May Arts Ribbon Design Team Final Round

French Country Gift Box and Banner with Bow-Maker tutorial

Today on the blog, I am revealing my project for the May Arts Ribbon Design Team Final Round.  I will also be sharing a tutorial on how to create  your own Bow Maker Tool so you can quickly and easily tie perfect ribbons every time. 

I think the hardest thing about this project was choosing which gorgeous May Arts ribbons to use!  I spent a long time perusing the online catalog searching for just the right ribbons to use in my French Country Gift Box and Banner.  From all the hundreds of scrumptious ribbons, I narrowed the selection down to these 7:

354 1"x30y  SATIN/REVERSIBLE/STITCHED EDGEBT 1/8"x100y - SOLID/STITCHED CENTERG 3414  2.5"x30y  Net421 1/2"x15y CrochetBY 30y - LeavesUK 1.5"x50y - SILKY/CRUSH

I combined these gorgeous ribbons with Graphic 45 French Country papers and accents to create a gift box and banner.

Top of gift box featuring green netting and leaves from May Arts Ribbon.

Top of gift box featuring green netting and leaves from May Arts Ribbon.

Gold Mesh Netting bow on the front of the box.

Gold Mesh Netting bow on the front of the box.

May Arts Final Round 27 This is the side view of the box.  You can see the brown crochet lace edged with the solid/stitched ribbon.  The various ribbons and lace were adhered using 1/8″ tacky tape.

The box contains a banner made from 3 1/4″x 5″ pockets.  The pockets are strung together using the 1/8 inch solid/stitched ribbon and double stick tape.  I alternated the ribbon so that it runs under one pocket and over the next. May Arts Final Round 17

Here’s a close-up of the pockets:May Arts Final Round 18


May Arts Final Round 19 I used a different May Arts ribbon to embellish each pocket.  Each pocket contains a fun surprise.

May Arts Final Round 20 A seed packet, topped with more ribbon is tucked inside each pocket.  The ribbons on the seed packets co-ordinate with the bows tied on the front of the pocket.

Here’s how they look all tucked into the gift box:May Arts Final Round 22 May Arts Final Round 23

I don’t want to go into all the details of making the box and the banner.  Instead, I want to focus on a tutorial for creating your own bow maker tool.  I get lots of questions about how I tie my bows… single, double and triple. By using this tool, you will have good results every time.  Best of all, the tool can be made with simple items you have on hand right now.  So let’s begin.

How to create your own Bow Maker Tool

To create this tool,  you will need the following items:

Heavy chipboard, a ruler, a sharpie marker in a dark color, sharp scissors and/or a craft knife. 

Start by cutting a 3″x3″ square of heavy chipboard.  On the bottom edge, measure in 1 1/2″ and make a mark.  Measure 1/8″ on either side of this point and make another mark.  From each of these marks, measure up 1 1/2 inches and make a mark. Connect each of the top marks with the bottom marks, then cut with a sharp scissor or craft knife.  Then cut the small space between the two top marks to form a slit.  It should look like this:

May Arts Final Round 06 Next, take a 12″ length of ribbon. ( For photo purposes, I am using ivory seam binding.) Lay the ribbon across the front of the bow maker, leaving about 1 1/2″ hanging off the left hand edge:May Arts Final Round 07

While holding the ribbon that is in your left hand in place, run the ribbon in your right hand all the way around the tool.

May Arts Final Round 08 and then bring it to the center.

May Arts Final Round 09 and run it through the center of the slit, pushing it through the opening that is above the ribbon.  May Arts Final Round 10

Pull the ribbon all the way through the opening, and then come back up through the bottom of the slit:

May Arts Final Round 11 Bring both ribbon ends to the center, as seen in the photo and tie the two ends together in a simple knot, left over right.

May Arts Final Round 13 Pull the ends so that they are somewhat tight, but still loose enough that you can slip the bow off the tool. Turn the bow over and make any necessary adjustments. 

May Arts Final Round 03

I generally stick my thumb and index finger of my left hand into the loops to “fluff” them and make sure they are even. When you are happy with the way the bow looks, simply tighten the two ends, trim the tails and use a glue dot or hot glue to attach to your project.  For the little envelopes in the banner, I ran a length of May Arts ribbon around the packaging and then glued the bow in the center with a dab of hot glue.

You can also use this tool to make double or triple bows.  You will need to start with a longer ribbon: about 18″ for a double bow and 28″ for a triple bow.  Simply keep wrapping the ribbon around the tool for as many loops as you desire, and then finish off as before.  I have made this tool in three sizes: 3″ as seen in this tutorial, and then 2 3/8″ for smaller bows and 4″ for larger bows:

May Arts Final Round 15    May Arts Final Round 14

Here are some samples of different sized bows tied with the bow making tool:

May Arts Final Round 16 Here we have a single loop bow, a double loop bow and a triple loop bow…each one easy to tie using the bow making tool. If the edges of your bow seem “flat” you can insert a pencil inside the loops and roll the ribbon around it to fluff them up. Then you just sort of “telescope” the individual loops, starting with the innermost loop. It makes for a very pretty bow!

May Arts Final Round 04

I hope you will find it easier to create beautiful bows with May Arts Ribbon when you use this simple tool.  It’s good to practice with inexpensive seam binding before you start using your special May Arts ribbon.  Once you get the hang of using this tool, you’ll have a perfect bow every time!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today.  I had fun sharing this project and tutorial with you.  I’d like to thank May Arts ribbons for providing me with the ribbons, and for inviting me to enter the May Arts Ribbon Design Team Final Round.  I’ll be on pins and needles until the decisions are made.  If I can help you in any way, or if you have any questions about making and using this simple bow making tool, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Thanks for all the kind comments…they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,









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6 thoughts on “May Arts Ribbon Design Team Final Round

  1. ncguygirl

    Ooh, the box and banner are so pretty! I know they must be even prettier in person. Great job! Love the bow-making tutorial too – makes me feel like even I could tie one!

  2. Candy Colwell

    Beautiful project Kathy. Love the vintage feel of the sweet box and I also love the little banner you made. So cute! Love the cardboard bow maker, too! <3 Candy

  3. Ann Schach

    Beautiful projects, Kathy! Absolutely stunning!!! I am happy to see that I am not the only one who uses a cardboard bow maker! I am cutting up a batch of them for Convention to pass out to the Pals when I do my presentation on Wednesday. It’s so easy to use.

  4. Linda Sugrue

    Beautiful designs Kathy (as usual!). And the bow making goodness… SO great of you to share with other crafters… Will def have to try them…
    Linda xo

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