I love korker bows. In fact, they are the biggest draw for me to Gymboree. I bought two pairs on sale last Spring just as we were beginning the pig-tail hairstyle for my daughter (she finally had enough hair to do something with, even if they were just 1 inch tufts sticking in the air), and fell in love with them. I haven't always had success finding them in the colors I wanted, so when I came across tutorials on how to make these last Fall, I had to try it. Several tries later, I have definitely learned some things. I have a fantastic tester who puts her hairbows through their paces. Here's what I have come up with that actually hold their curl.
KORKER HAIRBOW TUTORIAL
Lesson Learned: When I first researched this last Fall (and I wish I could remember where I read this), the poster wrote that you need to use 100% polyester ribbon. Well, the only ribbon I could find in redskin colors was a blend, so I went with it. That was a mistake. I have made those ribbons over and over. I've tried variations with starch to hold them. It still didn't work. But then I made a set with 100% polyester ribbon. Nothing extra was needed. And they have held their curl. They even withstand a baby boy grabbing and tugging on them with all his might. My lesson: if it isn't 100% polyester, don't waste your time. (And yes this sounds weird to say considering I'm generally not a fan of polyester. Ribbon, however, is now an exception.)
100% Polyester Ribbon (I am using two types here... one solid yellow and one white with a yellow and green print
Clothespins (the small type work well)
A wooden dowel (I cut mine into three pieces to fit best in my oven)
Hot Glue Gun
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Use a clothespin to hold one end of your ribbon on the dowel and begin to wrap the ribbon. Once you reach the end of the dowel, cut the ribbon and use another clothespin to hold it in place.
Place the wrapped dowel on a baking sheet. Make sure it is clean since you won't want grease transferring to your ribbon. You can also put a sheet of aluminum foil on the sheet to make sure the ribbon stays clean.
Put the baking sheet in the over and "bake." My oven takes 30 minutes. However, you may want to start with 20, make sure the ribbon isn't browning, and then try another 10.
Once the ribbon seems universally hot and set, take the baking sheet out of the oven and allow to cool.
Pull the cooled ribbon off the dowel. You should now have a coiled strand.
Cut the ribbon into 3-inch lengths and apply fray check to the ends.
Pile the number of ribbons together that you want. I use about 10 for bows meant for pigtails. You may want more if you are making one for a ponytail. Tie the thread together and pull tight.
At this point, you are done with the bow and can attach it to your barrette. I decided to use an alligator clip here, so I wrapped and hot glued the ribbon around the clip. Then I used the thread to tie the bow to the barrette, and the followed up with a little hot glue to make sure it was secure.
Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to see your creations.