How to Make 100
Trims, Rosettes, Sculptures, and Baubles for Fashion, Décor, and Crafts
By Elaine Schmidt
Creative Publishing International 2014
Paperback, £16.99 UK ($24.99 US)
Star rating: ****
Ribboncraft is very important to papercrafters. A ribbon embellishment on a card, gift, or scrapbook page often provides a show-stopping finishing touch. Here’s an ace new ribboncraft book that is chock-full of inventive ideas. Lots of construction techniques are employed – there are stitched, woven, and cut-and-glued designs – so there’s something for everyone. This is a book of woven-textile ribbon techniques (lots of grosgrain) – but for crafters who think beyond the ribbon reel, many of the designs can be interpreted in paper.
If you are a fan of fabric manipulation (Colette Wolff’s book on the subject is a perennial bestseller), then this book will tick all the boxes for you. I have several vintage ribboncraft titles in my personal book stash – and there are tricks in Elaine Schmidt’s book that I’ve never seen.
The book is divided into four sections: Trims and Braids, Rosettes and Leaves, Ribbon Sculptures, and Beads and Baubles.
The Trims and Braids section is a masterclass – lots of fancy moves. Some sewing experience is recommended for many of these designs – your stitchery efforts will be rewarded. Some star turns: Wrapped Candy Ribbon Trim – a row of bonbons! Shell Smocking: undulating ripples. (Having said that, there are a few folded trimmings – such as Diamonds and Squares – that I am keen to try using strips of paper.) There are also several woven designs that could be interpreted in paper using quilling strips: Woven Ribbon Band, for example. In this section, you will also find how-tos for woven lanyards (familiar from summer camp). These work a treat in ribbon (although too dimensional to adorn greetings cards, they could be used to decorate 3-D projects).
Paper flowers are mega-popular at the moment, so the Rosettes and Leaves section is right on trend – why not ribbon blooms? Here, you will find medallions, cockades, and magnificent bows. Standout designs include The Ribbon Medallion (spiralling loops with a gathered rosette centre and notched ribbon tails), and the Fan Rosette. Some of non-gathered designs could be worked using strips of paper.
Like amigurumi? – the Ribbon Sculptures section will appeal to you. Here, you will find a collection of ornaments created by “folding, looping, and gluing ribbons into shapes that represent objects, characters, and animals.” Looking for an ornament for a kid’s card? – Your quest is over! Although many of the designs are too twee for my taste, there’s no denying that this is genius material. There’s a loopy Butterfly with a spiral-ribbon body, a fun goldfish, and a cute Beetle Bug (ladybird/ladybug). The folded ribbon Strawberries are delightful.
The Beads and Baubles section contains lots of fun material. Corkscrew curls in the Korker Pom-Pom, the origami-like Paddlewheels, tassels, Rolled Ribbon Beads, and a Knotted Ribbon Star. All of these ideas have legs! If you are into beading, then there are several attractive methods for incorporating ribbon into the beaded construction of a strand.
Lover of fabric manipulation that I am, I‘m surprised at myself for even thinking this – the book might have benefited from containing a few more conventional bows. Most of the featured bows are rosettes, so a few more linear designs would have provided variety. There’s another book there, perhaps.
The intros to each section are well-written, entertaining, and informative. The author is knowledgeable and has a good handle on her ribboncraft history. Her great appreciation for the subject is clearly visible (bet she has a massive ribbon hoard in her sewing cupboard). The how-to photography is clear and to the point.
The book does seem a bit pricey for a paperback – but good things come in small packages. You get plenty of clever ideas for the money.
Note: I was provided with a review copy of this title.