How to Make a Bow for a Wreath

Don’t be intimated by bows! In this post, you’ll learn how to make a bow for a wreath in no time at all. The instructions also include how to make a burlap bow with no sewing.

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most rewarding. Who would have thought a person could get such total enjoyment from making a bow? I promise you will be absolutely delighted if you whip up one of these beauties. By following this easy tutorial, you will end up with a lovely and full bow that will definitely take your wreath to the next level. 

burlap bow with ivy and bittersweet with text - How to make a perfect bow

*This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE for my full disclosure statement. 

Easy Wreath Bow Tutorial

This method involves no sewing. It is perfect for beginners and experienced wreath-makers alike. I’ll share step-by-step pictures, and even answer questions people have. This tutorial will take you from novice to pro in just a few minutes!

Supplies Needed

You only need three things to make a bow for your wreath. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 yards of ribbon that is at least 3 inches wide. Wider ribbon can also be used and will give you a softer bow.
  • A heavy-duty stapler.
  • Scissors.
Supplies to make a perfect bow for a wreath - burlap ribbon and a heavy duty stapler

How To Make A Wreath Bow

Just follow these easy steps, and you’ll have a perfect wreath bow in no time at all.

Step 1: Cut Your Ribbon

Cut the ribbon into 3 different pieces, each with a different length. This is how long to cut each piece:

  • 36 inches
  • 24 inches
  • 6 inches

Step 2: Mark the Center Of The Ribbon

Next, mark the center of the 24-inch piece with a pin.

marking the center of the burlap ribbon with a bow

Step 3: Fold The Pieces To The Center

Then, bring the ends of the 24-inch piece to the center, overlapping them about an inch. Staple them to the middle of the ribbon and set this piece aside.

Staple the 24-inch long ribbon

Step 4: Fold The Sides Of The 6-inch Ribbon

Now it’s time to prepare the 6-inch long ribbon. Fold the long sides over so they meet in the middle. They should not overlap, just touch.

folding the 6-inch ribbon to make a bow.

Step 5: Secure With Staples

Secure the ends of the folded ribbon with one staple each. Then, put this piece aside.

Staple both ends of the 6-inch long ribbon

Step 6: Accordion Pleat The Longest Ribbon

Now it’s time to prep the longest ribbon, the 36-inch long one. Make an accordion pleat in the middle of this ribbon.

An accordion pleat on the 36-inch long burlap ribbon

Step 7: Staple It Together

Place a staple in the pleat to hold it together.

A staple holding the accordion pleat together.

Step 8: Place The Pieces Together

Now we are ready to assemble the pieces together. To start, lay the 6-inch piece wrong side up on a flat surface. Place the 36-inch piece as pictured below. 

Assembling the burlap bow

Step 9: Add the 24-inch Piece

Next, lay the 24-inch piece wrong side up so it is next to the 36-inch piece. 

The 24-inch ribbon next to the 36-inch ribbon pieces.

Step 10: Center All The Pieces

Now for the fun part! Pull the ends of the 6-inch piece together and straighten the other two pieces so everything is centered. 

Center all the pieces

Step 11: Staple Everything Together

Finally, place two staples in the 6-inch piece to hold the entire bow together. Trim the excess if desired. 

Staple the center of the bow to hold it all together

Step 12: Make A Notched End

If you want, fold the end of each tail in half and trim to make a notched end. 

A notched end of a burlap ribbon

When I use heavier fabric, like grain sack, I am not able to use the stapler for the last step. The layers of fabric are too thick and they jam the stapler. A bit of hand stitching is required to hold the pieces together. Below are links to my tutorials for making ribbon from an antique grain sack, and also for making a grain sack bow. 

That’s it. See, you don’t need to own a sewing machine or even know how to thread a needle (in most cases) to make a fancy bow for your wreath! It’s that easy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Bows For Wreaths

Here are some additional questions that people often ask about making a wreath for a bow.

Do I have to make bows by hand?

No, you definitely do not have to make bows by hand. You can buy bows at craft stores and online, or you can buy bow-making machines that do all the work for you.

How do I make a bow for a wreath using a tool like the EZ bow maker?

