Tie a gift bow with graduated loops
when you're in a hurry or low on gift ribbon.
Here are the four simple steps,
plus extra tips and techniques.
Graduated loops are handsome on narrow boxes like those for gloves or neckties. For variety, graduated loops can also be placed diagonally on the box or crosswise on one end. Or, you can set a gift box on its side or end - this bow fits perfectly on the narrow surface that is now on top.
Ribbon notes: To tie a gift bow with graduated loops, choose a ribbon that looks the same on both sides, like the papery, satin-shiny "splendorette"-type gift ribbon pictured in the instructions. Or, follow the alternate instructions for ribbons with a right and wrong side.
A 24-inch long ribbon (60 cm.) will tie a graduated loops bow that is 5-inches long (12.5 cm), with 3 layers as pictured in the instructions. You can make a larger bow by making the loops larger, and/or by adding more graduated layers of loops, as pictured above. An extra long bow looks best with wide ribbon. OK, let's do it!
How to Tie a Gift Bow
with Graduated Loops
|1) At one end of the ribbon, make a |
1-inch diameter (2-3 cm.) loop for the top layer of the bow. Hold the loop with thumb and forefinger, and let the rest of the ribbon extend away from you, off the bottom of the loop. The graduated loops are made by winding the ribbon back and forth beneath the center circle.
|2) Make a second, longer loop, pointing away from you - slip the ribbon under the center loop, between your thumb and forefinger, to hold it in place. The loose end of the ribbon now extends toward you. |
|3) Opposite the second loop, make a matching third loop. Slip the ribbon under the others between your thumb and forefinger. Repeat Steps #2 and #3, making a longer pair of opposing loops for the third layer. If you want to tie a gift bow with more layers, continue making each layer longer than the one above it. |
|4) Adjust the layers and align as needed, so the ribbon edges are lined up and the layers are centered under the top loop. Run a piece of tape through the center loop and around both edges of the ribbon, to meet at the bottom of the bow. Or, you can staple the layers together from inside the center loop. |
Alternate instructions - how to tie a gift bow using ribbon with a right and wrong side:
- Cut pieces of gift ribbon 4", 8", and 12" long and tape them into circles with right side on the outside.
- For the two larger circles, squeeze together the taped side and the opposite side to make two equal loops (but do not fold), and position the taped seam at center bottom. Place the smaller circle atop the larger circle and hold them together at the center.
- The smallest circle (not pinched) makes the top loop - position it at the center and staple or tape all of the layers together, from the inside of the center loop.
- Vary the sizes of loops (lengths of ribbon) and/or add extra layers as needed to fit the gift box.
More Tips & Techniques
While you're learning to tie a gift bow with graduated-loops, feed the ribbon from the roll as you go, and cut the ribbon after you get the loops into place. This is easier than making a pre-cut ribbon come out evenly.
For a more tailored bow, gently flatten the loops. Use a paper clip to hold them together (at the center) while you cut a length of ribbon about 3-4 inches longer than the bow. Cut a "V" in each end, then fold in half at a slight angle and center this piece at the bottom of the bow to form tails. Staple or tape in place.
Double-stick tape is best for attaching a graduated-loops bow to a gift package. The center of this bow has a tendency to rise up off the package (more so with more layers of loops), and double-stick tape holds the bow firmly against the box and remains concealed.
Another use for a Graduated Loops bow - See how nicely it finishes this Crisscross Bow, for example. Three loops (center circle plus one layer of loops) are usually adequate, but you may wish to add another layer, especially if the crisscross bow is made with wide gift ribbon.
Graduated-loops is such a good way
to tie a gift bow! It's versatile and easy,
and we use it often - you will too!
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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, courtesy of morguefile.com
Other photos courtesy of Libby Graphics, all rights reserved.