How to Use a Pull Bow: A Step by Step Guide (2023)

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how to use a pull bow

1. The Purpose of a Pull Bow: When and How to Use It


A pull bow is a type of decorative bow that is pre-made and comes with a built-in mechanism that allows it to be easily pulled into shape. These bows are commonly used for gift wrapping, but they can also be used for various other purposes such as decorating floral arrangements, party decorations, and more. The main purpose of a pull bow is to add a beautiful finishing touch to any package or decoration.

When to Use a Pull Bow

A pull bow can be used for any occasion where you want to add an extra touch of elegance and style. They are particularly popular during holidays such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and baby showers. Pull bows are also commonly used in retail settings to enhance the presentation of products.

How to Use a Pull Bow

Using a pull bow is incredibly easy and requires no special skills or tools. Simply hold the two loose ends of the ribbon attached to the pull bow and gently pull them apart while simultaneously pushing down on the center of the bow. As you do this, the loops of ribbon will gather together and form a beautiful bow shape. Once you have achieved your desired shape, simply secure the pull bow onto your gift or decoration using its adhesive backing or by tying it in place with additional ribbon.

2. Properly Preparing a Pull Bow: Steps for Perfect Usage


In order to ensure that your pull bow looks its best when it is pulled into shape, it is important to properly prepare it beforehand. This involves fluffing up the loops of ribbon and making sure that all parts of the bow are aligned correctly.

Step 1: Fluffing the Loops

Start by gently pulling apart the loops of ribbon on each side of the pull bow. This will help to loosen them up and create a fuller, more voluminous look. Take your time with this step to ensure that each loop is evenly fluffed.

Step 2: Aligning the Bow

Next, check to make sure that all parts of the pull bow are aligned correctly. The loops should be evenly spaced and facing in the same direction. The center knot or embellishment should be centered and not twisted or skewed. Adjust any parts of the pull bow as needed to achieve a symmetrical appearance.

Step 3: Securing the Pull Bow

Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your pull bow, it is time to secure it onto your gift or decoration. Depending on the type of pull bow you have, this may involve using its adhesive backing or tying it in place with additional ribbon. Make sure that the pull bow is securely attached so that it does not come undone when pulled into shape.

3. Step-by-Step Guide: Tying a Pull Bow onto a Gift or Package

Choosing the Right Ribbon

Before you can tie a pull bow onto a gift or package, it’s important to choose the right ribbon. Look for ribbons that are sturdy and have a bit of stiffness to them, as this will help the bow maintain its shape. Satin ribbons or grosgrain ribbons are great options for creating pull bows.

Step 1: Creating the Loops

To start tying a pull bow, hold one end of the ribbon and create a small loop by folding it over itself. Hold this loop in place with your thumb and create another loop of the same size next to it. Continue creating loops until you have reached your desired number, usually around 6-8 loops.


  • Make sure each loop is approximately the same size for a symmetrical look.
  • Experiment with different numbers of loops to achieve different fullness levels.

Step 2: Securing the Loops

Once you have created all the loops, use your other hand to hold them in place while you tie a knot around the center of the loops using another piece of ribbon or string. Make sure the knot is tight enough to secure all the loops together but not too tight that it squishes them.


  • If you’re having trouble keeping the loops in place while tying the knot, use a small clip or clothespin to hold them temporarily.
  • If desired, trim any excess ribbon from both ends after securing the knot.

Step 3: Fluffing the Bow

After securing the knot, gently pull on each loop to separate and fluff them. Adjust the loops as needed to create a full and symmetrical bow. If any loops are too long or uneven, trim them with scissors for a neater appearance.


  • Take your time when fluffing the bow to ensure each loop is positioned correctly.
  • If you’re not satisfied with the shape of the bow, untie the knot and start again.

4. Tips and Techniques for Neat and Symmetrical Pull Bows

A neat and symmetrical pull bow can greatly enhance the overall presentation of a gift or package. Here are some tips and techniques to help you achieve that perfect look:

Choosing Ribbon Width

The width of the ribbon you choose can greatly impact the final appearance of your pull bow. For smaller gifts or packages, opt for narrower ribbons (around 1 inch) to maintain proportionality. For larger gifts, wider ribbons (around 2 inches) can create a more dramatic effect.

Using a Bow Maker Tool

If you struggle with creating even loops or maintaining symmetry while tying a pull bow, consider using a bow maker tool. These tools provide guides and templates that make it easier to create consistent bows every time.


  • Follow the instructions provided with your specific bow maker tool for best results.
  • Practice using the tool before attempting to tie a pull bow onto an actual gift or package.

Incorporating Accents

To add an extra touch of elegance or personalization to your pull bow, consider incorporating accents such as small ornaments, flowers, or beads. Attach these accents to the center of the bow using a hot glue gun or by threading them onto the ribbon before tying the knot.