The best way to learn how to use the EZ bow maker is to watch a video. That way, you can pause it and keep rewatching steps that you are struggling with. A great EZ bow maker tutorial is shown by Southern Charm Wreaths.

What other materials can I use to make a bow in place of ribbons?

Obviously, you don’t have to use burlap ribbon, but it does make a lovely bow.  Any kind of ribbon will work, but I recommend ribbon at least 4 inches wide so your creation has some presence.

Ribbon is the easiest because it is the perfect size, but there are other things you can use instead. Tulle makes a really fantastic bow, so does crepe paper.

More Ribbon Tutorials

If you enjoyed this tutorial, here are a few more with some additional tips and tricks that you might like to try next.

bows make from red striped grain sack ribbon with text

Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement. 

How to Make a Burlap Bow: Supplies

How I Used Homemade Bows In My Wreaths

Want to see how these homemade bows look on a wreath? Here are some of my favorite wreaths that I made with my homemade bows.

Now that you know how to make beautiful bows, please send me a picture if you make one. I would love to see what you created!

burlap bow with greenery red berries with text

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76 Comments

  1. Grace Cooper says:

    5 stars
    Great and clear tutorial!
    How do you attach this bow to a grapevine wreath – with floral wire???? or something else?

    Thanks!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Grace…yes. Just stick a piece of floral wire through the “knot” in the back of the bow. It’s actually where the staples are. Then just wire it onto the wreath. Good luck!

      1. Thank you, Ann! I’ll give that a try.

  2. Love this tutorial and having the exact measurements is so helpful BUT I’m not getting the prompt so I can add it to my Pinterest page, odd yes?

  3. Sherrilynn says:

    I really like this burlap bow techique,I always have trouble putting my bows together. THanks alot

  4. Thanks fir all the neat things to do✂️✂️

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  6. Barbara G Thieman says:

    Really cool way to make a bow, was never really good at bows!!!

  7. Great directions, I cannot wait to make this bow for Christmas.

  8. Such great instructions, Ann! Love your site so much!

  9. Linda Smith says:

    From hereon in, my bows will forever be flawless works of art thanks to your tutorial……….. I will be eternally grateful

  10. Thank you so much this was so helpful and my bow came out beautifully ❤️

  11. The high temperature here today was “only” 88, so naturally my thoughts turned to a fall wreath for the front door. I saved off the directions for a burlap bow, just like these instructions, years ago but never followed through. I have house guests due in about half an hour but when they’re gone next week, I’m starting my Deco-Mesh withdrawal therapy and making that burlap/pine cone/grapevine/silk mum wreath I’ve been thinking about.

  12. Sunni Dae says:

    Seriously genius :) Finally, my bows won’t suck! Thanks girly!

  13. Have always wanted to know how to make one of these bows … and with your exceptionally clear instructions I’m all set to go now! Love your step-by-step pictures … not an easy thing to do and you’ve done it very well!

  14. I am SO right brained this tutorial was PERFECT for me!! I finally can make a great looking bow… LOVED IT – – THANK YOU!!!

  15. This was wonderful information. Now I won’t go crazy trying to make bows anymore.

  16. Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage says:

    Thanks for the tute! ♥

  17. Mary @ Redo 101 says:

    I found this on Pinterest and tracked it back to you. I used the picture today on my blog with the link back to you, hope that’s okay.

    Thanks,
    Mary

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  19. You are awesome. I’m so excited.. I’m going to try the bowmaking for a Halloween Wreath

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  25. I love that style of bow! Thank you so much for the tutorial! I can think of so many uses, but on the wreath like you pictured is my favorite.

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  29. Hello, I featured this post in my blog post
    I hope it’s alright, if it’s not, please tell me and I’ll remove it.
    Have a good day!

  30. Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage says:

    PS-Had to Pin and Tweet it!! ;)

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  33. Linda @ it all started with paint says:

    I love, love this tutorial! I pinned and will absolutely be revisiting this pin many times over for years to come!

    :) Linda

  34. jennifer rizzo says:

    it looks great! Where did you get that ribbon on the first bow? I want some!

