26 September 2011

Add Wow with a Handmade Bow

The time of year when most of us are wrapping presents and trying to pretty them up is fast approaching. In fact I'm sure many of you, like me, have already started the Christmas shopping and wrapping.

One thing I've noticed over the years is no matter how much I spend on a gift, the wrapping can cost almost as much if I don't watch it carefully.  I love to give gifts that have that "wow" factor to them and the wrapping can make or break the "wow".  There are lots of ways to end up with beautifully gift-wrapped presents, but one way to add extra "wow" to your gifts is by paying extra attention to detail when it comes to wrapping and presentation. An easy way to do this is to finish your parcels with bows. There are some lovely bows available, in beautiful ribbons and colours but at upwards of $2 each they are rather expensive.

You can still add "bow wow" to your gifts, for a fraction of the price, if you make them yourself and they are surprisingly easy.

To make the traditional "loopy" bow you'll need about 3 metres of ribbon to make one bow. You can use cloth ribbon, paper ribbon, wired ribbon or even make your own from lengths of wrapping paper. Use whatever ribbon you have on hand that blends or co-ordinates with the gift wrap.

Step 1:
To make the ribbon take your length and starting about 20cm from one end pinch firmly between your thumb and index finger.

Step 2:
Make about a 12cm loop (this will be half the size of the finished bow) and pinch it tightly. If your ribbon is one-sided twist the length around to the right side.

Step 3:
Repeat this process, making nine loops in total.

Step 4:
Make a centre knot by forming a small loop over your thumb, then pinch and wire all the loops together with florist wire, a pipe cleaner or a wire bread bag tie. Trim the excess binding.

Step 5:
Cut tails of ribbon about 35cm long and attach to the back of the bow if desired.

And there you have it - a beautiful bow that cost virtually nothing if you used ribbons you already had, custom made to suit the gift.

You can make two or more bows and wire them together to make bigger, puffier bows for bigger parcels.

These bows also make great cake toppers if you use wired ribbon and look fantastic in classic gold, white or silver ribbons.

To make a fluffy flower bow all you need is one large and one small loopy gift bow, either a bought or that you have made.

Starting from the outside of the large bow carefully cut through each loop at a slight angle until you get to the last row of loops, which is the centre of the bow.

Carefully spread the cut loops out. Stick the small loopy bow into the centre of the large bow, this forms the centre of your "flower". 

Now cut the loops of the small bow, again on a slight angle, and gently fluff them out.

You now have a lovely "fluffy flower" bow to top your present.

I've used two distinct ribbon designs to show you how the two bows fit together. Of course when you make your bows you'll choose patterns and colours that go together and suit the wrapping on your present.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cath,

    When giving items for a home as gifts, an appropriate large tea towel/s makes great wrapping. Then yes, tie with a ribbon (often purchase very cheap at op shops or online) or sometimes part of the gift can be used.

    If for a bloke and you know their hobbies/likes, a beach or bath towel/sheet can be the wrapper.
    Females can have a suitable to their likes/home decoration colours/hobbies, very pretty towel/pillowcase/ dainty throw-over/table topper maybe even in organza or satin as wrapper or gift can be placed into pillowcase.

    For a toddler, a gift can be wrapped in the day's newspaper for Mum/Grandma/Auntie to keep with the cards for that birthday. Yes, you need to help a 1, 2 and even a 3 yr old to salvage at least some of the newspaper happenings to have as a keepsake.

    Trust you find something of this helpful.

    God bless you  each.


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