How to Tie Bow on Top: Expert Tips & Tricks for Perfection in 2023

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how to tie bow on top

1. The Proper Way to Tie a Bow on Top of a Gift Box

Why is it important to tie a bow properly?

Tying a bow properly on top of a gift box is essential for creating an attractive and polished presentation. A well-tied bow adds an extra touch of elegance and sophistication to any gift, making it more visually appealing. It also shows that the giver has taken the time and effort to present the gift in a thoughtful and meticulous manner.

Step-by-step guide for tying a bow on top of a gift box:

  1. Start by selecting an appropriate ribbon that complements the color and style of the gift box.
  2. Measure out enough ribbon to comfortably wrap around the width and length of the box, leaving extra length for tying the bow.
  3. Position the ribbon horizontally across the center of the top of the box, ensuring both ends are equal in length.
  4. Cross one end over the other, forming an X shape at the center of the box.
  5. Bring one end under and through the loop created by crossing over, pulling it tight to form one side of the bow.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the other end, forming another side of the bow.
  7. Gently adjust and fluff up each loop to create a balanced and symmetrical look.

By following these steps and paying attention to detail, you can achieve a beautifully tied bow that enhances your gift’s overall presentation.

2. Step-by-Step Process of Tying a Bow on Top of a Package

Materials Needed:

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Tape (optional)

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Ribbon

To begin, measure out a length of ribbon that is long enough to wrap around your package and tie a bow on top. It’s better to have too much ribbon than too little, so err on the side of caution. Once you have measured the desired length, use scissors to cut the ribbon.

Step 2: Wrap the Ribbon Around the Package

Take one end of the ribbon and position it at the center of the top side of your package. Hold it in place with your thumb or a piece of tape if needed. Then, wrap the ribbon around the package, crossing it over at the center point where you initially placed it.

Step 3: Tie a Basic Knot

With both ends of the ribbon now positioned at the top center of your package, tie a basic knot by crossing one end over the other and pulling them tightly together. This will secure the ribbon in place and create a loop for your bow.

Step 4: Create Two Loops and Tie Them Together

To form your bow, take one end of the ribbon and create a loop by folding it back towards yourself. Repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon so that you have two loops facing each other. Cross one loop over the other, then bring it through the opening between them from behind. Pull both loops tightly to secure them together.

Step 5: Adjust and Fluff the Bow

Once you have tied the loops together, adjust and fluff them to create a full and symmetrical bow. Gently pull on the loops and adjust their size as needed. You can also tug on the tails of the ribbon to make them longer or shorter for a desired look.

Step 6: Trim Excess Ribbon

If there is excess ribbon hanging from your bow, use scissors to trim it to your desired length. Be careful not to cut too close to the knot, as this may cause the bow to come undone.


  • Choose a ribbon that complements the wrapping paper or theme of your gift.
  • If you’re having trouble tying a bow, practice with scrap pieces of ribbon before attempting it on your actual package.
  • Add additional embellishments such as small ornaments or sprigs of greenery for an extra festive touch.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Using a ribbon that is too thin or flimsy, which may result in a weak or floppy bow.
  • Pulling the loops too tight when tying them together, which can distort the shape of the bow.
  • Cutting the excess ribbon too short, making it difficult to adjust or re-tie if needed.

3. Origin of the Tradition: Tying Bows on Gifts

The tradition of tying bows on gifts dates back centuries and has roots in various cultures around the world. While it is difficult to pinpoint an exact origin, gift-giving has long been associated with celebrations and expressions of goodwill. The act of adorning presents with bows adds an extra touch of beauty and anticipation for both the giver and recipient.

In ancient times, gifts were often presented in cloth or fabric wrappings tied with decorative knots. These knots symbolized protection and good luck for the recipient. Over time, the use of bows evolved as a way to secure the wrapping and add a decorative element.

Today, tying bows on gifts has become a universal tradition that transcends cultural boundaries. It is a way to elevate the presentation of a gift and show thoughtfulness and care. Whether it’s a simple bow or an elaborate arrangement, the act of tying a bow on top of a package has become synonymous with gift-giving occasions.

4. Techniques for Tying Bows Based on Material Used

Satin Ribbon

When working with satin ribbon, it’s important to handle it delicately to avoid fraying. One popular technique is the classic bow, where you create two loops and tie them together in the center. Another option is the layered bow, where you make multiple loops of different sizes and stack them on top of each other before securing them in the center. Satin ribbon also lends itself well to creating intricate bows with multiple loops and tails.

Burlap Ribbon

Tying bows with burlap ribbon requires a slightly different approach due to its rough texture. The easiest technique is the simple knot bow, where you tie a knot just like you would tie your shoelaces. This gives a rustic look that complements burlap’s natural charm. For a more decorative bow, you can try the twisted loop bow, where you twist the ribbon as you make each loop to add visual interest.

