How to Make a Gift Bow and Pew Bow

March 27, 2008

in Gift Basket Tips, How Tos, Weddings

How to Make Professional-Looking Gift Bows

By Kathy Green, Nashville Wraps Packaging Consultant

Professional-looking finished bowsOne of the most common comments I hear when talking to our customers is “How do you make those pretty bows?” Following are instructions for a couple of bows that will make your gift wrap as pretty as if you hired a decorator! Below the instructions, you will be able to watch a quick video demonstrating how it’s done.

First, let’s make a big loopy bow. These are best done with ribbon that is not too soft. Our wired ribbons are great for this as well as the Simply Sheer Organza Ribbon and other ribbons with the monofilament wire in the edges. I am using our Wired Satin Stripe Sheer Edge Ribbon. It has a light wire and a satin center and is 1 ½ inches wide.

You will need about 4 yards of ribbon for the bow and another piece long enough to fit around your gift package and tie a simple knot. You will also need to have a 4 inch piece of florist wire or a metal twist tie. If you use florist wire, cut it before you start to tie your bow and keep it where you can reach it.

Begin by tying the ribbon piece around your gift wrapped box.

Before you start your bow here is a little tip to keep from wasting ribbon: don’t cut the ribbon off the spool till you are done. See how I started my bow near the ribbon spool and work out toward the end of my ribbon. Working from this end of the ribbon keeps it from twisting up as I work. I rolled off about four yards and started at that point.

Start by making a loop about 3 inches long. Squeeze the ribbon together like in the picture and hold with your thumb and forefinger. Now make a tight twist, turning the tail of the ribbon one half turn. Make another loop opposite the first, your bow should look like the one in the following video.

Now make a third loop on top of the first one. Again squeeze, twist then make a forth loop on top of your second. Continue making loops on top of each other, squeezing and twisting till you have six loops on each side of your bow. Remember, it will not look like a round bow till we are totally done making loops.

Still holding the ribbon between your thumb and forefinger, use the florist wire or metal twist tie to secure the middle tightly. I used one of our pink metal twist ties because it matches my ribbon.

Now pull two of the loops on one side away from each other as in the illustration A, continue till all loops are pulled apart on that side. Now do the other side. See how pretty your bow is already?

Now all you need to do is clip the ends of your twist tie and attach it to your gift package by placing it in the center of the knot you previously tied and tying the knot tails up and over your bow. Fluff out the loops and you have a beautiful gift wrap.

This size bow will fit nicely on our AB3 shirt box. You can adjust the amount of ribbon and loop sizes to make larger or smaller loopy bows.

How to Make a Beautiful Bow

Beautiful Pew BowsCreating a Layered Gift Bow

We can add pizzazz by layering the loopy bow with a contrasting color or a ribbon of a different texture.

To make a layered bow, choose your ribbon, I used a narrow Simply Sheer Organza Ribbon in black to coordinate with my gift wrap. Now repeat the steps above for a loopy bow. I made eight loops on each side of my bow because this ribbon is not as wide as my original ribbon. Attach this new bow to the center of your original bow with either wire or twist tie or you can lay it in place and tie both bows together with the tails from your package knot. This bow method makes a pretty pew bow too; just make the tails longer for drama. We made our pew bow with 6 inch Tulle and Wired Satin Edge Sheer Ribbon for the center layer.

If you have tried the steps above and still feel all thumbs, maybe the Pull Bow is the answer for you. See our video below on how Pull Bows work.


Kathy works with the Nashville Wraps’ Marketing Team as a packaging consultant and photo stylist. She is also a Master Gardener and enjoys her greenhouse and garden, three spoiled dogs, hubby and grandkids in her spare time. She also loves any kind of craft and spends rainy days in the art studio she shares with her creative husband, Bill.

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Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

sandrar September 10, 2009 at 7:58 am

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

Michelle August 15, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Wow, so easy even I can do it! Thanks for sharing your secrets!

Sharon December 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Very helpful video, please keep the how to videos coming.

Julie May 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm

This is a great viedo
Thank you for making life a little easier

Fran May 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I love your products!!! I especially like your tulle ribbon… I use it on all our packages and our baskets! Customers “oooh” and “ahhh” all the time! It really is easy with all of your ribbons.

GIGI April 24, 2008 at 8:21 am

When I discovered this video I was pleasantly surprised. Although we make bows everyday, it is always great to see how others make the same things. Thank you…

Melba April 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Awesome videos! I’ve made bows for years, and they look fine, but I’ve always wondered if I was really making them the correct way! The videos gave me confirmation and confidence! Thanks!

Linda April 19, 2008 at 11:18 am

Wonderful products for my wedding and holiday customers!

Joy Wilson April 8, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I am always suprised at how many people don’t know how to tie a simple bow. We use just a simple bow (like tying your shoes) on our packaging and most people are stumped as to how to keep it from twisting.
It’s simple–lefthand ribbon over righthand ribbon, make loop with lefthand ribbon, bring righthand ribbon over loop and through and pull tight –you’ll have a perfect simple bow every time.

Virginia Sander April 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for the info on making bows. I have never mastered the technique. I appreciate the instructions. It really seems simple.

Marveen Porelli April 6, 2008 at 8:06 am

Love your products, love your website, love your catalog & love your video. I guess I just love Nashville Wraps!!!

Joanna April 4, 2008 at 11:46 am

Thanks for this web-site and the easy -to -follow step by step video. Please continue this type of info . Thanks!

Pat April 3, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Nice tutorial. I use Nashville ribbons as much as I can, and my bows are outstanding. I consider them an exclusive part of each of my basket presentations. Please continue this type of info. Thanks

ANNIE April 3, 2008 at 7:44 am


Arlene April 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm

What a lovely video and charming and calming instructor. Now if I can do it that easily! I shall keep praticing. Also what about something like the bow-dazzler?

Betty April 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I learned to make bows several years ago–before the advent of wired ribbon–and it is soooo much easier now. Thanks for the videos. The less experienced should be able to learn a lot with them.

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