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That simple touch of adding bows makes your holiday décor look so much more polished and refined.
I enjoy making bows to create that decorator look without breaking the bank.
This technique is easy and allows you to make bows economically.
For this demonstration, I’m using a weatherproof red velvet ribbon so that the bows can be used outdoors or indoors.
This gives me the flexibility to create dramatic holiday displays that can be flexible and the bows can be reused each year.
The ribbon is available in different widths to create bows in different sizes and “looks” depending on how they will be used.
How to Make a Bow with Ribbon in 3 Easy Steps:
Step 1 Estimate the Size of the Bow
Most bows I make are 8 to 10-inches wide.
That width works well for wreaths, swags, and other accents throughout the home.
In addition, an 8-10 inch bow fits comfortably in my hands as I make it.
The length can easily be adjusted by creating a longer tail/streamer.
When I make bows for outside decorating, I want them to be visible from a distance so I make them as large as possible with longer tails.
Step 2 Creating the Loops
Once you have an estimate of the width of the bow, the next step is to create a large series of consecutive loops in that measurement.
For an 8-inch bow, hold the end of the ribbon and with the right side up, loop it 3 times over itself.
See the photo below.
Cut the ribbon from the spool behind the third loop.
When in doubt, it’s always better to leave it long and trim it later.
Then cut a piece of ribbon that is approximately 28 inches long for the tail.
The length is purely preference and objective, but I have found that a 28-inch length is a great starting place for an 8-inch bow.
The tail can always be trimmed later to the length you prefer.
Step 3 Assemble the Bow
Take the loops into your hand and pinch the center slightly to create a “gathered” look.
As shown in the photo below, add the tail to the loops by placing the center against one edge of the loops.
Zip ties are extremely easy to use and allow the bow to be cinched tightly.
Wrap the zip tie around the center of the loops and tail with the securing notches toward the back.
Initially, secure the zip tie so that the bow is held together, but there is still a tiny bit of room for additional tightening.
Next, gently pull the inner loops out on each side to form the bow.
For simplicity, I keep the outer loop stationary and only adjust the 2 inner loops outward.
Fluff one side at a time to create the bow.
Adjust the tails downward to create the streamers.
Tighten the zip tie a bit further to secure the loops and tail.
Trim away the excess zip tie and any other excess ribbon on the back.
Wrap a piece of floral wire or chenille stem through the center of the bow to serve as a way of attaching the bow to a wreath, garland, etc.
Use a color that will coordinate with the item that it will be attached to (wreath, garland, etc.) as we will be covering the front of the bow to hide the color of the zip tie, etc.
To cover the zip tie and mechanics, cut a piece of matching or coordinating ribbon that’s about 8-10 inches long.
Fold both of the outside edges in (about one-third of the length) to create a strip with a finished edge.
Wrap this around the center of the bow and tie it in the back.
Trim away any excess.
This covers the mechanics of securing it and makes it look professional.
Adding a dovetail finish to the tails also makes the bow look polished.
Fold the bottom of the tail so that the right sides face out.
Then, use scissors to cut at an angle to create the dovetail finish.
Repeat on the other tail and the bow is complete!
The bow is ready to hang on a wreath, swag, garland, or any other home decor item.