Ribbons Are Not Just for Bows

February 17, 2012

in gift & gourmet business, How Tos, Offering a Gift Wrapping Service, Packaging

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I have a ribbon addiction. I can hardly wait to see what new ribbons Nashville Wraps comes up with each season. I want to share some of my tricks for using different types of ribbon.

Let’s start with curling ribbon. Our curly bows are quick and easy, but may not always come in the color combination you need. Curling ribbon is CHEAP, so you can keep a stash of your favorite colors and make your own curly bows – see the video below.

Raffia ribbon, whether paper or rayon, is inexpensive too and can be pre-tied into bows using the same technique I used with the curly bow. Make the loops smaller and don’t snip the loops. If you are a retailer offering a gift-wrapping service, this is a good way to save time. Make these pre-tied bows and toss them into a drawer or box; then all you have to do is tie them onto your package or gift bag.

Wired ribbon is great for tying bows – we watched Laura teach us how to make a big pretty bow with our wired organza ribbon. But what about satin, grosgrain and other fabric ribbon? Satin ribbon has been one of our most popular ribbons for years. Because it is so soft, I rarely use satin ribbon to make multi-loop bows. I like this idea for making a loop-less bow by tying a single knot and trimming the ends to a “bow” shape. It is quick and foolproof. You may want to use a little fray stop on the edges to keep them neat.

The same technique works with grosgrain and paper raffia too. I sometimes like to tuck chopsticks or snippets of botanicals into the knot. Grosgrain ribbon looks great layered on a box without a bow too. In the picture above, I used a patterned narrow ribbon over two wider solid colors. Grosgrain is one of my favorite choices for collage or scrapbook page enhancements too.

I discovered this Mini Bowdrabra tool recently and thought I would try my hand at hair bows. I used bobby pins to hold mine in place. Here’s a link to instructions. I did not have the bow tool and mine came out fine. There is also a big version of the Bowdrabra that takes bow making to a whole new level. Look what I did with very little effort and a few ribbon scraps. It is a great way to use up the odds and ends left over from other projects. This bow would make a beautiful enhancement for a gift basket.

Another time saving tool is a bow-making machine. There are several kinds available, ranging from the professional kind (Nashville Wraps can special order you one of those) to the less-expensive. I have one that makes great loopy bows using our Poly and Satin Acetate ribbons. Again, you can make these bows ahead of time and fluff them up when you tie them on a gift. Nashville Wraps can custom print ribbons with your logo or greeting too.

Of course, the ultimate time savers are our pull bows and star bows. If you have tried all the tips, hints and instructional videos and still feel all thumbs with bow tying, the pull bow is the answer for you. They come in several sizes, colors and even shapes. We even have a video to show you how they work.

I really would love to hear your own ideas and tips, so leave us a comment!

Kathy Green
Packaging Consultant
Nashville Wraps


Kathy works with the Nashville Wraps’ Marketing Team as a packaging consultant and photo stylist. She is also a Master Gardener and enjoys her greenhouse and garden, three spoiled dogs, hubby and grandkids in her spare time. She also loves any kind of craft and spends rainy days in the art studio she shares with her creative husband, Bill.

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