Creating beautiful bows is an art that can add the perfect finishing touch to any project, whether you're styling an event, planning a wedding, or arranging a floral display. One of the most common questions we hear is, "How much ribbon do I need to make a bow?" The answer isn't one-size-fits-all; it depends on the application and the look you're aiming for. In this Ribbon Length Guide, we'll showcase the most common ribbon bows used for ribbon displays with candles and florals.

Ribbon Lengths for Bow Displays

For table displays with candles and florals, you typically won't need more than 1-yard lengths of ribbon. If you are creating a display on a ledge or mantel where the ribbon has room to drape, the ribbon length can be as long as 2-3 yards to create drama. In our featured display, we used a mantel but kept the ribbon tails shorter to achieve a delicate and understated elegance.

How to Make Your Bow

There are a few different ways to make a bow. For applications like a mantel display (and for hair bows too), I prefer the double-loop bow-making method.


  1. Cut 18-36 inches of ribbon.
  2. Form two loops, one with each end of the ribbon.
  3. Cross the loops and pull one loop through the center knot.
  4. Tighten and adjust to your desired look.

Bow Making Tips for Perfection

Choose the Right Ribbon

The type of ribbon you choose can significantly impact the final look of your bow. Silk Satin ribbons offer a luxurious shine and amazing drape for bow making, but satins can be challenging when making smaller bows. Our Classic Silk ribbons have the perfect balance of weight and drape. Unlike other silk ribbons on the market, Silk & Willow silk ribbons are crafted from the highest quality 12mm weight silk, providing the weight and body needed to hold a perfect bow. Thinner silk ribbons, create a floppy bow and don't hold up as well for ribbon displays. And, as always, we recommend staying away from plastic-based ribbons, while they may look cool and fun, it's not worth the risk to our planet. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Don't be discouraged if your first few attempts aren't perfect. Like any craft, bow making takes practice. Experiment with different ribbon lengths and types to find what works best for your specific needs.


or Make your own with our Undyed Silk Ribbons and Natural Dye Ribbon tutorial

If you have questions or assistance for selecting the perfect ribbon for your project, reach out, we'd love to hear from you!