How to Make Bows Out of Ribbon

    by Ashley Kurz

    About the Author

    Ashley Kurz, a full-time professional writer since 2009, publishes on various informational websites. An expert in the craft field specializing in craft-related topics, Kurz has taught arts and crafts for group therapy sessions.


    Bows add a decorative touch to clothing, gifts, hair accessories -- really anything that needs a little sprucing up. Bows are sold in craft or fabric stores but can be pricey if you need very many and those on offer are often not quite right for your project. Make your own bows and you can choose the material, color, size and details like the number of loops and tail length. Making bows from ribbon is an art and your skill improves with practice.

    Things You'll Need

    • 3 yards of ribbon (any color or size)
    • Scissors
    • 26-gauge wire

    Lay out your 3 yards of ribbon on a flat work surface. Smooth out its surface to eliminate any folds or twists along its length.

    Pinch the ribbon between your fingersabout 8 inches from the end. Keep your hold on the ribbon and make a loop by grabbing your ribbon at a point 5 inches closer to the center of the ribbon. Bring that section up to the other ribbon in your hand, holding it above your thumb. You should now be holding one loop.

    While still holding your first loop, grab a section 5 inches past your last pinch. Bring that section into your hand as well. You are now holding two loops above your thumb. Repeat the same process twice more, but hold the loops below your thumb.

    Wrap the remaining ribbon once around the center of the loops. Secure the bow with 26-gauge bow-making wire and leave a tail of ribbon. Your first tail is the 8-inch section left alone before your first pinch. Adjust the look of your bow by arranging the loops the way you like them and allowing for a tail on the other end.

    Trim the tails to your desired length. Either cut all the way across the ribbon at a 45-degree angle for tapered points, or cut up from each corner, diagonally toward the center of the ribbon to form an inverted "V" for forked ends.

    • Some ribbons have wire in them that runs the length of the ribbon, and are more easily styled after making a bow.