Thursday, January 26, 2006

Making your Own Personalized Twill Ribbon Tape

By Christina VanGinkel

Card crafters, scrap bookers, and other types of craft enthusiasts are always looking for ways to make their own embellishments, especially personalized ones. The first time I saw twill ribbon that was printed on, I knew it was just the thing I was looking for, and with the possibilities for creating unique items with this simple and oh so easy to do craft, I knew I would be busily creating personal twill tape designs and messages for a long time to come. Months later, I am still as intrigued with this easy craft and continue to make all sorts of personalized embellishments.

With twill ribbon available in such a wide assortment of sizes, you will also be as fascinated with this craft once you realize all the items you can make with it. Better yet, the only supplies you will need are scissors, twill ribbon in a light, solid color, and your computer ink jet printer with a few sheets of blank light colored cardstock, a word processing program for editing text or a graphics programs, and some common household tape. (Double sided tape works very well for this, as it will allow the twill ribbon to stay right where you place it, where as if you just tape the ends down, it may slip when running through the printer, causing increased risks of jams or allowing the printer to miss the ribbon altogether). As to the software, consider just about any of those programs that you already own for working with text, or even clipart, such as a scrapbook program, or even good old Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. As long as the program will print to your ink jet printer, it will conceivably work for this project. The only other thing I can suggest you have before beginning this project is those fonts that you want to use. Fonts are available in many designs either for purchase or through Internet sites that offer them free. Many magazines that are craft oriented that offer a CD or online access, also often have free fonts in decorative designs for personal uses such as this.

To start, consider what you want to use your finished twill tape on. This will give you an idea of how long a piece of twill tape to cut, and what type of font and words you plan to print. Once you have an idea all set up, and have designed it in the graphics or word processing program on the computer, print it to the cardstock. This is not a dry run; you are creating the actual template you will use for the placement of the twill ribbon for when you run it through the printer. This is how you will know where to place it on the paper so it does not miss the ribbon. Affix the twill ribbon over the printed area of the cardstock with tape on the ends to help secure it as it is run through the printer. Place the cardstock back into the printer tray, or if you have a manual feed, use that, and then direct the printer to print and it will then print directly onto the twill ribbon. Do not walk away from the printer when doing this though, as paper jams, or maybe we should call them twill jams, can occur. Once printed, allow the ribbon to dry thoroughly before you remove it from the cardstock. You can remove the cardstock and ribbon from the paper tray, and then just set aside until ready. Then, simply remove the tape that is holding the twill ribbon in place and your ribbon will be all ready for you to use in whatever project you had in mind. Attach to your project with more double sided tape, run it through a Xyron sticker maker (my favorite), or even attach it with brads, eyelets, decorative staples, or with decorative sewn stitches, increasing even more the ways in which you can use your personalized twill ribbon.

Depending on the width of the ribbon you choose, you can also print graphics, the same as you do words. This simple tactic alone expands the possibilities of this easy to do project immeasurably! So, go get yourself some twill ribbon and make your own distinct borders, tags, and whatever else you can dream up!

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