Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Way out in the country
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Grosgrain is often not marked as such, but if it is ribbed, it is probably grosgrain and will generally work the same for you even if it's not. I've used American Crafts Ribbon before and it worked fine.
I order most of my ribbon online. You can sometimes find good deals on ebay and some sellers will let you order smaller amounts.
Heat sealing is super easy with a lighter. You probably want to practice on a scrap first b/c you can leave a black mark, but it's not hard to do.
I personally prefer hot glue b/c it's much faster and easier, but I do sometimes use the E600 when I have something that I want to glue in the middle of the bow. I do a lot of polymer clay centers (which is a lot of fun!) and for those you can just scratch the back up with a stick pin and the hot glue works fine. If you have a smooth surfaced piece for the middle (like plastic) the glue can peel from the piece, so you want to use something like E600.
I haven't done crochet flowers, but have used things like felt flowers/designs and have glued them on to the barrets with success.
As for using the elastic, I have done it a few different ways (although with regular ribbon, not curled). You can group your ribbon together, loop it around the elastic and sew a stitch through it which works well, or you can tie each one on individually. This makes an interesting effect with little bulk. I actually sell quite a few of these especially around football season. They are great for the "tween" years.
I used to sell online and at crafts fairs, but I've scaled down quite a bit to do other things. I now sell at 2 consignment sales, and while I don't make as much as I did before, it's still well worth my time.
I don't know about the square dowels, but it would be an interesting project! I know some people use spray starch to help hold the shape, you might look into that if you try the squares.