Curly Q’s or corkers?
No matter what you call them…
These simple-to-make, spiral-shaped ribbons, add the utmost charm to hair accessories, gift wrap, and crafts of all kinds!
- Narrow grosgrain ribbon (1/4″ or 3/8″)
- Sharp scissors
- 1/4″ wooden dowels
- Wooden clothespins
- Spray starch
- Paper towels
- Aluminum foil
- Fray Check
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. As strange as it sounds, the oven is key.
With a clothespin, secure the tip of ribbon to one end of a wooden dowel. Wrap ribbon around dowel to the opposite end. Cut ribbon and secure with a second pin.
Holding ribbon-wrapped dowels over the kitchen sink, spray with starch until all ribbon is thoroughly soaked. Blot with paper towels to absorb excess starch.
While ribbon is wet, place dowels on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Transfer tray to the center rack of oven. Bake for twenty minutes.
Carefully remove tray from the oven and allow to cool completely. It is very important for the ribbons to cool all the way down before unwrapping them. Failure to do so, will result in corkers that don’t retain their springy form. I let mine cool overnight.
Once cool, unclasp clothespins and gently slide ribbons from dowels without tugging or pulling. Cut curly corkers to desired length. Using a few dabs of liquid sealant, treat ribbon ends to prevent raveling.
If you are brave and have steady hands, you can heat treat ribbon ends by holding a lighter flame close enough to seal them.
Since I’ve been known to set a hair bow (or two) on fire, treating ends with Fray-Check or similar product, is the only method I can safely recommend.
It isn’t difficult to make ribbon corkers, but it does take time. I find it well worth the effort, to assemble as many colors as I have dowels, in the same session. I then store the finished corkers in a Rubbermaid box, so they’re available when needed.
*Dowels and clothespins must be made from wood, containing zero plastic parts.