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How to: Tie a dress bow

October 3, 2008
tags: , , ,

Tying a fancy bow (in comparison to the way you tie your shoelaces) is one of those skills, like tying a necktie, that I think all grownups should have. Yes, even you men. You never know when a daughter or niece will ask you to tie her dress bow for her! This is a relatively simple skill to learn. 

I’ve chosen to show you on a satin sash, although a stiffer fabric like taffeta will hold the bow better.

Step 1

Step 1





Step 1: Cross the right ribbon under and over the left ribbon. You can do this the other way as well, but will have to switch all the following instruction from left to right or vice versa. I find it easiest to tie the bow with the left side on the bottom. 




Step 2

Step 2






Step 2: Form a loop (Loop 1) with what is now the left ribbon. The bottom of the ribbon should be hanging from the underside of the loop (form a loop down rather than up).




Step 3

Step 3







Step 3: Bring the right ribbon up and over the left ribbon, taking it around the underside of Loop 1. Then, push the ribbon in your right hand through the space behind Loop 1.


Step 4

Step 4









Step 4: This is what the bow should look like once you’ve pushed the ribbon through to the left side.

Step 5

Step 5









Step 5: Tighten the bow by pulling both loops. Adjust the loops until they look they way you want. You may also have to adjust and smooth the middle knot until it covers the ribbon behind it. 

You are now finished! Enjoy!


Note: This will take lots of practice if you wish to tie the bow while the dress is on you. Teach a friend and have them tie your bow!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. cafeconkelsey permalink
    October 3, 2008 2:28 pm

    i don’t get it. can you be more specific and provide more images, please?

    also, pretty dress.

  2. Colette permalink
    October 9, 2008 10:58 pm

    My, where did you learn to tie such a perfect bow?

  3. Jess permalink*
    October 9, 2008 11:01 pm

    From you, of course, my darling Mother!

  4. Sara permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:22 pm

    Thanks I’m going to try this 🙂
    I don’t really get step 3 though..

  5. Cougar Fan in the Stands permalink
    November 28, 2009 9:33 pm

    That was amazingly easy!!!! Thank you so much for the pictures, as they definitely helped me understand exactly what I needed to do! Now my daughter’s Christmas dress is going to look great!!! She didn’t understand that she didn’t need to untie the bow when she tried it on…but your posting helped me fix it!!! Thanks again!

  6. December 12, 2009 9:45 pm

    Thank you so much! These instructions were so simple! I had to untie my 5 month old’s bow to get the dress on and couldn’t figure out how to get it back together. You are awesome!

  7. March 2, 2010 5:43 pm

    Thanks so much for the instructions! I make tiny doll clothes and a dress I am working on has a bow in the back and my bows were always pathetic! Now – it’s a pretty bow – thanks to your post!



  8. March 8, 2010 3:10 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well explained – what a life saver – only spot on the web I found I could UNDERSTAND!

  9. Melissa permalink
    March 13, 2010 2:50 am

    Thank you so much! You have helped me with with your instructions! I can know tie a perfect ribbon bow. 🙂 ❤

  10. maruy permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:25 pm

    just sent my daughter off to her first dance with a beautifully tied bow – simple clear instructions, Thanks!!!

  11. Biafer permalink
    September 22, 2010 1:18 pm

    This is fanatastic… it is the only site that has explained it to me in such a way that i understand EXACTLY how to do it… Thank You, you’ve saved my life!

  12. Lisa permalink
    October 6, 2010 9:33 pm

    Thank you so much! I have two older sons so I never knew how to do girly things. Washed my 6 month old daughters dress and couldn’t re-tie the bow, ask my husband, I was getting very frustrated! Thank you for your instructions!

  13. lilynyan permalink
    January 1, 2012 10:38 pm

    thankyou very much for showing this very simple tips….

  14. Tee permalink
    February 6, 2012 6:57 pm

    I can make the bow, but it still looks pretty ugly 😦

  15. December 31, 2012 3:10 am

    Reblogged this on Harley in Wonderland and commented:
    Did a google search on how to tie a bow on a dress and this came up. VERY helpful! I have never learned how to tie a bow before now and I couldn’t be happier. ^_^

  16. July 21, 2013 3:52 am

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

  17. Grumpy permalink
    July 27, 2013 7:27 am

    sooooooo hardddd


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