Spool of Thought

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

Posts Tagged ‘girls’

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!

Posted in How To Guides | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!

HAIR BOWS LINGO

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.

Posted in Managing Your Craft Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

It’s competition time again!  The season cheerleaders and cheer coaches wait and work for all year long. 

Having been a cheerleading coach in the past, I know just how time consuming fundraising for these events can be.   And it seems that with each year, the fundraising tasks become more tedious.  Parents, coaches and squad members alike get tired of selling the same items, having the same car washes, soliciting the same businesses for donations; the list can go on and on.

When I was coaching, I was always looking for unique ideas; fundraisers that appealed to parents and members alike.   During my never ending search, I developed several fundraising ideas that I’m sure can help some weary group of parents out there.

Since my competing squad (I was also coaching two little league and a middle school squad) was a group of all stars from various local school squads, these ideas were geared toward the individual costs of getting to competition.  However, these ideas can be easily adjusted to fit a group that fundraises as a whole.

Hotel Accommodations:  I found that our hotel accommodations for one or two days where we were competing was our largest expense.   Often, even with discounted package deals from the event hosts, the cost could easily run $250 to $300 for two days.

In an effort to cut these costs, I encouraged my squad members’ parents to work year long toward “saving” for this particular expense.  I began by providing information to them on how to open a HHonors account.   In addition, I also provided information on how to earn HHonors points by registering with and participating in programs such as MyPoints and eRewards.  These sites are free to register and you can actually earn points to redeem toward Hilton Honors pointswithout spending a dime!  (If you decide to register, please use my email address, kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com, as your referral.  Thank you!)

Parents and squad members alike can participate in these programs and save their points to apply toward their hotel accommodations.  Now, bear in mind, that using this method will require each squad member and their parent to be responsible for making their own reservations.  In addition, it is likely that not everyone will be in adjacent rooms; or even the same hallway.  But, those few minor inconveniences aside, it’s a great way for saving the costs of overnight stays.

Another way to this to establish an account for the squad.  Since HHonorsallows participants to transfer points, fundraising organizers can set a date for all members to transfer their points to the squad account.  Then it is possible for one person to book the hotel accommodations, rather than relying on parents to do this.

Many other Hotel chains such as Best Western and Days Inn offer programs similar to the Hilton Honors points program.  You may wish to check with their programs (be sure to read the fine print to ensure that everyone can qualify).

You may wish to include a list of other ways to earn these points which can be found by reading The Definitive “How To Earn Hilton HHonors Points” threadat Flyertalk forums.

Food:  After the entry fees are paid and the hotel accommodations are booked, the next biggest expense one will find is that associated with food. 

A great way to earn fast food (and even casual dining) gift cards is to participate in RewardTV.  After all, who doesn’t watch television, right?  Simply register then take quizzes on the television shows you watch the previous evening and earn points (hint:  watch the commercials to accumulate more points).  For as little as 150,000 points (most games can earn you at least 1000 points), you can purchase $5.00 gift cards for places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and more.   Five bucks may not sound like much at face value, but add them together and you can easily eat for free the whole weekend!

And here is an interesting side note that’s worth remembering.  If you didn’t have time to watch television the night before, just visit the Rewards & Points Programs section of BigBigForums.com.  Many members share the correct answers to quizzes they’ve already taken! 

An additional way to save money on food expenses, while not a “do it for free” method, is to search for gift cards at places such as Certificate Swap or Gift Card Buy Back.   These places offer gift cards at a fraction of the face value of the card.  For example, a $10.00 McDonald’s Arch card may only cost you $6.00; meaning you basically get $4.00 worth of free food.  

Gas Expense:  If your squad will be traveling by car, you can use the methods listed for acquiring food cards to obtain gas cards as well.   

These ideas may seem a little “off the wall” to use as a means of fundraising, but they can and do work; thus, making them truly unique.    There’s so many ways to earn money online for your squad if you just put it to work for you.  In addition to trying the methods mention here, keep in mind other ways such as using a squad blog as an avenue to advertise and ask for donations (make sure your content is worthy of donations) or using your squad’s website as a means to earn money by way of Affiliate Marketing (visit Self Starters Weekly Tips for AWESOME information on affiliate marketing).

Once you try these methods, you’ll be spoiled!  And back-breaking car washes and bake sales will be a thing of the past!

Posted in The Cheer Corner | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New How To Guide, New Products & Whatever Else Comes to Mind

Posted by Kimberly on November 4, 2007

It has been a busy, busy weekend! 

When I wasn’t running a child to an activity or trying to complete my own errands, I started my latest craft project:  making my own appliques. 

Amazingly, even with my limited crafting skills, making my own appliques were not difficult at all.  With the help of Free Appliques.com, I printed the “School Spirit” letters (also known in many programs as Collegiate lettering) I wanted.  Later, I found some perfect fabric for my idea for $1.00/yard at Wal-Mart!  Then I gathered up some web fusing, felt, and fabric paint and I was set to get started.

As it stands, I’ve completed my appliques to the point that they are ready to apply them to the t-shirt I’ve chosen to use.

If everything goes as planned, I will have this new How To guide listed within the week.  So, if you’re looking for another idea for craft fairs or Christmas gifts, this will be one to look for.   If I screw this up….well, I’ll just post a link to someone who really knows how to do it.  🙂

Moving along….there is some great products coming up this week; including M2M themes Park City Luxe and Snow Blossom, both part of the 2006 line.  These 30 yard and 28 yard, respectively, themes are absolutely adorable! 

This week will also see the addition of Black grosgrain ribbon with White Dippy Dots, Emerald Swiss Dots, and Black Swiss dots.

The Halloween sale was such a huge hit, that I’m working on another sale idea; so stay tuned, you don’t want to miss out!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I’ll see ya next week! 🙂 

Posted in General Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »