How To Make a Burlap Bow

How To Make a Burlap Bow


Yesterday I  bought Bok Choy.



I know that has absolutely nothing to do with how to make a burlap bow….but I really like to work my Bok Choy purchase into conversation.

You see….yesterday I started trying to eat healthy.


It’s a big stretch for someone who eats gas station pizza and Pringles and the leftover piece of Chicken McNugget and two french fries from the Happy Meal.

But the thing about me….is I just can’t do anything half-way.

So I deleted the gas station number from my phone…..kissed the Pringles can goodbye and filled my grocery cart with carrots and celery and cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes and zucchini and apples and oranges and bananas…..

….and Bok Choy.

I have no idea how to eat it.

I have no idea how to cook it.

I just really like to say it and talk about it and mention casually to random people in the aisles of Wal-Mart that I’m buying it.

I’ll keep you posted on my Bok Choy journey.


How To Make a Burlap Bow

(otherwise known as what I was doing instead of cooking Bok Choy)



Burlap Ribbon 

Florist Wire


Step 1:  Find your ribbon

I know.


I added this step because there are so many different types of burlap ribbon.  Wired, non-wired, big, small, medium, printed, colored.  The burlap ribbon makers are working overtime.

For this project, I selected a really big ribbon with a small print on it.  The bigger ribbon makes it so much easier to make a bow that’s fluffy and looks so much harder to make than it actually is.

Just my burlap ribbon .02.

make-bows (2)

Step 2:  Fold ribbon

Decide how wide you want your bow to be and fold the ribbon halfway.

The end of the ribbon is where the center of your bow will be.


Step 3:  Continue folding the ribbon

Each time you make a fold….make it just a little smaller than the previous fold.

Cut last fold of ribbon so it ends in the center.

For ribbon as large as the one I selected….I usually make three folds.

If your ribbon is smaller, you will want to make more folds to make the bow fluffier.


Step 4:  Wrap florist wire

In the center of the folds, wrap a piece of florist wire around the burlap.

Tie it off as tightly as you can.


Step 5:  Wrap center

Wrap the center of the bow with a piece of burlap and fasten at the back of the bow.

Make sure you cut it long enough so that the bow has “tails” after you wrap the center.


Step 6:  Fluff

This is my favorite part.

This is the part where the bow comes alive.

You twist the folds this way and that….until you have the exact look you want.

The wonderful thing about burlap is because it is so thick….it holds its shape really well.


Burlap bows really are amazing.

I have them all over the house…..on wreaths or mantels or vases or pillows or slip covers.

Burlap and Bok Choy.

Me and my new healthy self are going to be the talk of the county. 🙂

For even more burlap inspiration….check out the rest of my burlap projects here.


If you want to see how I made my etched monogrammed vase….click here!

 For more monogrammed projects….be sure to check out my monogram projects page.

PS  I get asked all the time which is the best ribbon to make the bow.  Here’s a link to some inexpensive burlap ribbon that would be perfect (please note this is an affiliate link):

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  1. Love your mantel display, so clean and fresh. The pallet art is so interesting, the little houses are so cute!

  2. Hi KariAnne,
    Your mantel is just lovely! And thanks so much for the bow tutorial.
    Wishing you a beautiful day,
    Pieced Pastimes

  3. Your mantel is amazing. Thanks so much for the how-to. The bows look hard to make, but now I think I could do it 🙂

  4. Easy peasy! Just like I like it! Hope to join the hang out this afternoon — we’ll see how my school day goes!
    xo Heidi

  5. I am a very healthy eater (I drink juice I make with dandelion greens every morning), but I have never cooked with bok choy. I do think it is very impressive though that you shared it with random people in Walmart. I bet they are out buying bok choy now too. Love the bows. I’ve been wanting to make some and now I can. xo Laura

    • Bok Choy is so great in stir-fry with onions, garlic, broccoli , carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, etc. Add soy sauce and a little ginger and it’s better than Chinese take-out!

  6. Love the bow! Bok choy….I don’t know. I might have to give both items a try! Have a super day!

  7. Beautiful, soft and rustic at the same time. Your pictures are always so crisp and the light is even. I feel like I’m always fighting a glare somewhere.
    p.s. bok choy…maybe saute with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper? Nice and simple and yummy 🙂

  8. HAHAHA, YOU are so stinking funny. I was eating my McDonalds Bacon Egg and Cheese biscuit while reading about your bokchoy. I’ll keep my bacon thank you. I do enjoy your wit. By the way, please explain the wooden thing on your mantel. It’s cute.
    Have a lovely day.

