The 5 Minute Flower Bow To Top Your (Wedding, Shower, birthday) Gifts With This Summer.

I know. You’re wrapping a shower, wedding or birthday gift and you want your present to be the most unique, prettiest present on the table.  But you don’t want to spend 700 hours twisting ribbon around your knuckles to make a bow.  Enter the 10 minute floral bouquet bow!

Top view of perennial sweet peas, sweet pea tendrils and greenery tied with twine to gift wrapped in fuchsia paper on white background.


It’s a rare project in life that is simple, easy, inexpensive AND impressive.  I mean, you can hit two or three of those things every ONCE in a while, but all 4??  That’s as rare as an unmodified Real Housewife.  None of whom are simple, easy, inexpensive or impressive by the way.

But this project, I promise, is all four of those things. 

I should like for you to prepare yourself for the adulation, cheers and mass fainting that will result after gifting someone with a floral bouquet bow.

All you need is ribbon or twine, a few flowers and a flower vial. 

Water vials of various sizes, including three clear and one translucent green vial, on white background.

These are vials that I’ve hoarded over the years and I realize it sounds odd but I think everyone should have a stash of floral vials for floral vial emergencies. I use them all the time for different things.  Stuff like these floral bows, for keeping my Monarch milkweed alive and …. O.K. well that’s all I can think of at the moment but I’m pretty sure I use them for more than that.

You should be able to buy a few from your local florist, or they might just give you a couple. If you can’t manage that you can buy them in different sizes from Amazon.

O.K., let’s kick off our shoes and get to this.

Let’s start with the easiest version of a floral bow.

All of these flowers are from this year’s cutting garden. I buy most of my flower seeds from Floret Flower and William Dam seeds.  You can see all the varieties I grow and how they look as casual arrangements that anyone can do here.

1. Small Bouquet tied with a bow.

Top view of Spencer giant-mixed old-fashioned sweet peas tied with white ribbon to gift wrapped with fuchsia paper on white background.

Just tie a ribbon around the flowers and then around the wrapped gift. That’s it.  No floral vial, no nothing. Because there is going to come a time when you need to wrap a present but you don’t have a floral vial.  Some flowers will do just fine making it from your house to the event without wilting to the point that they look pathetic.  Others?  Not so much.

Flowers to avoid if you don’t have a floral vial: 

Queen Anne’s Lace, Chocolate Lace Flower, Lily of the Valley, Hydrangea, woody stemmed flowers (like Lilac).

Any flower that’s lacy or airy with thin stems doesn’t do well at holding water on their own. So they wilt very quickly. 

In This Floral Bow

Spencer, giant mixed old fashioned Sweet Peas.


2. Just a few flowers.

Chocolate Lace Flower, Queen Red Lime Zinnia, Opopeo Amaranth in clear floral vial tied with twine to gift wrapped in brown paper on white background.

Think you need a whole fistful of flowers to make it look good? Not necessarily. Although I will admit on this particular occasion that this present and minimal flowers looks much better in real life than it photographed.  Kind of like you.  And me.  And everyone in the world who doesn’t have a lighting director with them every time they get their picture taken.

If you only have a couple of flowers just make sure there’s something that ties them together in terms of colour or shape.  If your flowers are unique you can get away with just a couple of them.

To Wrap or Not to Wrap – the naked vial question.

Whether or not you wrap your vial with twine or ribbon is up to you. Depending on the wrapping, I don’t mind if the vial shows. Like on this present that’s minimal and earthy.

In This Floral Bow

Chocolate Lace Flower, Queen Red Lime Zinnia, Opopeo Amaranth


3. Small bouquet with greenery.

Head-on shot of Perennial Sweet Peas, Sweet Pea tendrils and greenery tied with twine to gift wrapped in fuchsia paper on white background. Two sweet pea blooms on table in foreground.

Just a little bundle of flowers is fine, but with any floral arrangement, even a floral bow, the greenery is what makes it. 


Overhead shot of gift wrapped with fuchsia paper topped with flower bow containing Perennial Sweet Peas, Sweet Pea tendrils and greenery tied on with twine on white background. Loose sweet pea blooms on table in foreground.

What to use for greenery:

Leaves from whatever flower you’re using make the best greenery, but if that isn’t an option then these common garden leaves work great.

  • Hosta
  • Peony
  • Geranium
  • Coral Bells
  • Raspberry canes
  • Herbs (parsley, oregano, dill)
  • Ivy
  • Dusty Miller
  • Fern
  • Lily of the Valley (just the leaves)
  • Sweet Pea tendrils

In This Floral Bow

Perennial Sweet Peas, Sweet Pea tendrils


4. Flat Against the Box

Pink hydrangea flower bow inserted into gift wrapped in floral paper on white background.



By punching a hole into the box you’re using, and then again through the wrapping you can stick your floral vial down into the contents which lets you do an floral “bow” that lays completely flat on the box with no sign of the vial at ALL.

Brown Le Chateau box with translucent floral vial inserted into hole in center of box on white background.

Just use a pencil to punch a hole into the box and then push your vial into that small hole. The round vial will push through making the exact right sized hole.

Wrap your present up and feeling for the hole underneath the paper, punch another hole through the wrapping paper, and stick your vial in.

Top-down view of gift wrapped with floral paper topped with pink hydrangea "bow" on white background.


Keep it simple, or add a few extra sprigs.  Dealer’s choice.


