A Way With Words Els van de Burgt Studio ModaScrap Shimmer Sheetz

Celebration and Award Ribbons

April 29, 2017
Celebration and Award Ribbons by Judi

By Judi Kauffman

Our dog was a champion before she retired and came to live with us. Her ribbons were fabulous – a pleated rosette around a big padded circle with gold printing at the top, long tails cascading below. They serve as an inspiration for today’s project: Ribbons to make for friends to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion or give as an award to someone who has triumphed over illness or adversity.

I chose Live, Laugh, and Love – A Way With Words dies that are longtime favorites. ‘Live’ goes to the friend who is five-years cancer-free. ‘Laugh’ goes to the friend who brings smiles no matter what is going on. ‘Love’ goes to my husband.

But you don’t have to choose the same dies or sentiments! It’s very easy to customize this project.

Decide what you want to say and size the circles and fishtail ribbons accordingly. Suzanne Cannon’s A Way With Words collection offers so many options.

Some examples: A tiny circle and short narrow fishtails with the word ‘love’ from the Baby Love set. Or Happy Birthday on a big scalloped edge circle (instead of die cut fishtails as ribbons go for soft, sheer organza over satin or grosgrain!). Or say Thank You or Merci, Gracias, or Danke. And how about Sending Hugs? Or wishing a favorite couple Happy Anniversary (add die cut numerals for the number of years)?

Another way to customize: Instead of flowers below the circles, incorporate die cut arrows or flourishes or a cascade of leaves – or just use the fishtails and keep it simple.


Instead of step-by-step instructions, use the photos for inspiration!

A few tips to get you started:

  1. Combine Shimmer Sheetz and cardstock for a mix of matte and shiny surfaces.
  2. Use foam tape to add dimension when layering the circles.
  3. Adhere the Stitched Fishtails where they overlap so they won’t wiggle around, but allow the flowers or other embellishments that top the fishtails to hang loose, secured only at the top end where the piece peeks out from under the circle.
  4. Rather than punching a hole for the hanging loop, secure it at the back and hide the ends with a small cardstock or Shimmer Sheetz circle.
  5. Remember that a Metal Adaptor Plate is REQUIRED for die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube video if you are new to this technique.
  6. Optional: Lightly sand Shimmer Sheetz Circles to tone down the shine a bit.
  7. Instead of Stitched Circles, use Dotted Scallop or Fitted Circles.



Elizabeth Craft Designs –
, Laugh, Love dies OR any A Way With Words collection die(s) of choice
Shimmer Sheetz in colors of choice (Shown: Fire Opal Gemstone; Black, Yellow and Purple Iridescent)
Els van de Burgt Studio Stitched Fishtails
Els van de Burgt Studio Stitched Circles
ModaScrap Ready to Bloom
Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape

Other –
Cardstock in solid colors of choice
Cord or ribbon for hanging loop
Foam tape or squares
Metal adaptor plate or Big Shot Machine with Precision Base Plate
Sanding block

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  • Patricia Howarth May 3, 2017 at 2:48 am

    Hi Judi, These creations are gorgeous, I’m loving the shimmer sheetz and the lovely fonts on the sentiments by Suzanne, your colours are beautiful together too.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

    • Judi Kauffman May 8, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Patricia, thank you! I agree that Suzanne’s sentiments are lovely. What’s wonderful is that they start with her own hand-lettering, not a computer font…pen and ink, calligraphy, magically transformed into cutting dies. Yes, there is a computer involved in the translation from hand-lettering to metal dies, but you can still ‘feel’ the human hand at work in the letter spacing, thick and thin elements, the flourishes – that’s what makes them uniquely her own and why the name of the collection is so true: Suzanne Cannon definitely has ‘A Way With Words’…

  • paualj April 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Fun idea, and I love the contrasts. Besides giving as is and the ideas you mentioned, one could use an award on cards (I’m thinking multiples, too on a card), as name tags, for gift tags, a garland… thanks for the ideas.

    • judi kauffman April 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      If you make them as shown they’d need to go on a n oversized card, but you could easily scale them down to fit smaller cards…

  • Nancy Yoder April 29, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Marvelous idea…have a birthday greeting to send to a man friend who is turning 91!
    This idea is perfect & I think a pin on back would work too. Thank U!

    • judi kauffman April 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      I love your idea about putting a pin on the back! I have a suggestion about how to secure the pin backing, a little trick of mine: Put a couple snippets of a Tombow Power Adhesive Tab between the bar of the pin finding and the back of the circle. Then back a small synthetic suede or felt rectangle (something that won’t unravel) with double sided adhesive tape and use it to cover the bar. It creates a very ‘finished’ look. The Power Tab is super sturdy, but the fabric over the bar keeps it from budging or wobbling.

  • Patti L April 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Would have loved to see a picture of your dog, too.

    • judi kauffman April 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      I’ll decorate a photo mat and post a photo of her – She is now Queen of the Sofa!

  • Patti L April 29, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Would have loved to see picture of your dog, too.

  • Jean marmo April 29, 2017 at 8:26 am

    How pretty. Live the inspiration. A wonderful idea.

    • judi kauffman April 29, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks, Jean. Hope you’ll give it a try. I can envision a ribbon on a scrapbook page or altered canvas.

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