Tying a bow

by Heather Jensen

Learn how to tie a bow around card layers.


  • Ribbon (satin ribbon used here)

  • Scissors

  • Card layer


  1. Step 1

    Place the spool of ribbon under and to the right side of the card layer. You should have the spool on the right and the cut end to the left of your card.

  2. Step 2

    Take the left end across and over the right side of the ribbon.

  3. Step 3

    The left side should cross over and then under the ribbon coming from the right side. The right side that is attached to the spool comes up and the cut end of the ribbon is pointed down.

  4. Step 4

    Make a loop with the ribbon in your left hand, shiny side up and take the other piece in your right hand.

    Make sure that the piece that is in your right hand has the shiny side going in the correct direction so that when you go around the loop it will be shiny side up on booth loops.

  5. Step 5

    Take the piece in your right hand and go around the loop in your left hand from the bottom and around to the right.

  6. Step 6

    This step makes a big difference in how your bow will look in the end!

    Make sure that you twist the ribbon before you go through the knot to make your second loop.

  7. Step 7

    Pull the loop through so you have two shiny sides of the bow showing. Pull the knot tight so my bow doesn't move after you are finished.


    Add little bit of glue under the knot to make sure it stays secure.

  8. Step 8

    Cut the end that is still attached to the spool.

  9. Adhere the layers to your card base to finish your card.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Tying a bow. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

What about those of us who are left-handed?
High Rockies Stamper  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM
small tip, for your right handed people:
start off with left over right first instead of right over left. same principal as tying your shoelaces. so the bows come out flatter and straighter and you don't have to fuss so much to make them stay perfectly straight.
bns808  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM
TF the video, Heather! I will try this so I end up with the shiny side out. The only thng I can't seem to do, no matter how much I wiggle it or work with it, is to get both ends to either side or hanging down and looking good. I'm not crazy about one end up and one end down. Any tips on that?
Gabby  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM
What a wonderful tutorial!! I can never get
my bows to look as if a preschooler tied them
Now I will be able to make them look incredible
thank you so much.

Loved hearing the birds in the background
Karen Betts  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM
Over the years there have been many fine and beautiful tutorials, but I think I have needed this one the most. I just could never get my bows tied correctly and it seemed to ruin the look of the card. Thank you very very much!
Bigmist8k  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 4:17 PM
@Gabby I like my "tails" to be hanging from the bottom too. The way I do it is turn the card upside-down, and then tie it as if I were tying my shoes. It works for me every time. Hope that helps.
Jeanette  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM
Lin~ the tail on my bow is about an inch and a half. I generally like the tails to be just a little longer than the now itself.

Fran~ the stamp set is My Favorite Things Polka Dot Greetings die and the sentiment is one of the clearly sentimental sets.

Gabby~I personally like the tails going in the opposite direction, I think it gives it more character and balances out the card properly. I do understand that some like both tails to hang down. If I tie mine like that, it is a totally different technique. That would need to be another video. :D

I also know and understand that there are bowmakers out there. I actually have one and would much rather make mine than use a bow maker. It takes about half the ribbon this way than to use the bowmaker as well.

My brother edited this video and added the birds in there. I am a big birder and he knew I would like it.

I truly appreciate the kind comments. I wish you all the luck in tying pretty bows. :D
Heather Jensen  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM
Oh bows are my worst. You make it look so easy! Thank you for the tutorial!
Vikki Jo Selix  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM
Thank you for sharing video on how to tie a bow beautifully. My cards are gonna look fab from now on.
Elizabeth  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM
THANKS for the tip Jeanette. I'll try that. I'll have to keep that "character" reference in mind, Heather! smile I'll be watching for the hanging tails video.
Gabby  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM
Thank you for the great tutorial on bow tying, you make it look so simple, I am now going to spend the afternoon practicing. Again. Thank you.
yvonne tarrant  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM
you make tying a bow look so easy. Thank you for showing us how to do it.
enhancing beauty  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 8:59 PM
Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I often put bows on my cards & I'm anxious to do it this way. Gorgeous card, too!
Greta H  |  Wed Mar 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM
Thanks so much for that wonderful ribbon tutorial!! That will be so helpful! I am hopeless at tying a nice bow...
Deborah  |  Thu Mar 8, 2012 at 2:10 AM
Thank you for this easy to follow tutorial.
Mary Ann Huntington  |  Thu Mar 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Great tutorial. Can't wait to try this one out.
Diane  |  Thu Mar 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM
THANK YOU, Heather, for the wonderful tutorial! I am new at card making, and bows are not easy for me! You did a beautiful job on the tutorial AND the beautiful card!
Donna Sherman  |  Thu Mar 8, 2012 at 7:19 PM
I love the splitcoast site. I am a newbie at card making and not creative on my own. I always get compliments from using your ideas. I give you credit also.
Robin  |  Fri Mar 9, 2012 at 8:43 AM
Awesome I will use this alot. Fingers always get twisted. thanks
Janice Huntley  |  Fri Mar 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM
Fabulous Video Miss Heather! 8-) Your bows are always So Pretty and Perfect! Mine always end up a bit wonky, lol Thanks so much for sharing your technique Lady!8-)

Shannon White  |  Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 6:20 AM

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