Place long 22-20 gauge wire, long zip tie or chenille stems between dowels at an angle before starting or after you finish your bow.
Make your bow on top of the wire, zip ties or chenille stems.
Grab a wire in each hand, crisscross between dowels & cinch down tightly. Place thumb on top & fingers below bow & lift from dowels. Pull wire to back of bow & twist wire tightly.
Fluff bow more if needed. Use remaining wire to attach to wreath or project. The more tightly your bow is wired the more professional & fluffy it will be. *all bows can be made larger or smaller.
You can measure your streamers by using the left side of the bowmaker.
Your bowmaker is like a third hand. Use it when placing your loops, fan them out & fluff by putting your hand inside each loop as you go. Do not smash or pinch the loops. Done correctly your bow will look like you want it to before you remove it. Fluff your bow on the bowmaker if necessary after you wire it.
A 12” chenille stem is not long enough for a large bow. You will need to overlap two of them & twist together tightly to make a single longer chenille stem.
If you are left handed flip the bowmaker so spool holder is on your right side.
Unwind a generous amount of Ribbon from the spool holder at a time . You should not be pulling from the spool holder with every loop. It’s more time consuming & distracting. Unwind ribbon from outer edge of spool coming toward you.
You can use any size of ribbon, burlap, tulle, paper twist, or raffia on your bowmaker.
The small dowel is for small bows like hair bows, small package bows or very sheer, thin ribbon. You can also scrunch mesh between any of the dowels. If you never use the small dowel remove dowels & flip to the back of bowmaker.
By twisting the ribbon a half twist you will make more professional, fluffy bows. If using a print ribbon on one side, start tail print side up. Insert between dowels, give a half twist exposing underside of ribbon on the bottom loop . When you fold it over it will be print side up.
In general, make the same number of loops on each side with the exception of the center loop & scrap bow or spiky bow. There are no rules for those.
Stack your ribbon on spool holder to make double or triple bows. Hold the ribbons together as one as you make the loops. You can make most bows double or triple if you like the look. When separating loops after you wire it but before you remove it pull the ribbons in opposite directions with a firm tug. Do this the same way all over the entire bow.
You can add a true designer touch to your bows by inserting floral stems, seasonal picks on wire or dried flowers between the loops as you build your bow. You will make more money on each bow by doing this. It can be done with any style bow including tree toppers. Start with wider ribbon on bottom & work your way up to more narrow ribbon if using different widths.
By decreasing the size of each layer of loops as you build your bow, you show the ribbon below it as opposed to hiding it, making a more beautiful bow.
For tails or streamers you can cut on a diagonal, dovetail or straight, then curl under as well as spiral your ribbon. To add extra tails twist more ribbon into the back of the bow.
Never cut wire with the same scissors you use on ribbon.
If you make a mistake & some loops appear too long or short, undo those, smooth ribbon then redo your bow. No need to start over. Any mistake can be fixed.
You can use wired or unwired ribbon. Wired is preferable because it holds it shape. Unwired ribbon will crease easily if mashed so be very careful when using it.
If you lose a dowel, instructions or just need help contact us. We are an email or phone call away!
When measuring your ribbon measure from the number on the base to the bottom of the center dowels. If you measure to the top your loops will be too long.
Relax. Don’t try to hold onto your bow with one hand while working with the other hand. The dowels are your third hand & will hold it for you. It won’t come apart.
Experiment, experiment and experiment! Play, rework, try different colors & patterns! Making bows is fun! Don’t stress. Practice makes perfect. You’ll be a pro in no time. Find what works best for you. These tips and techniques were all learned along the way! Soon you’ll have some of your own to add! You can find inspiration everywhere! Watch us on YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest. We will fill your imagination with ideas & your soul with inspiration & fun!
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