I’m not totally 100% sure but I’m pretty 99% sure that this is our most asked question in the Store-
Can you please show me
how to tie a perfect bow?
Yes, everyday we get asked that question. Actually, several times a day. And after many years of being asked, we came up with the easiest way we could show our customer how to tie a perfect bow.
It’s called the Cheater Bow.
If you follow the simple steps below carefully, you will know how to tie the perfect bow.
Every time. For sure. No doubt about it.
Yes, even if you can’t tie bows. You WILL be able to with the Cheater Bow.
In fact, we’ll show you how to tie 3 super easy Cheater Bows!
Does the bow in the above photo look perfect to you?
Well, it’s a Cheater Bow! In fact, it’s a Layered Cheater Bow. We’re so confident that you’ll be able to master the Single Cheater Bow that we’re even going to show you how to make a Double one AND a Layered one!
Are you ready??
Let’s learn how to tie the perfect bow!
#1. How to tie the perfect bow – Single Cheater Bow
For our sample above, we used a satin ribbon that is 1 1/2″ wide. You can use any ribbon you would like, wired or unwired, in any width.
Take your length of ribbon, place it on your work surface and form it to resemble the Breast Cancer ribbon shape. You should have a loop at the top, 2 tails at the bottom and an intersection where the 2 tails cross each other.
Next, take the top of your loop and bring it forward so that it is behind the intersection where the 2 tails cross each other.
Measure a length of thin cord (we used tinsel cord for our sample) that will go vertically down the center of your bow. Make sure the cord is long enough to tie with. Set the cord aside for now.
Carefully, pick up your bow and pinch the center with your thumb and forefinger.
Take the precut length of cord you had set aside earlier with your other hand. Slip the cord around the center of your bow where you are holding it with your other hand. Make sure the 2 ends of the cord are at the back of the bow. Double check that the 2 bow loops are approximately the same size before you tie the cord. Secure the cord with a double knot.
Your bow should be tied tightly so it doesn’t come apart.
And there you have it – a perfect bow!
There should be enough length of cord to tie your perfect bow onto things. Use your perfect bow on gift baskets, wreaths, wedding/holiday decor and more. It’s the perfect bow on a box, too!
How to tie a perfect bow TIP–
ALWAYS remember to trim the ends of your ribbon tails! It’s that finishing touch to your perfect bow!
Ready for the Double Cheater Bow??
#2. How to tie the perfect bow – Double Cheater Bow
Now that you have mastered the single Cheater Bow, it’s time to try your hand at the double Cheater Bow…it’s the same but a little different!
The first step is similar to the single Cheater Bow. The difference this time is that you are using a longer length of ribbon. Also, the tail on the left should be much longer than the tail on the right. That means the tail on the right should be of finished length.
Take your length of ribbon, place it on your work surface and form it to resemble the Breast Cancer ribbon shape. Take the top of your loop and bring it forward so that it is behind the intersection where the 2 tails cross each other. Pinch the center of your bow with your thumb and forefinger.
Using the longer tail on the left, make a 2nd loop on the left coming around the back of the bow.
Once again, using the longer tail, bring the ribbon around to the front and across the center. This will make the 2nd loop on the right side of the bow. Be sure to really pinch the center so your bow doesn’t come apart.
You should now have 2 loops on either side of your bow, with tails about the same length.
Take a good look at all the loops as they should be approximately the same size. If they aren’t, adjust them now before you tie your cord.
Don’t worry if you start to feel your hand cramping at this point, you’re almost done!
Take a precut length of cord with your other hand. Slip the cord around the center of your bow where you are holding it with your other hand. Make sure the 2 ends of the cord are at the back of the bow. Secure the cord with a double knot.
Remember to trim your tail ends.
Ta-da! You have successfully made a Double Cheater Bow!
You’re doing great! On to the Layered Cheater Bow.
#2. How to tie a perfect bow – Layered Cheater Bow
Now this is the easiest part!
So we have a Single Cheater Bow on the left and a Double Cheater Bow on the right.
Place the Single Cheater Bow on top of the Double Cheater Bow, as shown in the above photo. Take the cord from the Single bow and tie it around the back of the Double bow, tying the 2 bows together. You should now have 4 tails of cord at the back of your Layered bow. At this point, you can trim 2 of the tails but leave the other 2 for attaching your bow.
Your Layered Cheater Bow is now ready to be attached to anything you would like, including a gift bag, as in the above photo.
It would even be the perfect bow on a dress for a flower girl!
In this photo, for the bag on the left, we made the Single Cheater bow with a wider ribbon and the Double Cheater Bow using a narrower ribbon. The same steps are involved just a slight variation in the ribbon widths.
Now that you know how to tie a perfect bow, you will find all sorts of ways to use your Cheater Bows! Because a Cheater Bow is perfect every time, these are ideal bows for when you are doing many of the same gifts and need consistency in the presentation.
You can even use personalized ribbon for your Cheater Bows, as we did in the above and below photos.
Cheater bows really are the most perfect bow for a gift basket too! You can easily make them any size to suit any basket. For this photo, we made a Triple Cheater Bow. Use the same steps as the Double Cheater Bow, just add 1 more loop to either side of your bow. Remember to give yourself enough ribbon length for the extra loops.
Now that you know how to tie a perfect bow, practice, practice, practice! it’s like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets. If you get a little rusty though, come back here and follow our super easy instructions for the perfect bow!