Side view of Hydrangea, Perennial Sweet Pea, Opopeo Amaranth, English Lavender flower "bow" topping gift wrapped with floral paper on white background.


In This Floral Bow

Hydrangea, Perennial Sweet Pea, Opopeo Amaranth, English Lavender

4. Going All Out.

With 2 floral vials, and a few more flowers you can go all out.

Top view of flower bow containing Spencer Giant Mix Sweet Peas, Chantilly Lace Snapdragons, Bupleurum, English Lavender, Cupcake Blush Cosmos, Mignonette. tied onto gift wrapped in lime-green paper with white ribbon on white background. Floral vial hidden by ribbon.

This isn’t the kind of present you want the vial showing, so make sure they’re hidden with ribbon.


Side view of flower bow on gift wrapped with lime-green paper on white background.

Before you lay the vials down on the paper double check to make sure they aren’t leaking. Old vials can get tears in the rubber that make them leak and stuffing too many stems into the vials can make them leak as well.


Close-up view of flower bow tied onto gift wrapped in lime-green paper with a white ribbon on white background.


In This Floral Bow

Spencer Giant Mix Sweet Peas, Chantilly Lace Snapdragons, Bupleurum, English Lavender, Cupcake Blush Cosmos, Mignonette.


Happy wrapping and don’t forget to get the smelling salts handy.

The 5 Minute Flower Bow To Top Your (Wedding, Shower, birthday) Gifts With This Summer.


  1. Sabina says:

    Why do I forget to plant sweet peas every year??? Such a simple memory of childhood, tsk tsk tsk!

  2. Lez says:

    Beautiful Karen! How can one lady be so good at SO many diverse things!?
    Fresh herbs, when no flowers are available, also work well, simply tied with rustic twine, they are hardy, smell divine, & last well without water. One could put a flowering Rosemary or Lavender sprig in as well.
    I’ve also used huge Banana leaves from our garden tree to wrap entire presents, looks amazing!

  3. Benjamin says:

    Love this idea Karen. Keep ’em coming…

  4. Mary W says:

    Your white ribbon knot on the last one is so elegant – just gorgeous. I think flowers make the best topper for any gift. Actually, even just leaves or springs of evergreen – I even saw just one dandelion on a package once that stopped me in my tracts – kraft paper, twine and one wonderful dandelion. They droop so easily, I wonder how that happened – maybe just for the one photo – typical Pin!

  5. Paula says:

    hmmm….maybe you should be a floral designer. Those were lovely!

  6. Deborah says:

    Truly beautiful and memorable! Thank you for the lovely ideas!

    I used to love wrapping gifts, though after years and years and years of having to mail nearly all gifts, I have lost my enthusiasm for doing it. Presenting a beautiful gift in person is so enjoyable, mailing one sadly, becomes a chore. :(

  7. SuzNKton says:

    My hosta leaves are the size of an elephant’s ear! Maybe wrap the whole pkg in a hosta leaf?

  8. Mandy says:

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for creating such a gorgeous post. We have a couple fall weddings coming up and I am wondering what your thoughts are on some pretty and unique fall flowers?

  9. Barb says:

    With a wedding shower in the near future, love this idea.

    When our niece was getting married, I found out what flowers would be in her bouquet. Then I searched for silk flowers of the same kind (she had 8 different flowers combined into her lovely bouquet so it took some time). I made a bouquet out of them to put on their wedding gift, one that she still has today. While I was at it, I bought double so I could make another bouquet to hang on our own front door. It’s a great reminder of a wonderful day.

  10. Jen says:

    Lovely. You’ve gone to so much trouble putting together this beautiful post.

  11. Janet Dykstra says:

    Just fabulous! Thank you!! Wish I had a party coming up!!

  12. Emily says:

    This. Is. Awesome! Thanks.

  13. Cristie says:


  14. Heather says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Beautiful! Thanks, Karen!

  15. Darlene says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!!
    Nothing prettier than a sweet pea. I wish I could spray my pillowcases with sweet peas essential oil, I am sure I would dream pretty dreams. :-)

  16. Elaine says:

    Oh boy … Sweet Peas! I still remember their beautiful scent! I’m useless at bows so I use flowers as gift toppers and like you, Karen, have a good bunch of vials tucked away for this very purpose. I adore receiving a gift that is too pretty to open and like to do the same when gifting.

    At Christmas, I use faux and real greenery and some faux ice, shiny balls, candles, etc. then buy a few white roses that I insert in vials then tuck amongst the greenery. The real roses make it look as though I splurged when I really didn’t. Most items are recycled every year, the fresh greenery is from roadside bushes; the roses are the only expense and five in the arrangement is certainly adequate. I’m not much of a cook but I enjoy making a table look pretty!

    • Cathy Reeves says:

      I made some roses from decorative paper and attached to wire stems. They looked so real I couldn’t believe I did it! I offer this only if one can’t get their hands on real roses in winter. I love the idea of extending these floral bows into all seasons; I too lack the bow making gene!

  17. TucsonPatty says:

    Just gorgeous! I would adore being on the receiving end of zone of these decorated gifts.

  18. Carol Halliwell says:

    Love this! I also learned something – PERENNIAL sweet peas? I will have to look for those. We plant the Spencer mix every year. I’m having fun collecting seeds this year so I’m going to search for your template for the packets.

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