Spool of Thought

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

Posts Tagged ‘ribbon’

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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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! 🙂 

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No Tricks, Just Treats Halloween Sale on Korker Ribbon Theme Lots!

Posted by Kimberly on October 30, 2007



Beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2007 through Wednesday, October 31, 2007, The Ribbon Shoppe is holding a “No Tricks, Just Treats” Halloween sale!!!  Save 25% on all korker ribbon theme lots including Collegiate, M2M Gymboree, Holiday, and Original theme lots!

And…..bloggers can save even more by receiving free shipping when using discount coupon code FREESHIP50 on orders totaling $50 or more!

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How To Make Korker Ribbon for Hairbows

Posted by Kimberly on October 26, 2007

Korker Ribbon from The Ribbon ShoppeKorker ribbon hairbows seem to be all the craze these days!  Cheerleaders love them because the bounce from korkers while tumbling and stunting gives the appearance of more spirit.  Gymboree fans love them because they add flair to those adorable outfits.   Korker bows are made for every holiday, every occasion because they are just so darn cute!

Korker ribbon is actually very simple to make.   It just takes a little patience and practice to get it perfect.

The first thing you need to make korker ribbon, of course, is the ribbon.  You can make korker ribbon from any type of ribbon (grosgrain, satin, jacquard, etc.) with the exception of wired edge ribbon or outdoor ribbon.  For starters, I would recommend using 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon.

Next, you will need wooden dowels.  You can purchase these at home improvement stores, hardware stores, or craft supply stores.  I recommend using a 1/4 inch or 3/16 inch dowel.  (As you get more practiced with making korker ribbon, you can use different sizes to get get the curl you want.)  In addition, you’ll need clothespins.  While many people use the tiny craft size clothespins, I recommend using the regular sized clothespins found in the laundry section of your local department store.

Chances are the dowels purchased are one yard in length.  If so, you will need to cut these in half to fit into your oven.

Now that you have all the items needed to get started, let’s begin!

First, you will need to cut your ribbon.  For beginners, I recommend cutting your ribbon into one yard lengths (36 inches).   Cut as many pieces as you would like to practice with. 

Preheat your oven (making sure that it is clean to avoid getting any “leakage” on your ribbon) to 200 degrees.  (If the heating of your oven is off, you can adjust this up or down as needed.)

During preheating, begin twirling your ribbon around the dowel.  Begin by take one end of your ribbon and clothes-pinning it to the dowel.  Then proceed downward in a spiral pattern around the dowel until you’ve reached the end of your ribbon; then clothespin this end to the dowel.

Once you’ve completed the “twirling” step with all of your ribbon, you’re ready to bake!

This is where I will differ in opinion from other korker ribbon makers because I recommend thoroughly soaking your ribbon with water.   Once the ribbon is wet, spray the ribbon with starch.

I recommend placing your korked ribbon on a large cookie sheet.  If you don’t have a cookie sheet available, then line your oven shelves with aluminum foil.  Place the ribbon in the oven.   Allow to bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully remove one dowel from the oven (it will be hot!) and allow to cool for about one minutes.  Then, using your hands to feel the length of the dowel, check for any remaining wetness.  If there is none, remove the clothespins and, in a downward motion, slide the ribbon off the dowel.  (Newer dowels will not allow ribbon to slide easily and make take a little more effort to remove, but this will change the more times the dowels are used in the oven. ) 

If the curl of the ribbon does not seem tight or any wetness remains, return to the oven and repeat the above step every ten minutes until ribbon has a dry, tight curl.

That’s all there is to it!  Keep in mind when making your korker ribbon that lighter color ribbons will take longer times in the oven.  In addition, your lighter colors, such as white or light pink, are more likely to show burn spots from being in the oven too long; so keep a close eye on them, allowing them to air dry after the 20 minutes if necessary.

Have fun making your korker ribbonfor korker bows!  As always, when using ovens or other electrical appliances, use precaution and never leave the house with ribbon in the oven.  🙂

Korker Ribbon in Solids, Stripes, Dots, and M2MG Themes 
available at The Ribbon Shoppe!

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