How I make my bows

It starts by selecting the ribbons to make the bow from. I’ve been in business for 30 years and have accumulated a huge variety of ribbons to choose from. Then I shape the bow from the ribbons and add stitches to hold it together. I pay really close attention to make sure the loops are even and symmetrical. An even symmetrical bow is a beautiful bow. An uneven unsymmetrical bow is just plain ugly.

This is one of our bows. The loops are even and the bow is symmetric and pleasing to look at.

This is definitely NOT one of our bows! The loops are uneven, of different lengths, and the bow completely asymmetric.  Don’t put a bow like this on your child!

Then I glue the bows to the barrette or clip I want to use. I use very strong top quality industrial-grade glue. The bows are nearly impossible to pull off the barrettes once I glue them on. I then make a knot with the ribbon I want in the center of the bow. I wrap the ends of the knot around the bow and put in a stitch to hold them together. Then I put in a stitch to anchor the the knot to the bow ribbon. This holds the knot in place and keeps it from rotating around the barrette. Once I do this I put in two more stitches through the knot ribbon, double-knotting each stitch. For the final step I trim the ends of the bow with a hot knife. This seals the ends of the ribbons and ensures they will not fray.

All this attention to detail and hand stitching are critical! It makes my bows very durable and built to last. I have customers putting my bows on their kids that were bought for them by their mothers when they were kids. And they still look great! I’ve put bows on 3 generations of families (shows my age, oops!) and they are still coming back for more.

A word about barrettes. I use only top quality barrettes from certain special manufacturers. (Take a look at our post “Let’s Talk About Barrettes” to learn more.) They cost more and are harder to get, but they’re worth it. There are a lot of junky barrettes out there that fail quickly. They won’t close properly or break easily, making the bow useless. There’s no point in making a beautiful and durable bow unless the barrette is just as good. If you buy one of my bows you can be sure it will be beautiful, stylish, and durable. So, what are you waiting for?

Too many bows to select from? Use our Wish List!

We have a gigantic selection of bows, so much so that sometimes its hard to pick just the right one. We feel your pain! (We have to make them.) Our new Wish List can help you whittle down the selection to the ones you really are interested in.

All you have to do is to put bows in the Shopping Cart and check the Add to Wish List checkbox. Then click the Add To Wish List button and the bow will be moved from the Shopping Cart to your personal Wish List. The Wish List is saved on your device and kept for 3 months from the most recent Wish List update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Wish List you can move items to the Shopping Cart or remove them permanently from the Wish List. Just check the appropriate checkbox and click the Update Wish List button.

When you return to our webstore you can access your Wish List by clicking the MY WISH LIST item on the top of the main navigation bar.

Anytime you see a bow you might be interested in, just add it to the Wish List. It will stay there and you can come back another day and add it to your cart if you want. You can even put it back into the Wish List from your Cart if you like. After a while your Wish List will have your personal collection of favorite bows you can select from. Happy Shopping!

Subscribe to our Email List

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Corny Kid-Tested Riddles Guaranteed To Make Them Groan

We love corny kid riddles and jokes. So here’s a few with more to come. Feel free to use them whenever you need a good groan from your kids.

What happens when you throw a green rock into the Red Sea? It gets wet.

If the President runs American and the Prime Minister runs England, who runs Nova Scotia? The Bossa Nova.

How can you tell if there’s an elephant in the refrigerator? Footprints in the Jello.

What happens if a boat carrying red paint crashes into a boat carrying blue paint? The crews get marooned.

How can you tell if an elephant is in bed with you? From the big “E” on his pajamas.

Why does a chicken coup only have 2 doors? Because if it had 4 doors it would be a chicken sedan.

What do Attila the Hun and Willie the Pooh have in common? The have the same middle name.

What’s Irish and sits outside? Pati O’Furniture.

Why didn’t Noah fish on the Ark? He only had two worms.

What did one ocean say to the other ocean? Nothing, they just waved.

What does the Pink Panther say when he steps on an ant? Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant, Dead Ant….

Had enough already? Not us. We’ve got a million of these little gems. Enjoy!

Keeping It Fresh

We’ve got more then 5000 hair bow styles on our site, but our customers always are on the lookout for the freshest and newest styles. That’s where our New Bows page comes in. We put our latest creations here! We keep it fresh by taking out older posts when we add new ones. The newest additions are at the bottom of each section with the older ones on top. For instance, in the Disney Bow section the bows at the bottom of the section are the ones we just posted. The ones on top are pretty new too, but older than the latest ones at the bottom. As we add new bows we’ll delete whole rows from the top of their respective sections.

