Each of these styles adds flair to your wrapped holiday gifts.

During the holidays, we celebrate the ties that bind. But just as exciting in our book are ties that beguile. Regardless of the ribbon material, any skillfully wrapped present can make for an extra special holiday treat. A pretty, polished bow transforms any box into a special delivery. Master these three simple yet stylish techniques, and go to town with your gift toppers.

ribbons tied up in bows
Credit: Kirsten Francis


To tie a classic ribbon, make a loop at the center of a length of ribbon. Wrap the loose end of the ribbon over the loop, then push it through and pull it tight, as if tying your shoelaces. To make a double bow, leave the tails long, make another loop with one tail, and repeat the previous step.

Shop Now: M&J Trimming Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbon, 25 mm, in China Doll, $4 per yd., mjtrim.com. East Coast Trimming Vintage Red-Striped Velvet Ribbon, $50 per yd., eastcoasttrimming.com.


To tie a ribbon sash, cut a length of ribbon. Fold the ends into the center, right-side facing out; secure with glue. Repeat the previous step with shorter lengths to make tiered loops. (If using double-sided ribbon, simply fold one long piece accordion-style.) Wrap the center with ribbon; secure with glue. Glue one or two more lengths of ribbon underneath for the tails.

Shop Now: M&J Trimming Swiss Velvet Ribbon, 22 mm, in Red, $2 per yd., mjtrim.com. East Coast Trimming Horizontal-Striped Velvet Ribbon, in Burgundy, $12.50 per yd., eastcoasttrimming.com.


To tie a rosette, fold a length of ribbon accordion-style into a stack, with as many layers as you like. The more layers, the more loops your bow will have. Cinch the middle of the stack with wire, and twist to secure. Cover the wire with more ribbon if desired (just glue it in back), and fluff the loops.

Shop Now: Timeless Trims Double-Sided Velvet Ribbon, 10 mm, in Mauve Pink, $7 per yd., timelesstrims.com. M&J Trimming Striped Velvet Ribbon, 50 mm, in Red, $4 per yd., mjtrim.com.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2019


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