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Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Make a Ruffle {Paper Ribbon and Flower}

I have never been a big fan of that plasticky thin type of "birthday party ribbon."  You know the kind.  The kind that goes on packages and is all "frizzed up" on top.  It's the same kind tied to every balloon, as well.  Anyway.  Not a huge fan of it.  But I DO love me a pretty package.  Now, you could always buy pretty ribbon to atop a gift.  But at about $3 or more for less than 10 feet usually, this can get spendy.  Afterall, you don't want to be spending another $5 just for the gift topper, ya know?

So I came up with doing a ruffled crepe paper ribbon and flower to top your gift instead.  It's super cost-effective {you can get a whole roll for just 99 cents, which would last you through OODLES of presents!} and looks just plain pretty.  I'm a fan.  Heck, I'm a fan of anything ruffled!!  

I'm going to take you through how to make these yourself!  Keep in mind, you can use these same steps to ruffle anything!  From fabric and paper to ribbon and more!  So here's how you do it:

Take your crepe paper and wrap it around the gift two times.  Cut your paper there.

Now you're going to set your sewing machine to the loosest setting and the longest stitch {these numbers area  "0" and "5" respectively, on my machine} to make our basting stitch.   Be sure to leave "tails" for you to pull when you sew this, and do NOT do a backstitch ~ we do NOT want the basting stitch secured!  Just sew right on down the middle of your crepe paper.

Once you've sewn all the way down the middle {length-wise, of course}, you're going to form your ruffle.  Do this by using one hand to hold just one tail on one end.  And use your other hand to gently {especially since we're working with crepe paper!} start pulling the crepe paper over the thread, forming a ruffle.  Keep doing this until you have ruffled your entire paper length.  At this point, you'll want to wrap the paper around your package to see if you need to make your paper more ruffly {meaning, keep ruffling as you were} or less ruffly {meaning, pull some of the ruffles off} to fit the package right.

 Once you have it fitting around your package properly, you're going to set your sewing machine back to its "normal" sewing tension and stitch length.  Sew right back over your ruffle down the middle; this time DO your backstitch when you both start and stop to secure your seams.

Once you've secured your ruffle, go ahead and trim off all the loose threads on the end.  Normally, we'd remove our basting stitch {more for when working with ruffles on permanent items {i.e., curtains, clothing, etc.}, but since this is just going to be thrown away, don't even both with that extra step.

Wrap it around your package and secure with clear tape on the bottom of your gift.  You could also make another ruffled ribbon to go around the other length of your gift.  I just chose not to here, as these are just for my daughter's first birthday, and the less "ribbon" for her to get off, the better!

For the flower on top, you're going to do the same steps above.  I cut about 30 inches for my crepe paper length for the flower.  Feel free to use your judgment here, though.  The longer your crepe paper, the bigger the flower will be, of course!

After you've ruffled and secured your ruffle for the flower, simply take one end and fold it 180 degrees, back onto the rest of the ruffled paper ribbon.  Hold it in place there with one thumb.

Using your other hand, begin turning the paper around the center "bud" you formed with your thumb.  If you're right-handed like I am, you will be holding the "bud" with your right thumb, and using your left hand to form the outer petals of your flower.  Do this by just turning the remainder of the paper around and under your bud.  Be sure that each layer of flowers keeps going farther away from your bud, so that you can see all the layers.  Once the way you want it, head on back to your sewing machine and just tack it down {stitch in place} in a few areas to secure your flower.  Then just trim off all the threads {be sure NOT to cut your paper!}, and fluff up a little.

That's it!  Just put a little double-stick tape on the bottom of your flower and secure to your ruffled ribbon on your package already!

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