Building a Better Bow

I loooooove burlap!  I adore its rustic, homespun look against the elegant green of herbs, so it’s a natural fit for me and my business.  The problem with burlap, as I see it, is that it’s also kind of bulky to work with.  Bows, by their very nature, require a lot of fabric, but here’s an option that will make the yardage go really far, and will make a much neater burlap bow.

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I started with yardage–one yard will make about 5 large bows, if bows are cut to the same 8 inch width that I used.  I really enjoy working with this stamped burlap; the stamping, which only appears on one side of the fabric, means that you’ll get a lot less fraying when cutting into the burlap.  I also suggest using pipe cleaners to fasten your bow.  They lay nice and flat and really grip the fabric well.

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Begin by deciding how wide you want your bow to be.  Eight inches seemed just right to me, but this could easily be cut wider or narrower.  Pick out a thread right at the eight inch mark (or wherever) and pull the string the full width of the burlap which, in the case of the fabric I bought, was 48 inches.  This is your cutting line, which will keep your burlap surprisingly straight.  Snip, snip!

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So now you have a piece of burlap that is 8 inches wide and 48 inches long. Fold it in half so you have two pieces 8 inches X 24 inches long.  Cut along the fold.  With one of those 24 inch pieces, fold in half lengthwise, and cut along that fold line as well.  Now you’ll have one piece measuring 8 X 24–this will form the top part of the bow–and two pieces measuring 4 X 24.  One of these 4 inch pieces will form the legs of your bow.  Keep the other leg if you’re making more than a couple of bows; you’ll see why shortly.  Now comes the fast, fun part!

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With your fingers, gather up the 8 X 24 piece of fabric, squinching it in the middle, and temporarily secure this with a twist of one pipe cleaner.

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Next, pinch one of the 4 x 24 pieces in its center.  Untwist the pipe cleaner on the temporarily secured part of the bow, snug the bow “legs” into the pipe cleaner, and now twist the pipe cleaner 3 or 4 times really well.  At this point, you should have the top of the bow plus the legs of the bow all snugged together in the pipe cleaner.  Flip your bow over.  Tug the ruffles this way and that.  Do you like how it looks?  Good.  Now tie the pipe cleaner.

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I do this just to make sure the fabric will stay.  So your bow should look somewhat like this–

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And when I put one of these on one of my herbal wreaths, it looked like this–

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How lovely!  Once I got this down, I was able to whip out 9 of them in one hour.  These feel and look really sturdy, and they lay so very nicely!  Now, what should I do next?

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One Response to Building a Better Bow

  1. Pingback: Building a Better Bow | The Little Brown House Herbary

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