How to Tie Ribbons on Presents?

Sometimes, wrapping a present can prove more difficult than actually shopping for one. When met with the task, one can spend hours looking for the perfect gift, whether for a loved one or for your colleague at an office Christmas party. But all this effort can go in vain in mere seconds when you use the wrong wrapping etiquette. A ribbon bow on a neatly-wrapped present sets the correct tone for your gift.

Similar to how the way you dress indicates the weather, the type of ribbon bow you use displays the nature of your present. With this in mind, your first step would be to choose the type of ribbon you want. Once you pick the material, you need to decide on the knot you wish to use. This article explains the steps to tie the most common bow types to save you the hassle of understanding such complex knots.

How to Tie Ribbons on Presents

Types of Ribbons

The make of the ribbons is an assortment on its own; from synthesized materials like polyester and satin, natural fibers like silk and cotton to wired and non-wired ribbons, you have a wide range of choices. You can use them for various purposes—wrapping presents, decorating your Christmas ornaments, or simply hanging your medals. We have listed below the most common types of ribbons used for gift-wrapping:

  • Paper Ribbons: Paper or raffia ribbons are generally best for food-related presents, like fruit baskets or hampers. This is because they’re easier to remove and disposable.
  • Grosgrain Ribbons: Grosgrain and other poly ribbons are sturdier and more flexible because they’re synthetic; they’re also more suitable for casual, less fancy gifts due to their texture.
  • Cloth Ribbons: Other cloth ribbons like lace are preferable for expensive gifts due to their more prosperous and stylish appearance.
  • Taffeta Ribbons: Picot edge and taffeta ribbons are more inventive with their decorative looks and would go better with unpatterned gift wraps.
  • Satin Ribbons: Satin ribbons, also known as the all-purpose ribbons, stand true to their name; they are inexpensive, and you can use them on almost every present type.

Types of Ribbon Bows

1. Tiffany Bow

Simple and elegant, this bow is suitable for any form of a gift. Tiffany bows require no specifications and can be made with any kind of ribbon, although satin is preferable.

how to tie Tiffany Bow

Steps to make:

  1. Place the ribbon on the top of the present with enough length hanging free from one side to go around the present.
  2. Loop the cloth ribbon around the box so that it’s parallel to where you first placed your ribbon.
  3. Keeping your thumb at the center of the ribbon, turn the ribbon 45 degrees.
  4. Next, wrap the ribbon around the box for a second time, perpendicular to the first.
  5. Now, tighten both ends of the ribbon from the center and twist them into a two-loop bow like a shoelace.
  6. Make sure that you straighten the folds neatly until they are even.
  7. Trim/decorate the edges to your liking, and your tiffany bow is ready.

2. Small Bow

Small bows are considered to be one of the more neat and subtle of bow types. One usually sticks a small or mini bow on top of the present instead of tying it directly around them. This is because you typically make it around a fork or your fingers. Thin and unwired ribbons are preferable for this knot.

Steps to Make:

  1. Place the ribbon over the prongs of the fork and bring it around while holding the center with your thumb.
  2. Tuck the end of the ribbon through the middle of the fork.
  3. Now, circle the end over the top from the other side and insert it back through the middle and into the loop to create a knot.
  4. Fasten the knot, and you will see that your bow has formed.
  5. Carefully remove the bow from the fork.
  6. Trim the ends to make them even, and your bow is ready.

3. Multi Ribbon Bow

You would need multiple ribbons of varying widths and colors to make this bow. The number of strips you use and their length depends on your gift size; for this demonstration, we assume that the gift box is 14 inches down and across—we will be using three ribbons for this tutorial.

how to tie Multi Ribbon Bow

Steps to Make:

  1. Take your widest ribbon and measure an 8-inch tail on it. Make sure to hold down the center of the bow while doing this.
  2. Mark another 8 inches from that point and loop it back between your fingers at the center.
  3. Repeat this process thrice, marking 8 inches and pleating it back to your fingers.
  4. Once done, you would be holding four loops in your hand. Adjust them to form an X, and leave another 8-inch tail hanging loose at the bottom with the first. Your first layer is ready.
  5. Take your second largest ribbon and repeat the first four steps, except this time, the loops and tails would be 6 inches long.
  6. Next, take the third ribbon and make the final layer the same as the first two with 4-inch loops.
  7. Hold all three layers from the center and put a decorative pin in the middle to tie them all together.
  8. Tidy all loops and trim the tails to ensure they are even and your multi-ribbon bow is prepared.

Get To Know: How to Make a Large Bow/Ribbon Tree Topper


Ribbons are the most elegant way of adding a pinch of pizzazz and glamour to an otherwise dull gift-wrapped present. Tiffany, small, and multi-ribbon are three of the most commonly used bows. While the tiffany bow is wrapped directly around a present, the small and multi-ribbon bows are made by hand and then stuck on top of the gift box. You can use the correct combination of these bows and the ribbons you make them from to style your present in the best way possible.

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