1. Get yourself a big roll of ribbon
, about an inch wide, in a color that matches your wrapping paper
. Okay, or doesn't, if you're into that.
2. Coil it around your hand about 15 or so times, so it's all in one neat roll. Not around your wrist, you won't be able to get it off! Yes. Good.
3. The width of the coil when you press it flat will be about the diameter of the bow, so make it wide enough that the proportions are aesthetically pleasing when you take into consideration the size of the package and the width of the ribbon.
And when I say aesthetically pleasing, I am referring to the aesthetic sensibilities of the person who, god help them, will be receiving this gift. Generally, the narrower the ribbon, the smaller you should make the bow. Six inches is probably a good start.
4. When you have enough, cut the ribbon off the spool.
No, cut it at a diagonal. It looks more lovely that way. Yes. Very nice.
5. Press the coil flat so it looks like one long strip, then double it over.
6. Diagonally trim just the very corners of the doubled end, but make sure not to cut too much, or your bow will break in half and you'll have to start all over again.
What did I tell you? Okay, go back to one. I'll wait.
7. Right. Now, unfold the strip. You should have a slightly hourglass shape in the middle. Good.
8. Now, get the package. I assume you've put a ribbon around it and left a few inches where it crosses on top.
No, that's fine, I don't mind. Let me know when you've got it. Okay, grea--no. On the top. The bow will get squished if you put it on the bottom.
9. All right, that's better. Now use the ends of the ribbon on the package to tie on your coil of ribbon. Tie around the hourglass part.
You see how that keeps it from wrinkling? Nifty.
10. Now here's the fun part. You should have a little bunch of loops on either side. Start separating the loops on one side, and alternately pull one up and one down until you have fluffed the whole side. Excellent! Amazing.
11. Do the same thing with the other half of the bow. What you should have is a puffball-looking thing tied on top of your gift.
Yes, I see, it is a bit lopsided, but what do you expect. It's your first try. Just pull the loops around a little bit until it's nice and round. Good.
12. Now go bother someone else. I have a headache.