BowsGift Baskets

From Flat Ribbon to Beautiful Bow

Which would you rather put atop your well-designed gift basket?

A pre-made bow with a square-sticky pad on the bottom


A dazzling, multi-looped bow made by hand from ribbon on a spool?

Both bows have their place in the gift–giving world, but one brings oohs and aahs from the crowd assembled to celebrate a new baby, wedding, homecoming from the hospital, retirement, or work promotion.

Bowmaking is a unique skill, and just like gift basket making, no two are alike.

Years ago, the subject of making beautiful bows was a popular adult school course taught by me. I brought enough ribbon for up to 12 students who made four different bow styles in 90 minutes.

It was a joy to watch each student’s facial expressions turn from confusion to astonishment as bows were completed. The only students who had minor difficulties were those with hand mobility challenges. When that occurred, I provided extra help to those participants, aiding them in completing their ribbon masterpieces.

Going the distance for bows

In 1992 I traveled 3,000 miles, from New York City to Los Angeles, to learn how to make bows at a seminar taught during the California Gift Show. That show is one of many gift trade shows attended by retailers searching for new store merchandise.

The plane landed, and I immediately retrieved a car from the rental location, drove down the 110 Freeway to the gift show building, parked at the event, and arrived just in time in the room for the bowmaking class.

My first bow, made with teal-colored ribbon, was gorgeous. Days later I stepped onto the plane headed back to New York City with my purse in one hand and the bow in the other. No way was I going to crush that handmade bow in my suitcase.

Today, you don’t have to travel far to learn how to make bows for your gift baskets. Many videos are available online showing you the process in step-by-step format, including one I made featuring a one-color bow and another showing how to combine two ribbons for an extraordinary puff bow.

You might also find a teacher who, like me, will help you at an in-person class to create your own bows. Other options to learn are:

  • DVDs
  • Library demonstration
  • Craft convention
  • Television craft channel

My favorite gift basket bows has always been the puff bow, which is what I share in two videos on the Gift Basket Business YouTube channel. There are many other bow styles. Which is your favorite?

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

Leave a Response