Monday, May 16, 2011

Tip of the Week: Make your own Bowmaker

Hello, Bloggy Friends.

Are you ready for a crash course in bowmaking?

I'm all thumbs -- or at least, left longing for a few more fingers and hands -- when making bows for my cards and layouts.

Yet the bows I made today (at left) were blessedly simple and quick to make, because I had the right tool ... a homemade bowmaker.

The box looks like this, just bought
Inspired by Becca at Amazing Paper Grace (click her blog name here for a link to her posting), I made a bow loom out of a wooden box bought for $1 at Michael's. 

I measured 12 holes around the rim (Becca's uses 16 holes), and using Mr. Smiley's cordless drill equipped with a 1/8" bit, I carefully drilled the 12 holes each about 1/2" deep.

I drilled one hole in the center of the box, through the bottom.  You're going to want to put a flat-headed nail up through the bottom to use as a center post. The nail I used look like this.

I purchased rivets to insert into the holes around the rim. They look like this.

To assemble your bowmaker, insert a rivet into each of the 12 holes, and a nail up through the bottom of the box.

To make a rosette, wrap ribbon (any size -- I used 3/4" wide satin) by leaving a 5" lead, puncture the ribbon onto the nail, and wrapping the ribbon around the opposite rivet. 

Spinning the box as you work, continue wrapping the ribbon around the opposite pegs, taking care to stab the ribbon onto the center post as you go.

When you're done, the rosette will look like this when still on the bowmaker.

Slip your finger underneath the rosette to pinch all the nail holes together at the center. This will make it easier to find the nail holes in the ribbon, so you can remove the nail and replace it with a decorative brad. Open the "legs" of the brad to hold the bow as finished.

Remove the finished bow from the rivets, and tah-dahhh, a beautiful rosette for your card or layout.

Now, not leaving well enough alone, I expounded on this idea a bit to create a multi-sized rosette creator. I used a wood plaque (also at Michael's -- I think this was $5, minus coupon of 40% = $3.00).  This rosette creator has three rings of holes so I can make layered rosettes in multiple sizes (starting the smallest, first for the top of the bow), or larger sized rosettes.

I then figured out that I could use these same holes to make 2 pin bows (such as this rust-colored organza one here), or a 4 pin bow (blue on a horizontal card ribbon). 

If you're going to be drilling to make your own bowmaker, why not figure out how you can use one board and removable pins to locate your "extra fingers" whereever you want? 

I hope this tip helps you create your own beautiful bows!


Star said...

You are soooooo clever! Thanks for sharing!

Scrappin Rabbit Designs said...

Wow! You're amazing. I love your creativity. Thanks for sharing.

Also I wasn't sure if you accept these or not but if you do, I have an award for you.

Please stop by when you get a chance.


bernietom47 said...

Becca is Amazing. Her mind just works in such wonderful ways. Always thinking out side the box with her use of punches, dies and of course ribbon. Love you plaque and bows. I will have to try it.
Blessings Bernie