Basic Bow Tutorial

We have all seen a million different varieties of bows made from a million different varieties of ribbon and embellishments, but a lot of you are asking me to show a tutorial of a basic bow, so that’s what I am going to give you all right now!

When I decided to start a bow business 7 years ago, I couldn’t find a tutorial online anywhere. I was lucky enough to have a best friend since Kindergarten who’s mom used to have a bow business way back in the day. Her mom was nice enough to spend the afternoon with me teaching me some of the basics. The rest is history and bow making is probably one of my favorite crafts out there. Like I said before, the options are endless and I am seeing new ideas that adorn little girl’s heads everyday! Surely now there must be somewhere better than here that has a tutorial online, but in the chance that you have looked and come up empty like I did years ago, this one is for you!

Materials Needed:
-Glue Gun
-Craft Wire
-Match or lighter
- Scissors
- About 20 inches of ribbon
- About 5 inches of coordinating ribbon for the center
- Ribbon-Lined Alligator Clip (& velcro or felt if you want to make the clip with a “no slip grip”


With one end of the ribbon, make a loop.

Make another loop on the opposite side of your first loop. Tuck the short end of the ribbon behind the loops to keep it hidden.

Bring the ribbon (which should be behind the 2 loops out to the side below the first loop you made. Make a loop by bringing the ribbon upward from the backside of the bow towards the center.

Place the end of the ribbon over the center of the 3 loops we have now made.

Grab the ribbon, which is on the top right corner, and fold it over and back to the bow’s center to make the 4th and final loop.

Pinch the center as tightly as you can.

Place a piece of wire in the center on the front side of the bow and wrap it around the ribbon to the backside. Secure the wire on the backside of the bow by twisting and twisting and twisting it .

Clip the wires and bend the tightly against the bow. You can even tuck them under the ribbon if you would like to.

Clip the end of the ribbon. Make it short enough to be hidden behind the bow, but not too short so that you cant burn the edges or too short that your bow comes loose if the ends slip out of the wire.

Burn the edges. Yes, they will be hidden- but they will still fray, I promise.

Play with the bow a little bit- tug a little here and there to make all loops the size you want them.

Grab your center ribbon and lay it over the wire.

Tie a knot in the ribbon on the back side of the bow. (Or you can do this backwards which gives you a knotted center and some cute ribbon tails on the front of the bow- but that’s not in this basic tutorial- stop making me get ahead of myself!)

(this is the backside, but if reversed it could also be a cute front I guess too!)

Put a generous amount of hot glue on the ribbon-lined alligator clip.

Press the bow tightly to the clip and hold for a few seconds to let the glue dry.

And that’s it- almost as basic as you can get!

Once you master this, start getting more creative- stack 2 on top of each other, make 6 loops instead of 4, put a knotted center or add a rhinestone or button, leave some longer tails etc. The possibilities are endless my friends… enjoy!

About Stephanie

Stephanie is the creator of Somewhat Simple. She is married to her her best friend and together they are raising 4 sweet kids who keep them busy, but make life fun! They are Orange County transplants who are now enjoying life in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys traveling, shopping, organizing, and creating simple projects in her "spare time."


  1. kristen says:

    I also love to make bows. I make all sizes and shapes. I do mine a little differently, but they turn out just as cute. I bet you are making a lot of mommy's happy by posting this tutorial.

  2. Brenda, Bryan, and Chelsey says:

    Thank you , thank you, thank you! I found a bow tutorial but the bows didn't turn out as cute as the ones you made. Now I can't wait to try this! Also I've been looking for a way to make them "non-slip" and the velcro or felt is a great idea. You are awesome!!!!

  3. Melissa says:

    YEAH! I only wish we lived near crafts stores so I can run out and buy the stuff I need today! I have to order everything online! But hey…I found this site…They seem to have super cheap ribbon.
    Not sure how it compares to others, but it seems to be the best I can find online.

  4. Cute bows!!! I like how simple it is. I don't really like some of the humongo ones out there!!

  5. I am loving all these bow tutorials!

  6. Hi

    your blog is great:) I have added you to my favorites…Will be very happy if you visit my blog too:)
    It's in Turkish but maybe you can look at the photos of what I have done..

    best regards


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