Recently the subject of bows has been brought to my attention by a few readers so I am going to post a blog post I wrote in 2010 on the subject. I have added a few more pictures since this was written 6 years ago and the style of decor has changed. My opinions have not changed, and if anything I am more adamant about when to use a bow.
To bow or not to bow,
that is the question?
Why would I ask that question? After all, it is the season of gifts, trees and decorations, so of course we have to “BOW!”
Not necessarily! This is where I have to tell you that I have a love-hate relationship with bows. I know that sounds so silly, but I have my reasons.
In the eighties (dreaded country decor gone badly era) everyone was putting a bow on everything. When in doubt put a bow on it! Wroooong!
Everything in design and decor evolves over time and so did the BOW!!
(1990's version of a bow, stiff and contrived.)
Trust me I have made plenty of pew bows in my time and have actually taught several people how to make these types of bows, but times have changed to a more simple, natural look in Christmas decor. (Thank goodness! she says quietly under her breath.)
Over the years design has become a bit more sophisticated and now bows are thoughtfully put on certain items like presents, trees, wreaths etc.
Now comes the hate (such a harsh sounding word) part. Pleeeeeez do not put bows on everything!!!
Sometimes I think certain vignettes or accessories can stand on their own and they do not require a bow.
Since it is the Holiday season we will obviously be putting a bow on our presents, trees and wreaths.
I love ribbon and at times I would call myself a ribbon fanatic. If I see a beautiful ribbon I have to stand and stare at it, feel it and imagine what gift I can put it on.
In this post I am showing you the good, bad, and the ugly, but mostly the good. I think you can see the differences.
I like this bow! It is simple, laying naturally and looks elegant to me. My favorite ribbon to use is a beautiful velvet, grosgrain, or a double sided satin. I put this bow in the good category.
This is a very typical bow we all see at Christmas time. Notice how stiff the ribbon looks and it is made to look perfect.
The ribbon is perfectly made to make an unnatural wave pattern.
I made these types of bows for my wedding in the 70’s and for floral arrangements and wreaths in the 80’s. That was a realllllly long time ago!
Gorgeous use of ribbon! No bow needed here and yet it still gives the affect of a bow in a more sophisticated natural look.
This is double sided satin in at least 3-4in. width. The length of ribbon is long enough for it to hang naturally from the sophisticated knot that holds the pine and pine cone.
So simple and so elegant. This is double sided satin in a nice width. Notice the way the bow lays naturally on the package. The tail of the bow is long enough to drape and not stick out stiffly. This is a perfect bow to me.
In this image you can see a less expensive looking package tied with double sided satin ribbon. Notice how the loops are large and yet the tails of the bow were cut off to short in proportion to the bow. This would look more lovely if the bow did not look so stiff and the tails were draping over the box.
No Bow needed here! This is a fun use of ribbon that does not have any need for a bow, although I would imagine most people would have put a bow on the chandelier. This person chose to just tie a nice knot and the let the ribbon do what it does best if left alone, it just flows.
There is no bow needed here. The wreath has some nice wide ribbon holding it up and some ornaments are attached to the end. I would not mind a nice loose bow with long tails on this wreath, but this look is so much more interesting.
Lovely satin ribbon tied loosely in a knot.
Of course design is always subjective and you need to do what makes you smile. I only write post like this as guidelines. I only hope to open your eyes to different possibilities. Nothing is ever in cement in design.
I must leave you with one more image of a bow!!
Now that is what I call, “ A BOW!!!”
“Enjoy the Process” Of:
Making a bow and placing it with love on top of your gifts, that will be the best bow ever!!