Ever wonder how to know how much ribbon to buy for making those full holiday bows you see in the catalogs and craft stores? If so, I can help!
You see, I worked part time as a floral designer for Michael's, across several Christmas seasons I might add. I have literally--literally--made hundreds of bows. I credit all to my first job who showed me how to do it once, gave me a spool and said, come back tomorrow and be ready. Crash course! However, it's served me well in my future endeavors to come.
First, buy wired ribbon. Unless you're proficient, satin can look flat. Wired holds it's shape on packages, and if they get smooshed--be it from other presents or snuggly pets--you can bring it back to life in a cinch.
Second, think of bows in yards of ribbon. Hard to believe I know, but that's what a good, fluffy bow takes.
A basic guideline:
Softball size if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you a center loop (whether you choose it to be a small center "button" or a loop equal to the size of the others) and three loops to either side of it. You can add another foot to that if you want "tails" or you can just shrink the size of each loops and allow that extra foot to come from the three yards.
Medium package-size bow if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you five loops to either side. Follow instructions for tails above, allowing/adding 1.5 feet extra for them.
A good wreath-sized bow, for a 24" wreath, if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, slightly smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you five-seven loops to either side. Big, wide loops at five, tighter thicker at seven. Follow instructions for tails above, allowing/adding 2-2.5 feet extra for them.
This is a good guideline to follow. Even if you're unsure exactly what size you're aiming for, you always go slightly bigger and know you have plenty to get the bow just right. But this should help you out if you're standing at the store going, Nine feet is enough to make a bow for my wreath...Nope. Go for three spools or find a 30 foot roll. Trust me. :)
Hope this helped some of you less experienced bow makers. If you're not an expert, or have trouble grasping all that ribbon, I highly suggest the Bowdabra. It's great if you've got un-nimble fingers or are arthritic.
I'll try to post some of my wrapping accomplishments nearer to Christmas. I try to make them different and fun. Really, it's one of my favorite things to do. I love wrapping gifts!