  9. Just found your blog and LOVE LOVE it! Your mantel is gorgeous.

  10. I perceive bok choy to be an elegant vegetable…just thought that I’d put that out there. I just like saying it…which, evidentally you did too, as you told everyone about it! Your mantle also looks elegant…it’s quite lovely! 😉

  11. Your mantel looks fabulous! Can’t wait to hear how the bok choy turns out! Wish I could make your hangout today but my daughter’s in town for a day of shopping! Have a wonderful day!!~~Angela

  12. Burlap can be so big and bunky and this tute makes it easy to make a pretty bow. Thanks so much Karianne for sharing….xoxo Love your pretty mantle

  13. LOL….that’s supposed to say “bulky” but I like that new word “bunky” 🙂

  14. You are too funny girl – pretty bows and good luck with the bok choy!

  15. Your mantel looks great and I love the bows. So simple and pretty with the texture. Bok choy is great sauteed in olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper.


  16. One of my favorite bok choy recipes is-
    The ribbons are so pretty, love the texture!

  17. BTW, love your blog. I am all thumbs with bows but might be willing to give this one a try. Nothing like including visuals with instructions – an absolute must for me !

  18. Love Love Love the bows but then again…what do you create that I don’t LOVE!!! : ) morning and hugs!

  19. Love the mantel display! The colors are so relaxing and comfortable! The chairs in front of the fireplace are gorgeous! I love the idea of the fireplace being a backdrop, instead of the chairs facing it as a focal point!!!

  20. Cute post..Love the bows..Good luck with that eating healthy stuff..I just figure it’s too late..

  21. KariAnne, So proud you are going “green”! Eating healthy seems to be easier in late spring and summer with all the great things growing. 🙂 You go girl! It’ll get easier, promise. Now for that burlap…. LOVE!! We’re on pins and needles this week because we will find out if our offer was accepted on the 150 year old homestead. I cannot wait to decorate that place! Burlap will surely be in that homes future! Sneak a prayer in for us, if you can. 😉 Have a great week!

  22. Those bows are gorgeous! & right up my alley.

  23. Can you do a tutorial on how you made your wooden mantel backdrop? I love that too!!!!

  24. My Hobby Lobby must run out of burlap ribbon as fast as they get it in…I stocked up on it the last time I went! My mom calls me the Queen of all things Burlap… it’s funny, cuz then she’ll tell me about something she’s made and she’ll slip in there that she used burlap. “Huh? You said BURLAP, mom?!” Between burlap, drop cloths and paint, I can conquer the world!!

  25. Hi Karianne, Thanks for the tutorial on burlap bows, they look beautiful with your white roses and etched vases on your gorgeous mantel. Good luck with that Bok Choy – do you ever watch the shows on the Food Network? Joyous Wishes, Linda

  26. The burlap bow is SO beautiful and I LOVE your sense of humor! Your blog is a definite read for me in the mornings! Much better than having to watch the news!!! ;-.)

  27. Bok Choy. We had it once or twice. I think my husband cut it up and put it in a stir fry. He made it…not me. I don’t remember if we liked it or not. We haven’t bought it since. Hmmm. Maybe that’s because ‘he’ hasn’t made a stir fry in a long time. Hmmm. Let me know if you like it. I might have to ask for stir fry again. With bok choy of course.
    I LOVE the mantel….the birds…the vases…the flowers…the wooden thing that looks like it has houses on it. Love it all.
    Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  28. 🙂 Luv the bow tutorial. Was just on a site looking at burlap and burlap ribbon. Thinking I need to order some. Pretty mantel !
    Once you figure out the bok choy thing let me know. I have incorporated Kale in my way of eating of late. LUV it!
    Hugs, Gee

  29. I love a good burlap bow! 1994 was a big year for me and bok choy. That and jicama. They were my university stir-fry staples. In fact, I haven’t bought either vegie since the last millenia…..thanks for the reminder. I’m having a hankering for an exotic stir fry =)

  30. I have an amazing recipe for a Bok Choy salad, I’ll try to remember to come back here with the recipe tonight after I get home. Although once you add the toppings and dressing, I’m not sure exactly how healthy it is. It sure is delicious though!

  31. Love your beautiful mantle! As for your new healthy eating plan, here’s how I use bok choy. I add coarsely chopped bok choy as my last ingredient in a stir fry. It adds a nice green colour and I find it has almost no taste and cooks quickly, so nothing to dislike! Happy healthy eating, hope you have a great day!

  32. OK, girl, you read my mind. I was in Michael’s in a MUCH larger city than I usually frequent 😉 , just last week, and wanted burlap ribbon. That’s all I really wanted. Oh, I bought a crochet hook and some yarn for when I decide to try crochet again, but what I REALLLY wanted was burlap ribbon. And I couldn’t find any.

    The moral of the story is – shop local. 🙂

    Yours is beautiful! And when you learn how to fix the bok choy, pass along the wealth of info and nutrition!

