Hand-Planed Ribbons and Bows
A few scrap boards of your favorite wood and a sharp hand plane are all you need to personalize gifts from your shop with wood ribbons and bows. We used pine, walnut and cherry for three contrasting tones. Exotic woods are colorful, but it’s nearly impossible to plane long, smooth shavings from species that have a wild or inconsistent grain.
To create flat, ribbon-style shavings, moisten the board edge with a damp rag or spray bottle before planing. To make the curly bows, plane the board edge without water. Vary the width of the shavings by angling the plane along the board edge in a bevel cut. Thanks to reader Tom Jackson for this festive tip. If you’d like to learn more about using a hand plane and tips for sharpening and buying them, check out this article.
Soften Old Tape
Revive old masking tape or painter’s tape by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds. The heat will soften up the adhesive allowing it to easily pull off the roll. Got a smelly/dirty microwave? Check out our tips for making it fresh and sparkly clean.
If you keep your tape, twine and ribbon spools in a drawer, you’re wasting valuable space. Instead, screw a paper towel holder to the window trim in your craft room and slide the rolls on the holder. You’ll know where everything is and you can pull off the amount you need without the spools jumping out of your hand and across the floor.