Bow Making 101

At our house we make all of the bows for our presents at Christmas time...we call them the Gervais Jewelry Store bows. Let me explain.... My father in law owned/operated the Gervais Jewelry Store in Jackson, Minnesota for many many years.

Gervais Jewelry was known for their exquisite gift wrapping...you always knew if your gift came from there, just by the wrapping & the hand made bow. The bows were made by the 2 women that worked there. I spent lots of time watching these women work their magic with the beautiful colored ribbons and learned the bow making, just by watching, I guess...

After school my friends and I would walk up town for a coke and french fries at the Mayflower Cafe. Then it was across the street for a quick visit, some flirting or whatever you want to call it at the jewelry store where my high school sweetheart Dave worked. Dave helped his Dad in the backroom of the jewelry store engraving friendship bracelets (had one of these), sizing promise rings (but REALLY wanted one of these) or washing windows in exchange for some pocket change and most important the use of the family car for a Friday night date.

Many years later, the high school sweetheart is now my husband of almost 29 years. Dave's dad is no longer with us. The jewelry store is no longer there. But the tradition of this simple bow making technique continues on in our family at Christmas time.

Last year when daughter Erin & husband Rob came home for the holidays her gifts had the infamous bows on them as well...she too had watched her mother as a youngster and picked up this bow making unbeknownst to me! It was at that moment last year that I realized just how special these bows really are. They will always remind us of Grandpa Bud, and how fitting...he was so kind & giving.
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You will need:
Various colors & widths of ribbon
Roll of white curling ribbon

Wrap ribbon around 4 fingers that are slightly spread apart...wrap around fingers 8 times. Cut ribbon.

Slide off fingers and fold bundle in half.

Cut off each side at an angle at the fold, forming a V.

Here is where you really could use a 3rd hand, so I use my mouth to hold the still folded cut bundle while I cut about 12" of curling ribbon.
Slide curling ribbon in between folded bundle and tie tightly around ribbon in a double knot.
Now is the fun part. Beginning on the inner most loop, begin pulling the loops outward towards the center of the bow in a twisting fashion; alternating from left to right as you pull the loops out. Remember, it is important that you twist as you bring the loop to the outside and use of some force will hold loops into place.

Now turn the bow and do the same for the other side in the same fashion.

Tie a long piece of ribbon around your box. Tie in a knot to secure.

Tie bow to the ribbon on your box with the long ends of the curling ribbon. Tie in a double knot to secure.
Curl the ends of the curling ribbon with scissors.

Trim any loose ends of ribbon to a desired length if necessary.

Make any adjustments to the loops on the bow & wahlah...you have just made a Gervais Jewelry Store Bow! Wasn't that easy & fun?

Until tomorrow,


Debbie said...

That is EXACTLY the way I was taught to make my bows. I worked for a brick distributor & they used to give gifts at Christmas time and the other girl in the office and I used to have to wrap and make all the bows. They are so easy to make and always come out great!!

Debbie said...

That's how I was taught to make bows too! We had to wrap and make bows for all the gifts the company gave out at Christmas. They are so easy to make and always come out great!

Sadie said...

Hi, I discovered your blog as a happy accident and stayed a while. What a wonderful blog, so many great ideas and tips. Thank you so much for sharing it all. Merry Christmas.
Sadie x