Here's How to Tie a Bow to Make Any Gift Look Professionally Wrapped

hands pulling ends of metallic ribbon gift wrapped in red and white polka dot wrapping paper
How to Tie a Gift Bow to Perfect Your PresentDustin Fenstermacher

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After you've taken the time to wrap a gift, tying it up with a bow is a surefire way to perfect your present. Learning how to tie a gift bow is surprisingly simple, and once you have the hang of it, no gift you give will be complete without one.

Before you begin, it's important to consider the type of ribbon you're using to tie a bow. Ribbon materials like satin and grosgrain are great for nearly any bow-tying need because they're pliable and don't fray easily when cut. Satin ribbon has a sheen to it, while grosgrain is matte with a ribbed texture, so you can choose the finish that coordinates best with your wrapping paper.

However, if you've selected something stiffer like burlap, wire-embedded ribbon, or anything made from synthetic metallic material (like the one we chose for this tutorial), just keep in mind that this ribbon may be a little finicky to work with, but you'll still achieve an impressive result by following these steps.

Here's how to tie a gift bow that'll put the perfect finishing touch on any present you give.

How to Tie a Gift Bow


  • Wrapped gift

  • Spool of ribbon

  • Scissors


  1. Using the longer side of the wrapped gift as a guide, measure out five lengths of ribbon that start at the bottom edge on one side, run over the top, and end down the other side. Cut your ribbon from the spool.

  2. Position the wrapped gift box so that the folded sides are facing vertically. Measure out one width and a half of ribbon, and hold it with your thumb at the center. Wrap the long end of the ribbon around the back of the box while still holding the short end in place.

  3. Now holding two layers of ribbon with one finger in the center, fold the longer end down toward you at a right angle. Wrap this long end under and around the box vertically. Bring it over the top of all of the ribbons at the center point.

  4. Tuck this end of the ribbon under the right-hand corner of the grid and pull it out through the top left-hand corner. Pull both ends until they're taut.

  5. Rotate the box 90 degrees clockwise, so that the folded sides are now facing horizontally and the ribbon ends now point toward the top right and bottom left of the box. Wrap the bottom left ribbon around your thumb to create a loop. Then wrap the top ribbon over and around this loop, and pull it under the base of the first loop, creating a second loop.

  6. Pull the loops diagonally apart until they tighten into a bow. Adjust as necessary so that the bow is centered with equal-sized loops. Finish the bow by folding the ends in half and cutting diagonally from the fold to the edge.

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