Tying Decorative Bows for Wreaths

Creating and tying decorative bows for wreaths is perhaps the most important part of wreath-making. Not only does the bow add a distinct personality to each wreath, but it is also the perfect way to hide flaws in the wreath, such as holes or broken stems.

Choosing Ribbons and Bows
Choosing ribbons and bows to use in your wreath will depend entirely upon the color of the accessories you use in the wreath. If you are using yellow and orange flowers, you may want to incorporate a plaid or striped ribbon that has yellow and orange, or at least some variations of those two colors, in its design. You may also want to use a ribbon that picks up the colors of the room you plan to hang it in, with only a slight hint of the yellow and orange in it.

The best ribbons to use when making wreath bows are ribbons that are reinforced with wire. This type of ribbon can be bent or fluffed to specification. Even if the bow is bent, the wire ribbon can be shaped back into its original position easily.

Once you've decided on the color or print of ribbon you want to use, make sure you have enough ribbon to finish the bow or bows before you begin. A good sized bow for a door wreath will require approximately two to three yards of ribbon-about two yards for the bow and about a half yard to a yard for the tail.

How to Make Wreath Bows
Cut the length of ribbon desired (One roll of holiday ribbon is usually enough for one bow and tail). Cut two 12" pieces of florist's wire as well.

Make a loop of ribbon that is about ten inches in length. Continue making loops (one on top of the other) by layering the ribbon back and forth, making each successive loop slightly smaller. Hold the loops in place with one hand and loop with the other, or use a paper clip to hold the stack of loops in place, while you continue working on the bow.

When you have come to the end of your ribbon yardage, make the final loop smaller. This loop will serve as the center loop of the bow.

Wrap the center of the first wire around the center of the bow. Hold the bow and wire securely in one hand while you twist the two ends of wire together securely at the back. Fold the last loop back to make the center loop. At this point, the wire should be hidden beneath the small loop and both ends of the wire should be sticking out of the back. Set aside.

Use the second piece of wire to attach the tail to the bow. To form the two tails, fold the ribbon in half and twist the middle portion of the wire tightly around the fold in the ribbon. The finished piece will have two tails hanging down and two six inch pieces of wire attached to the middle of the tail. Separate the two wires and insert both pieces into the small loop in the bow. As you wrap the wire around the middle of the bow, make sure the tails hang down from the front of the bow before you twist the wires together securely at the back.  Don't worry if the wires are showing. The middle loop of the bow should cover this area nicely.

Fluff the loops out and use the wire at the back of the bow to secure the bow to the wreath. For a particularly thick wreath, you may need to use an additional length of wire.

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