Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In A Pinch

Wow... this economy is crazy isn't it? We are cutting corners at every angle. Fortunately for the crafter (like me!), this is an opportunity to SHINE!!! You'd be amazed at the wonderful projects you can find on the internet. From using newspapers to line trash receptacles to handmade paper gift bows, there's an unending wealth of budget savvy gems to make that dollar go further. Here's the paper bow that I made in a pinch!

A while back I had a baby shower to attend (I'll show you all the cute card I made for it in tomorrow's post) and after shopping for the gift, a package of diapers and wrapping paper I ended up in the aisle where the coordinating bows were prettily displayed. It was an ocean of beauty that morphed quickly when I checked out the not-so-pretty price tags. FIVE BUCKS FOR A BOW???? Nope! That is where I drew the line. Not only could I make a hand made bow for PENNIES, but I could also make a NICER bow for PENNIES. I'm talking the kind of bow that people keep to adorn memory books. So home I went to search through my collection of thirty-cent 12" X 12" textured papers. The bow that is pictured (click pic to enlarge) was the result and took me about 20 minutes to make. Here's how.

Paper Bow
You need:
2 Coordinating Buttons (funny how black and white coordinates w/everything)
Paper pinch clip or clothes pin
1-12" piece of coordinating ribbon thin enough to thread through button
1/8" hole punch (I used my Crop-a-dile Big Bite)
1-12"x 12" piece of textured paper (found at most craft stores... you can use ANY 12" x 12" paper really, but the textured paper looks more like real fabric. You can also emboss the plain paper to give it a texture as well... see video link at the end of this post)
Scissors/paper cutter

Cut the 12" x 12" paper into 1 inch strips all the way across. That will give you 12 strips. Set four of the 12" x 1" strips aside. Take another set of four 12" x 1" strips and reduce the 12 inch length to 11 inches, set aside. With the final set of four strips, reduce length to 10 inches. Be sure to keep the scraps from this set as the scrap is where you will start your bow.

Next, take your ribbon and thread it through one of your buttons. Match up both free edges and tape the ends together being sure to wrap the tape around the free edges tightly to form a "needle" shape... this will help threading the ribbon through the layers of paper strips. Then take one of the scraps that you held aside, form a loop being sure to overlap the ends about 1/4 of an inch. Punch a hole in the center of the overlap and thread the ribbon through the hole. Be sure to thread from the inside of loop so that the button ends up inside the loop. Attach clothes pin to the ribbon just under the paper loop to keep the loop in place while you work on assembling your bow. Set aside; on to the next strip.

Take one of your 10" x 1" strips, form a loop overlapping the ends 1/4 inch and pinch between fingers to hold in place. Then pinch the loop closed to turn the loop into a figure 8 form. Punch a hole in the center where your fingers are pinching to form the figure 8. Thread your ribbon through the hole, remove the clothes pin and push this new layer to meet the first layer that started your bow. Re-secure with the clothes pin to keep everything in place and set aside while your repeat this step with all the 10" x 1" strips. Then repeat with the 11" x 1" strips, ending with the 12" x 1" strips. Be sure to arrange each of the figure 8 loops to form a flower as you are building your bow. When the bow is completely formed and secured with the clothes pin, cut the tape off of ribbon and thread each end of the free edges through the remaining button. Push the button up to meet the clothes pin. Remove clothes pin and finish pushing the button to firmly secure your bow in place. Tie the ribbon to secure the button and you're done. Whew... that seems like A LOT to make a bow, but it's really fast and easy. To see just how fast and easy, here's a video tutorial by Ms. Tammy Skinner of cuttlebugchallenge.blogspot.com. ***Note: I did not do this with mine (nor did Tammy with hers), but if you pull each strip between your thumb and a pencil (like you do to with scissors to curl ballon ribbon), the strips will form the figure 8's better, without crease lines.

Enjoy this wonderful project and certainly enjoy the savings!

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