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How to Make a Tiny Bow

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Sometimes the little things are the hardest. Years ago, when I needed a tiny ribbon bow to decorate a package or an article of clothing, I struggled for hours trying to get it right. I must have wasted entire bolts of ribbon! Then I learned to do it the easy way. A tiny red bow for using on a craft project.

Approximate time needed: Five minutes.


  • nine inches of double-face satin ribbon or narrow lace


  • scissors



This little wee bow is delightful to adorn the front of a simple cami or little girl's T-shirt. Glue it onto a place card for your next holiday meal, or on the front of a handmade greeting card. You can even sew it onto a teddy bear's sweater or a doll's hat. Once you master the technique, you'll find yourself using it in lots of new ways.

  1. The only material needed to make this simple bow is nine inches of double-face satin ribbon. To discourage fraying, cut the ends at an angle with a sharp pair of scissors.
  2. To make the bow, start by thinking. That's right, thinking. Remember when you learned to tie your shoes? The first step was to cross the two laces, and then pass one underneath the other. This is called a half knot, and it's also the basis for the tiny bow. You can even practice by holding each end of the ribbon between your thumb and forefinger, crossing both ends, and passing one under the other. Just don't pull the ends too tight.
  3. Now untie it, and we'll try the "real thing."
  4. In this version of the half knot, you will cross two loops instead of two ends of ribbon. Instead of holding the two ends of the ribbon, gently fold back about three inches at each end, and hold one of these loops of ribbon in each hand. The middle of the ribbon will be hanging loose between your hands.
  5. Now cross the two loops and pass one loop under the other. Carefully pull it tight, making sure the two ends don't come through. Once you pull it tight, you will have a tiny bow.
  6. Trim the ends even, at an angle, and it's done. If you're sewing the bow on, be sure to catch all the layers of ribbon with the thread, so it doesn't come untied when it's washed.
  7. You can make the bow with quarter-inch or eighth-inch ribbon, or with narrow lace. Try using different materials for different looks. While you're at it, you might try tying some heartstrings. What a great project that would be!

By Patty Zion from PA


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By ShirleyE [3]11/22/2013

Yes - tying a bow that stays straight and has the ends pointing in the right direction has always been a problem for me - thanks for these instructions.

By Jenn (Guest Post)02/26/2009

Nice job with this bow! I just love making bows because they are so much fun and so easy to do! I learned how to make my bows at

By brittany (Guest Post)10/07/2008

Thank you! I needed a simple technique for bow ties, I'm going to use them in multiple decor projects in my 100% DIY wedding :-) These are just perfect!

By janette (Guest Post)05/31/2008

Thank you for the good instructions for making the simplest bow. It was easy to follow. Thank you.

By Harmonie (Guest Post)01/12/2008

I learned how to make bows from They show how to make SO MANY different kinds....really fun!

By Holly (Guest Post)04/15/2007

I have been doing this for years with my kindergarten class.

By Dianne (Guest Post)04/11/2007

Thank you for these instructions. I never would have thought of this method but it works perfectly.

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