image

      Janhorner 4 years ago

      Thanks for this just great! Have book marked because I will be having a go and see if I can at last make a bow! Voted up. You have put a lot of work into this hub and very professionally presented.

      Jan

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      always exploring - I hope it helps you make those pretty bows :) Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      vocalcoach - I hope yours turn out awesome! Don't forget to TWIST. It's what keeps it all perfect. Thanks for stopping by and all the votes and shares :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Janhorner - Thanks for the vote of confidance in my writing :) It's always good to hear when a hub is professional to someone! Thanks for reading and the votes!!! I hope your bows turn out perfect!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Cassylu, I appreciate your posting this as I need help on making bows. Your tip on making it 9 feet alone is helpful to me. Thanks for the instructions, my boxes will look much better this year.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      teaches12345 - I never thought it would use the whole 9 feet of ribbon but that's what has worked best for me! Hope your boxes look incredible this year! Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      I needed this hub! I make Christmas swags for our front door, and couldn't remember how to make the fancy bow that goes on the top. Great hub, CassyLu!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      leahlefler - I have finally started on making my bows for gifts this year. Seems like I can't keep up with all the gifts that are being given LOL I hope you get your stuff to turn out great :) Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Superposting.com 4 years ago

      Great hub

    • SamitaJassi profile image

      Samita Sharma 3 years ago from Chandigarh

      Wow i had no idea about it. revealed so much

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      What a useful hub. I do the same old bow every year, but will be trying one or two of these this year. Thanks.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 3 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Thanks Samita :)

      Glimmer: I am so glad I learned how to do these Christmas bows! So easy and fun to make :) Thanks for stopping by and the comment! Hope your bows turn out amazing!

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 3 years ago

      thanks, inspiring!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 3 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Celiegirl - Glad you liked it :) Hope it helped you make some great bows this past holiday season :)

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your article . You did a great job with the teaching on how to make bows. It is not an easy task. I took a class to learn how to make bows. I am happy that you are showing how to make them. In case I forget some details on how to make the bows. Many people do not know how to make them . Thank you.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 2 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      erorantes - glad you took a class and still found this hub useful :) I appreciate the comment! Thanks much!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Cassie, this was a great hub. That Christmas bow was so beautiful and easy to make. Perfect for this upcoming holiday season this year. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Cassy, congrats on HOTD, since I commented on this post last month!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 17 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations for HOTD!

      The Christmas bow looks beautiful and your instructions and pictures are helpful. Thanks for sharing this creative hub!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 17 months ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day for this bow making hub!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 17 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great hub! Bows are hard to make and this is quite helpful! Thanks, and congrats!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 17 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Kristen - Thanks so much, I've made bows for all my packages this year since I learned how to make these Christmas bows! I'm obsessed! And thanks for the congrats on HOTD.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 17 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      ChitrangadaSharan, RTalloni and rebeccamealey - Thanks so much for the congrats on HOTD! I have been so out of tune with the internet these past two months I had no idea I got a Hub of the Day! Super exciting. Thanks again for the Congrats!!!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 17 months ago from Glasgow

      I've pinned this hub because I know it will definitely come in handy. Thanks for sharing your tricks with us.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image
      Author

      CassyLu1981 17 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      sparkleyfinger - It does come in handy! I have it pinned myself because I often find myself looking on there for things instead of HubPages LOL I sure hope you get to use these one day! It's addicting :) Thanks for stopping by, reading and the comment! Much appreciated.

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