I've been a little obsessed with gift wrapping lately (see my earlier blog post), so when I saw The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts by Elaine Schmidt on the New Books table at the local library, I snatched it up.
My Favorite Projects
The book includes a few simple jewelry projects, tons of bow-making,
accessories (like headbands and shoe bows), and home decor items
(lampshades, cards, and pillows).
The reason I picked up this book is that I've been wondering about adding lettering to ribbon. I was impressed that this
book includes four methods: rubber stamps, stickers, rub-ons and
printing using your computer or a specialty portable printer. I
expected to find info about rubber stamps, but I was pleasantly surprised
by the other choices. It made me feel that the author had been very
thorough in doing her research for this book.
One of my absolute favorite projects is not actually made from ribbon; it's a ribbon storage box made from a photo box and large eyelets. (There's a tiny photo of it on the book cover at the bottom left corner.)
You can tell by the photo of my current storage system (pictured at right), that this is something I desperately need. Believe it or not, this is actually a cleaned-up version of my box—see how I gathered all those small bits of ribbon into a bag?
I'm currently stretched thin by a bunch of writing and editing deadlines for several magazines—not to mention making jewelry for the holiday mart at Northern Colorado Writers—but this is definitely going on my to-do list as soon as the holidays are over.
I did take five minutes to make a quick bow project (pictured at left) from the book. Isn't it cute? It doesn't take a lot of concentration, so it's a perfect multitasking kind of project that I can do while watching TV or riding in the car as a passenger.
I found some online
excerpts at Craftside, if you want to take a closer look at some of
You'll Like This Book If:
• You aren't sure what to do with ribbon or like to experiment with different techniques (sewing, paper crafts, jewelry making, embroidery, weaving). If you are focused on a single use (knitting with ribbon, for example), there probably won't be enough projects in this book to satisfy you.
• You love step-by-step photos in your craft books. There are more than 700 step-by-step photos in this one. I know this is an added expense for publishers, but it's the kind of extra feature that will prompt me to buy the book, especially if it's a material I don't usually work with.
• You're getting married or having a large party. This is not marketed as a wedding or party book, but I could see a DIY type making the bows and ribbon flowers to decorate chairs, tables, and doors.
• You prefer classic, rather than trendy, designs such as ribbon necklaces that use ribbon clamps to finish the ends, fancy bows on wreaths, and ribbon-woven pillows. I laughed when I saw that this book includes instructions for the same kind of ribbon belt I made in junior high!
Overall, this is a great reference book that will help expand your ideas about using ribbon in crafting. I hope we see more books like this in the series!