Friday, December 27, 2013

The Perfect Bow

My mother-in-law told me that I made beautiful bows.  I think I learned the art of a perfect bow while living in the South for a couple a years.   It wasn't officially Christmas until every mailbox in our neighborhood was adorned with it's own velvet bow.  I got roped into the neighborhood bow making committee one year.  We all met down at the pool house and spent a fun evening talking and making velvet bows.  After about ten or so bows, I was convinced I could make them in my sleep.

Bows are easy and no fancy guides or tools are needed.  I used an entire three yard spool of ribbon for each of my sleigh bell arrangement bows.  Have a length of floral wire handy.
First, fold then edges in so they don't show.
 Next, form that center loop covering up the raw edges that were folded in.

Twist the ribbon 180 degrees at the back-side of the center loop before making the next loop.  These twists make the individual loops easier to fluff and direct.  Plus, if the ribbon has a right and a wrong side, this ensures the right side will always be to the outside of the loop.

Continue this process of twisting the ribbon 180 degrees on the back side of the center loop before making the next loop as shown in the photos.  (Please pardon the bright orange sweatshirt, it's cold in the workshop today.)
When there is an equal amount of odd number loops on each side... that sounded like a bad, math story problem...  Let me try that again... when several loops on each side of the bow have been formed, secure the bow with the length of floral wire.  For this bow, there are 5 loops on each side.  See, odd number of loops but an equal amount.  I'm really not sure how it is that odd just seems to be better.  It tends to look prettier.

 To cover up the floral wire, I bring the length of extra ribbon through the center loop.
But great, it's still a lopsided bow because it only has one tail.  Bring up the end of the tail to the back of the loop and secure alone with the bit of ribbon that was just brought through the center of the loop.  This can be done with a twist of the floral wire.  I will even put a full knot in my floral wire at this point because I don't want it to come loose.  Now you have a pretty bow with one giant loop. 
Find the exact opposite end of the loop from the bow and cut diagonally as shown and like magic... TWO tails now.
 It would be magic if my picture were better.  Trust me, both tails are there.
This is what the finished bow looks like.  Right sides out and easy to fluff.  Oh, and visually pleasing because each side has an odd number of loops.  This is wired ribbon so the final curl is fairly easy and stays.  I simply rolled the ribbon back up from the bottom of the tail and then let it fall.  Easy!

No comments:

Post a Comment