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psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Hello, happy Saturday to all.
So, here's the deal. I don't have any ribbon and I wish I did. I would like a SMALL collection to add to my other goodies.
My problem is I don't know where to start. I'm finding this even more overwhelming than when I started buying mohair.
I see at Walmart you can buy whole rolls for pretty cheap, but I don't need whole rolls.
Maybe Ebay is the place to go, and maybe get a 'lot' of ribbon.

What do you guys like for Ribbon??
Plain, no pattern?
Wired edge?
Any specific material I should be looking for?

See? I have no experience with this sort of stuff.

I know some of you must have tonnes of ribbon right??  :rose:



vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334

Hi Heather

I like to buy plain coloured wired ribbon most of the time.  It makes great distressed bows and can be used really well as a ruffled collar.  If you don't always want the wires you can just pull them out.  I buy mine in bulk from a local floristry wholesaler - so I do have rather alot!  Thing is the way I see it is it will keep and I'll go back to it in time.

Another alternative to ribbon that I use is dressmakers tape - it comes in lots of differnt colours and a couple of widths and it's quite matt, when it's pulled about, frayed and twisted it makes a quite authentic looking "vintage" ribbon.

I have to admit, I have a shameful amount of ribbon in the draw, but I never seem to have the exact one I need so I'm always buying more!

Have fun shopping - you'd better make some room for all that ribbon.

Best wishes


Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Heather ~

Depends on what you want to do and the look you want.  Look at WalMart or Michaels for an inexpensive book on bows.  I think I bought one for 2.99ish.  That may provide some guidance before you go buying spools.  For nice big bows around a bear, I like wired.  I would think if it's a  patterned ribbon, you might just want to buy amount you need for that bear (I'm assuming here), but black, white, red, etc., you'll use over and over ... so if you find a good price on a spool, that's what I'd do.

I chucked too at your post.  One of my very best friends is a florist, and when I go into her craft/work room in her basement, I am up to my armpits in spools of ribbon in the one area.  Go figure.

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Well, here I must cofess that I have a shameful amount of ribbon....I am sadly addicted   :redface:

Wire edged ribbon is fantastic for getting bows to sit right and as Vicky says, if you don't want the wies in a particular project, just rip 'em out!
I also love the soft silk ribbon which you can get in various widths as you can do so much with it and it makes great ruffles sashes etc.  Some of them have an ombre effect (shaded light to dark) which is also really effective.

I tend not to buy the stuff on rolls as usually I don't want that much and sometimes (but not always) the ribbon isn't as great quality.

I buy my ribbon at lots of different source.  The department stores that have a fabric and haberdashery section often have really nice fancy ribbon sections...with different things than you find everywhere else.
Scrapbooking places have lots of ribbons and you can buy cards with coordinated ribbons on which are great for some things - they also have lots of narrow ribbons and rick racks which are hard to find elsewhere.
Christmas shops!! - for that plaid or star themed ribbon

there are a few ribbon places online...and do you think I can find the one I'm thinking of!!

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I stock up on all kinds of ribbon whenever I happen across a web site that has it for good prices. 

Because you just never know when you will need what you have.

These folks have an interesting store for bear and gollies neccesities-ribons, laces, tiny 1/8 elastic, buttons buttons buttons......


jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I like wired ribbon...and I go for spots and checks...along with plains. I tend to buy about 1or 2 metres at a time of each of about 3 complementary ribbons. Say brown and cream check, a polka dot in the same colours and a plain brown. Then all the bears I make in that 'colour-way' get the same ribbon...which tends to unify that bunch of bears. I don't then end up with a stack of ribbon I have gone off and won't use. I get it from VV Rouleaux in London ...they do mail order. There are some great ribbon websites but you need to buy lots... has lots to choose do

I like the wired coz it can be 'arranged' better than the other type....

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,491

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Hey, Dilu . . . thanks for that link - GREAT!

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789


you are a star...that's exactly who I was thinking of.  Homesew are great and reasonably priced and great postage costs, even down here to the bottom of the world!  From memory they threw in a couple of freebies into my package as well.  Off to check out the website again!

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735
Vicky wrote:

but I never seem to have the exact one I need ..

For same reason, I keep buying more ribbon....  bear_tongue  I love wire ribbons too ♪ never knew I could
pull off the wire when I don't want.   :thumbsup:

Heather, sorry I don't have any place to recommend to you.... :(
hope you'll find a great ribbon!


gotobedbears Posts: 3,177

I can't recommend grosgrain ribbon enough. It's more expensive than other ribbons but does'nt fray and makes wonderful neck ruffles. If you just want bows than you can't beat satin, make sure it's the good stuff not cheap polyester cos when you tie the bow it just 'sits' so perfectly if you now what i mean?
You don't need much of it so spend a little bit extra on ribbon, it's like a good pair of shoes or a good coat - it makes everything come together and look great.
As for colours, whatever you like Heather - patterns are super too. Indulge yourself, ribbon is cheap compared to mohair!!

