Bow Making

Bow Making's a love/hate thing.  So often, a bow is the perfect finishing touch on a card.  But I know that my group of church cardmakers run the other way from cards with bows.  There are very few people out there who feel that they can make a perfect bow.  

But there are so many ways to do it - and so many tools available to help - here are just a few ways that I do it.  


Your "bow" doesn't actually have to be a "bow".  Sometimes a simple knot serves the purpose. All the focus on this card is on the cross - the layers around it are minimal - so I just used a quick "knot". It seems that even with the basics, we all have things to learn.  

So, here is basic knot-tying 

Cut a piece of ribbon slightly longer than the piece it is going around

Wrap each end around to the back and adhere with a piece of tape.

Cut another piece of ribbon and start your knot. Tie the first part of the knot, you do the same thing twice.  

To get the "bow" to lie this way, do your second twist in the"uncomfortable" way. For me, comfort is the right loop up and over and then back under the left.  Bringing the left side up and over is awkward.

If you would rather the "bow" lays along with your ribbon this way, just do both "twists" in the way that is comfortable for you - like you are knotting a shoe.

BUT - before you do this, check out the next tutorial on the "cheater's bow".

In fairness, I have to tell you that with thick ribbon, tying a knot can often get quite bulky.  If you have a good adhesive, just tie a single "twist" in that second piece of ribbon (not the two twists that comprise a knot).  Pick the good side of your knot, apply adhesive to the other side, and glue it on!


This is a quick and easy way to get the "bow" that lies in the same direction as the ribbon.  I use this A LOT in my cardmaking because it is so very simple.

Cut a piece of ribbon longer than the panel - don't skimp on this piece because you will be tying part of a knot in it so you need some extra length.

Tie the first part of a knot - leave it loose.

Thread a small piece of ribbon through the knot before you pull it tight. 

So very easy! You can manipulate it at this point, e.g.if you want it at a jaunty angle, you can pull on the top part on one side and the bottom on the other side. Trim it. 

Wrap the ends around the back of the panel and tape them.

Bunny Ears Bow:

Now it's time to get into actual bows.   I'd never heard of anyone casually saying they could tie bows.  It turns out they simply used that child's method - the bunny ears bow.  It works!

Make two loops from your ribbon.

Cross over like you are starting to tie your shoe.

Finish the simple knot.

When you pull the bow, don't worry that it gets really big - you can always pull the ends and shrink it again.

For my finished card, I took the ends of the bow around back for a different look.  You could just as easily trim the ends and adhere the bow as above.

                                                                Thanks for popping by 

                                                                          Stella xx

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