I have been making pull tie bows and tuxedo bows for years and years, and I want to share this tutorial with you. I think I could twist ribbon into bows with my eyes closed. I love to add them to my crocheted items, and I have been asked over and over how do I make pull tie bows so quickly. Let me show you how. With some practice you will be able to “quickly” make a pull tie bow!
My Mountain Lodge Oval Basket is the latest design that I have embellished with a pull tie and tuxedo bow. You can pick up the free pattern here!
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Twisting ribbon to make a pull tie bow is very easy and quick! If you have a good “Pinch” you can make a cute bow of any size! No need for glue, wire or needle and thread.
Step 1: I am using a wired 4” wide ribbon for this tutorial. You will need approximately 1 yard, and less yardage is required if using smaller ribbon. I don’t recommend a glittery ribbon for your first try. Grosgrain or satin ribbon is a good choice to use, while learning this method.
Step 2: Fold over approx. 11” to 12” of ribbon, and begin “The Pinch” at approx. the 5” mark to make the “1st Loop”. (Note: If using smaller ribbon, make the “1st Loop” smaller than 5”) This does not have to be exact.
Fold the loop of ribbon in half and make a crease. Arrow indicates the crease.
Step 3: Fold the right edge down to meet the crease. Notice how it has been folded down to meet the fold or crease.
Step 4: Fold the left edge down, just as you did the right edge, and pinch the area tight. The “1st Loop” has been made. Continue to hold this area in a tight “Pinch” through the next few steps. I will indicate when you can release “The Pinch”.
Step 5: While holding “The Pinch”, pull the long unused portion to the right, and the “Tie End” to the left.
Step 6: Fold the unused portion in half. The right or printed side should be showing when you fold it in half. (Note: If using a smaller ribbon, you won’t need to fold the ribbon).
Step 7: “The Pinch” will be the “Center” of the bow. Continue to “Pinch” your ribbon tight, and start wrapping the folded portion around the “Center” of the bow, crossing the ribbon over your fingers.
This picture is demonstrating how the folded ribbon will wrap around your fingers that are creating “The Pinch”
Step 8: Continue “Pinching” and bring the folded piece of ribbon strait down behind and under the “Center” of the bow. Hold the folded ribbon in the back with the extra fingers that are not “Pinching” the “1st Loop”. (Note: if using a narrow ribbon that “does not” need to be folded, and has a print on one side, give the ribbon one twist when it is “behind” the “Center” of the bow, so that the print is showing when you feed the ribbon into the “Knot”). You now have “Half of a Bow”, and you have just made the “Knot” to your bow! Stop and fluff the first half of the bow. Check to see if the “Pinch” area is neat and fancy. Fuss with the “Left Tie End” twisting it back into place, as it will sometimes turn toward the back.
Step 9: Continue “Pinching” and holding the folded ribbon to keep the “Knot” nice and neat. Start feeding the folded ribbon through the “Knot”.
Step 10: Shove the folded ribbon into the “Knot” opening, and slowly release “The Pinch”. Grab the ribbon and pull it through the “Knot”, in a slow manner.
Step 11: You can do this! Don’t be in a hurry as you don’t want things to get all twisted and for the “Knot” to get smashed and wrinkled in an ugly way.
Step 12: Start opening up the “2nd Loop” of the bow.
Step 13: Straiten the “Tie End”. You may have to twist it to the front. This is a good time to adjust that “2nd Loop” to the size you are happy with. Make the “Loop” smaller by pulling on the “Tie End”. Make the “Loop” larger by pulling the top side of the “Loop”.
Step 14: Now it looks like the “Left Tie End” has become a little short, take time to pull it to make it longer, and adjust and re-fluff the “First Loop”.
Step 15: Continue to pull and adjust your bow, by fluffing the “Loops”, while twisting and straitening the “Tie Ends”. Don’t bully the bow…gently twist and pull on the “Loops and Tie Ends”. The following steps is what makes your bow pretty. If using glitter ribbon it can be a little hard, but with a little work it can be done. You can do this!
1. If the “Loops” are too big, just pull the “Tie Ends” to make them smaller.
2. If the “Tie Ends” are too short, pull on the top layer of the “Loops” and re-fluff them.
When the bow looks the size you want, grab both “Loops” and give it a pull to tighten the “Knot”, just like when you are tying your shoes. The first time you tighten the bow, it may not look as pretty as you want. Just keep repeating Steps 1 & 2 that are just above this paragraph, and keep tightening, until the bow looks pretty!
Step 16: Keep working with your bow pulling and twisting the “Loops” and “Ties”, and tightening the “Knot”. You can also pinch the “Knot” to make it smaller if you need. Now this a NICE looking bow…except for the upside down BEARS!!! No worries, I will untie this bow and start over! Word of Caution…if there is a print on the ribbon make sure it is positioned correctly when making the “1st Loop”.
Step 17: Let’s trim the “Tie Ends”! Bring the right “Tie End” over to the left “Tie End” and use it as a guide to cut off the extra amount of ribbon. PERFECT! Attach the bow to a crocheted handbag, hat, basket or wherever you think a bow would look nice! Sign up to my website, as I will be showing you how to add a clip to make this into a hair bow at a later date! EASY PEASY! The sign up box is on the right side bar, just below my picture.
If the bow you made is too big for your project, as pictured below, you can always turn this into a “Tuxedo Bow”.
Tuxedo Bow Instructions
Step 1: Keep pulling on the “Tie Ends” to make the “Loops” smaller, making sure to fuss with it so the loops are pretty. Twist and push the “Tie Ends” so that they are directly under the “Loops”.
Step 2: Trim the Tie Ends to the length you want.
Step 3: There you have it! A cute little Tuxedo Bow! I highly recommend gluing or sewing the “Tie Ends” to the “Loops” of the bow.
Step 4: Attach to your project…PERFECT!
Maybe you don’t like big bows. Use a smaller ribbon to make a pull tie bow.
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