Thursday, June 10, 2010

Artful Ribbons

Artful Thursday comes again and this week I am being practical.
My tale begins the old fashioned way, "A long time ago, in a place far away... I made ribbon acorns. They were pretty to look at and lovely to hold and got battered as heck over the years!"
Time to make new ones, especially as next week I get to paint the living room and drag it's decor into this century.
Here is some of what is needed...
Styrofoam egg
1" straight pins with flat tops
Papery-type ribbon 1" to 1 1/4" wide (you need to cut between 50 and 60 pieces that are about 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" depending on the size of your egg, plus one square piece of ribbon)
Thick tacky glue like Aleene's
Glue Stick
Fluffy dried stuff (plant material, like German Statice only softer)
Dried flowers like Straw Flowers or flowers made from ribbon or fabric
Narrow co-ordinating ribbon
Pretty pearl headed pin

You begin by placing the square piece of ribbon over the small end of the styrofoam cone and pining it in all 4 corners. I often add extra pins centred on each side as well.

Refer to the diagram below to see how to fold the ribbons. I like to fold them, open them up, apply the glue stick and then fold them back. Pinch hard between your fingers and let dry. (You may need to weight them down with a book while they dry).

I prefer to cut the ribbon so the woven edge is as shown in the diagram above but depending on the width of the ribbon that isn't always practical. When I find a really special ribbon that is wider than I need I will make the cut in the way it works best with the ribbon - if you get little threads at the point just trim with embroidery scissors and dab with glue to prevent fraying.

(This photo uses some dark plaid ribbon just so you can see better - I didn't leave it in!)
Begin pinning the folded pieces by taking the first two and holding them so they are on opposite sides of the cone, with their points meeting in the middle.Pin in the upper corners. Then place two more, opposite again, so you now have four points meeting. See below:

Start the next row by placing the points 1/2 way down, between the points laid in previously. You can see in the photo above the little gap that has formed, almost like an "X" - you want the point of the next row to land centred in that gap, 1/2 way down it.
There are four ribbon points in each row around the cone; continue up the sides until you have almost covered it completely. I usually leave the top bare as it is easier to pin things in when there is no ribbon to push through.

Smear a good layer of thick tacky glue over the exposed styrofoam at the top of the egg and begin laying in small pieces of the fluffy plant material. I like to look at the pieces and work with their natural growth curves - they seem to look nicer when they curve down the sides slightly. Do a layer all around the top of the egg. It doesn't need to cover entirely, in fact it's better to leave the centre sparse as whatever flower(s) and accent ribbons will fill that are in pretty well. And, you can always add more fluffy stuff later!

Working around the top of the egg...

I tore a strip of fabric, folded in the corner and gathered it up, sewing through the centre point while wrapping the gathered strip around that centre fold - it's kind of like a carnation. Glue that in place on the top of the egg, add velvet or ribbon leaves and a length of ribbon with the pearl head pin. If you fold the ribbon into a hanging loop you can use this as a tree decoration.

Front View

Side View

I really do prefer the look of straw flowers for these so I will hike on over to the garden centre and find myself a few plants. The flowers and the buds dry beautifully and the colour range is great - the dried petals have a subtle sheen that makes them lovely with ribbons. And of course, there are so many beautiful ribbons out there now...


Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I quickly went through some of your posts. Your inspiration board is quite to my liking. I love your driftwood fence and your acorn is sweet. You make me want to dig into my sewing again. Have a great weekend. Connie

Vintage Sandy said...

Love your pinecone tutorial looks very easy to follow will give it a try just found your blog through Diane Knott's Musings so happy I did!!

Tina Eudora said...

Hi there!
I found you through Diane Knott's blog and I am so glad I did, I just love your work! And I am definitely going to try the pine cone tutorial, thanks for sharing such a great idea.
Tina xo

Anonymous said...

I can imagine a Christmas tree loaded with this wonderful ribbon pinecones!!

FredaB said...

I too found your blog thru Diane. You have a lovely blog and I like the tutorials you do.
I have become a follower. come over and see my blog sometime.



esquiltingpassion said...

Here is another blogger who found your blog through Diane. I have become a follower. I love the ornament.

Anonymous said...

Jillayne, I'm just now finding the time to comment on your lovely blog! Will go exploring now!

Debby said...

Hi Jillayne, found you by way of Diane, your blog is beautiful, so many wonderful ideas.

Bluebell said...

Hello, I have not visited your blog before but, I enjoyed this visit, I was sent by Diane Knott and I am glad she sent me I will visit again.

kimberly shaw said...

I'm impressed! In awe actually.