  33. I don’t even understand how I stopped up here, but I believed this post was good. I don’t realize who you might be
    but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger when you aren’t already. Cheers!

  34. I was a waitress in a chinese restaurant while in high school and college. People often asked, “What is Bok Choy?” because it was in almost everything on the menu. The answer…”Chinese cabbage” I often wonder what to do with American cabbage.

    Love the bow! And thank you so much for your tutorials from one who has actually conquered the eating healthy mountain (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon changed our lives!) but has yet to even begin climbing the dull and boring house one.

  35. Love how these came out! I love burlap so this project was right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

  36. I hope you do better with the bok choy than I did with the kale. You know “kale chips” are so delicious and healthy! I bought it, put it in the fridge, (with the best intentions) then kept moving things in front of it hoping my husband would not ask again, “so what are you going to do with that green stuff”, 2 weeks later it found its way to the trash and I feel awful! I have cooked bok choy, you can cook it the same way you cook cabbage, a little olive oil and salt and pepper and stir fry it. Your mantle is awesome, I love your bows and and birds and roses, oh my!

  37. Although I love the whole burlap bow…I am commenting on bok-chop!!

    I love it as well, and will use it in fresh flower arrangements for weddings and event designs…..better yet eat it, it’s so good for you!
    I CHOP it up the white ends that is in slices for salads, even Chinese salads Asian style, I also do it in stir fry veggies with snap peas and such over noodles, or rice.
    I love buying any Asian dressings, and making a salad adding bok-choy and mandarin oranges to the salad with a ginger sesame seed dressing yummy!

    Get creative with it you will be hooked.

    Thank you for the burlap post it’s the new Velvet 🙂

    Come visit me and my salvage post.


  38. Beautiful with à week of grâce and beauty to you with your new éating plan.

    Hères to bok-choyé !



  39. Karianne- Okay, I must confess, I’ve never been a big burlap fan. Just not my cup of tea, I suppose. But here’s the deal…..with every other blog I follow, I skip right over posts that pertain to something I’m not particularly fond of, you know, to cut down on the HOURS one could spend perusing great blogs (not that I’ve ever been guilty of that!) But I can honestly say that Thistlewood Farms is the one and only blog I religiously read each and every word of, even the posts on topics that don’t necessarily float my boat, like, say burlap and bok choy, for instance! And each and every time, I am rewarded with the smiles you always bring me, or maybe another little something in the beautiful photos (like the little white birds in your burlap bows pics) that DO speak to me, even though the star of the show on that particular post may not…or sometimes, you bring me to tears with your heartfelt stories about your children…or your honesty about your shortcomings. In other words, your blog is absolutely WORTH reading every single word of, burlap, bok choy and all! Just wanted you to know you continue to bring moments of sheer pleasure to my life with each and every post you write! Thank you, Karianne, for sharing bits and pieces of your lovely home and life with us…we southern girls ( or southern grammies, as in my case), just love you and all that you do! Fondly, Lynn in Florida

  40. Thanks so much for sharing how you make bows…maybe I will dig out some of my burlap ribbon tonight and make a new one.


  41. When you figure out what to do with Bok Choy, please let us know. Do you think it can be prepared in a mason jar? your mantel and burlap bow are exquisite!

    🙂 Linda

  42. Yay on the burlap bow! Where the heck ya been? Sobbing over the gas station pizza? 🙂 hehe. Pinning later tonight

  43. Burlap seems to work for almost any time of year, they’re just gorgeous on that mantle!! Your bows look easier to make than I thought, and I think I like the fluffing-the-bows part the best, too! Thanks, Karianne ~ Amy

  44. I LOVE burlap bows! Have you seen the GREY CHEVRON burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby? It’s beautiful!

  45. Karianne,
    Beautiful as always-a great tutorial as well! You are going to love Bok Choy!

  46. Drooling over your mantle… buying a new house and can’t WAIT to get on over there and decorate the mantle! I may just do burlap bows…

  47. I think your manel looks beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial! In the fall, I bought burlap ribbon but it was so wide, I couldn’t figure out how to make a bow with it. No matter what I tried, it looked silly. Now I know the answer…thanks!

  48. Love Bok Choy. Your mantel looks wonderful. I dig the little houses and the bows…so pretty.

  49. Karianne, your mantel is gorgeous! I have never eaten bok choy, or made a burlap bow so I need to get moving 🙂 Thank you for a great tutorial!

    xo, Tanya

  50. Ya had me at burlap..fabulous bow and display!

  51. I can’t make one of your beautiful bows, but having worked in a chinese restaurant for 3 years during college, I can cook some Bok Choyt! Try making a soup with leftover meat cut thinly in a chicken broth with sliced Bok Choy. Add chinese noodles and other veggies like green onions, water chestnuts, etc. Or stirfry as others have suggested. Bok Choy is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.

