The Joy of Bows: a Tutorial

This bow-tying tutorial was supposed to go with the Glass Block tutorial here: However, I procrastinated by a few weeks. Better late than never:

I like a nice wide ribbon with wire edges for the glass blocks; however, any size will work. For this ribbon I used two colors together - black and maroon. The two will make for a nice full bow. You will also need some wire to wrap around the bow and wire cutters to snip the wire. Sometimes I encounter frustrations when bow-tying, so I always keep a glass of wine available. The hand model that I hired called in sick, so I had to use my own hands which were ink stained.

Start by pulling lots of ribbon off the spool, I'm not sure how to quantify "lots", but it's more than a little. I will try to be more specific as we go on.

Leaving about a 6 - 8 inch tail, I make a loop that is about 5 - 6 inches long. How long you make it depends on how big you want your final product to be. I make my first 4 loops a little longer than the final loops. Anyway, after I make the loop I twist it a full 360 degrees.

Then I make another loop and I twist the ribbon again. The twisting makes the ribbon hold together better - much easier than trying to manage loose ribbon that is bunching between my finger and thumb. Twisting the ribbon also keeps it turned in the right direction.

Continue with the loop-twist-looping until you have a nice handful of loops. I always do an odd number - usually 7 or 9. This is because my highschool art teacher always stressed the importance of odd numbers. Someday I'll do an even number of loops and see if it produces an unsightly bow.

When I my bow is adequately looped, I wrap wire around it -really tightly- about four or five times. I add a tiny loop to cover the wire wrap, and then I wrap my little loop. This becomes the center of the bow.

Once I have the bow tightly wrapped, I clip the wire and I "fluff it up" twisting the ribbon, opening up the loops so the aren't squished together and I form it into a pleasing shape. See the small loop in the center? That's the final loop that I made while I was wrapping the wire.

The final step is to wrap ribbon around the block and tie it off at the top leaving tails. Use some wire to tie the bow to the top of the ribbon. I also use a little Liquid Glass to hold the bow a bit more securely. Trim the edges of the ribbon and enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

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