Friday, April 29, 2011

Handmade Ribbon

Up to my nose with house projects, I haven't done a craft project in ages! My boss's birthday provided me the opportunity to get crafty and take a break from wallpapering and painting furniture.
I decided to make her several yards of handmade ribbon - something popular in the stamping world but since I'm a graphic designer who works almost exclusively on a computer, I never got into the stamping world like two of my sisters did.

But it was easy and fun to do and I might do some homemade ribbon for special holiday gifts in the future!
(the hardest part was keeping my furry helpers off the work area!)

I bought a yard of white/bleached muslin at JoAnn Fabrics and some RIT dye. After washing/drying the muslin in my regular laundry, I mixed up some of the dye in a plastic pail (wearing gloves).
I chose a denim blue because I like how it looks when faded - a more reddish-purple undertone. I did not make it full strength - used hot water and a pinch of salt - tied up the muslin into knots so it would dye uneven for an aged look, and plunged it in/out in 5 seconds.
Wrung and rinsed in cold water, then washed/dried again with a load of jeans.
Not wanting to let the dye bath go to waste, I also dyed a stained white cotton Battenburg lace tablecloth a lovely shade of faded blueberry (20 seconds in the dye bath) and a white linen blouse that was also stained (10 seconds in a weakened dye bath). It turned out a lovely shade of pale hydrangea blue!! (new life for both pieces).
The next step was to iron and then tear the strips to the width I desired (in this case, about 2" wide). I loved the torn edges look so chose to do it that way - you can also cut it with a scissors if you prefer a more polished look.
To tear, just cut a notch into the selvage and rip.
Then the sewing machine came out - it only took 10 minutes to sew the ends together!

After laying it out on plastic bags on my table, I began stamping (I bought it all on sale at JoAnns).
Once stamped, I spritzed it with a frost and shimmer fabric/paper spray and stuck on sticky-back rhinestones.

The finished yardage was rolled up on to a piece of unbleached papyrus paper and tied with a piece of white lace ribbon.
For the final touch I stuck a piece of fresh flowering rosemary underneath the ribbon!
My next ribbon will be white muslin with pink and pale green roses and romantic text!!

1 comment:

  1. Paula, your creativity and resourcefulness never cease to amaze me! What a great project--with what looks to be a great result!