Bows don’t have to be hard, so if you are a beginner let me show you how to make 3 simple bows by hand. From the smaller hair bow to large tree toppers, a bow will add that finishing touch to whatever you’re creating. I have to admit when I first started crafting and making wreaths I could not make a bow to save my life.
What you need to know
Use wired ribbon
This is crucial, you need the right type of ribbon. If you’re going to make a round, fluffy bow you need to use wired ribbon. Now, you can use a ribbon that doesn’t have a wire but it will not hold its shape.
Need a helping hand?
Although this post is about making bows by hand if you have difficulty holding the ribbon you should consider using a bow maker. If you think about it, that is what a bow maker does. It holds your ribbon so that both your hands are free to make the loops how you want and use all the ribbon to your heart’s content. There are multiple types available to purchase, but my personal favorite is The EZ Bow Maker.
Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
Practice, it takes a lot of practice. So if you’re a natural and make beautiful bows without effort, that is wonderful. But if you’re like me you will need to practice. Whether it’s by hand or if you’re using a bow maker, have patience, keep practicing, don’t give up. You will be making beautiful bows in no time… So let’s get started. (Video tutorial toward the end of the post).
Here is what you’re going to need
- Wired ribbon, Here I used a variety of 2.5-inch ribbons and 1.5 inches. All from Sam’s Club. ribbon with hearts from my Etsy store.
- Scissors, these are from Walmart.
- Pipe cleaners or zip ties
- A cutting Matt or ruler
- Wire cutters (not pictured)
Don’t forget to Pin for later
The Multi-Ribbon Bow
This 1st bow is a simple bow made with 3 different ribbons. I used a combination of different colors and patterns of ribbon. I started with 2 different 2.5-inch ribbons and then a 1.5-inch ribbon. Make multiple loops on each side then change ribbons so you have multiple tales and different size loops. How many different types of ribbon and how many loops you make is up to you, but because this is made by hand it may be difficult to hold as you continue to add more ribbon. A bow maker comes in handy when you want to make those bigger bows that can be difficult to hold.
The Single Ribbon Simple Bow
I just love this fun Valentine’s ribbon. No need to add anything else. This is a 2.5-inch ribbon but this bow can easily be made with any size of ribbon and as many loops as you like. I started with 6 7-inch loops, then 4 then 2 making them a little smaller each time. This is the perfect style of the bow to start with and add your own twist to it. Try making multiple loops with each layer, remember there are no rules. Experiment with different sizes and styles of ribbon just make sure it has a wire or it won’t hold its shape.
The Ribbon Tale Bow
This last one is the easiest of the 3 and is great for using those short leftover pieces that most likely would end up in the trash. Try this with different colors, patterns, and sizes of ribbon to make a cute shabby bow. Cut tales the same size and layer on top of each in the shape of an “x” adding the smaller size of ribbons on top. Tie off with another piece of ribbon. What’s great about this bow is that you can use a combination of wired and unwired ribbons. These are quick, easy, and make great bows for gift wrapping. So keep those short pieces of leftover ribbon handy for when you need a quick bow to dress up any last-minute gift.
Making bows should not be intimidating. If this is something you struggle with that’s ok. As you start to practice you will find a technique that will work for you. Whatever method you use is the best there, is no right or wrong. Remember, you do you!
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