  52. Very helpful tutorial with working with that wide burlap. Thanks.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  53. Beautiful bow, beautiful mantel!!!…I have a great Bok Choy with Pringles topping recipe!

  54. Your Spring mantel looks so pretty, KariAnne.

    Now, are we going to see book choy soon?

  55. Tie that bok choy up with a pretty burlap bow and maybe I’ll try a bite!

  56. Thanks so much for the how to…I just bought ALOT of burlap…so glad you gave me one ore idea. LOVE your mantel!

  57. Oh My! Burlap & Bok Choy!! Who knew I could be so entertained by both?!! You know I love me some burlap!! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial! Good luck with your Bok Choy! I wonder how it would be roasted? I love roasted veggies almost as much as I love Burlap!! 🙂

  58. I love this! I have no idea where I will find giant burlap ribbon and then I need to find somewhere to put the bows-but I will do it. Ps-I found this link for you…cause I love you and I really want you to learn how to cook it.

    Your welcome! Happy day my friend!

  59. I’ve never cooked bok choy either, and I love cooking, especially gourmet. But I love making bows! They really are so easy and look much better than store bought ones.
    Debbie 🙂

  60. The bow And mantle are gorgeous. You love book Chou simply stir fried with a bit of sesame oil, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Throw in a bit of chicken and serve over rice for an awesome quick dinner.

  61. so simple and pretty sweet friend!

  62. Great looking bow. So tell us, where do you find your wide burlap ribbon? ‘-)
    And, we like bok choy here too.

  63. Wonderful mantle KarriAnne… and bow! Good luck with the Bok Choy! I’ve never made it either!

  64. Cheryl in Wisconsin :

    Years ago, a friend of mine gave me instructions on how to do this type of bow, they never worked out and that’s because her instructions were wrong. So I appreciate your tutorial, I can finally attempt this again and do it properly. She’ll probably try to take credit.

    I am prone to conversations with random people in WalMart also, maybe we’ve met.

    And now I’m suddenly hungry for Pringles… my brain picked up on the wrong trigger.

  65. Love it ALL! Definitely taking advantage of this tutorial Karianne! xo

  66. Karianne – Did you really buy bok choy? REALLY? I’ve never bought it myself – BUT it is absolutely my favorite vegetable right now – from the Japanese place in my town. If I could figure out how they make it – I think i would eat it every night. It’s BABY bok choy, by the way. . . I don’t know if that makes a difference. . .
    so0000 what did you do with the bok choy??


  67. You may not know how to cook Bok Choy ( I have no idea what that is btw…), but you sure do make a pretty bow and mantel! Best of luck to you on the healthy eating!

    Take care,


  68. Great tutorial … I love that printed burlap. Good luck with the bok choy! 🙂

  69. I love the white birds. Where did you get them? OR did you make them?

  70. Thank you for the bow tutorial!! I used it to make a bow for a wreath I made. It turned out positively lovely!

  71. Buy already finely chopped fresh garlic ( it makes my hands smelly so I cheat on this step)
    2 teaspoons fresh chopped tiny garlic from the refrigerator case
    small piece of fresh ginger- peel off the tan bumpy skin with a potato peeler and make tiny slivers with the peeler of ginger about a tablespoon
    Put a tablespoon olive oil – into sauté pan with garlic and ginger
    add tiny bit sea salt or whatever salt or Lawry’s you like
    fresh ground pepper cook for 3 minutes
    Wash and pat dry the bok choy during the 3 minutes and toss into the sauté pan
    If you like red bell peppers or a specific mushroom you
    can add them too chopped small and toss around.
    While the bok choy is still bright green add a tablespoon soy sauce and taste
    If you like hot add some red chili flakes or a dash of your fav hot sauce.
    Done in total 7 minutes.
    Come over I will make you strawberry rhubarb pie.
    Love the bows. Ever used potato burlap bags for projects?

  72. Thank you, KariAnne for the tutorial! I was in dire need for a burlap bow tutorial, and here you were coming to my rescue. I find it so fun when my blog friends are one {or more} steps ahead of me and give me a great tutorial. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!!

  73. Thank you for the diy on making bows from burlap. It looks super simple and yours look amazing. I love the look of your mantel; what I can see of it in the pics. I would LOVE to see a complete pic of your mantel with the flowers and bows and all. I’m very interested in the total look. You obviously have exquisite taste. Wish you lived close by and could come by and give me some pointers.

  74. Thank you for the tutorial! I also have hard time finding burlap ribbons, moreover with print. Any suggestions?

  75. Very simple, very helpful. Beautiful bow, beautiful mantle.