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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hand-tied Ribbons and Bows

Hello there and welcome to my 'How to make a beautiful bow' tutorial.

If you love ribbons and you have always wanted to be able to give beautifully wrapped gift boxes or give a bear a bow, today's creative challenge is just for you.

Tying the perfect bow is a bit like juggling: once you 'get it', you will never forget how to do it.

Here are two examples: a gift box (single ribbon) and a teddy (three layers of satin and silk sheers), both showing bows hand-tied by me.

Lella Loves... Ribbons and Bows

Lella Loves... Hand-tied Gift Bows

To create a single bow, you will need:

A piece of ribbon about 1inch wide and approx 2 - 3 metres in length.
Gift box
Nimble fingers

The tails need to lay left over right. This is the collar and their placement is crucial.

Lella Loves... Bows (1)

Start by wrapping the ribbon around the box so it ends. See photo 1.

Lella Loves... Bows (2)

Take the tail which is on the right hand side and fold it up and under the collar on the right hand side. See photo 2.

Lella Loves... Bows (3)

Bring the two tails down and, using both hands, make a loop in each of the tails. See photo 3.

Lella Loves... Bows (4)

Now fold the loops back on themselves. Fold them right over left. See photo 4.

The next move sounds complicated but what you are doing is the reverse of the original granny knot in the collar.

Lella Loves... Bows (5)

Look at the photo to see, at this stage you should have a loop peeking out the top on the left hand side.

Now take the tail which is sitting on the right hand side and pull it down, over the right hand loop. To be clear, this is the tail which has the pink underside showing - it is this tail which needs to come down to face up on the right bottom. See Photo 5.

Lella Loves... Bows (6)

This is how your bow should be shaping up. The bow will be coming to life at this stage. (Exciting, isn't it!)

However, keep calm and gently tighten the bow whilst retaining the shape. The temptation to tug and pull too tightly must be restrained. After all, this is a Lella Bow  (^_^)

Lella Loves... Bows (7)

Remember, you are not tying shoelaces! 
Make it the best it can be. Check your progress using photo 7.

*Tip: When tightening the bow, slip your first two fingers from your left hand inside the loops and pull gently on the tails with your right hand. The loops will keep their shape if you master this thumb-holding  technique. 

Lella Loves... Bows (8)

The aim is to manipulate the ribbon into a beautiful bow. Simply adjust and tighten according to the ribbon you have used and the size of the loops you want.

Ta...dah!  Your bow should now look like this. See photo 8 below.

Do note that the centre ribbon should sit perfectly and facing downwards as a strip.

Lella Loves... Bows (9)

Your first few attempts might well result in a bowtastic mess but don't worry; follow the instructions at the pace Mr Snail would!

Don't be afraid to undo and start again if it looks shoddy. Be patient with it to achieve the best results especially if you are using a ribbon with a definite face side such as velvet or a printed sheer. It might only be ribbon but it can look super when tied correctly.

Lella Loves... Bows (10)

This is a common error - the ribbon gets twisted at the 'up and under' fold. The loops have twisted as you have fed through at the second grannie knot stage. See photo 10 or start again and refer back to photo 1.

If you would like to buy some ribbon, please use the Buy Now button and do fill in the text box to let me know which colour(s) you would like.

Ribbon Types
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Here is another example of a bow made using two pieces of silk organza ribbon.

Lella Loves... Ribbon and Bows

Remember, if you are not happy with how your finished bow looks, pull on the tails to take you right back to the first granny knot on the collar.

Be patient and start again by forming the two loops on each side. Practice over and over because once you learn this skill, it will be with you for always.

You are welcome to leave me a comment and if you enjoyed this.

Many thanks.

Lella  xx

1 comment:

  1. Fab-u-lous Lella, I'm now off to give it a go. KG


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