  35. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage says:

    Genius – and I am pinning so my bows can be perfect, not crumpled messes like they usually are!
    Kelly

  36. rebecca @ older and wisor says:

    A stapler = GENIUS. Your bow is perfectly floppy, a lovely combination of casual and elegant. Adore.

  37. SJ@SweeterStill says:

    Thank you so much for a great tutorial! This came at exactly the right time :)

  38. Visitng from the Nesting Place. Great tutorial! I will be using this tip for sure, thanks!

  39. Thank you!!!! Lol! I’ve struggled so with getting “perfect” bows. Now I know. ;)

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  41. Aha! That’s how you do it! Thanks for sharing the how to.
    Sarah

  42. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Love it, Ann! Not only am I going to make a couple of these, I’m pinning it! : ) Does it matter if the ribbon has wire in it or not?

  43. Sue Davidson says:

    Wow! Beautiful bows that I can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing this tutorial at such a timely season.

  44. Thank you! I do believe I could do this. I admired the bow on yesterday’s post and wished for one of my own – and now I can have one!

  45. Easy to follow tutorial! Thanks!!

  46. Grace @ sense and simplicity says:

    I hadn’t realized you didn’t actually tie your bows – they are fake bows. I’ll forgive you for the deception since they look so beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial, by the way, as I may want to make my own fake bows.

  47. Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon says:

    Stunning, simple, perfection!!! Incredible tutorial!! :)

  48. Barb @ The Everyday Home says:

    Awesome tutorial, Ann. You are so clever! xxoo

  49. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, this is genius using a stapler to make a bow! I just bought some new ribbon for a kitchen wreath so I may give this a try. Pinning this for future reference!

  50. Linda Owens says:

    Thank you so much, its just what I was looking for. Great tutorial and looks like even I can do it.

  51. Staples! Why didn’t I think of that? I want to make a bow right now!!

  52. shirley@housepitality designs says:

    Ann…what a beautiful bow…i am definitely using this post as a constant reference…love your wreath and the white and red bow is magnificent!!! Thanks so much for the tutorial….Have a great weekend!

  53. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    I have been waiting for this tutorial! It IS easy… and the bow is perfect!!! This has changed my bow decor forever!!! Thanks!

  54. Simple and I love It !!! Thank you so much !

  55. Beautiful, thank you for that, I have pinned it to two of my boards. Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my last post. I appreciate your friendship.
    Hugs, Cindy

  56. Kimberly from Serendipity Refined says:

    YOU ROCK! That’s amazing! Thank you…I have about 36,000 places that I need to do this. :)

  57. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    You are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

    xo,
    RJ

  58. Great Job Ann!! Totally shows how easy this is!!! To pretty simple loosely and beautifully tied bows!! Cheers!!

  59. Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog says:

    Awesome advice.

  60. Pamela Gordon says:

    I just made one with wired ribbon which is a bit stiff so I think I’ll try one with ragged edged muslin later. :)

  61. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Beautiful and simple. Perfect.

  62. Pamela Gordon says:

    Wow, I love this easy way to make a bow. They are the most frustrating thing to make aren’t they?? Thanks for the tips Ann.

  63. Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says:

    Thank you for the awesome tutorial! I can never make bows and when I have seen tutorials, they never make sense. Yours is very easy to understand so I will be trying your method. Thanks and have a great weekend!
    -Shelley

  64. Sue@Housepretty says:

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial! VERY useful, and VERY practical! Love it!

  65. Olive Cooper says:

    Even challenged Olive can do that. Thanks bunches Ann.

  66. Perfect, I need to make a bow today and will try your method. Yours looks perfect so I expect mine will too:)

  67. Glenda Childers says:

    Stunning and simple … perfect.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  68. Well of course you would use thread to sew your bow together at the end! What else is a seamstress to do???? Love it! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. Maybe, just maybe I can replicate it. LOL!

  69. Keeping it Cozy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Ann! I am so excited to give it a try…

  70. Fantastic. I’m pretty sloppy with my bows… This should set me on the straight and narrow!!!

  71. Katie @ Wildwood Creek says:

    So that’s how it’s done! Thanks for the great tutorial!