Drawing Bows for a Layout

Hello!  Drawing bows is simple.  All you need to do is draw a few simple shapes, then voila, you have a bow.

Drawing Bows

There are lots of styles of bows, however we’ll focus on how to draw two basic bows with two different types of tails.

Bows are simple shapes grouped together.  Drawing bows becomes a breeze when you draw one simple shape at a time.

Single Bow

Drawing bows with a single loop is a snap, so we’ll start there.

Draw the Knot First

Begin by drawing the knot on a watercolor paper with a PITT pen.  Draw an open parenthesis shape, then a short distance away a closed parenthesis shape.  It should look like this (     ).  Connect the top and bottom with a line, and the knot is complete.

Drawing the Loops

At the top left corner of the knot draw a tear drop shape, then repeat on the top right.

Now, draw a line from the middle bottom of the tear drop to the bottom corner of the knot on each side.  Finally, add a line with a slight curve coming from each side of the knot.  Wasn’t that easy!

Multiple Loop Bows

Drawing bows with multiple loops is very similar to drawing a single loop.  Since it’s part of the background paper, I drew the bow with a PITT pen on a watercolor block.  The previous bow was drawn with PITT pen on a sheet of watercolor paper, because I planned to fussy cut it.

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

Begin with the Knot

Start exactly like the single loop bow, by drawing the knot first.  Remember the knot is just an open and closed parenthesis connected at the top and bottom with a line.

Drawing Multiple Loops

Next, draw a tear drop shape to the each side, just as you did with the single loop bow.  Here is where things change.  Draw a line from the middle bottom of the tear drop to the middle of the knot. Then draw a line from the bottom of the loop to the center of the knot.  Continue in this pattern until you have drawn the desired number of loops.  The bottom loop will connect into the base of the knot.  Now, repeat on the other side.

Finally, add a line with a slight curve to each loop on both sides.  In the above example, I drew three loops which give the bow a full look.

Drawing the Tails

There are lots of different tails you can draw on your bow.  We’ll look at two types; short tails with a V end, and long twisted tails also with a V end.

Short Tails

The most common bow tails are short single ribbon tails as seen below.

Creating Embellishment Clusters using Hand Drawn Embellishments

Drawing these basic tails is even easier than drawing the loops.  From the middle of the knot draw a sweeping line to the left with a PITT pen.  From the base of the bow loop draw another, shorter sweeping line.  Then connect the ends of the lines with an upside down V.  Repeat on the other side and your bow is complete!

Drawing Long Twisted Tails

Long twisted tails look much more complicated than they are.  Here’s all you need to do.

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

Using a PITT pen draw a long curvy line from the center of the bow knot.  Then draw a curvy line from the edge of the knot crossing the previous line in a couple of places.  Finally, connect the ends of the lines with an upside down V.  The shading as you paint these really helps the ribbon to have that twisty turn look.

The Layout

This layout is part of a two page spread.  Here’s a link to the blog post featuring the layout on the right.

Drawing banners on a scrapbook layout.

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

I really like how the mirrored bows frame the entire look.

Coordinating or Mirrored

I had to choose between using a coordinating design for this layout or simply doing a complete mirror of the first page.  As you can see, I chose the first.  Love the mirrored bows, however I didn’t want the formal look of mirrored layouts.

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

I kept the same style, but changed it up a bit.  Of course the bow, colors and flowers remain the same, but the placement is a bit different.

Center & Title Cluster

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

Love the large flower cluster between the photos, so decided to repeat that on this layout.  Using the same flowers, banners and colors really ties the two layouts together.

Bottom Cluster

Drawing Bows as embellishments for a scrapbook layout.

This cute little cluster on the bottom right helps to create a diagonal line and brings focus to the journaling.

This blog post part of a series of posts about drawing and painting your own scrapbook paper and embellishments.  You can see the other posts here.

Happy Scrapping!


Supplies Used

Below are the scrapbook products I used on this layout.  To make them easy for you to find, I have linked each of the items below.  I personally selected all of the products used in this project.  All products were purchased by me.  As always, I am not receiving a payment for doing this project or writing these blog posts.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my blog at no cost to you.

Watercolor Paint
Loew-Cornell - Simply Art - Watercolor Paint Cakes - 36 Pack

Fluid Easy-Block Watercolor Paper Blocks

Strathmore - 9 x 12 Watercolor Paper Pad - 12 Sheets

Ranger Ink - Artist Brushes - 7 Pack

Indian Ink Pen
Faber-Castell Mix and Match Collection Pitt Artist Pens Essential 4 Piece Set

Mechanical Pencil
Zebra Eco Jimnie Clip Mechanical Pencil

Prismacolor Magic Rub Eraser

Fiskars - Our Finest Scissors Collection - Number 5 Stitcher Scissors

Storage Container

Pen and Brush Case
Alvin Nylon Utility Bags

Foam Sheets
Spellbinders - 6 x 6 White Craft Foam Sheets - Platinum Pack 7

Pop Dots
Forever in Time - 3D Pop Dots - Double Sided Adhesive - 1/4 Inch - Round

Craft Mat
Ranger Ink - Inkssentials - Reusable Non Stick Craft Sheet - 15 inch by 18 inch

Paper Trimmer
Fiskars - 12 Inch Premium Cut-Line Portable Trimmer - Blade Style I

Paper Piercing Tool

Tonic Studios - Tim Holtz - Non-Stick Micro Serrated Scissors

Double Sided Tape
J and V Enterprises - Tacky Tear Tape - 1/4 Inch - 27 Yards

Scotch Adhesive Tacky Acid Free 4oz Bottle

Tim Holtz - Tools - Design Ruler

My Favorite Travel Camera

My Favorite Travel Lens

Favorite Printer

My Favorite Waterproof Camera


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