How to Make Wedding Bows

Kate Miller-Wilson
Bows at a wedding

Knowing how to make a bow can help you save money on decorations and create a gorgeous atmosphere at your wedding ceremony and reception. DIY wedding bows are easier than you think, and you can use them to decorate pews, gazebos, chairs, and even the champagne glasses.

How to Make Pew Bows With Flowers

Pew bows can add color and style to your ceremony, and they are easy to make. This design uses wired ribbon, which lets you create a gorgeous, voluminous decoration without a lot of complicated tying. Before you start, you'll need a count of the number of pews at the venue so you can plan for the materials you'll need.

Things You'll Need

For each pew bow, gather the following:

  • 2 1/2 yards six-inch-wide, wired organza ribbon
  • One rose or other large bloom
  • Baby's breath or other filler flowers or greenery
  • Floral tape and wire
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

What to Do

  1. Visit the venue to determine how you'll be attaching the bows. Most pews have a place to loop the ribbon. Measure the place you'll be looping the ribbon so you know how big to make the loop.
  2. Cut the rose's stem about six inches long. Arrange the baby's breath behind it and trim the stem to match. Use floral tape to wrap the stems together.
  3. Fold the ribbon in half. Make a loop slightly larger than you'll need to attach it to the pew, and tie a simple knot. If you will be wiring the bow on the pew, just make a very small loop through which you can string the wire.
  4. Spread the two ribbon ends apart at the knot. Place the flowers at the knot. Use a little floral wire to tightly attach them to the knot in the ribbon.
  5. Fold one end of the ribbon to make a loop about eight inches long. Wrap the other end around it and tie a simple bow over the flowers. Adjust the loops to the desired length.
  6. Cut the ribbon ends at an angle to give them a finished look. They should not quite touch the floor.

How to Make Chair Bows for Your Wedding

Chair bows can add color and beauty to your reception, and they are easy to make once you know how. Choose organza or tulle ribbon in your wedding colors. This design is for a four-loop bow, but you can add more loops if you desire a fuller decoration. The process is the same.

Things You'll Need

Chair Bows

For each chair bow, gather the following:

  • Four yards six-inch-wide tulle or organza ribbon
  • 12-inch piece of wire
  • Scissors

You'll also need a sample chair to work with if you plan to make the bows ahead of time.

What to Do

  1. Cut the ribbon into two two-yard pieces.
  2. Loop one ribbon around the chair with the ends at the back. Tie the ends together so the chair is wrapped snuggly.
  3. Starting two feet from the end of the other piece of ribbon, pinch the ribbon between your fingers to make a loop with a two-foot tail.
  4. Make another same-sized loop on the other side, pinching to hold that in place two. You now have two loops and one tail.
  5. Create another same-sized loop on each side. Wrap the wire piece around the spot you are pinching to hold the loops in place. Twist until you can't see the wire and the loops won't move.
  6. Use the wire ends to attach the bow to the ribbon you tied to the chair in Step 2. Tuck the ends out of sight.
  7. Trim the four ribbon ends at an angle at the desired length.

Other Ways to Make and Use Bows

You can make a basic bow out of any type of ribbon, or if you're feeling extra crafty or know a seamstress, you can sew fabric bows to use in your decor. Either way, there are several other places to use bows in your wedding decorating.

Champagne and Wine Glasses

Bow on champagne glass

You can decorate glass stems with bows. This is a great way to make the bride and grooms' glasses special. Simply wrap the stem in a piece of clear, double-sided tape. Then tie the ribbon around the tape and make a basic bow.

Gazebos and Arches

If you'll be getting married under an outdoor structure, you can use bows to decorate a gazebo or wedding arch. Make basic pew bows with small loops and use floral wire to attach the bows to the gazebo pillars.

Head Table or Alter

A bow can add a ton of style and beauty to the head table and help set it apart, and it's also a great way to decorate the alter at your ceremony. Simply attach the bow to the table cloth or alter using safety pins. You can then drape the ends along the edge of the table and pin them in place for a dramatic decoration.

Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a great way to thank guests for coming, and boxed favors look even prettier with a nice bow. Learn how to make three different kinds of gift bows to give your favors a custom look.

Bows Give Creative Choices

Making wedding bows gives you lots of creative choices for your ceremony and reception. By choosing ribbon and tulle in the colors you want, you can provide a beautiful, thematic look for your event that you and your guests will remember forever.

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How to Make Wedding Bows