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Ribbon Tips and Ideas

Updated on October 31, 2019
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Ribbons are the fun way to add color, definition and style to every craft project
Ribbons are the fun way to add color, definition and style to every craft project

If you make any kinds of crafts, then you love ribbon ! The colors and textures add so much to every craft project. No matter if you sew, scrapbook, make cards or paper crafts, ribbon adds that finishing touch to every project that you create.

There are hundreds of ways to use ribbons on craft projects. So many colors and patterns to chose from. People actually collect ribbon as a side hobby.

There is an endless palette of colors to chose from. You can find printed, stripped and dotted ribbon.

No matter what your craft type, adding ribbon makes it so much better.

Types Of Craft Ribbon

Type
Properties
Uses
Burlap
is a coarse cloth made of jute, flax, or hemp fibers. Gives any project some rustic charm.
Use it for home décor, gift wrapping, and fun craft projects
Chiffon
Similar to organza, but in very small widths
Can be used in corsages and other floral decor. Bows can be made with it. Because of the thin width, some have knitted and crocheted with it
Curling Ribbon
Comes in crimped or smooth texture. Comes in solids in almost any color you can think of.
Good for scrapbook, wreaths, wands and of course wrapping gifts and packages
Grosgrain
Durable ribbon with some elasticity. Comes in solid colors and patterns. Also comes with loops along both edges called picots
Collages, scrapbooks, wreaths and bows
Jacquard
Both sides of this ribbon show the same pattern in opposite colors
Used for decorative accents
Lace
Not as durable as other ribbons, but does give a bit of elegance to any project.
Traditional for weddings. It also makes for an ideal trim on handmade clothes and heirloom dresses, and an endearing accent in scrapbooks. Can also be combined with burlap for a rustic elegance.
Mesh
Similar to netting, Comes in different sizes, widths and colors
Most often used in wreaths, centerpieces and seasonal decor
Organza
Mostly made of polyester
This organza could be use as simple decor for table, ribbon, even as hair accessories.
Paper
Made of thin creased paper that has delightful texture.
Easily shaped into bows, paper ribbon is wonderful for gift wrap, scrapbooking, and casual trim.
Raffia
Raffia is created by opening the leaves of palm fronds and revealing the natural fibers within
Most often used in fall decor. It is often made into a wreath shape; Can also be added to other ribbon to create a textured bow
Satin
Has a satin sheen that is available in a rainbow of colors They are mostly made of silk, nylon or cotton. They also come in picot which are small loops along the edges.
Good for almost any project
Taffetta
This is a lightweight ribbon made of silk, rayon or polyester. Most are wired, but even without the wire, they retain a crispness
Can be used as table accents. shoe ties and home decor
Tulle
A light airy material
Most often used for formal occasions like weddings.
Velvet
Has a plush elegance in endless color combinations. It iseasy to press, store, and reuse for winters to come.
Often used on projects for holidays like Christmas or winter decor. Used also for home and business decor
Wired Ribbon
The wire within this ribbon makes it very flexible. It also retains the shape it is put into. Comes in patterns and solids. Wires can easily be removed.
Great ribbon to use in floral pieces, bouquets and wreaths

Awareness Ribbons

Different colors of ribbons are used to create awareness for different types of illnesses and conditions
Different colors of ribbons are used to create awareness for different types of illnesses and conditions

Easy And Simple Things You Can Do With Ribbon

Here are some projects you can make with ribbon that are easy to make,

  1. Make a ribbon streamer party chair. Ribbons are tied on the back of a chair. Great for weddings, showers and birthday parties. Click here for the project.
  2. Make bike tassel ribbon streamers. Make this project in under an hour. Click here for this project.
  3. Wrap a candle with ribbon. Take different widths of ribbon and wrap them around the candle. Either use straight pins or a glue gun to secure the ribbon to the candle. Theme your ribbon to a season or occasion.
  4. Hang a Christmas ornament with ribbon. It will look even better.
  5. Sew ribbon around a pillow.
  6. Hang a wreath with ribbon
  7. Use ribbon as curtain tie backs
  8. Bind a mini scrapbook with ribbon
  9. Give life to an old lampshade with ribbon. Click here for the project
  10. Use ribbon in place of shoe laces to give new life to a pair of sneaker
  11. Glue a ribbon bow to the top of a headband.
  12. Weave a ribbon through a basket for a seasonal touch
  13. Sew ribbon onto the edge of a kitchen towel
  14. Make a ribbon garland
  15. Add ribbon to a child's toy
  16. Make a hair clip with ribbon . Click here to get the project

