Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ribbon Round-Up

 It has been a rip-roaring ribbon round-up around the house this week.  I have been washing, dying, and tearing both muslin and calico into strips.  Then I dug out the stamps and they all got new identities as torn cotton ribbons.

Oh. how I love ribbon week!

 After ripping the cloth into strips (2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch),  I gave some a bath in Rit taupe dye.

For this process, I put a large aluminum bowl in the kitchen sink, pour in boiling water, some salt (sets the dye), and some of the dye.  You have to experiment with this step: too little and the color won't be even, too much and the color will be too dark.  The cloth has to be prewashed and wet before putting it in the dye bath.  I keep the pieces in until I see the color I want. (Make sure to stir!)  Rinse with cold water. Stick in an OLD pillow case to dry in the dryer.  There is always dye left in the water.  I add some more hot water and throw in colored calico to soak up the rest of the dye to give it a distressed or vintage look. 

The cloth strips in the photo were the last in the dye bath.  You can see the uneven dye on the piece on the right.  The pink and turquoise are just slightly tanned.

The first ribbon I stamped was left over from the bleaching of the bottle brush trees. (You can read that post here.)  I covered my screens outside with tea-stained muslin to catch the overspray when dyeing the trees.  I used the piece with the pink dye and tore it into 2-inch and 3-inch strips.

I used my Cat's Life Press Queen Bee stamp and created from several sets of cling letter stamps the phrase "Queen For Every Day".  

(I would guess this phrase only has meaning for folks of my age who faithfully watched "Queen For A Day" when they were young.  I wanted my granny to be on the show and get a new Hoover!  I just wanted the crown.)

Here they are in their pink, tea-stained goodiness.

These ribbons are great for gifts or basket fillers.

 The over-dyed pink ribbons were stamped with a crown.

I cut these into mostly 2-yard lengths and sometimes 3-yard lengths.

 I found this "Know Your Fortune" stamp in a bin at the thrift store.  It no longer has the company name or its design name printed on it.  In fact it was so dirty and dinged up, I did not think it would produce a clear image, but it was cleaned and loved on and came back to life!

I used a 3-inch wide yellow calico for this image.

My favorite fortune listed?

"Guests coming.  Means trouble."

It certainly would mean trouble here.  There are projects everywhere! 

And I have not vacuumed all the threads these ribbons leave behind.

I had made a promise to myself a couple of decades ago to put the owls away forever and never go back to Owl Land.  BUT  there was the cutest owl stamp and, of course, it was on sale at a great price so I bought it.

Once again using all my different cling stamp fonts I made a design typography.  "Wise owl  4 wise owls".  I alternated the owl stamp with the letter stamp down the length of the ribbons.  I used the taupe-dyed muslin and the turquoise and purple calico. 

 The owls safely nesting in a basket.

 I have sold all of this ribbon so I needed more.  I dyed plain muslin blue then stamped it with the Emily Dickinson poem "Hope is a thing with feathers ..." alternating with a bird stamp and a nest stamp.

 Bees are very popular, too.  This blue ribbon received a bee in a laurel wreath alternating with a frame stamp.

Sometimes I have requests to add an initial in the frame.

All the ribbons are dressed with their labels and tags and so, so pretty!

Off to the booth to join other spring items.

Well, I have a sinkful of cloth "dying" to be ribbons!  I have bunnies on  my brain.  There might be rabbit ribbon coming soon.

WAIT!!!  I forgot something very important.  When you are dying and rinsing, make sure you wear gloves.  Rit dye works on skin, too!

See y'all!

Follow Me on Pinterest  . One More Time EventsSweet Anne Designs - Sweet Sharing Monday Someday I'll Learn My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia The DIY Dreamer Green Willow Pond Fluster Buster Lavender Garden CottageIvy and ElephantsPhotobucketvif187PhotobucketcraftionaryLadybird Ln Homespun HappeningsFunky Junk's Sat Nite SpecialIt's Overflowing Lavender Garden Cottage


  1. Oh Donna they're beautiful - LOVE the owls - and of course HOPE - agghhh - I love them all - couldn't possibly pick a favorite!

  2. Hey Donna; Your Ribbons are absolutely Beautiful!!! I LOVE the Fortune one!!!!! Thank-You so much for sharing.

  3. I've never seen fabric torn and dyed to make ribbons. Love it. Such a great idea and project. You've really inspired me to try that and yes I've heard I'd need to wear rubber gloves while making this project. I love all your stamps and how you applied them to the ribbons. Wish I knew where I could get stamps like that here in the states, in western CO. You must have a knack for finding unusual stamps to use.
    Had to save the how-to so I can actually make the ribbons some time. I have lots of fabric in my stash so could use that to try this out. Would only need to buy the dye then. Great project. How long have you been making ribbons?

  4. Oh I so love this post! I was reading it and thinking..."I could do this!" Well not the dye part, because I had a terrible mishap with dye once and don't love it (spilled it EVERYWHERE...purple too!) But..I am making some cool stamped ribbon! I love it! Awesome project and you've inspired me again dear!

  5. Donna, I always love seeing your ribbons and I can be sure that they are a huge hit in your booth. Thanks for sharing the process. And thanks for reminding me to wet the fabric first! I always get so anxious to jump right in that I forget that step!

  6. Hi Donna! I've been wanting to make ribbon for some time but they've discontinued Rit dye in Canada! I hunted high and low before Christmas, but zip nada! I'm going to FL soon, so thats on my USA shopping list! Your ribbons look great!

  7. These are so cute and I adore the queen one, especially with the uneven dye. Company coming means trouble...don't I know it. Lucky shoppers at your booth. So much work you do for them. I hope they appreciate it!

  8. Hi Donna, I love this . . . I can not wait to get into the studio and rip some cloth and make some SUPER CREATIVE ~ DONNA INSPIRED RIBBON ! Can you tell how excited I am?
    Thank You,
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  9. These are so cute ! What a fun project.. stopping by from the gunny sack

  10. Every time I see beautiful work with stamps I think I have got to start doing that. I just keep forgetting to buy the stamps. I got some stamps but forgot the ink. Gotta get busy. I start all my Christmas creations for gifts in June. I need to get moving. I loved this post. Blessings
    BTW over from Kathe's

  11. What wonderful ideas for ribbon :-) Please share your project at each and every week and check out what other creative divas are up to.

  12. What a neat idea to stamp the cloth too! Happy spring! Thanks for sharing at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  13. What a fun project! Thanks for sharing at Fluster's Creative Muster. I'm looking forward to seeing what you link up next week.

  14. Beautiful! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!


I enjoy reading all of your comments and will always answer with email. I will try to track you down if you show up as a "no reply" commenter to let you know. Friends are like that!