How to Tie a Florist Bow




About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.

Many years ago, I paid good money to learn how to make these bows.  At some points in my life, I was paid good money to make these bows.  Now I will share how to make them and some of the secrets that make it work great.

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Step 1:

Supplies:  Ribbon, the wider it is the bigger the bow.  (Wired ribbon works the best, soft ribbon will not stay where you put it.)
                 Florist wire
                 scissors (do not cut wired ribbon with fabric scissors, it will put nicks in them and then they won't cut fabric very well.)
                 wire cutters (to cut the wire)

Step 2:

Cut 3 yards of ribbon.  Notice that most ribbon has a "right" side and "wrong" side.  The trick to making nice bows is to keep the "right" out where it can be seen and the "wrong" side hidden.

Step 3:

At one end of the ribbon form a loop and hold it with your thumb inside the loop and the fingers on the outside of the loop.

Step 4:

This is the big secret.  On the back side of the first loop, give the ribbon a good twist.  This will turn the "right" side of the ribbon to the outside of the bow.

Step 5:

Form a loop, coming back to your fingers under the first loop, twist, form a loop on the opposite side.  Keep twisting and forming loops on opposite sides of the first loop.  

Step 6:

Keep doing this until you have the first loop and five loops on each side.  You may make the loops the same length or you may each additional loop a little longer than the previous loop.

Step 7:

Being the tail end of the ribbon up to the twist area, but don't twist it.  If you want 2 long tails, there should be a long loop hanging down.

Step 8:

Take a piece of florist wire (around 9-10 inches long), and pass it through the center of the first loop and bend it so that the two legs are about the same length down the center.

Step 9:

Here is the big secret.  Twist the bow and not the wire.  Twisting the bow will make a nice TIGHT bow.  No falling apart later because it is tight.

Step 10:

 Start to fluff the bow.  Pull the loops to the right and left so that they start to look like a full bow.  Be tough, and pull hard until you get them where you want.  If you twisted it tight enough, there should be no problem getting those loops to go where you want.

Step 11:

 Cut your last big loop in two for tails.  You may cut them slanted, or swallow tailed or pointed, any  way you want.  With the tails cut, now you can do the final fluffing, with the wire in the ribbon, you can have big, full, loops.

Step 12:

Here are some bows made from various different ribbons.  You can use the wire to attach your bow where you want it, or you can use tape.  If you want a bigger bow, make two and twist them together. Remember, the wider the ribbon the bigger you can make the bow.  Have FUN!

3 People Made This Project!


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16 Discussions


2 years ago

Oh my goodness, i DID IT!!! I have tried so many different tutorials and failed, i decided to give it one last try with this one and i did it. Thank you so much your directions were so easy to understand. U made my day today lol

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

I am so excited for you! This was one of my first Instructables, back in 2011. Glad I was able to help you our. Thanks for letting me know of your success. Have a great life, and thanks for letting me know.


3 years ago

Thank you!

I have been trying to make this type of bow for years with no luck. Thank you for sharing.

1 reply

3 years ago

I used your tutorial to make a bow for a door wreath I was working on. It turned out beautifully! Thank you so much!

1 reply

3 years ago

This looks much easier than I thought it was going to be. They will look great on the wreaths I want to make for Christmas presents. I'm just wondering about how many yards of ribbon will you need to make the entire bow? At the beginning you say cut 3 yards. Is that 3 yards for the whole bow? Thank you

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

The bow I made in the Instructable uses 3 yards, total. If you want it to be fuller (more loops), add another yard or too. Thanks for asking.


4 years ago

I've never been able to make these bows, and I've read tons of tutorials. You explained this subject so well- thanks!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago

Lovely!!!! Grandson says "pretty and cool, love the blue spots" He is 5 and has good taste. You are welcome.


5 years ago on Introduction

i'm going to link your instructable to mine. My bow making needs alot of work but I think it was fair for a first try.

1 reply