How to tie a perfect bow every time (even with one-sided ribbon!)

Here's a quick and easy method for how to tie a bow that works perfectly every time, even with one-sided ribbon!

Use them on your sewing, yarn, wedding or papercrafts. It's a handy skill to have in your craft arsenal. I was taught this trick in a cake decorating class I did when I was 12!

Picture of red ribbon bow with text overlay "How to tie a perfect bow (even with one-sided ribbon)"

Watch the video or scroll down for the step-by-step photo tutorial:

How to tie a flat bow

Step 1: Take a length of ribbon and make two "bunny ears", leaving a tail at each end. I like to use 4-5 inches for this 3/8" wide ribbon.

Tie a bow from ribbon: make two bunny ears

Step 2: Make a cross with the bunny ears.

Tie a bow from ribbon: cross the bunny ears

Step 3: Wrap the top bunny ear behind and poke through the loop at the bottom.

Tie a bow from ribbon: wrap the top bunny ear to the back and poke through the bottom loop

Step 4: Pull the bunny ears tight to form a bow.

Tie a bow from ribbon: pull the bunny ears tight to form a bow

If you've got a double-sided ribbon, you can adjust the size of the loops to suit, and trim the tails, but if you've got a one-sided ribbon, things don't look so good:

Bow tied with one-sided ribbon, with right and wrong side of ribbon showing

The centre knot and one of the tails is showing the wrong side of the ribbon. Let's get that fixed...

Step 5: To fix the centre, loosen the knot and twist the ribbon so that the right side is showing, and tighten the bow again.

Twisting the centre of the ribbon

That's looking better, but still not perfect - there's still a tail to fix up!

Bow with one-sided ribbon - centre looks good, but one tail is wrong way around.

Step 6: At the back of the ribbon, twist the tail behind the knot so that the right side of the ribbon is showing on both sides:

Twisting the tail of the ribbon so the right sides show.

Step 7: Adjust the loops and snip the tails. Seal the ends with a ribbon sealer or flame, if necessary.

Scissors trimming the tail of a perfect ribbon bow

And that's how you tie a perfect ribbon bow, ready to use in your next craft project, like this felt mistletoe:

Felt mistletoe ornament and hairclip

Wasn't that quick and easy? How will you use your perfectly-tied bow?