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Bedecked with Bows

Martha Stewart Living, December 2004

Bows are always in style at the holidays, and this year they have an added cachet: these festive accents are the darlings of couture, showing up in fresh and inspiring forms on every item of clothing imaginable. Combine their classic and current appeal by outfitting your abode in all sorts of bows. Drape shimmering sashes over tables and across windows and banisters, or fashion dainty knots to adorn the accessories of your home -- glass votives, napkins, and more.

Satin ribbon is standard for bows, and its gentle sheen lends elegance to a room. Other ribbons have their own distinct characteristics. Rich velvet is best for flat bows that display only its luxurious side; ribbed grosgrain doesn't knot well, but it's perfect for folded bows with oscillating loops. Below, you'll find links to instructions for making the bows shown here. With a little practice, you'll be ready to festoon your house for a holiday soiree. Just don't be surprised if the best-dressed guest at the party isn't actually a guest at all.

Dress a dining room in satin bows. In this mantel display, the long loops of a sash bow follow the shape of a cedar wreath, while its tails dip through smaller ones; winged-bow streamers soften a chandelier.

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