  • Choose accents that complement the overall theme or color scheme of the gift or package.
  • Be mindful of the weight and size of the accents to ensure they don’t overpower the bow.

5. Best Materials for Creating Stunning Pull Bows

Satin Ribbon

Satin ribbon is a popular choice for creating stunning pull bows due to its luxurious and glossy appearance. It is available in a wide range of colors, making it easy to match any gift or occasion. Satin ribbon has a smooth texture that allows it to be easily manipulated into beautiful bow shapes.

Organza Ribbon

Organza ribbon is another excellent material for creating stunning pull bows. It has a sheer and lightweight texture that adds an elegant touch to any gift. Organza ribbon comes in various shades and can be easily layered or combined with other ribbons for a more intricate design.

Grosgrain Ribbon

Grosgrain ribbon is known for its ribbed texture, which adds depth and dimension to pull bows. It is a durable material that holds its shape well, making it ideal for larger or more elaborate bow designs. Grosgrain ribbon comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing for endless creative possibilities.

6. Beyond Gift Wrapping: Alternative Uses for Pull Bows

Pull bows are not just limited to gift wrapping; they can be used in various creative ways to enhance different occasions and events:

Party Decorations:

  • Add pull bows to balloons or hang them from ceilings as festive decorations.
  • Create garlands by stringing multiple pull bows together.
  • Attach pull bows to chair backs or table centerpieces for an elegant touch.

Wedding Accessories:

  • Use pull bows as decorative accents on wedding invitations or programs.
  • Adorn bridal bouquets or boutonnieres with small pull bows.
  • Create stunning pew bows for the ceremony or reception.

Home Decor:

  • Add pull bows to wreaths, candle holders, or picture frames for a festive touch.
  • Use pull bows to embellish curtains, pillows, or table runners.
  • Create unique wall art by arranging pull bows in different patterns and colors.

7. Undoing and Untying a Pull Bow: Fixing Mistakes or Repositioning

If you make a mistake while creating a pull bow or need to reposition it, don’t worry! Undoing and untying a pull bow is relatively simple:

Step 1: Loosen the Ribbon

Gently loosen the ribbon loops by pulling them apart slightly. This will create more slack in the bow and make it easier to untie.

Step 2: Untie the Knot

Carefully untie the knot at the back of the bow. If the ribbon is too tight to untie easily, use a pair of scissors to carefully cut through the knot without damaging the rest of the bow.

Step 3: Re-adjust and Retie

If needed, reposition or adjust the loops of the ribbon until you are satisfied with their placement. Then retie the knot securely at the back of the bow.

8. Recommended Ribbon Size for Using a Pull Bow

The recommended ribbon size for using a pull bow depends on your desired bow size and fullness. As a general guideline:

Small Pull Bows:

For small pull bows, a ribbon width of 1/4 to 3/8 inch is typically suitable. This size allows for tighter loops and a more compact bow.

Medium Pull Bows:

For medium-sized pull bows, a ribbon width of 1/2 to 5/8 inch is commonly used. This size provides a balanced look with slightly larger loops.

Large Pull Bows:

For large pull bows, a ribbon width of 7/8 to 1 inch or wider is recommended. This size allows for fuller and more dramatic bows with larger loops.

9. Occasions and Events Perfect for Using Pull Bows

Pull bows are versatile and can be used for various occasions and events. Some perfect occasions to use pull bows include:

Birthday Parties


Baby Showers

Holidays (Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day)



No matter the occasion, pull bows add an extra touch of elegance and festivity to gifts or decorations.

10. Creative Ways to Incorporate Multiple Colors and Patterns in a Pull Bow Design

Incorporating multiple colors and patterns in a pull bow design can create visually stunning results. Here are some creative ways to achieve this:

Mixing Complementary Colors:

  • Select two or three complementary colors (e.g., blue and orange) and alternate them in the ribbon loops for a vibrant contrast.
  • Create an ombre effect by using different shades of the same color in the bow.

Layering Different Ribbon Patterns:

  • Combine ribbons with different patterns, such as stripes, polka dots, or floral prints, to add visual interest and texture to the bow.
  • Layer a sheer organza ribbon over a solid-colored satin ribbon for an elegant and dimensional effect.

Add Embellishments:

  • Attach small decorative elements like beads, pearls, or rhinestones to the center of the bow for an extra touch of sparkle.
  • Use ribbons with metallic or glitter accents to create a glamorous and eye-catching design.

Experimenting with different colors, patterns, and embellishments allows you to create unique and personalized pull bows that will impress anyone who receives them.

In conclusion, learning how to use a pull bow is a simple and efficient way to add an elegant finishing touch to gifts and decorations. With just a few easy steps, anyone can create beautiful and professional-looking bows that are sure to impress.

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