We’ll usually keep bows in the New Bows page for a couple of months or so. Not all of our customers visit our site every day (We can’t image why they wouldn’t, but that’s the way it is!) so we keep the new bows on the page for a little while so they can have a chance to see them when they do visit.

So, when you visit our Website you can go to the New Bows page first to see the latest styles. But don’t forget to go to the other pages on the site. Just like people, just because a style is older doesn’t mean its not beautiful!

Happy Browsing!

Cleaning Our Bows

Our bows last a long time, so kids get them dirty. Sometimes really dirty. Sometimes really, really dirty! So how can you clean them? If you have a grosgrain bow its pretty easy. Just put a couple of tablespoons of dishwasher soap like Cascade (wear gloves and eye protection) and warm water into a small tub or pot and soak the bow overnight. Swish it around occasionally to help knock off any dirt. Then rinse the bow and hang it up to dry. If you have a light color bow with some stains you may have to use an all-fabric bleach soak, too. DO NOT use a chlorine bleach! Polyester satin bows can be cleaned the same way.

Unfortunately, washing glitter bows can knock off some of the glitter.  Right now we don’t have a recommended way to clean glitter bows, but we’re working on it.

Let’s Talk About Selecting The Right Bow Size

A question we get all the time is “What size bow do get for my kid (or grandkid)?”. To get started on the answer take a look at a screen shot of the bow comparison figure that is on our Solid Color Bows page. Click on the photo to see the full-size version.

The chart is to scale, the size of each bow is in the correct relation to the bows. The bow dimensions in inches and centimeters are given for each bow size. The chart also gives recommended age ranges for each bow. Of course, this depends on the kid, Mom, (and Grandmom). Some Moms will put a MEGA bow on a 2 year-old and others use Medium bows on 10 year-olds.

This photo shows Medium, Large, and MEGA bows on a 7 year-old model. Click on the photo to see the full-size version. The Medium or Large bows are just about the right size for this girl, the MEGA is a little big. That’s why we say the MEGA bows are best for girls at 9 years old and up, but some Moms and kids really want to make a statement.

This photo shows Small, Toddler, and Medium bows on a 2 1/2 year-old model. Click on the photo to see the full-size version. The Small and Toddler bows are just about right for her, but the Medium bow is OK and is something she can grow into.

So, selecting the right bow size depends on your kid’s age, size (some kids grow faster than others), and the look you want. If you have any questions or want advice, we are happy to help. Just give us a call (225-751-0914) or drop us a note. We love talking to our customers!

Let’s Talk About Barrettes

The main barrettes we use on our bows are Spring Clip and Alligator (or Curl) Clips barrettes. Alligator clip are used on our Infant, Small, and Toddler size bows and Spring Clips are for Medium, Large, and MEGA bows. Alligator Clips are good for young kids with thin hair and work best with the smaller size bows. Some customers want Alligator Clips on Medium and sometimes even Large bows.

Spring Clips are the best barrettes for Medium-MEGA bows. They grip the hair better  and are good for holding in the larger bows. The wider base gives a very good mounting place for the bow.

It’s very important to use top quality Spring Clip barrettes. A top quality barrette will last and will hold the bow without breaking your kid’s hair. Unfortunately there are a lot or junky barrettes out there that won’t stay in and break easily. A bow with a slippery or broken barrette is useless!

How can you tell a top quality from a junky barrette? I’m glad you asked! Take a look at the photo on the left. The first thing you notice is that the Good Barrette is wider and the Grips are larger and stronger. This is important because its the Grips that you squeeze with you fingers to open the barrette. They are the part that gets the most use and unless they are strong they’re the part that can break first. What you can’t see in the photo is that the Good Barrette is made with thicker metal than the Junky Barrette. The larger Grips and thicker metal help make Good Barrettes really durable.

Next take a look at the photo on the right. Now only does the Good Barrette have better Grips, it also is wider and has larger, heavier duty Hinges. The greater width gives the barrette better holding power regardless of hair thickness. The heavy duty Hinges resist breaking and make the Good Barrette more durable.

Click on the photo below to side-by-side compare the parts of the Junky and Good Barrette.

