Tying Ribbon Bows Tutorial

I thought it was high time I finished off the Handmade Owl Cards I had been working on some time ago!  I wanted more ribbon bows for the decorations but had run out.  So I made some!

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And since they are so darn cute I knew you would want to make them too!

What you will need

  • Ribbon
  • Thread
  • Lighter (or hot knife etc.) to stop ribbon fraying
  • Two small pegs or clips

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Step 1 – Cut your Ribbon

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Mine were 13cm (5”) long but you will need to make them shorter if your ribbon is narrower or longer if your ribbon is wider.  Have a play and decide what works best with your ribbon!

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Don’t forget to melt the ends of your ribbon to prevent fraying!

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Step 2 – Form the bow

Fold the bow as shown above, and use the pegs (clips etc.) to hold it in place.  You can make the tails longer if you like!  As you can see on the owl cards above they are all a little different. 

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The left photo is the top and the right is the back side of the bow.

Step 3 – Tie with thread

You can see the thread looped around the bow above, tie in a regular overhand knot (like the first step to tying shoe laces!)

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Do this with the backside facing up, that way at the end the knot will be hidden behind the bow.

Make sure it gathers nicely as you tighten the thread.  Sometimes it will curl the two edges together (creating a tube) which doesn’t look as nice, if this happens loosen the thread and hold your finger on the middle as you tighten in again!

While holding the both threads (I wrap one round my finger), wrap the thread around the middle a few times.  This will help hold it while you tie the next knot on the back.

Here it is turned the right way up!

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Step 4 – Adjusting

If you are feeling extra fussy, I totally understand it happens to me all the time!  You can pull the tails closer together by using a stitch of thread at the back.  This is totally optional and I only do it very occasionally if the bow needs it.

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Step 5 – Attach it to something!

Decide where you want where you want to you bow.  If adding it to a card I like to use a drawing pin to make the hole.  Want to make you own Handmade Owl Card, check out the tutorial and free pdf template!

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Thread the threads through and tape in place.  I like to tape it twice in two directions to prevent it slipping or coming loose.

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Then you can add a inner leaf, I use a glue roller or double sided tape, normally I would just attach it in the middle but when there is something to cover I attach it at the side as well.

If your bow is twisting and you want to secure, just add a little glue roller or double sided tape under the bow, and it’s stuck!

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And there you have it!  You could probably use a hot glue gun to attach them too…I’ll look into it and let you know!