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Ribbonrie :: A Book Review

Reported by Lexi Daly

I have a huge collection of magazines and not many books, so when it came time for book review articles, I had to go in search of something newer than what I already had. I also wanted something with more than what I get out of my magazines. As I strolled up and down the aisles of Michael’s looking for just such a book, Ribbonrie by Making Memories caught my eye. While it has card making in it, the main focus is on using ribbon, and it includes scrapbooking, home decor, and gifts as well. Here is how Making Memories describes it:

“From the purely functional to the highly decorative, ribbon is the hardest working embellishment out there. In this book, we’ve set out to push the limits and discover just how versatile and wide ranging it can be. Learn from our award-winning artists as they show you how to weave the textures, colors and patterns of ribbon into your everyday living and the most special of occasions. Whether you use a hint here or an entire spool there, you’ll start using ribbon in ways you never imagined.”

Beginning with a beautiful cover, Ribbonrie is a paperback book with 126 pages full of beautifully photographed projects. It is divided into ten chapters as follows.

  • one :: all about ribbon
  • two :: cards & stationery
  • three :: tags & wrapping
  • four :: home decor
  • five :: scrapbook pages
  • six :: party ideas
  • seven :: gifts
  • eight :: fashion & jewelry
  • nine :: children & teen projects
  • closing :: supply lists and artists & author


Like my favorite magazines, the focus is on the projects with large beautiful pictures and caption-like instructions. The opening chapter, All About Ribbon, provides a nice overview of ribbon types and a focus on specific tips and techniques that are shown up close without projects, such as finishing the ends, gathering and pleating, printing on it, making flowers and tassels, and storing ribbon. Each chapter that follows focuses on projects that fall in a given category. A specific technique is shown in projects on a page or spread and some spreads include projects that demonstrate intricate, moderate, and simple uses of the same technique.


One of the reasons I chose this book is that I have tons of ribbon (and since it’s so light, that’s a lot of ribbon!!). I was eager to find new ideas to get me using it more often and in more interesting ways. And this book did not disappoint. Actually the only disappointment is that I didn’t have time right now to do more of the projects to share with you! Here is what I did have time for. I’m primarily a card maker, so they’re all cards, but I was inspired by projects in different sections.

One project that caught my eye was creating “custom striped” ribbon by layering a smaller ribbon over a larger one. They used a striped ribbon and added a different color solid ribbon over the center stripe to match a photo for a scrapbook page. For my card, I also incorporated another technique from the Cards & Stationery section–cutting slits and weaving it in–and finished it off with a v-cut highlighted in the opening chapter.

I was inspired by a tag in the Fashion and Jewelry section to create this little ribbon purse. The artist used it as an embellishment, tied to a purse with a birthday tag, but I immediately pictured it on a card. Using the same custom stripe technique from the last card along with the same base ribbon, I created a different color combo and a different striped ribbon. Isn’t that purse cute? If you glue or sew the edges and add a magnetic closure, you could even tuck a treat inside!

With the end of school and graduations looming, it’s no surprise that making tassels caught my eye! Following the directions in the opening chapter, I created my tassel and used it on a card. I remember doing this with yarn and embroidery thread when I was younger, but I love the look of ribbon. I chose to cut the ends of mine, but the author also suggests leaving the loops sometimes for a different look. I can’t wait to make more and use them on gifts and home decor projects!

There is so much more I didn’t get to try. Some that top my list for summer projects are looping ribbon to make a topiary (p. 63), ribbon monograms on cards (p. 21), ribbon belts and lanyards (p. 114), and refrigerator magnets with ribbon backgrounds (p. 102). I could go on, but these will get me started! In closing, here’s a final break down…

Pros:

  • inspiring projects
  • easy to follow instructions
  • beautiful photography
  • supply lists

Cons:

  • most supplies are Making Memories
  • some ideas are pretty basic
  • published in 2005, it’s not exactly “new” anymore

Okay, so the cons are a bit of a stretch, but I figured I should come up with something! Ribbonrie retails for $19.99 and is available at Michael’s or online directly from Making Memories. I highly recommend it–especially if you hoard (I mean collect) ribbon like I do! If you’ve read this book, leave a comment and let us know what you think or, better yet, show us something you were inspired to create.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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6 Responses to Ribbonrie :: A Book Review

  1. jenstamps May 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    I bought this book ages ago but I think I need to dig it out again. Thanks for the great review!!! Your cards are fantastic!

  2. NanaBeth May 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Normally I don’t pay too much attention to the books-I have way too many already. But this really caught my eye. Super great job with the samples.

  3. stampinc May 31, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    I’m going to have to get the book. I just love your samples of ideas you used with the ribbon. Who would of thought to do these creative things? Not me.

  4. Q May 31, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    So neat – I am going to have to get this book based on your review! Hope to find a Mike’s coupon tomorrow that I can use. 🙂

  5. Elaine June 1, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    Cute projects! I’ll have to look for this book the next time I’m at the craft store.

  6. Raquel June 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Lexi,

    I love your reviews. I am definitely going to use one of my coupons on this book.

    Thanks for the great review. I really like the cute purse.