The Ins and Outs of Ribbon Bow Tying

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Ribbon Bow Tying: The Ins and Outs

Whether you’re interested in tying bows with satin ribbon, tying bows with wide ribbon, or just tying a simple bow out of any ribbon, we’re here to help. Tying a bow out of ribbon might seem daunting to the newbie, but it’s really not.

Ribbon Bow Tying: the basics

Ribbon bow tying is actually tying a bow out of ribbon is a relatively straight forward task, or at least it can be depending on how challenging and ornate you want the bow to be. Let’s take a look at some ways of tying a simple bow to start with.


Tying a simple bow out of ribbon

For this, you need to start with a piece of knotted ribbon. This basic bow technique is the same regardless of whether you’re tying bows with a satin ribbon or tying bows with a wide ribbon. In other words, the ribbon and purpose don’t matter with this technique! All you need is a ribbon with a right end and a left end that come from the same knot in the middle.

If you’re tying a simple bow on top of a gift, make sure you loop the ribbon underneath the package then bring the two ends onto the top of the gift and not them together making equal-length ends. Then you still have a left and a right to work with.

You can also tie bows from a ribbon when it isn’t attached to a gift or package. Simply tie a knot in the middle of the ribbon making sure that the right side and the left side are equal lengths.

Next, using the left side, make a loop out of the ribbon. Pinch this loop between your forefinger and thumb to keep it secure. Make sure that when you’re tying a ribbon, you don’t get it twisted: this loop needs to be smooth.

Then, you need to make another loop out of the right side – bring it around, making sure it is under the left side loop. Pull this through until you have 2 loops of the same size. This is the same technique that you use to tie your shoelaces!

Finally, you need to tighten the bow. Pull-on both loops to tighten the knot at the middle. Make sure that both loops are exactly the same size and that the tails of the bow are the same length. You now have a simple bow!

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Tying bows with satin ribbon

What is satin exactly? Well, there are a few misconceptions about this fabric. For a start, it is often put in the same bracket as silk but they aren’t really related. Satin simply refers to how the fabric is woven. For example, a satin’s weave means that one side of the fabric is lustrous and smooth while the reverse is not. This means that tying bows with satin ribbon has its own challenges! You need to make sure that the tails and the loops are showing the shiny side.

A looped bow is ideal for the satin ribbon. Here’s how to make one:

Firstly, take a long ribbon piece about 12 inches in length. Leave this straight with no knots. Begin by forming a loop at the left end of the ribbon. Create this loop from around 3 inches from the ribbon end and bring it to a loop. Keep this in place using your forefinger and thumb. Continue this by looping the right end over to make a second loop. It should now look like an “S” backwards with a tail on each end. Hold these loops in one hand to avoid them unraveling then continue to loop the remaining length of the ribbon-like an accordion. You will end up with a pile of loops and two equal end lengths.

Next, cinch the middle. You can use florist wire to tie your loops together in the middle. You will then have a pile of loops on the left side of the cinch and a similar pile on the right side.

Finally, separate all of the loops, making sure to fluff them so that the cinched middle isn’t visible. Then, use scissors to cut the ribbon ends into the shape of an inverted “v” for a more professional-looking ribbon.

Tying a bow with wide ribbon is no more difficult than a thin ribbon. A good bow to make with a wide ribbon is a flower bow. Here are some simple instructions for making a floral bow with a wide ribbon.

To make this bow, start by wrapping ribbon around your hand. Hold one end against your palm using your thumb then continue to wrap the ribbon around your hand until it has all been wrapped. Each ribbon loop should be placed neatly on the top of the loop before it.

Next, slip the loops off your hand carefully and fold them in half. Make sure you don’t let the ribbon loops come undone as you slip them off. Hold the folded loop tightly in one hand so that the middle fold faces upwards. With your other hand, cut the corner off each side of the folded middle. When you’re doing this, make sure to cut all of the layers of the ribbon. Use really sharp scissors and cut firmly so that you cut evenly, and the layers won’t slip. Make sure you don’t cut the corners of the ribbon too close to the middle.

After this, you need a second piece of ribbon to tie your cinch. Place the second piece of ribbon between the cut notches in the loops then tie a knot. You could use a small string instead or florist wire.

The final part is to fan out the loops. Separate each loop individually from the inside loops to the outside loops. Pull them gently from the middle, twisting them towards you. Arrange all of the loops so that they look like petals in a circle. Your wide-ribbon floral bow is now finished!


Final words

Tying a bow out of ribbon is easy when you know how! Follow these three simple steps for beautiful ribbon bows! So, whether you’re tying a bow with wide ribbon or satin ribbon, we hope this tutorial has been useful!

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