Square up the end of your ribbon spool, and heat-set the edge with a hotknife, lighter, or the barrel of an old soldering iron.

Grosgrain ribbon (pronounced "grow-grain") is polyester, so slightly melting the edge prevents fraying.
Cut a 28" length of ribbon and heat-set the cut edge.
Fold the ribbon in half and make a crease.

Fold the cut ends up 2" and make a crease.
Fold the ribbon in half again, matching the center fold to the end fold you just made. Crease the quarter fold.

Unfold your ribbon.
Next we'll use the creases to align the loops of the bow.

Fold one ribbon end over and align the first two creases. Pivot the cut end 45 degrees, keeping the two creases' center points intersected.

Take up the rest of the ribbon and swing it over this first loop. Align the ribbon's center crease atop the first two layers in your hand, pivoting 45 degrees in the opposite direction from above.
Loop the ribbon slack away from you, and insert the next crease between the top two layers and the bottom layer. The crease should be parallel to the bottom layer's crease.

Keep pinching at your overlap junction for a tidy bow-- it can feel a bit like shuffling a deck of high-friction cards.

Be sure to check out the video that goes with this guide, which shows you exactly how all these folds are made!
Loop the small remaining slack back over the front (thumb side) of the bow. This last loop should be parallel with and overlap the very first loop.

Fold the bow in half lengthwise, then turn down the folded sides (accordion fold) to make a pleat.
Pinch the pleat and make a stitch with plain thread through all the layers of ribbon to hold them in place.
Practice makes perfect.

This guide was first published on Mar 13, 2013. It was last updated on Mar 13, 2013.

This page (Ribbon Bow) was last updated on Mar 10, 2013.

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