Ribbon wreaths can be made with seasonal, color and occasion themes
Ribbon wreaths can be made with seasonal, color and occasion themes | Source

Ribbon Wreath

Ribbon wreaths are so festive. There are several methods to do a ribbon wreath.

  • Birthday- Make it in his or her favorite color
  • Baby Shower- Shades of blue or pink
  • Wedding/Wedding Shower-Make it in the wedding colors
  • Seasonal-Make spring, summer, fall or winter theme

Tied Ribbon Wreath

Supplies

  • Tubular styroform or straw wreath form
  • You will need a 1½ to 2-inch (3.81 to 5.08-centimeter) wide, solid-colored ribbon
  • 7/8, 5/8, and 3/8-inch (22, 16, and 10-millimeter) wide ribbons
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Wrap the solid color ribbon tightly around the wreath base. Make sure that you overlap it a bit. Cut off any excess when you reach where you started, Secure the end with hot glue.

Cut lengths of the other ribbon long enough to tie around the wreath form with some extra for a tail. You could leave the tail as is. You could also make a diagonal cut or a v shaped cut.

Thread it onto the wreath. Make a double knot and continue until you have covered the wreath form.


Ribbon wands can be used for birthday parties as favors
Ribbon wands can be used for birthday parties as favors | Source

Decorating Christmas Trees With Mesh Ribbon

Mesh ribbon is one of the ways that you can decorate a Christmas tree
Mesh ribbon is one of the ways that you can decorate a Christmas tree | Source

How To Use Ribbon On A Greeting Card

Greeting cards are one of the most fun place to add ribbons. They enhance the message and create focus. They accent your message beautifully !

Of course, adding a bow to your greeting card may be the first thing that comes to your mind. Bows are easy to make. The best way to attach a bow to a card is to either use a glue dot or some fast drying tacky glue.

  • You can also make your bow even more special by taking some ribbon and adding a charm to the bow.
  • Edge a card with ribbon. You can edge any part of your card with ribbon. Always adds a lot of elegance to your card
  • Add a piece of ribbon flat across a card. Does not add any bulk
  • Make a faux bow and add it to your cards
  • Weave ribbon for a patterned ribbon effects

Ribbon scraps make this lovely greeting card more colorful
Ribbon scraps make this lovely greeting card more colorful | Source
Tie pieces of ribbon onto a pair of flip flops. This project is great for all those pieces of scrap ribbon.
Tie pieces of ribbon onto a pair of flip flops. This project is great for all those pieces of scrap ribbon.

Ribbon Sewing Tips

There are a few tips when using ribbon for sewing that will help you avoid problems with your sewing projects

  1. Wash and dry your base fabric before adding ribbon. Most ribbons will not shrink, but your fabric might, so washing and drying your fabric will help avoid problems later on.
  2. Be careful if you are ironing ribbon. Use a lower synthetic setting if you are iron your ribbon before sewing. Once the ribbons are stitched to the base fabric, make sure you continue to press them with a cool iron. Or, if the iron is on a cotton setting, press the ribbons from the wrong side of the fabric or use a pressing cloth to protect them.
  3. T
  4. o eliminate the need for pins and to keep the ribbons from shifting as they are sewn in place, I like to use a little basting glue or strips of lightweight fusible web such as Steam-a-Seam. Follow the directions on the product that you are using.
  5. Use a fine needle to sew your ribbon (75 to 80). Make sure that it is very sharp and creates a hole only large enough for the thread.
  6. Always sew the same way on both sides of the ribbon. You will avoid puckering that way.
  7. You can sew your ribbon by hand using a fine needle and close stitches.
  8. Polyester thread works best for most ribbon sewing projects.

