The Art of Gift Wrapping With Ribbons!!

Creating a hand-tied bow or ribbon is the ideal way to top off a gift for any occasion. There are a wealth of methods for creating luscious and beautiful designs using all types of ribbons and bows. With a few techniques at your side for gorgeous creations, you can begin to explore the vast art of bow and ribbon creation.

Embracing the Classics

The archetypal bow that adorns the most picturesque of gifts should be a standard bow that you have in your arsenal of decorating skills. The cherry-form loops and flowing tails give you a crisp and clean appearance that everyone loves. Begin by creating two loops on either side of the ribbon, crossing the right loop over the left. Create your knot by crossing the right loop with the left in the following directions: behind, under, and up through the resulting knot. Use caution in order to avoid bunching the ribbon in the process. Finally, pull the loops out towards the edges in order to create your final knot. Adjust the loops with your fingers, topping off the final product by cutting two notches in the ribbon tails.

The Figure-Eight Ribbon

This approach puts a modern twist on the classic, ribbon bow. This design requires the use of glue and can benefit from wiring as well in order to enhance the bow’s shape. Begin by forming a loop at the end of the ribbon that you will glue into place. Once the glue is allowed to dry, wind the remaining ribbon back and forth in a figure-eight pattern, making each successive layer larger than the preceding one. Your goal is to create three, stacked figure eights. The ribbon should be glued together where the ribbon intersects in the middle. Complete the bow by knotting a second piece of ribbon around the center, rotating the knot so that the face is smooth.

Give Your Gift Wings

The winged bow is an elegant design that makes use of a basic square knot. You begin this creation by crossing the left and right end of the ribbon. Create your knot by passing the left end of the ribbon behind, under, and upwards through the opening that you have created. Once the knot is in place, pull the ends to tighten the formation. Adjust the knot in order to develop the desired shape before using scissors to create flairs or patterns on the ribbon edges. The appeal of this knot can depend heavily on the flair of the ribbon being used as well.

Adorn with Style

The Rosette bow is often compared to pom-poms. This creation takes advantage of numerous contours. This feature makes it the ideal style for satin ribbons or other materials that are made with highly-reflective surfaces. Begin by wrapping the ribbon around four fingers on one hand that you hold tightly together. The number of wraps will ultimately determine the fullness of the bow. Remove the ribbon from your fingers, and pinch it in the middle. Proceed by cutting a notch through all the layers on either side of the ribbon. Next, tie a string around the ribbon in the center, using the notches to hold the string in place. Continue by spreading the loops outwards in a fan, forming the body of the rosette. You can then twist and shape each individual part of the ribbon in order to enhance the bow’s fullness.

These designs represent just a small sample of the many possibilities that exists for bows and ribbons. Once you have a basic understanding of some of the most common techniques, you can begin to develop bow designs of your own in order to further individualize the gift that you give.


This article has been contributed by The Ribbon Retreat, and online craft store offering offray ribbon, trim, sequin ribbon, fold over elastic, and even hardware.


  • Christine A

    I don’t believe I’ve seen a rosette bow until now, it’s very pretty. I also haven’t seen a ribbon figure-eight bow but I have seen it done with magazine strips/giftwrapping paper.

  • Tamra Phelps

    I wish I had the skill to create these bows easily, but I usually wind up with a cock-eyed bow! Oh, well, I keep trying!


    I love creating decorations for my (usually extremely thrifty) presents! I’ll definitely be trying the pom-pom bow although I am rather clumsy so don’t know if I’ll manage it. Still, nothing tried, nothing gained!

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