Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bow-Making Tutorial

Alrighty, we’ll give this a try.  I’m not sure how well this is going to translate into photos, but I’ll do my best to explain each step.

You will need wire-edged ribbon, a 6 or 7 inch length of floral wire, and scissors.  Work with the ribbon still on the roll; you will cut it when you are finished.  Otherwise, you may underestimate the amount of ribbon needed and come up short.

Start at the end of the ribbon and loop it around, right side out, with a good inch or two of the tail end wrapped around on the inside.

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Pinch both layers with your non-dominant hand.  This is going to be the center “knot” of the bow.  You’re going to be constantly pinching with this hand and it’s probably going to get a little cramped.


Looking at it from the top:  assuming you have a one-sided ribbon, it will now be wrong side up.  My ribbon doesn’t show this very well because of the flash, but take my word for it.


Still pinching with your (probably) left hand, use your right hand to twist the ribbon over, right at the pinch.  (If your ribbon doesn’t have a wrong side, you won’t need to worry about twisting it.)


Make a loop, bringing the ribbon under and across to the other side.  That side will now be wrong side up again.


Twist as before, make a loop, and bring it under and across.


Repeat this step until you have as many loops as you like.  I usually make six.  Keep your loops the same size, and radiate them around the the middle “knot”.

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All this time you will be pinching all the layers with your left hand.


When you have all the loops you want, slip the floral wire through the middle knot, and twist it at the back like a twist-tie, tightly.  In fact, I couldn’t find my floral wire, so I used an actual twist tie for demonstration purposes.



Now you may cut the ribbon off the roll, leaving about a 4” tail (or whatever looks right for the size of your bow).


You can either angle the end of the tail, or notch it.  I prefer to notch.  The easiest way to do that is to fold the tail in half and then cut on an angle from the fold up to the outer corners. Essentially you are cutting a V out of the end of the ribbon.

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I suppose you can leave it with just one tail like that, but I like to add another.  Cut a strip of ribbon about 6-8” long.  Lay it over top of the floral wire with the right side facing the top of the bow. 


Twist the floral wire around to secure it, and notch the edges as before.


Now fluff your bow!  This is the one I just made for this tutorial.


And this is one I made previously.  I think it’s fluffed a little better.


Let me know if you have any questions, or if I didn’t explain something well enough.  I’d also love to know if you try it, and are able to follow my instructions successfully!


Paula said...

Thanks! Your directions were very clear and I know for a fact that I can follow them.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Pretty!!! I think you did a good job with the tutorial. I unfortunately seem to do better when someone can show me in person. How lame is that? Maybe I'll fly you out here. ;)

Anonymous said...

How cute! I'm always so envious of people who make such lovely bows but this seems simple enough to try! :-D

**** April **** said...

You an my mother in law.... man. You're BOW-MASTERS! I suck! I've tried. Finally I just buy the ribbon and she makes them for me! How lame am I? LOL

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

That was a great tutorial, Holly. Thank you.

Oooh, guess what? My metal stamping kit has arrived! I had a little go yesterday.....and failed miserably! I need to take another look at your tutorial. The spoon I was trying to stamp kept slipping about. :-(


FrouFrouBritches said...

So pretty! Great tutorial! I haven't made bows in YEARS. Maybe I'll give in a try again.