With exactly nine days left to wrap all of our Christmas gifts, I have found myself in serious bow making mode...well actually, I am just now entering bow making mode as I have just started wrapping gifts today. (I'm not exactly ahead of the Christmas curve this year.)
I consider myself a bit of a bow expert, so I really don't mind wrapping gifts...I have what I like to think of as a "bow making pedigree". You see, my mom is the original Bow Lady. She can whip out the biggest, fanciest bows you have ever seen in a matter of seconds. She can also stick one of those big, fluffy bows on your head and send you on your merry way before you even notice that you have grown 4 inches from all of the fabric on your scalp. It is her special gift. For all of the eighties and a portion of the nineties, my sisters and I never left the house without some sort of ginormous, loopy, color-coordinated bow that was so big it could be mistaken for a hat. We definitely lived by a "bigger is better" philosophy in our house. (See below right. Woof.)
She proudly passed her bow-making skills onto her daughters, and I actually earned the title as the Bow Lady while I worked at Kay Unger. (The fact that I ended up at a company that thinks everything looks better with a bow is almost poetic.) During my time as the Bow Lady at KU, I shared my bow making tips with friends and colleagues from time to time, and they were always thrilled to find out that they had an inner bow lady waiting to come out. They just needed a little practice.
So in honor of the holiday season and the original Bow Lady, I--Bow Lady, Jr--have put together an easy step-by-step bow making tutorial. These basic steps work with any type and any width of ribbon. Now you too can unearth your inner Bow Lady!
How to Make a Pretty Bow
Start with an extra long piece of ribbon. I used about a yard (3 feet) of 2" wide grosgrain ribbon for a 5"x6"x1" box. I always like to start out with a little too much and then trim the ends rather than come up short at the end.
Create an anchor for your bow by knotting the ribbon around the box as snuggly as possible. Leave extra long tails for later.
Next, layer the rest ribbon back and forth to create the loops for your bow. Make as many or as few loops as you want. I kept layering until I used the entire piece of ribbon, which turned out to be exactly 6 loops.
Secure the loops with a staple, piece of tape or a tiny safety pin. This prevents the loops from sliding around or from falling out when curious little hands decide to tug at the loops...because they can't wait any longer. (I'm not sure any of our gifts are going to make it to Christmas Day. David John thinks they are for his birthday...and keeps asking when we are going to blow up the air mattress again. )
Center the stapled loops on top of the knotted ribbon and make another knot with the long tails from earlier. Trim all of the ribbon ends at a 45 degree angle. Give the loops a little fluff and voila!
A perfectly loopy bow every time!
Alright fellow Bow Ladies (and err...Bow Gents?), go razzle dazzle the world with your expert bow making skills. This Bow Lady (you can call me Jr) has to get back to wrapping!