Monday, April 9, 2012



Distressed torn ribbons are excellent for basket fillers!

First of all, thank you for all of you who have stopped by to view my blog.  This is just my second week doing this and I am still confused by all the bells and whistles.  If you have the time to comment or offer suggestions I would appreciate it!

Now to today's tutorial.  Most probably know that the easy way to spruce up your decor is using "fillers".   I have used baskets, silver or tole trays. tea cups, wooden boxes, and even baby shoes as the base for a vignette.  For fillers I have used a variety of things:  spoons, shells, thread spools, doll parts (I am currently enamored with Frozen Charlottes!), vintage linens, etc.  (I could go on forever -if you continue to read my blog you will find out I collect a little bit of everything!)  Whatever it is, I usually fill out the bare spots with my hand-torn cotton ribbon.

Above is a wire basket I am currently using to hold a variety of lengths, widths, and colors.  They are ready to tie up a gift or use just rolled  and tied with a piece of jute or tulle.  Just add one of Karen's (The Graphics Fairy) vintage cards and you have a perfect element for your vignette.

1. Purchase 2, 4, 6 yards of 100% cotton (I use the selection in the quilting section).  I have found these lengths are the most manageable and appeal to most people.

2. Wash the heck out of it.  Usually twice in the washer and once in the dryer.  You want it very soft.  Be prepared for the raveled threads. Just clip them off and throw outside for the birds and squirrels to use in their nests.

3. Decide the width you want.  I use one, two three and four inches.  I measure the width, make a small clip, then tear all the way down the length.  Continue marking and tearing until you have used the whole piece of fabric. Yes, this is messy.  Keep trimming and clipping the loose threads.

4.  Use as is or using a permanent ink, stamp an image down the length of your ribbon.  Some inks need to be heat set with an iron.  (I always try NOT to iron - just a personal quirk!)

5.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Warning: This can become addicting!  The act of tearing the fabric is a great stress reducer.

I hand-dyed muslin with liquid Rit dye to achieve this mottled blue color.  Then stamped the Emily Dickinson poem (TPC Studio),  the bird (Paper Studio), and the nest (unknown - yard sale find).  This has become my most popular seller.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all.
-Emily Dickinson

I hope this blog made sense - I've been outside in the sun the whole day working on projects! Have a wonderful day!
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