Tutorial: Tying Bows

A couple of the ladies at my Christmas Card class asked about tying bows so I promised a tutorial for them.  I’m sure this will help all of us bow-challenged rubber stampers make fabulous bows on all of our projects!

The first thing I want to say before I show you how to tie bows is that this tutorial is not my own! Everything here comes from the monthly magazine that Stampin’ Up puts out for demonstrators – Stampin’ Success. This is such an awesome business resource for demonstrators! And there is always plenty in each issue to share with customers. So with that being said, lets learn how to tie bows!

I’m going to show you how to tie 4 different types of bows. Actually, though, one is a knot. I know.. you’d think tying a knot would be so simple that it wouldn’t warrant a tutorial, but it does – trust me! ;) We’re going to learn how to tie these bows: a classic knot, a classic bow, a tailored bow, and a tiered bow.  (A side note:  don’t forget that you can click on each picture to see a full-size version where you can see more details)


Tying a Classic Knot

Classic Knot and Bag

1. Start with your ribbon around your card or project with ends pointing away from you.
2. Cross left end over right end, wrap around, and pull through. Make sure to pull gently to avoid twisting or wrinkling your ribbon.
3. Place your finger in the middle to hold ribbon tight. Cross right end over left end, wrap around, and pull through. Pull knot gently, untwisting and arranging ribbon as needed.
4. Trim the ends.

Notice how we’ve added a twist to this on our My Friend bag. We tied a classic knot leaving a loop of ribbon, and then threaded that loop through two holes in our bag.

Tip: Wrap your ribbon around an object to tie your knot. Then just slide it off the object and you’ve got a loop to work with.

Tying a Classic Bow

Classic Bow and Card

(Nicole’s note:  I got a kick out of the instructions for the classic bow.  It uses a technique that a friend used years ago to teach my oldest daughter how to tie her shoes – bunny ears! :) )

Classic Bow alone
If you simply want a bow without tying it around anything, the concept is rather simple.
1. Fold the ribbon back and forth to form two loops (or bunny ears).
2. Tie the two bunny ears together, left over right.
3. Pull gently, and trim ends as desired.

This classic bow is an easy way to add an accent to your project without wrapping the ribbon around an element of your project. Tie this classic bow, and adhere it to your project with Glue Dots.

Classic Bow around a card or object
1. Start with your ribbon around the card or object. Cross left end over right end, wrap around, and pull through.
2. Make a loop with the ribbon that is now on the right side. Bring left end toward you and around the loop.
3. Push left end through hole forming a second loop.
4. Pull loops gently.

Once you’ve got the classics down, you’ll want to add some diversity to your projects by trying these variations. And honestly, you might find these variations easier than the classics. Experiment a bit and see what you discover.

Tying a Tiered Bow

Tiered Bow and Card

1. Choose two or three widths and types of ribbon. We’ve used Chocolate Chip wide grosgrain ribbon and the wide Chocolate Chip satin ribbon from Theater Ribbon Originals®.
2. Cut the widest ribbon the longest (Theater Ribbon Originals) and the narrowest ribbon the shortest (Chocolate Chip grosgrain). If you’re using a third width of ribbon, cut it to a length in between the others.
3. Trim ends as desired.
4. Layer the ribbon with the longest and widest ribbon on the bottom and the shortest and narrowest on top. Tie the stacked ribbons in the center with another piece of ribbon.
5. Trim and conceal the ribbon tails or use them to secure the bow to the card or package.

Tying a Tailored Bow

Tailored Bow and Card

1. Cut a piece of ribbon or paper twice the desired length of the finished bow. We used Old Olive Prints Designer Series paper.
2. Form into a loop and secure ends together. Flatten the loop and  secure in the center.
3. Wrap another piece of ribbon around the center, and adhere the ends to the back of the finished bow.

Now that you’ve learned how to tie a variety of bows, spend some time practicing.  We all know that “practice makes perfect”, don’t we.  After you’ve practiced, show me what you’ve made with some of the bows here.  Post a comment here with a link to your project so we can all admire your work!


13 Responses to Tutorial: Tying Bows

  1. Kathy W says:

    well done, great photos

  2. Lo says:

    Oh thank you for the bow tutorial! I’ve been stamping and scrapping for a long time and can’t tie a decent bow for anything, this is gonna help me alot!

    Stamp Happy!

  3. Sandy O says:

    I am loving your blog. I really like the different bows here. I wondered how 2 of them were done. Now I know :)

  4. Big Al says:

    Excellent tutorial- best one found yet.
    Love your blog, your work and your humour. Thanking you muchly

  5. Nancy Derque says:

    I found your web site by accident when I googled “how to tie a flat knot”. Tying bows has been a source of frustration for me forever. Your tutorial was very helpful.

    I actually joined a Stampin’ Up card-making club in September 2010. Love the daffodil paper flower. Nancy

  6. Sheila Stufflebeam says:

    THANK YOU for this wonderful, basic tutorial that I needed! Bows are on many crafts and cards and I have struggled with them for a long time to get them ‘just right’.

  7. Sherry C. says:

    Thank you so much for such a simple solution. You really saved my arthritic fingers. I have to make 100 bows for wedding invitations. Bless you!

  8. Dineo v. says:

    A wow! and a thank you.

  9. 薛琦 says:


    Translation: “Thank you for your tutorial is really great!!”
    Sul Ki-

  10. Susan says:

    Glad I ran across your tutorial. I use to do the knot & classic forgot. Thak you!!! Susan

  11. Thank you as I just ran across your tutorial and the one thing in 10+ years of crafting I still can’t seem to the bow I would like so I appreciate this sooo much & the time you took to post this. HUGS

  12. Kate says:

    So happy I came across your blog :)

  13. Tamara Voss says:

    Thank you so much for this very clear tutorial. I really appreciate it and will refer back to it in the future.

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