Spool of Thought

Craft Ideas, How To’s and New Product Introductions from The Ribbon Shoppe!

Where To Find Craft Fairs, Shows & Festivals to Sell Your Product

Posted by Kimberly on May 7, 2008

It’s getting to be that time of year when everyone starts gearing up for craft fairs. While Christmas is undoubtedly the most popular time to get those handmade goodies out to market, spring runs a very close second. Something about the perfect temperatures, beautiful blooms, and the availablity of fresh air after a clausterphobic inducing winter offers a prime opportunity to celebrate with festivals that include crafts.

You know that your item would be a great seller, but you’re just not sure where to begin. Finding the perfect craft fair is the place to start, and after that it’s all a breeze!

While you can spend hours searching Google or Yahoo for craft shows in your area, it’s simply easier to have all the information in one place.

Let me introduce you to the Fairs & Festivals Vendor Calendar. Not only does this beautifully laid-out, easy to navigate site offer you detailed information about craft festivals in your area and how to register for them, but they also offer great information on pricing your crafts, an event checklist, and a tutorial on understanding juried and non-juried shows.

Whether you’re an experienced showman or not, I’m sure you will find the Fairs & Festivals Vendor Calendar a useful tool in your craft business!

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How to Make J-Lo Ribbon Tank or T-Shirt

Posted by Kimberly on April 9, 2008

I stumbled across this great How To today and just had to share it!  This fashionable and ever popular style first appearing on JLo, aka Jennifer Lopez, is so simple to create and makes a great addition to any wardrobe!

Just click here for the super easy instructions!  And enjoy picking out your ribbon at The Ribbon Shoppe to get started!

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For The Beginning Bowmaker: Learn Hairbow Lingo

Posted by Kimberly on April 3, 2008

I came across this great article the other day and thought it would be a great piece to post here.  So many of readers are just beginner bowmakers and this is an article written just for you!  I hope enjoy it!


About the author:  Jessica Furtney is the president of Bows For Best Friends, a company based in Simpsonville, SC that designs and manufactures high quality hair bows and hair accessories.

Makers of hair bows have to quickly learn that there are different widths of ribbons. The width is the length across the ribbon. The more common widths used are 1.5″, 7/8″, 5/8“,  and 3/8″. Some the lesser used ones are the really wide ribbons in 2.25″, which make a really large and thick hair bow. Sometime ribbon factories make ribbon in 1″ widths. This width is very close to the 7/8″ and is sometimes hard to tell the difference. Ribbon manufacturing companies can come out with their own unique widths, but generally, these are your only options.The 1.5″ width is a good ribbon width to start with because there is more to hold and work with. The 7/8″ or 5/8” widths are good for making center knots for the bows. The 3/8″ is a nice width for very little bows or they make a nice center for a larger hair bow. I would not suggest knotting a 3/8” width ribbon unless it was for a very tiny hair bow, or you are placing it on top of a 7/8″ or 5/8” width ribbon and then knotting it for a fun look.

Some ribbon makers like to use wood burning tools for what they call “heat sealing” their ends. Most grosgrains will melt at very high temperatures, and that is simply all bow makers mean when the say their ends are heat sealed. There are now other tools being made just for sealing off ribbon ends to keep them from fraying, and several ribbon web sites are now offering them to their online customers for making hair bows.

Another popular way to keep your ribbon ends from fraying is by applying Fray Check™ or any other brand to the ends of your ribbon. It is a liquid that, when dry, will harden and not allow the ends to fray. These products can be found in any craft store. Be careful when trying out different brands because some will leave a mark on the ribbon and not dry clear. You do not want to apply so much though that it drips off the hair bows or leaves a runny mark down the ribbon.

Then there are the hair clip or hair fastener options for hair bows. The alligator clip looks like an alligator’s mouth when it opens and closes. It generally has no teeth on this style of clip. They do however come in double pronged and single pronged. Single pronged is nice when you are going for the least heavy and bulky, and double pronged is nice when you need that extra prong to hold it in the hair.

A French clip is the kind that you squeeze two prongs to release if from the closed position, and will spring open like a mouse trap because of the tension it is under by the semi-loose bracket on the inside. That bracket is in the shape of a crescent.

Probably less common, are the plastic clip or barette and a snap, which some makers of hair bows use, and they are pretty simple in nature and are plastic or metal so to give you the lightest possible weight on finished hair bows.

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How To Make A Tie Fleece Blanket

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

Browsing around the internet the other day, I ran across a really fun site that I managed to get lost in for a couple of hours:  Hubpages.

Hubpages is so full of content shared by a variety of people on a multitude of topics; including the one I want to share with my readers today:  How to Make a Tie Fleece Blanket.

While I found so many crafts I wanted to try, the Tie Fleece Blanket really stood out to me.   How often do we find ourselves invited to a baby shower and need just one more unique item to put in that gift basket?  Or wouldn’t it be nice to have a small blanket to carry along for those summer movies in the park?

Whatever the occasion, this craft project is easy, inexpensive, and has so many options available with fabric choices.   Within minutes I already had several matched fabric pictured in my mind!  And my favorite part?  It’s a NO SEW project!  (Those of you who read regularly know that I have absolutely no sewing skills! lol)

Robin, the creator of this Hub, offers detailed instructions that are clear, concise and very easy to follow.  Images clearly show the steps are also included.

I haven’t yet got started on this project, since I’m still working on making my own appliques and shirt to include a how to here.  So, if anyone gets started before me, or has done this type of blanket before, I would love to hear if it is as simple as it seems to be, along with your likes or dislikes about it.

And I’ll let everyone know how mine turns out!🙂

P.S.  This is also an excellent idea for craft fairs and bazaars.  And for my Cheer Corner folks, try making these in your school colors and selling them as a fundraiser to students and other fans!

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