How Much Ribbon Do I Need?

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One of the first questions that comes to mind when you’re planning to use personalized ribbons is “how much ribbon do I need?”. If you’re putting a two-loop bow on a small favor, the answer is very simple: you need one ribbon for each favor.

set sail favor ribbon

favor ribbon is printed at a fixed length with text on the left and right ends


But,when you’re wrapping larger favors or gift packages, finding out how much ribbon you’ll need to wrap each one will take a bit more work.

The only way to accurately determine how much ribbon you’ll need to wrap your boxes is to tie a practice bow around your box with ribbon in the same width as the ribbon you plan to order. For near-perfect accuracy, it’s best to use ribbon in the same fabric as the ribbon you plan to use. For example, if you’re planning to wrap your boxes with a satin ribbon, use a satin ribbon for taking measurements; using a ribbon in a different fabric instead would reduce the accuracy of your measurement.

Tying a practice bow with the right ribbon entirely eliminates guesswork and calculations from the process, and allows you to experiment with different bow styles before finalizing a personalized ribbon order.

It can be tempting to skip the practice bow and order ribbon using a guesstimate based on your box dimensions, but there’s one major pitfall to that approach. Many new bow-tiers forget that you need more than just the ribbon to wrap around the dimensions of the box, you need ribbon to make the bow, too! Unless you’re experienced at tying bows, it’s difficult to estimate how much ribbon is required to make the loops on your bow without actually tying a bow. The ribbon’s width and fabric type, combined with your own bow tying style, will create variations in this measurement.

We’ve put together a collection of photos of common favor box sizes, wrapped in various ribbon widths, to help anyone in the planning stages of a favor wrapping project get a general idea of ribbon wrapping patterns and ribbon lengths. This is a good place to get started if you’re still narrowing down the size of favor box you want to give, too! You can click each photo for a much larger view.

two inch cube box wrapped with ribbon

This two-piece favor box is a 2″ cube. It’s wrapped with 3/8″ wide Regal Choice personalized ribbon. The ribbon crosses the box twice and has a two-loop bow at the top. The ribbon shown in this photo is 32″ long.

truffle box favors

These chocolate truffles are packaged in a 3.5″ x 2.25″ x 1.25″ box. The plum Wedding Bells ribbon shown here is 5/8″ wide. The ribbon crosses the box twice and is tied into a two loop bow. The ribbon is 36″ long.

large truffle box wrapped with ribbon

This large box of truffle fudge measures 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 1.25″. The plum Wedding Bells ribbon shown here is 5/8″ wide. The ribbon crosses the box twice and is tied into a two-loop bow. The ribbon is 46″ long.

two inch communion favor box with ribbon

This 2″ cube box is wrapped with 7/8″ wide personalized Communion ribbon. The ribbon wraps the box once and is tied into a two-loop bow. The ribbon measures 28″ long.

4x4 box wrapped with thank you

This box is a 4″ cube. The teal Bold Thank You ribbon shown here is 7/8″ wide. The ribbon crosses the box twice and is tied into a two loop bow. The ribbon is 54″ long.

At our online store, all continuous printed ribbon styles are sold by the yard with a low minimum, so you can add “just a bit more” to your order, just in case you have a few extra boxes to wrap. When you place your order, just enter the total yardage you’ll need in the quantity field. Unusual yardages are fine, so whether you need 53 yards or 5553, you can specify exactly what you need.

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