When it comes to making a bow for the Christmas wreath, the easier the better. Over the years I have made many bows for wreaths that decorated my house, homes of relatives, friends, and even wreaths that are placed in the cemetery, on graves of loved ones who have passes away. On all those wreaths, I wanted a bow that looked good, and could take the elements like whipping wind and snow. So here is how I make the No tie bows
Step 1 ..Making your bow’s loops Think about where on your fresh evergreen, or fluffed up fake / artificial wreath, that you want to have your bow. It could be at the top, left or right sides, or the bottom, the choice is yours. The choice you make is not carved in stone, so you can change later if you like.
Let’s pretend you want to position the bow at the wreath’s top, like I did in illustration 1. Start by working with a 2 inch wide strip of ribbon, (you can go wider or narrower, according to how big / wide a bow you want) not cut from your spool. To figure out how large a bow you want, make a test sized loop on the left side of your wreath. In this case I started my test loop at the exact top center. Notice in illustration 1 how I left an inch or so of “tail” to the right of center, as I fashioned the left loop. You will also need to have an inch or so of tail on the end of the second loop that you make for the right side of your bow.
After deciding how big you want to make the left loop, put your finger on the spot, where the center of the bow would be, and with ribbon still attached to the spool, double the length of the ribbon, so you will have equal sized loops on both sides, when you make the bow. If it takes 15 inches of ribbon to make the loop for the left side, you will be doubling that length to 30 inches to make your bow.
Step 2 ..Now look at illustration 2. All ribbon has a good side and a back side. Look at how I have the good side facing outward as I formed the loop. Also notice the tails of the ribbon are both at the right and left of center.
At the exact center, using a piece of florist wire, crimp and tie the bow loop, which will form the two loops of your bow (illustration 2B). Twist your wire around the bow’s center a couple of times to properly secure it.
Step 3 ..Making your Bow’s Streamers Lay your wreath on a flat surface, then place the two loops you just made, where you think they will be positioned, when your wreath is finished. Take ribbon from the spool, and starting on the left side, where the streamer would end, bring it up to the center, under the bow, and back down on the right. Then cut it off (see illustration 3).
Take that strip of ribbon and fold it in half. Make sure the good side is facing front on both streamers. Fold it as shown in illustration 3. With a piece of florist wire, long enough to go around your wreath, first wire the streamer to the center of your bow. and then wire the bow to your wreath (illustration 3B).
A Variation on the NO tie bow ..Step 1 Make two sets of bows the same size, as I did in Step 1. Place one bow over the other as in illustration 4. Wire the two together in the center. Wire a flat plastic Christmas decoration (snowflake, bell, etc), some bulbs, or even a pine cone in the center to cover up the place where you fastened the two sets of loops together (illustration 4A). With a long piece of florist wire attach it to your wreath.
Step 2 ..Make two separate streamers like illustration 5. Take your ribbon, cut the length you want, fold and cut a fancy edge on one end, and crimp and wire the other. After that wire the streamers up under the bow, attach them to the evergreen tips of your wreath.
To keep your NO tie bow’s streamers in place, run a piece of florist wire from an evergreen tip, over your streamer, and then attach it to another tip (see illustration 6).
Finally (illustration 7), if you have extra ribbon left over, cut strips 5 to 6 inches long. Fold then in half. Cut 4 lines through the ribbon, going from the outside edge toward the center. Stop at 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the center fold. With your ribbon’s good side facing inward, crimp and tie it with florist wire on the center line. You will be making a flower of sorts. A single strip of ribbon works fine when it is 5 inches long. Two strips of ribbon cut and placed one on top of another (good side up), and tied make a fuller floret / spider. This looks exceptionally well when you use 6 inch strips (see illustration 7B).
On many of my wreaths, I put one big bow at the top, and many small florets / spiders down and around the center. This is an inexpensive way of decoration a real wreaths, and you can throw the whole thing away at the end of the season.
So there you have it, the NO tie bow. My instructions are just a starting point of basics. You can modify them. For instance, you can make the bow part out of many thin strips of ribbon, versus one thick strip. Instead of making one loop and tying it off, make three loops or more, all the same size, one inside of the other, and tie them off.
You could make the Two Bowbow, and add many single loops around it. Just do Step 1. Make the left loop, cut it off, and wire it. Many single loop put around a main bow would be quite showy. You could also use single loops (made smaller) as decorations down and around the center of your wreath. Have them pointing upward, or all the same way, tucked under the greenery.
Look at professionally made wreaths at green shows, florist stores and craft fairs. You will see that the bows are all variations of the same thing. Just let your imagination go wild, and don’t be afraid to fail, you won’t. Just play with things until you get them looking the way you want. Happy Bow Making and Decorating!
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