Grosgrain Ribbon

Grosgrain ribbon is known for its ribbed texture, which makes it easy to work with when tying bows. The most common technique for grosgrain ribbon is the classic bow, similar to satin ribbon. You can also experiment with adding additional loops or tails for a more elaborate look. Another option is the pinwheel bow, where you create multiple loops that fan out in a circular pattern.

5. Ensuring a Securely Tied Bow that Doesn’t Come Undone Easily

To ensure your gift bow stays securely tied and doesn’t come undone easily, follow these tips:

1. Double Knot:

  • Tie an initial knot tightly before forming your bow.
  • After tying the bow, double knot it for added security.

2. Use a Twist Tie:

  • If you’re concerned about the bow coming undone during transit, use a twist tie to secure it in place.
  • Wrap the twist tie around the center of the bow and twist it tightly to keep everything in place.

3. Apply Glue:

  • If you want extra reinforcement, apply a small amount of clear glue to the back of the knot before tightening it.
  • This will help hold the bow together and prevent it from loosening over time.

6. Tips and Tricks for Making a Perfectly Symmetrical Gift Bow

To create a perfectly symmetrical gift bow, try these techniques:

1. Use a Bow Maker Tool:

A bow maker tool can help you achieve consistent loops and tails by providing guides and measurements. Simply follow the instructions that come with the tool to create your desired bow shape.

2. Measure Your Loops:

To ensure symmetry, measure each loop as you make them. Use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure they are all equal in size. This attention to detail will result in a beautifully balanced bow.

3. Secure with Wire or Thread:

To maintain symmetry while tying your bow, use wire or thread instead of ribbon to secure it in place. This allows for more control and precision when shaping your loops and tails.

7. Creative Variations and Embellishments for Gift Bows

Fabric Flowers

Add a unique touch to your gift bows by incorporating fabric flowers. These can be made from leftover fabric scraps or purchased pre-made. Attach the fabric flower to the center of your bow for an elegant and whimsical look.


For a bohemian or nature-inspired vibe, consider adding feathers to your gift bows. Choose feathers in complementary colors and sizes, and attach them to the center of the bow or along the tails for a playful and eye-catching embellishment.

Beads or Pearls

Add a touch of glamour to your gift bows by incorporating beads or pearls. Thread them onto thin wire or string and wrap it around the center of the bow. This adds a subtle sparkle and elevates the overall look of your gift presentation.

8. Best Type of Ribbon for Tying Bows on Presents

The best type of ribbon for tying bows on presents depends on personal preference and the desired aesthetic. However, some popular choices include:

Satin Ribbon:

  • Satin ribbon is versatile and widely available in various widths and colors.
  • It has a smooth texture that gives a polished and elegant look to gift bows.

Grosgrain Ribbon:

  • Grosgrain ribbon has a ribbed texture that adds visual interest to gift bows.
  • It is durable and holds its shape well, making it ideal for larger bows.

Burlap Ribbon:

  • Burlap ribbon provides a rustic and natural look to gift bows.
  • Its rough texture adds charm and works well with earthy or vintage-themed presents.

9. Examples and Inspiration for Different Types of Gift Bows

Here are some examples and inspiration for different types of gift bows:

Pom Pom Bow

Create a playful and colorful bow by using small pom poms in various colors. Attach them to the center of the bow or along the tails for a fun and festive look.

Tulle Bow

Tulle bows add an ethereal and delicate touch to gifts. Use tulle fabric in your desired color, gather it in the center, and secure it with a ribbon or twist tie. Fluff out the loops to create a voluminous bow.

Ribbon Sculpture Bow

Elevate your gift presentation with a ribbon sculpture bow. These intricate bows are made by folding and twisting ribbons into unique shapes, such as flowers or butterflies. They require more time and skill but result in stunningly detailed bows.

10. Cultural and Regional Differences in Traditional Gift Bow Tying Methods

Gift bow tying methods can vary across different cultures and regions. Here are some examples:

Japanese Origami Bow:

In Japan, origami techniques are often used to create decorative bows for gifts. These bows are made by folding paper into intricate designs, resulting in elegant and artistic presentations.

Mexican Tissue Paper Flower Bow:

In Mexico, tissue paper flowers are commonly used as decorative bows for gifts. These vibrant and colorful flowers are made by layering tissue paper sheets, folding them accordion-style, and securing them at the center before fluffing out the petals.

African Kente Cloth Bow:

In certain African cultures, bows made from Kente cloth are used to adorn gifts. Kente cloth is a traditional fabric characterized by its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. These bows add a touch of cultural heritage and symbolism to gift presentations.

In conclusion, mastering the art of tying a bow on top is a simple yet elegant way to add a finishing touch to gifts, crafts, or even your own attire. By following a few easy steps, anyone can create a beautiful and perfectly tied bow that enhances the overall presentation and leaves a lasting impression.

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