How to Make Bows

Whether you’re trying to create the perfect bow for your wreath or you want to make beautiful bows for gift packages, it can be intimidating to make one from scratch. In fact, this is probably the reason that it’s easy to find so many pre-made bows in the gift-wrap aisle of any store. While a pre-made bow can make things easier, they’re usually fairly pricey, which means that you can save money by making them yourself. The good news is that making a bow is not as difficult as you may think. Continue reading to see which supplies you need to have ready, and prepare to amaze yourself!

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Craft Supplies

No matter what type of bow you want to make, there are some basic craft supplies you should have on hand, including:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun

If you don’t already have a hot glue gun, they’re relatively inexpensive and can be found almost anywhere. Unlike other craft projects that require a specific temperature for the glue gun, you can use low or high for this tutorial.


If possible, make sure to have sewing shears on hand as these are generally sharper and sturdier due to the tasks for which they are used. While you don’t need to purchase sewing shears, it is important to ensure that the scissors you’ll use have been recently sharpened. This will help to avoid ripping the fabric of your ribbon.

Floral Wire or String

Depending on the weight of the ribbon you plan to use, you will want to have floral wire or string ready when it is time to cinch the ribbon together. In fact, if you’re in a pinch, you can even use a twisty tie, as it will be covered with ribbon before you finish the project.


Obviously you need ribbon to make a bow, but it’s important to think about how you want your bow to look. Generally speaking, a wide ribbon is a better choice, as it creates a fuller effect. You can use either wire-edged ribbon or regular ribbon — the choice is up to you. A wired ribbon will give you more control over the loops of the ribbon, curves in the tail, and will also help them to maintain their shape. Regular ribbon can look droopy or stiff depending on the material you select.

Bow Styles

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you need to decide which type of bow you want to create. There are essentially three types of bows — classic single loop, double loop, and triple (as many as you want) loop.

Single Loop Bow

Start by cutting the ribbon to your desired length. Create a loop with your ribbon as if you were creating a loop for cancer awareness or remembering someone in the military. Bring the middle of the loop down to where the ribbon crosses and hold it with your fingers while you secure it with your string or wire. Adjust the ribbon as necessary to create a bigger bow or longer tails. Cut a small piece of ribbon to create the knot. If you want, you can fold or tie a knot into the piece. Glue the knot in place and be sure to secure the loose ends on the back of the bow. Cut the tails to create an angle or upside-down V shape. Avoid cutting straight across as this can fray the material. Seal the edges with clear nail polish to help them maintain a crisp look.

Double Loop Bow

The process of making a double loop builds on the instructions from the single loop. Once again, you’ll cut the ribbon to your desired length. This time, make two loops instead of one. Your ribbon will look like a figure-8. Bring the center of one of the loops to the middle and repeat with the other side of the bow. Squeeze the center of the bow together and adjust the loops as necessary to make sure they are all about the same size. Secure the middle of the bow with your floral wire or string. Create the tails of the bow by attaching the center of a long piece of ribbon to the center of the bow and secure with wire. Cut a small piece of ribbon to cover up the center of the bow where the wire is exposed. Make sure to secure this piece with hot glue or wire. Cut the tails in a desired shape, seal with clear nail polish, and add to your wreath.

Triple Loop Bow

The great thing about this last set of directions is that you can use them to create a bow with as many loops as you’d like. If you don’t want to stop at three loops, just keep going until you have the desired look. Decide how wide you want your bow to be and then double the number to determine how long you will need the biggest loop to be. Cut two more lengths of ribbon that are slightly shorter for the additional loops, a short piece to create the center loop, and the ribbon that will create the tails. Glue all of the ribbon strips into loops except for the piece that will form the tails. Layer the loops over one another to create the bow. Squeeze the center to create the bow shape, add the center loop, make sure your bow is even, and then secure with wire. Attach the center of the ribbon for the tails to the bow with wire, clip the ends, and seal with clear nail polish. Make sure to twist, fluff, and adjust the bow as needed to create the ideal shape.

Wholesale Craft Suppliers

When you need quality products and service, be sure to reach out to Midwest Design Imports. For more than 20 years, our family owned and operated business has provided the custom importing and decorative merchandise our customers need at wholesale prices. Browse our site to find the products you need and contact us with any questions you may have.