Monday, July 26, 2010

Korker Bows- A How To Tutorial

Well, between it being summer, and starting a photography business, I have very little time on my hands. One of the things I've been doing, though, is making bows. I tote them alone with me to photo shoots, so that they can be used in the shoots, and in some instances, sold.

I've known HOW to make Korker bows for a while, however, it's only been recently that I took the time to actually put the theory to test. While I'm sure most people who play around with bows know how to do these, I figured I would show the rest of the crew how to make them.

What You'll Need:

  • 12-16" Dowels, roughly the diameter of a Pencil, give or take a bit. You can use extremely narrow dowels for thin ribbon- these make for cute, TINY little korkers. I've use thick and thin dowels, but pencil width makes the nicest korker size for 3/8" ribbon, IMHO.
  • 3/8" ribbon. Anywhere from 1-4 different ribbons look best. When using patterned ribbon, I would recommend using no more than 2 patterns, and adding in at least 1, if not 2-3 solid coordinating ribbons.
  • An oven
  • Clothing pins
  • Elastic Thread
  • Alligator Clip, Hair Band tie, or Headband- your choice!
  • Felt- This isn't required, but I prefer using it.
All right, so... here's the really "hard" instructions. This first part is just the instructions on how to turn plain ribbon into Korker ribbon.

  1. Preheat your oven to 275 Degrees F. 
  2. Take a dowel, and your first ribbon. You are going to wind it in a spiral around the dowel. Once you have it started, use a clothing pin to "pin" the ribbon in place. Once you have it started, it's super easy & fast to wind down the dowel. 
  3. When the ribbon reaches the end, wind it around, cut it, then pin it in place using the clothing pin again. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 to fill as many dowels as you have. To put it into perspective, each full Korker bow is going to use between 4-8 dowels worth of ribbon. The more full you want it, obviously, the more ribbon you'll want to use.
  5. Once you have all the dowels you want, place them either on a cookie sheet, or in a casserole dish or cake pan, and stuff them into the oven. Bake them for 25 minutes. You can leave them in longer, if you'd like, but 25 minutes will work good.
  6. Remove them from the oven, and let the rods cool for 10 minutes or so, since the wood does get very hot to handle.
  7. Once they are cool, you can unspiral them from the dowels. If you twist the ribbon to loosen it, you can slide it right off the dowel, though it may snag on the wood from time to time.

 Part 2- How to turn Korker ribbon into Korker Hair Clips.

  1. First up, you want to cut your ribbon into smaller, more managable sections. You can lay it out, measure it, and cut it, but I find that just holding the ends, and stretching the middle tight with my scissors, then cutting it in half works well. I repeat this with each of the two left over strands, so that I get 4 3" korkers out of each dowel's worth of ribbon. You can also cut them smaller, and create "layers" of longer & shorter length.
  2. Once you have all your ribbons cut, lay them out flat on the table on top of elastic thread. Pull tight, and tie it. This can sometimes leave your korkers uneven, though. My other meathod is to layer them onto a straight pin, then tie it while it is still on the pin, before removing the pin. You'll find all sorts of meathods on the web, and will find what works bvest for you after a few tries.
  3. Once it's tied together, fluff it, and decide what will be the "bottom" of the hair tie. From here, take the felt, and cut a small circle to glue to the bottom. This gives it more surface space to glue to the item you want it on.
  4. Take the item you are attaching it to, and add glue to the felt, before attaching it to the item. For skinny, elastic headbands, I add a circle of felt to the bottom, to seal it on with more surface space. With alligator clips and hard plastic headbands, just add the glue in the strip where the item will be.

Ta Da!

Variations- try experimenting with different types of ribbon. I've used Satin & Grosgrain with great results. I also tried Rick Rack, and it left it with a tiny bit of curl, but not a korker effect. You can also try out different widths of ribbon. I used both 1/4" and 1/8" today, and LOVED the teeny tiny Korkers as an addition, though the 1/8" size on a TEENY TINY dowel was hard to secure in place with a clothing pin.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

thanks for taking the time to put this out there!