I'm just gonna go off and check a link i have, be back soon


Here's the link to the company i use for grosgrain ribbon. I completely forgot to say about petersham ribbon - it's fabulous too. Take a look at the

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

TitusEdit.jpgMy one thing to add:
As I have a TON of quilt fabric I MAKE MY OWN BOWS OF FABRIC. It's so much fun to go through my stash finding the perfect color/print to go with my bear. Sometimes a particular fabric influnces the mohair I use, etc.! I can then make a bow any width/length I want. I sometimes use the material for paw pads too by ironing on fusible interfacing for stabilizer. (See "Titus" above.)

I love satin ribbon.... double sided of course!
And I have a lot of gingham ribbon in various colors.
I tend to stay away from wired ribbon. Not sure why.....???

sandi Snowy Day Bears
St. Albans, VT
Posts: 263

Daphne,  Titus is adorable.  I make my own bows out of fabric sometimes too.  I do that when I want to give my bear a homespun country look.
I agree with Penny - after putting all kinds of work and love into a bear it is a shame to skimp on the ribbon.  Sometimes the right accesorry makes the whole look.

Great links - I love to browse those kinds of sites.


Dilu Posts: 8,574

Yes, HomeSew does throw in freebies

Daphne I love your bear.....I've done something similar with 'orphan blocks' I didn't know what to do with....but the Bow!  It is beautiful


I use a lot of my left over quilting fabric for gollydolly clothing-..I will have to learn how do to d good bow.  I don't like mine.  Yours is beautiful.

ellen ontario, canada
Posts: 324

Daphne  - will you share with us how you make that bow exactly??  perty please! 
BEAUTIFUL bear too!   bear_thumb

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Daphne , GREAT bear with the matching bow and pads!  Dilu, wonderful website!  Thanks!

I like simple bows.  I often like to mix a sheer tule ribbon with an organza ribbon for a fluffy delicate, not-too-over-powering look.   

SOmetimes I would just rather string some beads on a leather cord or wood burn a name and/or paw print into a wooden pendant.

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

You guys!!!! You were supposed to have the SAME opinion on what is your favorite  ribbon!!! now I have LOTS of shopping to do!! LOL  :lol:
Well, I'm going to check out those links, thanks Dilu, Penny and Jenny.
And nice bear Daphine!! Love what you've done with the fabic
Oh my, soo scared to go shopping. I also need fabric, gonna try sewing some teddy clothes.
Soo much stuff to buy..............

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I AGREE!  Can we get Daphne to give us a primer on making such great fabric bows?

Mine never come out that nice


All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

Dorrit.jpgI recently bought some beautiful hand-dyed ribbon from It's lovely and wide (2/5") and gorgeous colours!  Trouble is, as with most things gorgeous, the price isn't cheap.  It makes very floppy bows.  It took quite a while to arrive from the States (I'm in the UK) but as I wasn't in a hurry, that was fine.  Oh and ordering internationally was a pain because I couldn't do it online and had to fax my card details through.  Groan!  That said, the ribbon made up for it and they have LOADS MORE to choose from too, so I shall be back!  :lol:

Love Daphne's handmade bow - so smart!!

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Daphne - that fabric bow is gorgeous   :)

Paula - I love that bear and I think that the ribbon is very similar to what I used on Alaina...I got an absolute steal when I bought mine - they had thrown a two metre piece into the "dollar" bin by mistake - tee hee - their loss, my gain!!  I had picked up the roll to buy a tiny bit at over $5 per metre.  It's taken me almost two years to find the right bear for it though!

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Home Sew also has wired ribbon-not a lot but some...That's what I got free the last time


Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Daphne, share the proportions you use for your handmade ribbon, won't you please?  I'd love to learn your method.  Also, that bear is darling; what a clever idea to match pads to bow.

I have way too much ribbon and get bored with it quickly; we should do a ribbon swap/trade here.  I just am too swamped to organize but if someone else wants to coordinate it sign me right up!  I did this once with some folks form the BAG and we ended up sending, among other things, several yards of ribbon (different kinds) in exchange for several yards back.  Could be fun.

I tend to like the grosgrain and variegated/ochre ribbons; the ones that blend from one tone or color into another.  I also love two-faced satin ribbon, but that's very pricey, and I can never find exactly the color I'm after in my local stores.  When I go to San Francisco I always check out BRITEX FABRICS on Union Square; they have an enormous selection of ribbon that just can't be beat!

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

I get my ribbon different places, walmart, acmoore, michaels, joanne fabrics...  I like ACmoore and Joanne because they have little bags of different colors, sizes shapes of ribbon in a bag for like $3.00!  neat stuff... I have tons and tons of ribbon, tons of feathery boa things, lots of trims with the dangly things.... I have tons of it!

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Let me compose my thoughts and after dinner is done and the 'boys' have all gone to bed I'll share my bow making 'stuff' with you all!

Paula... that bow is gorgeous!


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

BowInst.jpgOk, here's a copy of the bow instructions in my published pattern of Titus shown above.
Adjust these dimensions to suit your fancy..... longer, wider, etc.
This should give you a guide line though.
Let me know if you have any questions.

I had promised once before to do a bow tying tutorial.... I need to take step by step photos... I'll work on that this week.....


SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,491

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Thanks much, Daphne!!  You're a peach!  :hug:  :hug:

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