Friday, December 9, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make Simple Decorative Holiday Bows


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Today we’re going to do decorative holiday bows that can be placed in many different locations. You can use them as:
  • decorations for your home
  • add them to the top of a gift to spice it up
  • or with a few more steps take this principle to make hair bows.

The Bow Making Set up

You can search online to find zillions of variations to making bows. I know I did. I have a few sources listed on the Link Page if you would like to see other techniques.
Through trial and error I found what worked best for me.




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  • An old cookie sheet to work on.
  • A wood burner to cut and heat seal the ends of threads.
    • A substitution would be scissors and a lighter or candle. Quickly pass the cut ends of the ribbon through the flame to seal the ends against fraying.
  • A Glue Gun
  • Crochet Thread (Not Pictured)
  • Styling Clip (Not Pictured)
  • Metal Ruler (Not Pictured)

Two Loop Decorative Bow

IMG_0242_2I started with 24” of 2 1/2 wide wired ribbon.
I like the ends of my bows to be clipped. I folded the ribbon in half and using the wood burner to cut from a point on the fold to the edge, ~ 1 1/2 in long.
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Now find the half way point on the ribbon.
The nice thing about working with wired ribbon is how easy marking points are and setting up the bow. The wire helps so much.
Using the ruler as a guide place that half way point of the ribbon at 3 1/2 inches, right side down. Fold the ribbon on the right at 7 in and on the left at 0 in.
I use a styling clip placed at the half way point to help with the next step.
With wired ribbon the styling clip is less necessary. With non-wired ribbon it’s a life saver.
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Take a piece of crochet thread (or other thin thread), wrap it around the center of the ribbon twice. Have the loose ends on the backside for ease.
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Pull the thread tight and tie off.
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Now the base of the bow is complete! I told you it was easy
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Finishing it off the bow and adding the twist tie.
I used a 3/8th in piece of ribbon cut 2 1/2 in to wrap around the enter.
This ribbon hides the thread in the middle.
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Place the small ribbon right side down, the bow on top of it right side down. Then stick a twist tie through the thread on the back side of the bow. EDIT: The picture shows differently but I found this to be more secure on.
I keep all twist ties from the bread we buy. So I always have a handful lying around for random projects.
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Add some hot glue to the center and bring up one side of the small ribbon. Be careful about not using too much or burning yourself. Then add another small dot and bring up the other side overlapping the first.
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Turn it over, puff the bows a bit and you have a complete 2 loop decorative bow.
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Four Loop, Two Layer Decorative Bow

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For this bow I overlapped the ribbon 2 times. The overlap equaled 5 inches with 2 inches of overlap on each end.
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Clip off the ends just like did on the bow above.
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Place the clip along the center of the bow and tie the ribbon like above.
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Tie the thread tight.
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Puff the ribbon up and now you have the base complete.
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Layer 2 of the Ribbon

For the second layer I used 5/8th in ribbon.
Instead of measuring out the ribbon first I used a ribbon template I made.
I did this because I won’t be using wired ribbon here.
If you plan to make multiple ribbons these can be a time saver and ensure uniformity of your bows. Mine is just a piece of cardboard with a slit down the middle. Here is a nice tutorial on how to making them.
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Wrap it the ribbon around 3 times with 1 in hanging over on each side.
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This being a thinner ribbon I didn’t do a triangle cut out on the ribbon. I just used the wood burner to do a 45 degree angle. Make sure that the angles are opposite on each side.
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Now repeat the steps to tie the bow along the middle.
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Now we’re going to put the 5/8th ribbon on top of the large ribbon. Add a spot of hot glue between the bows. Also use the extra length of thread to tie the ribbon on at the back.
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Add small beads of hot glue to the underside of the tails. Then quickly put that down to the larger ribbon.
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Now to wrap around the middle, cut 6 in of 1/8th in ribbon.
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Put the twist tie under the thread like above and then tack down one side first. Then wrap it around 3 times.
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Voila, now the two layer bow is complete.
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The Bows In Place

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See they’re quite simple, they’re not nearly as hard as I’m sure many of you thought.
Where would you put your bows?
-Velody

1 comment:

  1. oooh i love the bows, very festive :) u do pagan products too? lovely :D

    ReplyDelete

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