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Make a Gift Bow

Knowing how to make a gift bow in any size using any width ribbon is probably one of the most useful skills you'll learn for gift wrapping.

With a gift bow you can dress up a plant, add to a Christmas decoration, make a corsage or tie up a gift.

It might take a little bit of practice but it is well worth learning how to make them.

In my teens the first day on the job in a flower shop the head florist patiently showed me how to make a gift bow by holding the ribbon in one hand as I twisted equal lengths to form loops and tie it off with a small piece of wire.

When she was satisfied that I knew what I was doing she sent me out front to serve customers and told me to make 150 little corsage bows! 

How To Make A Gift Bow

When you make a gift bow you are twisting the ribbon when you make every second loop to give the bow volume. This bow is made with 6 loops.

The ribbon used here is 1 inch wide satin ribbon that is the same on both sides. Do not cut the ribbon to length but leave it on the spool, you will need about  2-1/2 feet ( 76 cm) of ribbon. 

Holding it about 2-1/2 inches from the end pinch the ribbon. 

Make a loop about 2 inches long (you would use about 5 inches of ribbon to make the loop) and bring it to your fingers and pinch it.  

While you are still pinching the ribbon  twist it so the opposite side of the ribbon is showing for the next loop. This is to give the bow dimension. Make your second loop.  Both loops should be the same size.

Make a third loop the  same size as the first. 

With all the ribbon pinched in your hand again twist the ribbon so the opposite side of the ribbon is showing to make the fourth loop. Make your fourth loop.

Make a fifth loop.

Twisting the ribbon make your sixth loop.

I used a white twist tie to tie off the middle of the bow. You could use green florist wire if you preferred. Both ends of the bow were cut on a diagonal.

(The candy box bow was cut in a birds beak, you do this by folding the ribbon lengthwise and cutting on a diagonal towards the bow, if you cut it the wrong way you will get a point, practice on a piece of paper first).

You can now fluff up the bow so the loops look full. You do this by putting your finger inside a loop and tugging it so it is placed where you want. 

Using the same ribbon I tied the middle so that the twist tie is hidden.

In this case I left the ribbon long so I could wrap it around a gift. This is what was done with the candy box at the top of the page.  Or you could cut the second ribbon ends longer and use them to tie the bow to a ribbon already on the gift.

The better quality ribbon you use, the better looking the bow will be. If you use outdoor ribbon you will find that it will wrinkle easier and you will have to be very careful as you make the bow.

With good satin ribbon if you make a mistake and the ribbon is a bit wrinkled you can easily iron it smooth again. When you use wired ribbon you will be able to maneuver is much more when it is finished but it might be harder to pinch and twist as you are making the bow.

Just by using a larger ribbon and making the loops bigger you will be able to make a gift bow like this one that was made with 8 loops in How to Wrap a Gift Like a Professional and Make It Look Expensive.

Once you learn how to make a gift bow you will find that you will be using it constantly when decorating and gift giving.

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