Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ruffled Ribbon Rings (say it 10 times fast)

I’ve discovered a quick and easy project - much like the hair accessories I like to make!  And, also like the hair accessories, there’s an excess of ribbon involved.  I never knew how much I liked ribbon until I had a baby girl.  Ribbon’s really cool!  I may need to buy stock in some kind of ribbon manufacturer.  
(this would be when mr points out that stock doesn’t ACTUALLY work that way, and I would say, well, good, because I didn’t ACTUALLY mean it.)  
Anyway, I’ve been working with ribbon for mini’s (and other’s) hair accessories when it dawned on me.  Ribbon is so much more than a pretty flower for your hair.  You can use it for lots of things.  One of those things is the focus of this post.
I give you
That’s right.  The Ruffled Ribbon Rings.  Currently there are four main kinds of ruffled ribbon rings.  #1 the prefab band with ruffled ribbon flower.  #2 the wound wire band with ruffled ribbon flower.  And (my personal favorite) #3 the ruffled ribbon band with many different kinds of embellishments!  Oh, and number 4 - Ruffled Ribbon (Ear)rings.  
Here are a few of my favorites so far.  

(My FAVORITE favorite is that cameo one on the end.  I’ve been wearing it all week).  
I intended to give you three how to’s in one post, but with all the cat excitement, I’ve only finished two, so you’ll have to wait for #3.  I don't know if #4 really needs an explanation, it's soooo easy, but I'll probably do it anyway.

I forgot to mention that you’ll need a sewing machine as well (it IS possible to make #1 and #2 without a sewing machine.  You need to buy ribbon that has thread woven through it on both edges - this way you won’t need to sew a gathering stitch, you can just gather the thread that’s already there.)  Also, this is a comprehensive list for all three kinds.  There are some things you’ll only need for one kind or another.  Oh, and also, obviously I didn’t list every single little embellishment that you might need.  There are lots of ways you can vary this project.  Furthermore, you can mix and match, too - take a little of #1 and a little of #3, for example.  I think that’s all of my over-explanations for now.
Here’s a run-down of #1.
First, you need to have a prefab band of some sort.  You know those jelly rings you get in the vending machine?  Perfect.  Or those little “friendship rings” you can buy with tickets at the arcade?  Also a good choice.  The one I’m using in my sample pictures down there came from a sale at Claire’s - you know, the red dot sales they had where you could buy 10 things for 5 dollars? I don’t know if they still do that... Anyway... you’ll also need “skinny ribbon.”
  1. Dab some hot glue on the ring band and place the end of your skinny ribbon there. Now, wrap around the ring band (you can decide how much to wrap - I wanted some of the white band to show through so I didn’t wrap as much as if you wanted it to appear made out of ribbon.)  Don’t cut the end off and glue it down to the band - leave a little ribbon tail free.
  2. Now make your ruffled ribbon flower buy gathering a length of ribbon.  You’ll want to measure how big you want your flower to end up and cut the ribbon accordingly.  Either sew a basting stitch and pull the top thread to gather, or (if it is “prethreaded”) just pull one of those threads.  Add a button in the center of the flower for embellishment.  
  3. Now sit back and wonder how the heck you’re going to attach your ruffled ribbon flower to the band.
  4. Cut a very small piece of matching rikrak and glue JUST THE ENDS down to the back of the flower, leaving the middle of the rikrak free (creating a loop).
  5. Thread the tail of the ribbon through the rikrak loop and around the ring band.  Repeat this three or four time, securing it to the band with the ribbon tail.  Then dab some hot glue on for extra security.  Cut the tail off and tuck it under the rikrak loop.
DONE!  I call this one the Ruffled Rosebud Ring.  Aren’t you pretty and dainty?
OK.  Here’s a run-down of #2.
Here’s where you will use the floral ribbon, wire cutters and small pliers.  
  1. Measure out the wire to fit the desired finger and double it.  Cut it with the wire cutters.  Fold it in half, leaving a little loop where it is folded, and wrap one of the wires around the other. At the desired length, tuck the end of one wire through the loop and twist the two free wires together, forming a full circle.
  2. Trim the wire.  Trim some more.  Wonder how you’ll be able to trim the wire enough so that the end isn’t constantly poking you.
  3. Cut your ribbon to the desired length depending on the flower size you want. Use the directions above regarding gathering ribbon.  Roll it into the size of flower you'd like, layering it like a spiral.  Use dabs of hot glue to keep it in place.
  4. Embellish.  You can use green rikrak for leaves - cut two small pieces (however big you want the leaves + double) then fold them in half and dab with hot glue.  Glue them to the back of the flower.  Glue a little button in a contrasting or complimentary color to the middle of the flower on the front.
  5. Glue the ruffled ribbon to the wire band with hot glue, covering the back of the flower across the wire with a small bit of matching ribbon to hide the glue spots.  If you glue the flower over the area where the two ends of wire meet, this will be a much cleaner look - unlike what you see in the picture!  It’ll also take care of that annoying issue as stated in step 2 because the ends of the wire will be covered with ribbon - no stabbing yourself with wire!
I call this one Wrapped Wire Ruffle. Slip it on your finger and marvel at how cute and ruffly you look!
Here’re some of my rings modeled, just for you.  I wish I could hire a hand model.  You will have to make do with my big ole hand.  It needs some serious TLC after that whole winter thing.

Now, the reason I like #3 (the Ruffled Ribbon band) the best is because you don’t have to make it to fit a specific sized finger.  The band is made out of elastic sewn onto ribbon, to you just make it small, medium or big and it will fit a whole range of fingers!  This is great, because if I used my fingers as measurements for how big to make all my rings, they would probably only fit me.  Seriously, my fingers aren’t super dainty.  My wedding band is like a 7 and 1/2.  (My best friend wears a 4).  But these cutie patootie rings make any fingers look good!  Right?

These are really versatile accessories.  You can make them big or small, with a wide band or skinny band, you can embellish them a lot, or not at all, you can bling them out or leave them more casual.  It's up to you!

Most of these are going to an auction "fun"raiser we are having for the youth in our church tomorrow night.  (not the cameo though, I'm keeping that!) They are trying to raise money for our boys to go to scout camp and are having a silent auction of handmade goods, baked goods and services.  (I'm actually a little nervous about having some of my "work" out there in front of the discerning eye where it can be critiqued, but I've been making them like crazy so if I don't give them away, I'll have to wear a different ring on each finger every day to use them all!)  I'm also taking in some of my flowered hair accessories and bows.  Perfect for a Boy Scout Camp fundraiser, right?

So, go ruffle yourself up some rings and give your fingers some much deserved attention! 

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