A single bow can turn a cake into a showstopper—especially if you pleat the same paper and wrap it around each layer. And while this fold is tricky, it’s worth it. The result is so eye-catching that once you master the technique, you might find yourself making bows to adorn everything from gift boxes to chair backs.

September 06, 2014
THUSS+FARRELL

THE TOOLS

  • A square piece of paper (we used a 12-by-12-inch piece to make a 6-inch-tall bow)
  • Scissors
Bryan Gardner

HOW-TO

1. Fold paper in half diagonally; unfold. Fold diagonally again from the other side; unfold. Flip paper over and fold in half vertically; unfold. Fold in half horizontally; unfold.

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2. Flip paper and pinch into a squash fold to make a flat diamond shape. Fold the top point over about 3⁄4 inch. Unfold and fold top point back to reinforce the crease.

Bryan Gardner

3. Unfold paper. Re-crease the resulting center into mountain folds. Then re-crease the two diagonal lines into valley folds.

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4. Push the sides of the center square inward into a sink fold.

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5. Fold the top layers over about 1⁄2 inch, or until they are flush with the center crease.

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6. Flip the paper over and repeat folds to make a diamond shape.

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7. Unfold (you should now see the bow's "knot" in the center).

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8. Flip paper over to reveal vertical top "wings." Cut along the outer edges of each wing until you reach the middle.

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9. Fold down top wing.

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10. Fold the side wings in until they meet in the middle, like a paper airplane. Cut both layers of the bottom wing along the creases.

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11. Separate the bottom wing into two, and then fold each side over at the top and bottom.

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12. Flip paper over and fold each bow loop into the center knot.

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Note: To create a gold border as we did in the top photo, use double-sided tape to layer a smaller strip of paper on top of a metallic one before creasing.

Bryan Gardner

THE DETAILS

Tanabata paper in pink, $5 per sheet, and "Mirri" gold foil wrap paper, $4 per sheet; nycentralart.com.

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