The Good Barrette body is wider, made of thicker metal, and has heavy duty Grips and Hinges. The Junky Barrette has a wimpy, single bar spring. The Good Barrette spring is double-barred with the bars connected by a bunch of crossbars. The spring is dimpled which gives it a better grip on hair. The extra bars spread out the clamping force so the Good Barrette can hold strongly without breaking hair. The Good Barrette Clip is triple-barred with the outer two bars dimpled. The 3 bars and the dimpling work together to hold well and still not damage hair.

Why do bow companies still use Junky Barrettes? They won’t tell us, but we think they either don’t know the difference and haven’t bothered to find out or they do know better but still use Junky Barrettes because they’re cheap and easy to find.

Bottom Line – Don’t buy bows with junky barrettes. That’s wasting money. How can you be sure you are getting Good Barrettes? That’s easy. Get your bows at Rainbows By Paulette. We ONLY use Top Quality Barrettes on our bows. To do anything else would be simply embarrassing!

Searching Our Site

We’ve added a couple of ways to search our website to make it easier to find the bows you want. We have over 5000 items on the site, so a little help in searching can go a long way.

Standard Text-Based Search

The first option is  standard text-based search. It searches the site looking for the word or words you typed into the search field. You do the searches by first selecting the size of bow you want and then typing the descriptive word or words in the search field. Click the search button and it will look at the whole site to try to find what you want. After the search is complete you can order the bow or bows right from the results screen. The Search Bar is shown on the top over the Home Page. You can get to the search screen from any page by clicking on the SEARCH link in the navigation panel on the left of the screen.

A few tips. You don’t need to use the word “bow” or “bows” in your search. It assumes that’s what you are looking for. Likewise, you don’t need to use the word “and” when using two or more search terms. Just put a blank between the words. If you use more than one search term the Search program looks for all the words at the same time. If you are looking for a red and blue bow,   type “red blue” in the search field. But if you want a red bow or a blue bow you need to do two searches, one with the “red” search term and the other with the “blue” search term.

All of the newer styles on the site are well-annotated with search words, but older bow styles still are only lightly annotated. We are working on fixing this, but there are a lot of bows and not many of us. It will take a while to get all the bows on the site to the point where they are easily searched. So, in the meantime you can compliment your searches by browsing the website. You could discover the perfect bow for your outfit this way!

COLOR MATCHER Searches

This is brand new, and as far as we know, exclusive to Rainbows By Paulette. The goal of our COLOR MATCHER search is to find the bows with the color closest to what you want to match.

You get to the COLOR MATCHER either by clicking on the link in the Search Bar or the COLOR MATCHER link in the navigation panel. For phones the link is included in the dropdown Navigation Menu at the top of the Home Page.

The search works by you clicking on the color in the Color Chart closest to what you what to match, selecting the bow size, and clicking the “Click Me” (How Original!) button at the bottom of the page. The COLOR MATCHER then searches the website to try to find what it thinks are the closest matches to the color you want. The bows with the colors closest to you selection are at the top of the results page. You can order bows right from the results page.

This photo shows the Results Screen from searching for yellow MEGA bows. The “yellowest” bows are in the top row and bows with other colors in addition to yellow are in the next row. Some colors only have a few matches while others have a lot. Its best to play around with the search, selecting different shades before you make your decision on which bow you want.

Sometimes its hard to see why the COLOR MATCHER includes some bows in the results. These bows may have only a little bit of the color you want. The COLOR MATCHER tries to pick out the dominant color of the bow and if the bow has a lot of colors it can get a little confused. Fortunately, this usually happens only in a minority of the selections. We are constantly working to improve the MATCHER’s performance and things will continue to get better. So, just like with the standard text-based search, in the meantime you can compliment your searches by browsing the website. You could discover the perfect bow for your outfit this way!

Ribbon Basics

Grosgrain ribbon is the main ribbon used for hair bows. It is available in lots of widths and colors and is very sturdy and durable. It is usually made from polyester. The word “grosgrain” is made up from the borrowed French “gros gram” meaning a coarsely woven fabric. (1)

By http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ryj - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kette_und_Schu%C3%9F.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37702470
Grosgrain Weave

Grosgrain gets its corded appearance by using a thick cord in weaving going across the ribbon (the weft) and thin cord for weaving along the ribbon (the warp). (2) The warp goes over and then under the weft cords in sequence. This weaving makes both sides of the ribbon look the same and gives the ribbon an attractive, non-lustrous texture. The edges of the ribbon are woven so they will not fray or unravel. Grosgrain ribbon is very versatile and can be monogrammed, printed, painted, etc. for a huge variety of looks and styles. Continue reading “Ribbon Basics”