How to Make a Bow


Whether embellishing a wreath or topping a gift, a beautiful bow adds the wow factor in any presentation. Making your own bows is easier than you might think. Watch our quick video or read below for step-by-step instructions on how to make a bow.


  • Block of Styrofoam
  • Two 6″ dowel rods (or cut to size)
  • Three yards of ribbon, 1 ½” up to 3″ wide (we recommend wired ribbon)
  • Floral wire
  • Straight pin
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape


Note: The bigger the space between the dowel poles, the bigger the bow. In the video, we make a standard-size bow. If you want to create a tree topper bow, place the dowels about 12 to 14 inches apart and use a longer piece of ribbon.

Step 1: Push dowels into foam about 6 inches apart for a standard bow.

Step 2: Pin about 6 inches of the tail of the ribbon to one side of the Styrofoam bow maker.

Step 3: Wrap the length of the ribbon around the dowels in a figure 8 pattern, leaving about 6 inches on the end.

Step 4: Slide a piece of floral wire under the center of the ribbon, pulling it tight and twisting to secure the bow.

Step 5: Slide the bow off the dowel poles and separate and fluff the loops to shape the bow.

Step 6: Trim the ends of the ribbon, cutting at an angle.


Have other tips on how to make a bow? Leave us a note in the comments below.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Tawnya Halstead

    December 17, 2012

    I really would like to know how you make the bows shown on the web site I love them. they have 3 loops on each side and tails.

  2. Reply

    Minerva LBryant

    December 16, 2012

    I am a lefty and I confess my bows didn’t always turn out right. When my daughters were little and had a bow to be tied in the back I had to face them, reach over their shoulders and tie the bow. (LOL) The same with bows for gifts (didn’t have to stand up and reach over…but the underside of the ribbon would appear on the top side…THIS my friend is a life saver. I will also take the suggestion of the pencils until I can run to the craft store or Lows to get the dowels. Thanks for the wonderful life saver suggestion!!!!

  3. Reply


    December 9, 2012

    You can use a chunk of styrofoam that isn’t a brick shape as long as it sits up straight. Big pieces are often used around packed items. or you can use two of your husband’s fingers. If you use styrofoam you don’t need need dowels–you can stick two pencils into the styrofoam. ;<)

  4. Reply


    December 3, 2012

    A Great money saving demonstration for all occasions.

  5. Reply


    December 3, 2012

    I made bows like this different before watching this video, but now use your technique. It’s much easier.

  6. Reply


    December 2, 2012

    You make it look so easy