It’s here. The tutorial to help demystify the enigmatic, often-confusing but totally AWESOME Boutique Bow. In my Boutique Bow journey (lol, but seriously), I have discovered many things (symmetry, focus of attention) and some things still remain a mystery to me. Bowmakers who can create a Boutique Bow by folding and pinching? Give those ladies props because that’s some serious skill! The way I learned how to make a consistently cute Boutique Bow was through placing and pinning my loops. You will see in the video that I do not attempt to fold the bow while holding it – rather I pin my loops in place, removing and replacing pins as I go, until I have a bow that can be pinched and un-pinched without the overlapping loops ever moving out of place. I found that this was the best method for me because – quite simply – if I messed up my pinch, I don’t have to remake my bow! And I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
So before I give you a list of things to “Keep in Mind” while you bow, here’s a list of materials. If you guys are like me, you want to skip to the action immediately (and then wonder what went wrong later when you didn’t read the directions but, like, YOLO, you know? I get you. I’m that way ) If you can press on with some instruction beyond the list of materials, more power to you!
You will need the following:
- 1.5 inch grosgrain, 30 inches
- straight pins (at least 2)
- alligator clips (at least 2, ideally 4)
- needle and thread
- glue gun
So here are some things to keep in mind while making a bow with this method:
- Keep your placements and angles symmetrical.
You’re going to be using evenly-spaced creases in your ribbon to make all of your placements, so this shouldn’t be a difficult rule to follow! The best looking bows are the bows that have been made with careful attention to symmetry. Especially the symmetry of the loops. You want the loops on each side of the knot to be the same size, right? Yes. In order to get there, all of your previous folds must be on-point, as they say. So just keep this in mind whilst you fold – symmetry is king!
Overlap your ribbon at 90 and 45 degree angles. We’re talking Parallel and Perpendicular lines here. Once you get going and cranking out some awesome bows, then you can start relaxing this rule. But initially, try and be close to a right angle.
This method takes time, it’s not quick. But that’s ok! Once you get the idea down, I think you’ll be able to hold-and-fold! This method gets you a boutique bow that looks good every time and teaches your brain the basic structure of the bow. After you *get it*, you’ll be soaring through these bows! But for now, go ahead and be OK with this taking about 5 mins per bow.
Taking a break allows your brain to work better. If you feel frustration mounting during this process, just take a break and try again tomorrow. When I started learning how to make this bow, I took days of in between and found that each time I came back to try, a new part of the process would make total sense to me. And my bows were better! So do take breaks.
We love the RABOM Specialty Shop. Maybe it’s because it’s impossible to look at sparkly, wired ribbon without thinking “Christmas!” or maybe because we subconsciously just want presents (wrapped in these, of course). Or maybe we just love the Specialty Shop because the ribbon is just gorgeous and stylish! In honor of our 20% off sale going on through Tueday 9/30 (just two more days!) here’s a post of some of our favorite items from the RABOM Specialty Shop! Wired ribbon, embroidered ribbon, christmas ribbon, burlap, chevron, checks and color galore!
Your RABOM Design team is hard at work putting together a lovely, informative, and simple Boutique Bow tutorial and the process has been equal parts FUN and WORK. If you’ve never made a tutorial video, here are some tips we’ve discovered through during our tutorial journey.
- Resolve tricky or time-consuming steps of your tutorial before you start
Is there something that you’re doing in your tutorial that is causing you to forget your words, train of thought or process? Is there a particular step that is taking a lot of time? Are those things 100% necessary to the video or photos? No? Then take those out! If cutting your ribbon on-camera is taking a lot of time and making you forget your words, cut it beforehand. No one absolutely HAS to see that step.
And ALWAYS thread your needles off camera! Threading needles for an audience? That’s too much pressure for one Ribbonista to handle.
We know that you can use “loop” and “ear” pretty interchangeably when talking about a bow, but stick to one – it’s easier on YOU and it’s easier for your viewers to understand. And anything that is easier on you is ultimately better for your presentation. Words to watch and use correctly: bottom, end, top, back, front, up, down, left, right. These are all relative words and some ( The “ends” of your ribbon / The “bottoms” of your ribbon) can be used interchangeably but also may get confusing for viewers, so before you get started, take a few minutes to choose your words and stick to them while you talk!
- Wear something comfortable that’s not a bright print or pattern
This is some Group Photo Taking 101 – wear grey, white, khaki, chambray or subtle blues because this will allow your viewers to focus on the craft without naturally wanting to gaze at the beautiful pattern of your sleeve. Also – bright pinks and reds will cause “blowout” on a computer or tv screen – this means the pixels loose the ability to show depth because, for lack of a better phrase, the color has blown the mind of the camera with its intensity. This sounds cool, but it’s a bit painful on the ole’ eyeballs.
- Make more than one tutorial
By the time you’re set-up and ready to go and you’ve rehearsed what you’re going to say AND you’ve managed to film a good run-through of your tutorial, you may as well sit down and do a few more while you’re camera is set up! You’ve got your materials out, you’re cozy, and chances are you have more battery power in that camera so keep going!
