Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Make a Christmas Bow

Using bows and ribbons in your home is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to add some Christmas to every room. You’ve probably seen bows in stores before, and you may have even noticed that Michael’s charges quite a bit for them. But, as I am about to show you, bows are actually quite easy to make yourself. And with all of the Christmas ribbon at Michael's 60% off this week (at least in NoVA), now is a great time to add a little last minute cheer to your home and your presents.

Bow on my wreath
For this type of bow, you will need some wired ribbon. Wired ribbon is good because it lets you form the bow so that it keeps its shape. Home Goods and Michaels are great places to look for ribbon right now because most holiday ribbons come in longer rolls than the regular ribbon, and it’s pretty much all on sale right now.

First, cut two pieces of floral wire about 6 inches long and keep it nearby.

Once you settle on your ribbon, unroll a little over a yard (depending on how big of a bow you want). Leaving enough material for a tail if you want one, take the ribbon and fold it over, pinching it where you would like the center of your bow to be.

First loop
 Where your finger is pinching the ribbon, twist the ribbon so that the wrong side is showing.

Then, fold the ribbon over in the other direction, trying to make the loop about equal to the other side. I find it easier to eye-ball the length more accurately when the ribbon is flattened out.

Once you have folded the ribbon over, twist it in the center and continue the same process on the other side. Continue this process until you have the amount of loops you desire on both sides. I have been using 3 loops per side.

After you’ve made your loops, slip the tail from the most recent loop over and around the back so that the right side faces the same direction as the bow. Then, take a piece of floral wire and secure it around the middle of the bow. Wrap it around the back and secure the wire tightly.

Next, fluff the bow, pulling the loops out to the sides and giving them shape. This is kind of a trial and error process, so just play with the loops until  you’re happy with the look.

After you’ve fluffed the bow, cut a small piece of ribbon, about 3 inches long depending on the size of the bow. This piece will be for your center loop that hides the wire. You can you the same ribbon for this loop, or you can use another ribbon if you want to give the bow a two-tone look.

Make a small loop with this ribbon so that the ends overlap. Place the loop so that the open ends face vertically on the bow and the closed ends face the loops. Thread your second piece of wire through the center loop and secure it tightly around the back. Wrap the two pieces of wire for the bow and the center loop together a few times.

Continue to fluff the bow and mess with the tails until it’s the shape you’re looking for, and use the excess wire ends to attach the bow to your tree, the top of a picture frame, garland, or another creation.

Bows were a cheap way to bring Christmas into our kitchen.
One great thing about bows is that you can make them for all kinds of occasions -- other holidays, weddings, baby showers, etc. Go pick up some inexpensive ribbon and master this yourself!

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