I love adding bows to my projects. My favorites are bows made from Tim Holtz Crinkle Ribbon that I have dyed. Crinkle Ribbon is so easy to color using inks, stains, and mists. Lately I have taught students in my store classes how I make my bows by wrapping my ribbon around my fingers. I have wondered if I could create a tool though that would make it a little easier… today I am sharing what I came up with you and showing you how to use it to create a fluffy bow!
Begin with a heavy piece of mat or chipboard. Cut a 3″x3″ square. I will share later how to adjust this size for a smaller or larger bow, but to start, the 3″x3″ is a good size for a large bow on a card or tag.
Use a pencil and ruler to mark a straight line from top to bottom 1″ from the left side. Make two more pencil lines 5/8″ from the top and bottom edges.
Use scissors or a craft knife to cut out the block in the middle of the “C” shape.
Don’t want to measure? Use the template on the free printable patterns page to print a pattern that you can trace.
Depending on the size of the bow you want to make, about 1 yard of ribbon should be plenty for a bow using the 3″ template. Place the tail end of the ribbon along the base of the template. Use a clip to hold the ribbon in place.
Wrap the ribbon over the top arm of the template. Take the excess ribbon back to the bottom.
Wrap the ribbon around the bottom arm of the template. Take the excess ribbon back to the top.
Continue wrapping the ribbon around the template until you have the same number of loops around the top arm as the bottom arm. I usually do three or four loops. The excess ribbon should be at the top. Use a second clip to hold it in place.
Slide the ribbon so that it is bunched up in the middle. Cut a second piece of ribbon, a piece of string or embroidery floss, or thin wire to at least 4″ long. Feed the piece of ribbon (or other material) through the template so that it is under the bundle of ribbon on the template.
Tie the short piece of ribbon around the bundle of ribbon that is wrapped on the template.
Slide the ribbon off of the template.
Fluff the ribbon with your fingers.
To make the bow fluffier, mist the bow with water. Shape the bow with your fingers.
Use a heat tool to dry the ribbon or allow to air dry.
I included a smaller template on the template sheet also. It is easy to adjust the size of the template by changing the height. The width of 3″ seems to work just fine for taller or shorter templates. When you go smaller, you will probably want to make the arms a little shorter. On my smaller template I changed them to only 1/2″ tall.
When the arms get thinner, they become a little less stable. To make them stronger, simply cut two templates of the same size and adhere them together.
You can also do this for the larger template if you template material isn’t very strong. I used a really heavy mat board which was fine for the larger template but a bit weak for the smaller one.
Fluffy bows are so easy to make. Once you get the hang of them, you will probably be able to make them without a template at all. I kind of feel like it gives me an extra set of hands so I am going to experiment with more sizes. I am all about anything that makes making pretty things even easier to make!