- Divide your process into separate videos
If you’re showing people how to make a cute cluster of Shabby Chiffon Flowers for a headband and you know you’re using a Fold-over elastic headband, make a separate video showing people how you made the fold-over elastic headband! Split your process up so you have more videos (more visibility!) and more content for those Social Media rainy days! And your audience will thank you – what’s easy and obvious to you may not be easy and obvious to others!
- Talk about what went wrong
If you read any Cooking Illustrated publications, you’ll know that they start the recipe out by telling you ways they tried to cut time / money / material and whether or not it worked. We’re all trying to streamline all the time – if you tried something in your process that didn’t work, let your viewers know! This builds trust with your following and trust = longterm followers! Also, this gives you credibility as a crafter / maker / cook / DIY’er who isn’t afraid to be adventurous and try some hair-brained things! AND lastly – you know those moments in tutorial videos that, well, you can hear crickets chirping in the background? Because you’re busy tying a knot and that’s an important, time-consuming step? This is a good time to chat with your viewers about something like “Guys, DON’T do what I did this one time… “
- Memorize your first and last line
This is a story-telling technique that works in a million scenarios. This is actually a life-hack.
When you’re going to do something difficult but you know you have to talk through it, memorize the first sentence you’ll say and the last, concluding sentence you’ll say. Everything in between will come naturally if you have a concrete start and stop, one that is rehearsed and makes sense to you. Try this the next time you are telling a story! You’ll see how helpful it is to know that you’re not struggling to start OR stop talking!
- The best camera is the one you have.
It’s an old adage, but it’s true. Get out there and shoot with what you have! If you have an iphone you already have a pretty awesome video camera – use it!
- Light! Lots of it. But not directly.
Get as much light on your work area as you can – this will make all of your movements clear and easy-to-see for your followers. And if you can, get light from multiple directions! Set yourself up in a room with a lot of windows and film at a bright time of day but avoid direct beams of light as this will cause your screen to go completely white in certain areas (this is called “blowout”) and that’s just as unhelpful as areas that are in utter darkness.
If you need to make a joke, make a joke! If you aren’t a big talker, that’s cool, too! Just talk when you think it’s necessary. Do you say “um…” a lot? That’s ok! Don’t be harsh with yourself. Are you actually this amazing actress who is pretty good at DIY but AWESOME at making people smile? Go for it. Have fun. The tutorial is a creative endeavor, so put yourself in there.
That’s it! We’ll probably think of more as we go on and of course we’ll keep you posted about it. Have any tips for us? Let us know in the comments!
Pink Tree Camo is *possibly* our favorite new release since Winter Wonderland!
It’s our RABOM Real Tree on Pink Grosgrain and… well… it was a major “ah HA!” moment for the RABOM design team. You know when you’re cooking and you’re using a recipe you’ve made 100 times but you do something a little different and it majorly pays off? Let’s say you’re making thumbprint cookies and this time you decide to add some almond extract to the dough and maybe some lemon zest to the jelly in the center. When you take that first bite of the cookie and you recognize the cookie you’ve enjoyed a hundred times BUT IT’S LIKE SO MUCH BETTER! Just that little difference and – BAM! – it’s amazing! Well. That’s how we feel about Pink Tree Camo We heart it very much!
Three new Awareness prints! For the girls who want to rock their support and their camo at the same time, there’s a Save The Rack Realtree awareness ribbon! We love it and we can’t wait to see the bows. And of course, we can’t talk about “Save the Rack” without also throwing down a “Save Second Base” print! Cleverness and Awareness make a Great Pair! No pun intended
Motivation Monday! Maybe don’t let go of everything, but let go of that small thing that you can let go of. You’ll know what it is. And you’ll feel better once you’ve set yourself free from fretting over it
Hello all! This cute little craft is easy as pie. Much easier than pie, actually. If you’ve ever made a pie, it can be a traumatic experience depending on how DIY you go with that crust This craft is all about Elmer’s Glue (or an equivalent), water, grosgrain, a glue gun, scissors and some time! Here’s the recipe we used for making our stiffened, Glue Glazed Grosgrain.
Glue Glazed Grosgrain:
- 1 part water
- 1 part glue
- a place to hang your grosgrain so it does not touch while drying
Just whisk together glue and water (we poured water into our half-empty glues and shook them like crazy), pour into a small bowl with high sides. Add your grosgrain. Let them soak for a minute then pull the ribbons out one-by-one. You can pre-cut your ribbon strips so you’re not unnecessarily stiffening ribbon you won’t use. Gently pull the excess liquid from your ribbon before hanging up to dry but do not crinkle, squeeze or fold your ribbon. Let the ribbon hang perfectly vertically and dry suspended in the air. This should take 1 hour to 4 hours, depending on relative humidity. Don’t use the ribbon unless it’s completely dry. And there you go!
We think this would look SO cute hanging from a fireplace or in front of a window! Vary the sizes of your ribbon up a little and you can make a variety of sizes! Just subtract 2 inches overall from the lengths and you have smaller, squatter pumpkins to give you pretty varying sizes! Enjoy!
We’re so in love with these new Winter Holiday 2014 prints! We had a bunch on the table, so to speak, before narrowing it down to these 5 releases. And the BOWS – oh my WORD the bows! – are looking so cute! We can’t wait to see what our Ribbonistas come up with. So here’s some detailed, high-res looks at Winter Wonderland,