Everybody has one obscure skill, don’t they? Mine? I can teach you how to tie a Christmas bow. This skill comes to me courtesy of a very short stint working in a florist shop for the absolute worst people in the world. Mean people, selling flowers. There’s something seriously wrong with that picture. But, I digress. I did walk away from the situation with a skill that has served me well over the years.
It’s easy to make a bow, though it does take a bit of practice to get all your fingers working in conjunction with each other. Start by cutting a length of ribbon long enough to go around your package, plus about 12″ to work with. Set this length of ribbon aside until you’re ready to tie the bow.
How to Tie a Christmas Bow
Take the end of your ribbon and make a twist (halfway around will do) 3-4″ from the end:
Make a small loop (this will be the center loop):
Twist again and place the new twist onto the old twist:
Always fold your loop so that the unsecured end of ribbon moves toward the back, where you’ll secure it to the stack of “twists.” Keep adding loops, each time coming from the opposite direction, twisting and securing each loop at the center with your thumb and forefinger:
After the first three loops, start making each loop just slightly bigger than the last:
When your bow is full enough for you (a dozen loops is usually a good number), grab the length of ribbon you cut earlier. Make a twist about 6″ from one end. (This is where you’ll start to wish you had a third hand.)
Carefully place that twist right at the center front of your bow, under your thumb
Wrap both ends of the ribbon toward the back of your bow and tie (you just might need to use your mouth to hold one end of the ribbon at this stage).
Hold the bow with your thumb in the center loop and twist the bow into shape by pulling and adjusting each loop. To add the bow to your package, place the fluffy bow where you want it, and wrap the long ribbon end around the box coming back around to the bow, tying it to the other 6″ of the wrapping ribbon so that the tie is right at the base of the bow. Bring both ribbon ends around, under the bow, and tie again on the opposite side of the bow.
Tada! No plastic bows for you this holiday season!
You can use this technique with skinny ribbon, wide ribbon, what have you. I’ve even made bows out of strips cut from recycled mylar. This is the exact technique florists use for making those big wedding bows, except they use wire to tie them.