Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Tree Bows

My mom and grandmother decorated their Christmas trees with gorgeous bows and I felt the need to carry on the tradition. I have two sets of bows to accommodate different color schemes: white/silver/blue and sage/maroon/gold. They are super easy (just a bit time consuming) and make the tree look all sorts of fancy!Materials:
  • ribbon
  • floral wire (22-26 gauge works well)
  • craft scissors
Step 1: Cut 10-12 inch piece of wire and have it ready.
Step 2: Leave 6-10 inches for one of the "tails" and then twist the ribbon 180 degrees. Pinch it tightly
Step 3: Loop the ribbon and then twist the ribbon 180 degrees again, bringing the twisted/pinched parts together. The "right" side of the ribbon should make a pretty loop.
Step 4: Take the piece of cut wire and wrap it around the twisted/pinched area.
Step 5: Make two more loops by twisting the ribbon like before, but lengthen the loop a bit so it sits to the left and then the right side of the original loop.
Step 6: Pull the wire around the new twists and wrap it around itself a few times to secure it.
Step 7: Continue making loops--remembering to twist the ribbon 180 degrees to keep the "right" side of the ribbon facing outward.
Step 8: When you're satisfied with the look and size of your bow, twist the ribbon off in the back.
Step 9: Then, cut the ribbon at an angle to add a pretty look to the tails.
Step 10: Secure the ribbon to a branch of your Christmas tree with a simple "criss-cross" of the wire (as shown secured to my finger). The easy part--they pull right off the tree when you un-decorate, but the wire holds it firmly in place.
**Tips**
  • Use different widths and colors of ribbon to add more dimension to your decor.
  • Ribbon with wired edges works best because after they are stored for a year, they are easy to form back to a "pretty" state rather than just looking smashed.
  • Use green floral wire so the wire ends blend with your Christmas tree's bristles.
  • Make the bows both large and small because the smaller bows look better toward the top where branches are smaller/shorter.
  • Experiment with the length of the tails; long ones look really pretty dangling between branches.
  • Make some extras to use on your gifts so the ribbons on the presents UNDER your tree match the ribbons ON your tree (just keep track of them when the unwrapping madness begins so they don't get thrown out).
Here are photos of my 2009 and 2008 Christmas trees (respectively):
2009, I used the white/silver/blue bows with white lights and 2008, I used the sage/maroon/gold ribbons with multi-colored lights. And yes, I also "wire" teddy bears to the more empty spots in my tree to cover up the lights' wires.

13 comments:

  1. When my kids were little, I did my entire tree in bows I made. I have all glass ornaments so in order to protect them we had a "bow tree" until the kids were old enough to not "play" with the pretty shiny things on the tree. I got so many compliments on that tree. I just might have to pull those out and mix them in with the ornaments this year. Thanks for reminding me how pretty bows are on a Christmas tree.

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  2. I was actually looking at ribbon at a killer price today in a craft store, wishing that I knew an easy way to make bows for some Christmas decor. Now that I read your post, I am so wishing that I bought the ribbon!

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  3. How long is the ribbon for the large bow and how long for the small bow? I'm trying to buy enough ribbon for a 10' tree so I have to do the math ahead of time. Thank you.

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  4. My sister-in-law and I are planning to have a Christmas tree full of bows, we just don't know how. Thanks for posting this blog, we will definitely enjoy doing this together. We are excited to put our gifts beneath our lovely Christmas tree.

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  5. I just got done reading through some of your decorating blogs, and I think they are wonderful! I created a product called The Ornamator, a decorating multi-tool. You can see how it works at: http://www.http://ornamator.com/how-to.html

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  6. Ooops! Here's the right link ;) http://ornamator.com/how-to.html

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