How to Make Fabric Ribbon

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Have you ever made DIY fabric ribbon?  It's a great way to use up leftover fabric scraps, and the homemade fabric ribbon is so pretty and inexpensive.

DIY fabric ribbon tutorial showing two boxes wrapped with fabric ribbon.

I just love making and using fabric ribbon.  

Two spools of DIY fabric ribbon wound around branches on a white background.

I love regular ribbon, too, but that can get really expensive very quickly.  

Two spools of DIY fabric ribbon wound around branches on a white background.

Making my own fabric ribbon is not only incredibly easy, but it matches the rest of the fabric elements in my party (obviously), and it's very cost effective.  I can make 66 feet of 2" wide ribbon with one yard of fabric--often $2.50 or less if I use a coupon.  

Fabric being cut into strips with a rotary cutter on a self healing cutting mat.

Start by cutting strips of the fabric.  You could use a pair of nice, sharp scissors, but it's a lot faster and will give you more consistent results if you use a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.  

Strips of fabric ribbon being sewn together to create longer fabric ribbon.

Place the right sides of the fabric together.

Strips of fabric ribbon being sewn together to create longer fabric ribbon.

Then just stitch the ends together.  

Two spools of DIY fabric ribbon wound around branches on a white background.

When used for ribbon, the fabric doesn't get much abuse, so I don't bother with any hemming, or even using pinking shears to trim the ribbon.  Though it is cute with pinked edges.  

Two spools of DIY fabric ribbon wound around branches on a white background.

Sometimes I even am purposefully rough with the fabric, running my hand along the edges and tugging a bit to fray the sides to create a more shabby-chic look.  You could get a really great frayed effect if you were to wash the ribbon after it's been cut and sewn.  But that might involve ironing, and I avoid ironing at all costs.

Two brown kraft boxes tied with homemade fabric ribbon bows, next to two spools of DIY fabric ribbon.

Seriously.  All costs.  One time I needed to iron something and it had been actual years since the last time I'd pulled it out of the cupboard, and I discovered that the darn thing didn't work any more.  Only it had been so long since I'd used it, I thought I'd just forgotten how to use it properly (it was a fancy Rowena iron), so I had to call my mom and ask for her help.  Turns out it was just broken.  I went out and bought a $15 iron at Target and it's been plugging along for years now.

Two brown kraft boxes tied with homemade fabric ribbon bows

But then again, I don't test the iron out often.  Certainly not on this project, which is gloriously simple and iron-free.

Fabric ribbon tied in a bow around a brown kraft lunch box package.

Wrapped around simple kraft take-out boxes, boxed lunches feel like a celebration.  Use those same boxes and some Christmas fabric to give cookies to your neighbors, packaged inexpensively and beautifully. Use it anywhere you'd use store-bought ribbon.  What creative ways do you like to use ribbon?

Navigational image leading to ribbon sunflower gift topper tutorial.

Navigational image leading reader to printable space wrapping paper and a stars and planet gift topper.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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