Before I bake them I use spray starch and then pop them into the 275 degree oven for 20-25 mins and leave the ribbon on the dowels until cool. Be cautious spraying the starch onto the floor though, I do it over an old towel. The floor gets slippery!
As for cutting, I have a rotary cutter but I really want a wood burning tool to try it out since it seals as it cuts. I use a lighter to seal the ends, like you use to light candles, BBQ,etc.
Sweet Baby K's Bow*tique