DIY Layered Bow

full bow

A simple, layered bow.

Can you believe it’s already November?! Christmas will be here before you know it, so warm up your glue guns, everyone! I’ll share tons of DIY ornaments, easy holiday wrappings, and creative gift ideas in the coming weeks. Who’s with me?

Today, we’re going to start with the basics.

Some things in life just aren’t the same without a big bow, like the top of a pretty gift, the pigtails of a little girl, the welcoming wreath on a front door…the list could go on.

Now, a basic bow-tying method works for some situations – like tying your shoes. When you want to do it up right, you need a gorgeous layered bow. They’re actually quite simple and look like something a professional florist would create. You can do this. I believe in you.

Here’s the supply round up:

  • Two types of ribbon
  • Florist wire
  • Wire cutters

The length of ribbon depends on the size of bow you want. I like to use at least 2 yds. of each ribbon for a bow that will go on a wreath, because I’m serious about big bows.

When selecting different ribbons for a layered bow, you want coordinating colors and patterns. Today I’m using a solid color with a floral pattern. If you use two patterns, just make sure the colors are compatible and you’re set. A monochrome look is also pretty. Be sure to use different widths and textures to make it more visually interesting.

types of ribbon

Thin silk ribbon paired with a wider burlap makes a great combination full of texture.

Here’s an example of silk ribbon paired with burlap. I would use the thicker burlap for the bottom bow and the thinner silk as the top bow when layering. You always want the bottom bow to be larger.

Step-by-step layered bow, with pictures:

  1. We’ll start by making the bottom bow. Make your first loop, and make it fairly good size since this is your bottom bow. You want some volume here. Also, leave some ribbon hanging for a tail.
    first loop

    First loop with the tail hanging on the right there.

  2. Now for what I call the “under-over” approach:
    • Take the longest end of the ribbon, loop it under and away from yourself. The longest end of the ribbon is on the bottom of the bow now.
      second loop on a layered bow

      I looped the ribbon under and away from me. The tail is still down on the right.

    • Next, take the ribbon and loop it over and toward yourself. You’ll have three total loops at this point.
      third loop

      The third loop (upper right corner) goes over the top and toward you.

    • For the fourth loop, you’ll go back under the entire bow, away from yourself.
      four loops

      The forth loop is made and both of the tails are on the bottom side of the bow.

    • Repeat the “over-under” as many times as you’d like until you have the desired number of loops on each side. I like four, so I’ll stop here.
  3. Pinch the center of the bow and secure it with a piece of floral wire and set aside.
    wire on bottom

    I twisted the floral wire tight around the center.

  4. Now for the top bow. Let’s give it a pretty looped center. Make a loop around your thumb.
    See how the end of the ribbon is inside the loop?

    See how the end of the ribbon is inside the loop?

  5. My ribbon is one-sided (hopefully the only thing in life this way), so I will pinch and twist the ribbon over allowing the pretty side to show.
    FullSizeRender

    I twisted the ribbon at the center so the pretty side is facing outward.

  6. Loop the ribbon under and away from yourself. On this particular bow, you’re going to continue to form loops by twisting the ribbon and going under each time.
    FullSizeRender[1]

    I’ve looped the ribbon, and am working on my second loop.

    Four loops_top

    I’ve made four loops. You can see I’ve twisted the ribbon each time so the pretty side is always showing.

  7. Once you’ve made all of your loops, secure the bow through the center loop with floral wire. Twist a couple of times and leave the two wire ends hanging down.
    See the wire through the loop? Then I twisted the floral wire underneath to secure.

    See the wire through the loop? Then I twisted the floral wire underneath to secure.

  8. Let’s layer this baby! Use the wire from your top bow to secure it to the bottom bow. Twist all of the wires tight and leave some hanging so you can attach your bow to a package, wreath, hair clip, or whatever suits your fancy.
    IMG_4497

    It’s layering nicely. I twisted all of the wires together under the bow.

  9. Hold up your bow to fluff the loops – and admire your creation.
  10. Trim the ends of your tails so they match in length. You can cut on an angle or in a V-shape.

Tip: For the perfect “V”, fold the ribbon in half (lengthwise) and trim at an angle.

IMG_4507

Once your ribbon is folded, be sure to cut the angle up toward the center of the ribbon.

You’re done! What did you think? Helpful? I’d love your feedback. I’d also love to see your beautiful bows! Send me a message through comments, email, Instagram or Twitter.

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