Friday, July 15, 2011

Making "Distressed Ribbons"

OK, so I am not sure what to call what I am making, but here is my inspiration photo.

This beautiful pennant banner is customizable and for sale at 
lisa leonard online but costs $38....
Um, no thank you...while I appreciate the creativity,
I plan on making my own for my friend's wedding.

First job, how to make those lovely distressed ribbony scraps of fabric?
My friend's wedding colors are pale pink and brown, 
so the first order of business was to find some cheaply priced fabric.
I went to all of the major craft stores to check out their prices, and realized one thing...

Fabric is expensive.
Now what?

Enter garage sale-ing, my favorite hobby.
I needed a thin pink or brown fabric and I figured I may run across a sheet or curtain.
So far, all I've been able to come up with is one pink pillowcase.
 BUT, it is the perfect shade of pink! And it was only ten cents!
So, I disassembled the case by literally pulling it apart with my bare hands....
Grrrrr.... and ended up with a large rectangle.
I wanted the ripped look so I played around for a few strands and came up with this...

First, cut strips into your fabric that you can rip straight down the grain.
I wanted mine small enough to go through a hole punch but not thin ugly things.
It took a few tries to get the thickness right, the fabric is the deciding factor.
This fabric shredded if I went much thinner so thats the thickness I went with.

Here is the tedious part.
Next you get to sit and cut like this, then rip a bunch of strands out, 
then cut more, then rip more, and repeat, repeat, repeat...
You get the idea.

I found that when I ripped each strand out there were lots of stray threads.
Each time, I pulled all the loose threads out so I wouldn't have to deal with them later.

And kept on ripping...

I was just starting to get into a real groove and all of a sudden I was done.
This is what I ended up with...

It may not look like it but thats about 100 strands as long as a pillowcase is wide...
I figure to make a pennant like the one above,
I should be able to get three cuts out of each length of "ribbon".
I would have never needed a whole sheet.
I like it when I have a happy accident like that.

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