How To Tie The Perfect Bow

Make all your gifts stand out with this step-by-step tutorial to get your ribbons in a perfect bow, every time.

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how to tie the perfect how-red box with green and red ribbon

Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Here’s the secret to top any present with a swoon-worthy bow. It’s what I call the ribbon tail. Here are the how-to instructions, with photos.

The easy way to tie a bow with ribbon

Start with good-quality ribbon-like fabric — expensive ribbon falls better than cheap ribbon. A double sided satin ribbon works best as you don’t have to fuss with the good side and bad side. Also, you’ll need about meter of ribbon to tie a good bow, plus however much ribbon you need to wrap around the gift.

1. Knot once or twice

Depending on how thick your ribbon is, you might or might not be able to tie a double knot before starting your bow:
How to tie the perfect bow-satin green ribbon with double knot around a white box

2. Tie a bow

Reach way back in your kindergarten memory, when you first learned to tie your laces, and that’s how you tie a bow. Make two loops and tie them together in a simple knot:
How To Tie The Perfect Bow- hands make two loops with green satin ribbon

3. Smooth it out

Smooth the knot cover over and pull tight, making sure both loops are the same size. Leave a long tail on both ends.
How to tie the perfect bow-one satin green bow with loose ends tied around a white box

4. Fold back the “tail”

Now here’s the magic part: Take the “tail” of the ribbon and fold it back in towards the centre knot. Add a dot of glue (right where you see my fingers are holding it down).
How to tie the perfect bow- two hands looping the ends of green satin ribbon back under the knot

5. Cut the ends

Cut on a bias or with a v-notch. Now that’s a pro-looking bow. Doesn’t matter what the gift is, this will wow’em!

Watch: Three ways to make gift-card giving more fun!