One of the most asked questions I get asked on our gift wrapping workshops is “How do you tie the perfect bow?”. We all have our own way of tying a shoelace or a bow and through my experience of teaching gift wrapping, I’ve found it’s very hard to change your technique after tying the same bow all of your life
I did a day skipper sailing course several years ago and thought the knot tying part would be so easy. To my horror I failed my knot exams and was all fingers and thumbs. Although I had to resit the exam, it gave me food for thought and made me realise that many people will struggle to tie the perfect bow.
I have seen so many ways of tying a bow and my advice is to use the same technique that you’ve used all of your life with a couple of changes that will help you enormously. Many of us tie a loop at a time, however some will form 2 loops and tie them together (known as the bunny ears). During my workshops I have seen many different techniques and everyone can tie the perfect bow.
The ideal bow should resemble a perfect angled letter ‘X’ so it is a good idea to imagine this X and follow the outline as you are tying your bow. The 2 loops should be at 10 and 2 o’clock and the 2 tails should sit at 8 and 4 o’clock.
The critical point is the part just before you pull the bow tight. Take a pause and look at the outline of your bow. This will give you a chance to re arrange the bow so the loops and tails are in the correct position. If your bow looks messy or out of proportion, if you rush ahead and pull the bow tight it will still look a mess and out of proportion.
Another helping hand is to choose a double sided ribbon that has the same finish on both sides. Many of my students say that tying a wired ribbon is a lot easier. If you are working with a printed ribbon like this turquoise spotty design, ensure that you twist the ribbon to the correct side as you tie your bow.
For lots more bow techniques and gift wrapping projects, grab a signed copy of my new book ‘giftwrapped‘
Happy bow tying!