Easy Way To Make Small Bows

American Crafts Ribbon Value Pack 24 1-Yard Spools, Dear Lizzy
American Crafts Ribbon Value Pack 24 1-Yard Spools, Dear Lizzy

These value packs are the perfect addition to your supplies. Each pack has both solid and printed ribbon in each pack.. I purchased this pack because I need to keep different colors handy when I am doing my paper crafts. This is the easiest way to add more color in my crafting.

 
These bookmarks are easy to make with ribbon clamps , some ribbon and some  embellishments
These bookmarks are easy to make with ribbon clamps , some ribbon and some embellishments | Source

Double Sided Tape-Perfect For Adding Ribbon On Paper

Even if your ribbon has adhesive on it, I often find that the adhesive the manufacturer uses is simply not strong enough to stay on the paper permanently. I always like to add some double sided tape on all my projects, just to make sure that the ribbon is permanent. The tape comes in many brands and widths depending on how thick or thin your ribbon is. I like to keep both a thick and thin roll of double sided tape in my craft room for when that inspiration hits.

Make Some Paper Ribbon

Ribbon Tip

To keep the ribbon from fraying, cut the end of the ribbon at an angle or make an inverted "V"

Ribbon Package Layout

I designed this to look like a Christmas package but you could adapt this design to a birthday package too
I designed this to look like a Christmas package but you could adapt this design to a birthday package too

Use Ribbon On A Scrapbook Page

Scrapbook pages are the perfect place to add a touch of ribbon. And yes, you can even use ribbon on a masculine scrapbook page.

The best place to start using ribbon is to associate it with a theme by color.

  • Wedding-Use the colors that the bride or you used
  • Baby Or Baby Shower-Blue or Pink
  • Graduation- School Colors
  • Favorite Teams- Could be any team-your kids, high school, college or pro.
  • Location-Blue and sand colors, green for mountains,ect.
  • Seasonal-Red for Christmas and Valentines, Brown for Fall and Thanksgiving, Pastels for Spring

What can you do with ribbon on a scrapbook page?

  1. Make a ribbon border
  2. Make a bow
  3. Create a ribbon flower
  4. Use it to separate different sections of a page
  5. Hang a page title with ribbon

How To Attach A Ribbon Onto A Scrapbook Page

Use a sewing machine and sew the ribbon onto the paper.

Use a Zyron machine. It basically makes a sticker out of your piece of ribbon

Use double sided adhesive

Use a brad or eyelet


Self Stick Ribbon are the easiest to use on a scrapbook page. They have a strip of adhesive on the back. You simply cut the ribbon to the size that you want. Then peel the adhesive backing and apply to your project.

Make A Ribbon Flower

Storing Your Ribbon

You will want to store your ribbons so that you can see what you have and protect them from dust and dirt. There are lots of ways to store your ribbons. The right storage solution for you depends on your space and how much ribbon you have. Some people like to store them in jars, especially those pretty mason jars. You can see the amount of ribbon that you have left.

Other people like to store them In those pretty shoe boxes that are available in most craft store. You can make a storage box that will hold your ribbon and allow you to just pull out what you need.

I have some of my thinner ribbons on spool holders that stack on top of each other. Very handy when I am busy and my designs need that special touch. I also store some of my larger spools of ribbon in some designed hat boxes that sit on a book case in my craft room.

It's up to you where and how you store your ribbons. But try to stay organized so that you know exactly where your stash is.

A simple ribbon photo box storage idea
A simple ribbon photo box storage idea

Saving Ribbon Bits

I often have little bits of ribbon that I save to add a little bling to a project. I roll these bits and place them in a little plastic bag. The bags are then placed in a scrap rack page with like colors

Final Thought On Ribbon Tips

We could not possibly cover all the many ways ribbons can be used in your craft projects. We have shared a few ideas and tips to inspire you to think more about using ribbon when you craft. Take time to widen your horizons and include ribbon when you craft.

© 2015 Linda F Correa

How Do You Use Ribbon In Your Crafting?

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I am so into making my pages with all kinds of embellishments and glitter. I am creating legacies for my family. Each page that I create is my art......

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Lovely hub. I enjoy making my scrapbooks multimedia, and you provide some excellent ideas here -- some of which I have yet to use. Thanks for the ideas! Voted up and more.

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