Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Tree Bow

The important thing to know before you start your bow is it is more painful then difficult.  Promising right?!  Whatever hand you are using to hold the bow center in place will probably start to cramp so be prepared to take breaks when needed by switching hands.  

1.  Items you will need:  To make your bow you will need wrapped floral wire (I use a 22 gage) and wired ribbon.  I use the wrapped wire because it is easier to grip when securing the bow and it makes placing on the tree simple.  When choosing ribbon make sure you buy some that has a strong wire edge.  This will help your loops hold their shape and will make your bow last longer.   I used 2 different ribbons to make the following bow.  I have also made them with 3.  Same techniques apply you just might not need as many loops.  

2.  Starting your loops:  Before you start your first loop decide if you want any tails coming down from your bow.   You will need to start your loop higher up and leave extra ribbon hanging if you do.

Once you have decided on the length of your tails make your first loop then twist the ribbons where they meet back together.  This first twist will be done with all 4 ribbons whereas the rest of your loops will be done with the two ribbons used to make that loop.  This now becomes your center point where all your loops will meet and twist.  You will need to hold on to this point tight while making the rest of your loops.   Examine the size of your loop.  Is it going to be large enough for the top of your tree?  For an 8 1/2 tree you will want a loop about 8-10 inches long.  If your ribbon is not wired well you will need to make the loops on the smaller side so they do not come out floppy.

Have your second loop go out the opposite direction from the first but bring the ribbons back to where you twisted the first loop.  Twist the 2 ribbons of the second loop.  You will now be holding 2 twists at the center point.  Continue making loops alternating the direction each time.  For a 8 1/2 foot tree you will want ten loops on each side making a total of 20 loops.

Here is the bow after making the 20 loops.  I am showing both sides so you will see how I am holding the bow.

3.  Securing your bow:  Now you can secure your bow with the wire.  Make sure as you wrap the wire around the center twists you are securing your initial twist with it's tail.  If you do not get the tail under the wire you will unravel your first loop.

I pull my wire tight to make it easier to separate the loops and fluff the bow.  

Twist your wire ends together close to the center point.  

 4.  Dove-tail the ends:  To make the pretty inverted V shape you will fold the 2 ribbons in half lengthwise then cut down towards the end of the ribbon.  Cut your second tail the same length as your first.

5.  Fluff your bow:  Now you get to make your bow pretty.  Each of your loops has 2 ribbons together.  Gently pull the ribbons apart alternating the color each time so you don't have all your golds on one side and all the red on the other side.

Isn't it pretty?!  Ok, so it's not pretty yet but now all your ribbons are separated.  Don't give up if your bow is looking pretty sad at this point.  Go back to each loop and utilize that nice wire ribbon you bought and round them out.  

This is what you will end up with.  It looks even better once you put it on the tree because the tree will help push the loops up making the bow look larger than it is.  This bow went home with a friend so I do not have a pic of it on top of the tree but I am told it looks great!

Don't give up if you don't succeed the first time.  It may take a few tries but then you will have mastered the art and your friends will be happy for you to make their bows!  Happy bow tying!

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