21 July 2011

How to Tie the Perfect Flat Bow

One of the nicest ways to finish off a card is with a ribbon bow.  I thought I was pretty good at tying ribbon, but I found that without a consistent method, some of my bows were perfect, and others were definitely not.  I would sit there trying to reverse engineer the good ones and work out what I had done!  My downfall was single-sided ribbon, I could never work out how to get the pattern to remain uppermost, and many twists and loops later, it was hit-and-miss as to whether I had the desired result.  

Now that I have sat down and had a bit of a think, here is a very easy method to tie a perfect flat bow using single-sided or double-sided ribbon.   I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. 

* For this method you can leave the ribbon on the spool and cut it once the bow is finished to save ribbon wastage.

 Step 1:  Make a loop ensuring the cut end (this will be the tail) is on the top and pinch to hold.

Step 2:  Wrap the ribbon around the front to form a small loop (just like tying your shoe) and bring it round to the back.  See how the underside of the ribbon is now showing?  Give the ribbon a tight half-twist close to where you are pinching the centre, so the printed side is uppermost and  push it through the central loop as shown below to form the bow.

Step 3:  Gently pull on both loop ends to tighten the centre knot.  You can make adjustments here to ensure your bow is the size you require and that both tails are sitting flat.

Step 4:  Once you're happy, pull tight and trim the ends.

Step 5:  Add it to your project!  With a bit of practise you too will master the perfect flat bow.

Note:  I am left handed, so I actually hold the bow in my right hand to tie.  I took the photos and flipped them to look right handed - this method works in either hand.  I even tried it out on my Dad!

Happy Stamping,


  1. This was SO helpful! After watching many YouTube videos on this and still not being able to get it, I was about to give up but ran across your site. Attempted it once and it turned out perfectly. Thanks!

  2. OH MY WORD!!! Thank you so much! I struggled with same thing but never had the time to "think" it out!! I am glad I am not the only who struggle{d} with bow tying for cards and such! :)

  3. Easy Peasy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you so much for this lesson Now I know how to do it. hurrraaahhhh

  5. this is something I have struggled with...my friend usually ends up doing it for me...but I will definately be praticing with these instructions...they are awesome. Thanks very much for doing them.

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  7. Hi Olivia, Love this tutorial, I have just shared it over on my blog http://thinkbowtique.com/blog/ Please let me know if you don't want me to.

  8. Thanks for this! Made it so easy when I used to struggle!

  9. Thank you!! Love it!

  10. Thanks so much for the tutorial!!


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