How To Create Korker Bows for Christmas Ornaments
By: Lyrical Letters
There is nothing that finishes off an ornament as CUTE as a bow hanger for the top. For some of you, that is a challenge, as it was for me for a very long time until I finally figured out a way to make a very versatile, and ADORABLE bow that is just about as simple as tying your shoes!
The basic bow hangers are tied in a way that makes them extremely versatile. These bow hangers can be “filled out” with many different things. I have used pieces of boa, tulle, strips of ribbon, zig zag binding, pearls, and about anything else you could imagine BUT for the purpose of this tutorial I am going to show you how to make them using korker ribbon. If you don’t know what a korker is, it is a short strip of ribbon that is curled and then usually inserted into a bow. Korkers can be purchased on Etsy already made, but I make my own so that I can use whatever ribbon I have on hand and so that I can match it to my bow easier. To make a korker, you need the following:
- Thin Ribbon (I use 1/8″ up to 0.5″)
- 3/16″ wooden dowel (I purchased mine at Wal-mart)
- 2 Mini clothes-pins (Also purchased at Wal-Mart)
- Liquid starch (this comes in a pour bottle and is usually HIDDEN in the laundry section of your grocery store. In a pinch you can use a spray bottle with some corn starch added to warm water and shaken really well BUT doing it that way leaves a white, powdery haze on your ribbon and it isn’t as pretty)
STEP 1 – Place the end of your ribbon at one end of the dowel on a slight downward angle. Hold it in place with a clothes-pin.
STEP 2 – Wrap your ribbon tightly around your dowel with the edges touching but not overlapping all the way from one end to the other. When you get to the other end, secure the end of your ribbon onto the dowel with a clothes-pin. Then clip off the remainder of the ribbon.
STEP 3 – Spray your ribbon with liquid starch until it is saturated and bake in an oven preheated to 275 for about 20 minutes. I do several at once, laying them out on a cookie sheet. When they are done, let them cool COMPLETELY, unroll them gently, and then cut them into roughly 2.5″ sections. I usually heat seal the end of my korkers using a lighter applied to the end of the ribbon for a few seconds. This keeps them from unraveling on the ends.
Once your korkers are done, you are ready to make your bow hanger. For your bow hanger, you will need the following:
- Ribbon of your choosing (I generally use about 0.5″ ribbon for my hangers but you could go a bit larger if you wanted to)
- An ornament to put your ribbon on
STEP 1 – Cut about a 18″ piece of ribbon and fold it in half.
STEP 2- Thread the 2 free ends of your ribbon through the ornament hook from front to back, leaving about a 3-4″ loop in the front which will become your hanger for your ornament.
STEP 3 – Grab your two free ends and fold them back towards the front of your ornament being sure to go leave your loop in the the CENTER of your two free ends. Then flip your loop hanger towards the back.
STEP 4 – Bring your free ends together at the front of your ornament and tie a simple knot as tight as you can. Tug on your loop gently while holding the knot you made to make sure your loop is standing up nice and pretty before you go to the next step.
STEP 5 – Lay your ornament to the side and grab your korkers that you are using for your bow. I like to lay mine out with several different colors/types of ribbon alternating. This helps ensure that don’t have all the same colors together in the finished bow. Once you have them laid out, gather them all together pinching them in the center to make a korker bouquet as shown.
STEP 6 – Grab your ornament with the other hand and place your korkers centered on your ornament with one free end of ribbon over the top and one coming up from the bottom of your korker bouquet. Hold them in place and tie a knot with the 2 free ends of ribbon securing your korkers to your ribbon hanger.
STEP 7 – You may have to play with your free ends to get them in the right position to tie a bow but once you do, simply tie a regular simple “shoestring style” bow with your free ends making sure to twist your ribbon around so that the printed side is on the outside if your ribbon is not the same on both sides. Once tied, play with your bow a little bit until it is centered over your korkers and looks how you want it to look. Snip off your ends to the length you want them to be at and heat seal the ends if desired.
If you’d like to use something other than korkers for your bow, simply do the same steps as above except add in your desired material instead of the korkers. You can also make a rather large bow by inserting criss-crossed wide ribbon instead of korkers. Here are some examples of bows I have made in the past using different inserts.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or if you just wanna give me a shout out!