10 easy to make RIBBON TRIMS

Ribbons are inherently very pretty so when they are folded and manipulated to make folds and gathers, they make for very beautiful trims. However easily and quickly they are made, they elicit a feeling of professionally made trims. You can attach them to kids’ frocks, hats, bags, purses; even the slippers can do with some ribbon trim charm.

diy ribbon trims

Check out the post on the different types of ribbons you can use to make these trims


1.Knife pleated ribbon trim

how to make ribbon trim

A knife pleat is the easiest pleat you can make and they also make an easy to make and very pretty ribbon trim.

To make evenly made knife pleated trim you have to fold the pleats first by measuring the ribbon as given below

Decide on the width of the pleats you want: A 

Take 3/4 of A: B

Mark the ribbon alternatively with A & B . Mark on either side of the ribbon for making even pleats

ribbon trim tutorials

Now carefully fold the ribbon along these marks; The outward pleats will be the measure of A ; the inner fold will measure B.

As you fold, finger press the folds in place ( or use iron on low heat settings), baste them or pin them and then stitch along the upper edge to secure the top edge of the pleats; You can use this post on insertion stitches for more details on inserting this trim between fabric panels

2.Box pleated ribbon trim

Box pleats also look beautiful on their own. You can make small box pleats  or large ones. They look complicated but are very easy to make. You can check out this post on box pleats  for  a very easy tutorial to make them

You can manipulate the box pleats into different shapes ; one such is shown above. You can see other folds given below

You can further embellish the trim with flowers made with ribbons. Check out the post on making ribbon flowers for more details. 

ribbon flowers

3.Braided ribbon trim

making ribbon trims

Braiding or plaiting different sizes of ribbons together can give you different results. You can braid the usual way with three or four ribbons tightly or just braid with two lengths of ribbons for a simple look, as in the picture above. You will have to secure the ribbons at the meeting points to ensure they do not come loose

4.Zig Zag ribbon trim

ribbon trim tutorial diy

This trim needs a base to attach it to. It is made by simple folding of ribbon this way and that way; Ok, not quite so, you can follow the steps given below. Secure the folds at the meeting places with stitches.

ribbon trim diy instructions

5. Bead enclosed ribbon trim

make ribbon trims

This trim requires round beads and a ribbon that matches its size. Too big and the bead will get lost in its folds. Too small and the bead will look oversized.

ribbon trim instructions

Make simple running stitches across the ribbon as in the picture above with space between the beads placed at regular intervals; when you gather the thread you will be making folds of the ribbon as you go.

6. Ruched ribbon trim

diy ribbon trim

Ruching is a simple gathering of the ribbon and can be done in many ways (read more on ruching here). Make loose running stitches to do this.

You can simply ruche the ribbon along the middle if you have pretty borders to the ribbon or gather as I have done making zig zag lines.

ribbon trim tutorials

To make these gathering stitches you have to mark 1 inch along the length of the ribbon. Connect the marks alternatively making a zig-zag pattern. Make gathering stitches along this line with a sturdy enough thread.

ribbon trim step by step

After you have finished just pull the fabric until it is arranged in the frills you want

7.Patterned ribbon trim

how to make ribbon trims

Making the ribbon trim this way will give you a pretty harlequin kind of pattern on the ribbon. You can incorporate two colors in the same ribbon trim this way

diy fabric trims made with ribbon

Take small pieces of ribbon in a contrasting colour to your base ( or whatever colour you want) measuring length = twice the width of your base ribbon

ribbon trim

Fold them into small triangles; pin them to the base and stitch there carefully.

8. Triangle folded ribbon trim

ribbon trim diy tutorials

This trim is made by making knife pleats first, a little different from the way you usually make them. Each pleat of the knife pleat is then folded in the shape of a triangle. 

Fold the ribbon with following dimensions 

Measure the width of the ribbon: A 

Take 1/2 of A: B

Mark the ribbon alternatively with A & B . Mark on either side of the ribbon for making even pleats

You will get pleats like this, which do not overlap in the back

ribbon trim

Baste the folds in the middle. 

Now fold each fold into a triangular shape

You can make these shapes easily with the help of the hand sewing needle and thread in the following way; ie. you take small stitches on the places marked A & B and pull ; the fold will come down automatically; 

Now make on the other side as well and you have a triangular fold; Make these shapes on all the pleats.

ribbon trim tutorial

9. Flower ribbon trim

ribbon trim making

The base of this ribbon trim is a box pleat. After the box pleat is made the top and bottom edge is carefully pinched together to the center of the pleat and tacked in place.

You should ensure that the inner box pleat folds are intact at the back, when you tack stitch the folds.

10.Diamond ribbon trim

make your trims with ribbon

Another box pleat variation.

After you make the box pleat, the folds are turned down as in the example given above for box pleat trim and then tucked to the back to make a neat diamond.

ribbon trims

Embellish the trims with beads to hide tacking stitches

Related post : How to sew trims.

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