Introduction: Holiday Decorative Gift Bows

Store bought gift bows are expensive. But you need one. Either for a birthday present, a gift exchange topper (ya know... people always choose the prettiest packaging), a homemade wreath, or you just want to decorate your house extra fancy for the holidays. We're crafters here, and if there's any possibility we can make it (and not spend mega bucks), you know we are going to try.

Just to show you anyone can make gorgeous bows, the second picture shows how I used to wrap presents. This is not a joke or an exaggeration. I actually wrapped this for someone early on this holiday season. I promise I don't hate that person. Tip #1: don't use unclear tape on kraft paper. Amateur.

To make beautiful bows, the ones where people go, "WOW, you made this?!", you only need to know two main techniques: the Loopy Bow and the Poinsettia Bow. Each bow's pictures are organized as follows:

  1. A collage of the steps to view all at once
  2. Inspiration: the same bow with different ribbon colors, sizes, amounts and types
  3. Larger pictures of each step for easier viewing

Step 1: Materials


  • Wire-edge ribbon - this is a must for big and beautiful bows. It makes adding body and texture to bows easy peasy. The best time to buy ribbon is after the holidays. Places like Joann and Hobby Lobby sell ribbon for 75%-90% off.
  • Decorative or floral sprays or picks- these are the leaves, flowers, or berries found at major craft stores
  • Chenille ties, a.k.a. pipe cleaners, or bendable greenery ties


  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Ruler
  • Clips

Step 2: The Loopy Bow


  • 2.5" ribbon (for this specific look)
  • Pipe cleaner, chenille tie, or decorative wire
  • Scissors
  • Pliers


This will make a small loopy bow. For a BIG loopy bow, increase the size of the beginning loop.

  1. Take the 2.5" width ribbon and measure 12". This will be one tail.
  2. Fold the tail on itself, with the fold on the 2" mark. The pretty side should face outwards.
  3. Pinch and twist as shown.
  4. Make a 2nd loop, about 1/2"-1" bigger than the first loop. Pinch, twist, and place it next to the 1st loop.
  5. Reminder: Make sure pretty side of ribbon is face up and out when creating the loops.
  6. Make a 3rd loop, the same size as the 2nd loop, twist, and place it on the other side of the middle loop.
  7. Continue the creation and placement of bigger loops on each side of the bow until you have your desired size.
  8. Cut off ribbon end (the one attached to the spool) roughly the same size as the other tail.
  9. Take a pipe cleaner, chenille tie, or garland tie and place it through the center loop.
  10. Pull the tie to the back, and use the pliers to secure the bow in place by twisting hard.
  11. Fold the tail in half, longways, and snip a 90 degree triangle.
  12. Tail should look as shown.
  13. Bonus: use decorative picks, like the berries shown, to tie around the middle.
  14. Fluff.
  15. Bonus: Bigger bow using two ribbons (red and gold) instead of one.

You can use the the existing ties or add new ones to attach to a present or wreath. Either wrap the wires around existing package ribbon or place underneath a piece of tape.

Step 3: The Poinsettia Bow


  • 2" ribbon (for this specific look)
  • Pipe cleaner, chenille tie, or decorative wire pick
  • Scissors
  • Clip
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Optional: jewelry or floral wire


  1. Cut five (5) 9" strips.
  2. Fold ends in half and cut diagonal to create a pointed end. This is the opposite cut from the Loopy Bow; you want pointy leaves.
  3. Fold each ribbon in half lengthwise, wrong sides together (pretty sides are visible).
  4. Flip the edges back up towards the middle.
  5. It should look like a little boat.
  6. Clip the folded middle with a clip.
  7. Continue with the rest of the ribbon leaves, stacking middles and clipping together.
  8. Wrap the center with a decorative pick or tie and secure tightly with pliers. Nip off any extra wires with wire cutters.
  9. Pull the petals apart, fluff, and add body. You can roll the leaves in your fingers to create texture.
  10. Bonus: Add tails using wire or add more decorative pieces like the red berries.

Like the purple bow, you can add more than just five ribbons. Like the green and gold bow, use multiple colors and stack them in a pattern (i.e. green, gold, green gold). Or, like the red bow, use different ribbon widths for a cool effect.

Step 4: The Bonus Bow

This ribbon is a bonus. It's very similar to the Poinsettia Bow, but it uses deco mesh ribbon. It does not have wire in the edges and is very unstructured, but it can be high impact.


  • Deco mesh ribbon (or other unstructured ribbon; this one is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Pipe cleaner, chenille tie, or decorative wire pick
  • Scissors
  • Clip
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  1. Cut six (6) 10"x12" squares.
  2. Hold opposite corners.
  3. Pull.
  4. Pinch in the center and smoosh (super technical)
  5. Clip.
  6. Repeat until all ribbons are added.
  7. Tie the center with a pipe cleaner, chenille tie, or decorative wire pick.
  8. Pull tie to back and secure tightly with pliers.
  9. Fluff.

Add more or longer ribbons for a bigger effect, or add decorative picks to the center!

Step 5: Decor Ideas

Bows don't have to just go on presents; you can put them anywhere to decorate!

  • Wrap around a gift of wine
  • Add to homemade wreaths
  • Put a small one in your hair
  • Put all over your tree

The possibilities are endless when creating bows with just these two designs. Different ribbons and picks or small ornaments can make these simple techniques pop!

Holiday Decor

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Holiday Decor