Tag Archives: ribbon

Sew Cute!

I know… I went with the too oft double entendre use of the word “sew” for this title, but please don’t let that steer you away from this impressive-looking, but really easy project. You see, my quest to make hand-made, but still really cute, personal baby gifts continues! I had some great pieces of ribbon that were too short for wrapping a package, so I thought for sure they destined for flower pins. But then, I saw a really cute baby onesie, and knew I found a new fate for the ribbons. So what else do you need for this super easy project? Just a plain onesie and some thread. I guess you can adorn anything with cute satin ruffles, but there is something about a ruffly baby bottom that is beyond cute!

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It’s pretty self explanatory. You start sewing at one end and then every so often at random intervals, you do a little pleat to create a ruffled effect. I started doing a running stitch and then switched to hemming stitch. I think. Like I have mentioned before, I am not much of a sewer. I am a doer. My goal was to attach those ribbons to that cloth and that is what I did. I’d like to flatter myself that I invented a new stitch, but I didn’t. I just don’t know what it’s called.

Here is another one I did that same night.

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I hand-stitched these. I made both of them in about three hours, and about an hour of that was just figuring things out. I made the second one in half the time of the first. You can probably knock these out in mere minutes on the sewing machine. But, I made mine during an “open craft” night and didn’t think I should bring my sewing machine.

The only tricky thing about these are the edges. Ribbons fray pretty easily. I have two suggestions: First, simply fold over the ribbon before you attach it and sew seam. Or, second, take a lighter to the edge of the ribbon and, very carefully, let the edges just barely melt. Also, of the ribbon has wire, remove it! This is really easy. Just poke it out of one end and pull it through.

There is very little you can make for a baby girl that is not huber adorable, but these are cute– and sew simple! Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Do you have go-to hand made baby gift items? I would love to hear your ideas! And if you try this please send pics.

Like always, feel free to share his post.

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Pretty Petals–Ribbon Flower Tutorial

Here is a fun flower tutorial. In this style you cut out individual petals. The trick, though, is to use a lighter or flame to curl the petals. So you need to find a fabric that will basically melt instead of burn. I have found that many shiny ribbons will do work very well.

What you will need to start:

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A ribbon, a flame, scissors. You can use a candle like in the photo, but I honestly found more control with a lighter. The downside is that the sucker gets hot!

Cut your ribbon into pieces that you can then shape into rough petals. You can vary the size of your petals or leave them all the same…it’s really up to your own design aesthetic.

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Once you have all your petals roughly cut, hold them over the flame to melt the edges and get them to curl slightly. You will get a sense of how the fabric behaves after just a few petals. 20130531-204751.jpg

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Once you have amassed your petals, start constructing your flower. Again, I like to use a base of sturdy fabric to see the flower onto so that I have control of its shape. I prefer to sew, but there is no reason you couldn’t glue the thing if that is your preference–except that its messy and not as sturdy.

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Once you have sewn all your petals on, you can go back and fill in spots and manipulate the petals by holding a flame to them.

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Here’s another flower done in pink and organza ribbon. I attached a pin and clip to the back to make it wearable. 20130531-210024.jpg

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(These flower pins and others available for purchase at http://www.etsy.com/shop/LifeImproved)

First… admit you have a problem.

My dear, beautiful sister was always so proud of herself for getting such fabulous deals on after-holiday items, decorations and wrappings.  Perhaps the best example was Christmas.  Every year, she would buy her wrapping papers, tissues, foils, boxes, bags, decorations on super sale after the season and put them away for the next year.  She got such fabulous savings!

When she moved from Illinois to Arizona three years ago she brought out from under the house FIVE bins of Christmas stuff, much of it never opened. Together, with hands held, and tears in our eyes, we acknowledged she had a sickness.  If you buy things and never use them, it’s no deal at all, no matter how cheap it was.

Now, I will admit, I took a lot of it…she couldn’t take it with her and we weren’t going to throw it away…it was all free for me.  But, I have to be honest,  it will be years before I actually go through it all.  Especially since I have made a vow to never buy wrapping paper and gift bags again.  Once you make a conscientious effort to save tissue, gift bags, cellophane, bows, ribbon, fillers, foils, and boxes, it adds up very fast.  People may look at you strangely at a baby shower when you are folding all the tissue into manageable folds, but you’ll be glad you did. (Baby showers are gold mines for tissue paper, by the way).  There are so many uses for tissue paper.  You can shred it and use it for easter baskets, shipping delicate products, and gift baskets. You can even wrap presents with it. You can use if for decor on gifts of plain bags, such as making tissue flowers, bows, or taking some watered down glue and decoupage-ing.

At Christmas time, I collect the ribbon and tissue and bags that people otherwise throw away. And they throw so much away! Everyone so far has rolled their eyes at the idea of shredding and composting the wrapping paper, but I hope to put that into effect soon.  I also collect small boxes and ribbons like the ones that come with all those yummy office gifts. Even if it’s too small to actually use to wrap, ribbons are great for crafting.

Occasionally my husband also has a good idea. Sometime ago he collected a handful of flight maps that the local flight school was getting rid of.  They have now become his signature wrapping and everyone remarks on how clever it is.  Repurposing things like maps, comics, your kid’s coloring book pages, instructions, newspaper, magazine pages, and tissue as wrapping paper is a great and FREE idea. Don’t forget to shred and compost after wards (I know…I haven’t gotten around to that yet, but I WILL.)