I get a lot of questions (usually around Christmas time) about how to create those decorator bows that you see being sold at craft stores everywhere. They are actually pretty easy to make and can definitely be created much cheaper than a craft store or florist would sell them to you!
Generally, I purchase a roll of ribbon (only when it’s 50% off at Hobby Lobby!) and I can usually get 3 bows out of one roll. I’ve seen them anywhere from $7-15 dollars each at our local craft store. I can make quite a few myself for that price!
You’ll want to pick a thickness of ribbon based on the fullness you want to achieve in the bow that you are making. The thicker the ribbon — the fuller the bow.
Below are the written instructions for how to create the bow. However, I know I learn a lot better when I actually see someone doing the craft, so I have created and linked a short video after the directions. If you have any additional problems, feel free to comment below or send me a message. I’m happy to help!
Supplies You Will Need:
- Floral wire
- Wire cutters
- A roll of wired ribbon
Creating the Bow:
- First, cut a long piece of wire with your wire cutters and set it aside.
- Next, unroll the ribbon off of the spool and smooth out the wire. Here is where you can decide how full you want your bow. For small bows, I will divide a 15 ft. roll of ribbon into three equal parts and to make three smaller ribbons. For larger bows (like a Christmas tree topper), I will use the entire roll for one bow.
- Starting about a foot or two from the end of the ribbon, make a loop (I can most closely compare it to the first loop you make when tying your shoes). Twist the ribbon so that the wrong side is facing up, and make another loop in toward the center.
- Continue twisting the ribbon and making loops until you are approximately a foot or two from the end of your piece of ribbon. It’s easiest for me to hold the ribbon in the center of the loops to keep it together while I’m making more loops, but do what works for you. The general rule is 5 – 6 loops on either side for a full bow — or until you run out of ribbon! 🙂
- Here’s where it might get tricky. While pinching the loops together in the center, wrap the wire from Step 1 around the middle of the bow. Twist the wire and wrap the excess around the center to fasten the ribbon together. Depending on the amount of loops you have made and the thickness of your wire, it might be pretty thick in the middle, but do your best to get it as tight as possible.
- Next, you’ll need to start spreading the loops out to form the bow. This is sort of a trial and error process. I usually spread out all my loops first. Then, I will set the bow down to see if I have any bare spots or places that just need more. You can always mess with it until it looks right to you. Also (especially if you are making some to use only during the holidays), you’ll generally need to “fluff” the bows back up when they come out of storage.
- After that, you’ll probably need to “pretty up” the ends of the tails. To get that professional looking inverted v cut, fold the bottom of the tail in half. Then cut the tail diagonally, starting from the folded part and cutting down away from the bow.
- Now, you’re finished!