Craft Bows: Make Your Gift Giving Beautiful at Christmas

Are you ready to make absolutely stunning craft bows? Christmas brings out the crafter in all of us. Now you can make your gift giving even more beautiful with this touch of handmade.

Making Your Own Craft Bows for Christmas

Crafting is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. You can make decorations for your home, ornaments for your tree, and gifts for your loved ones. But the crafting doesn’t stop there! In our house we like making wrapping paper, gift tags, cards, and decorative gift toppers, including craft bows!

I actually learned how to make this craft bow when I was about 8 years old, watching Carol Duvall on The Home Show. (I loved that show!) Anyway, it’s super simple and pretty quick, once you get the hang of it.

craft bows

Craft Bows Supplies

You’ll need some (staple-width) ribbon, strong, but thin string, scissors, a hole-punch, cardstock (or an old cereal box!), and most importantly, a stapler.

craft bows

Step 1: Grab Your Scissors

Cut a piece of ribbon between 4 and 6 feet, depending on how full you want the bow to be. You can use fabric ribbon, plastic ribbon or even felt, but if you use fabric ribbon, pay attention to the thickness/denseness. A spool of fabric ribbon I bought was too thick and bent the staples.

Next, cut a small rectangle of cardstock a little smaller than the width of the ribbon. Punch a hole into the rectangle and tie the end of the string through it. The string should be 1/2 the ribbon length, plus a couple inches for tying. If I’m making a bunch of bows, I don’t even cut my string off of the spool until after I’ve cinched the bow.

craft bows

Step 2: Fold and Staple

Fold the ribbon in half, but don’t crease the loop because this will be the center of your bow. Staple the cardstock/string, centered, about an inch down into the folded ribbon.

craft bows

About 3 inches below that first staple, staple the ribbon again, but at a 45-degree angle. Make sure the string stays centered and inside of the staple. About 3 inches below that, staple the ribbon again, but this time, at the opposite 45-degree angle. Continue alternating the staple angle down the length of the ribbon, always making sure the string is included.

craft bows

As I go along, I like to gradually increase the distance between the staples. By the end, they are about 4 inches apart.

craft bows

Step 3: Pull and Be Beautiful

Grab ahold of the string with one hand, using the other hand as resistance against the soon-to-be-bow, and gently start pulling. The bow should form easily.

craft bows

Once you’re done pulling the bow into shape, you’ll need to knot the string to keep the bow in place. I like to knot the string with a loop, so the tail of the string can be fed through the loop for attaching. You can also attach your bows with double-sided tape or adhesive foam.

craft bows

Shape your bow by rounding out the loops, and you’re ready to wrap!

craft bows

craft bows


  1. This looks so easy! I don’t know why I never thought of it. Thanks!
    Dorene recently posted..Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities Now Available!

  2. Ohhh, I love handycrafts and this is perfect now that Christmas is here!
    Ana recently posted..How to make a (oh so adorable) strawberry dress

  3. So pretty and so fancy!
    Barbara recently posted..Your typical weekend…in Paris

  4. Awesome! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make those fancy bows.
    Tracie recently posted..Create Your Own Stories

  5. Super cute!! Thanks for the idea!!
    Simply Summer recently posted..Happy Monday..

  6. Nice & Simple bow! Instantly brighten up a dull wrapping. Love it!
    Beady J recently posted..How To: Tree of Togetherness (Christmas Tree Garland)

  7. what a gorgeous bow! i can’t wait to try this!
    Simplicity Interrupted recently posted..{monday} must have – angie’s holidrizzle kettle corn.

  8. Love it! A perfect touch for all holiday gifts!

  9. Thanks! I’m all about pretty bows!
    Recreateanddecorate recently posted..I stand with Brandon!

  10. Love this easy way of making bows…thank you!
    Radishgirl Thymes recently posted..Maple Glazed Bacon Donuts

  11. I LOVE making bows and actually make one using this technique except I have been sewing the string where you have been stapling. Stapling seems to be the way to go. Thank you for giving a faster way of making beautiful bows. ^_^ HA…this just goes to show that one is never to old to learn a new trick.
    Regina recently posted..Wedding garters!!

  12. Great tutorial! I LOVE bows :) My mom ALWAYS made her own bows at Christmas and since she was quite the alcoholic (she’s gone now) it’s one of my good memories of her :) Thanks for sharing <3
    Shari Lynne @ faith filled food for moms and grandmothers recently posted..Celebrating Advent–He Has Come and He Will Come Again!

  13. Looks a bit tricky to me, like I have to really work hard. But it sure is beautiful!
    Ugochi recently posted..BEAUTY THERAPY

  14. Nifty trick. Thanks for sharing!
    Nancy Roe recently posted..Decorated Glass Gift

  15. Leslie The Cleaning Coach says:

    Thanks so much! Now I don’t have to buy the ugly bows in a bag this Christmas!!
    Leslie The Cleaning Coach recently posted..Making Your Own Laundry Soap Is Easy And Frugal

  16. Thanks for sharing! Always nice to know for crafting wreaths or other table decorations too!
    Cindi @ Frugal New England Kitchen recently posted..Easiest Ever No Bake Christmas Cookies | Oreo Truffles Balls | Recipe

  17. These are so pretty!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Bringing Home the Cookie Tree

  18. So cool! I’m bookmarking this! I’m a TERRIBLE bow maker! Thank you so much for sharing! :)
    Julie Moore recently posted..12 Days of Christmas {Goodies}: Candied Pecans (Soy, Wheat, Fish and Milk-Free)


  1. [...] to make this homemade box, but it’s likely I picked it up from Carol Duvall (just like the craft bows I made last week!) It’s quick and easy and your kids can help…my kind of [...]

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