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Using Ribbons in Papercraft

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 13 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Ribbon Ribbons Paper Craft Crafter

Another trend that’s really taken off in papercrafting is to use ribbons in your projects. They’re colourful, versatile and distinctive and ribbons can be used in all sorts of ways to add an extra splash of colour and interest.

Ribbons can be used in various ways and can create really unique effects. On cards, they can be tied around the fold, with or without a bow, to add an extra element of interest. Or they can be stuck down on the edges of a card or scrapbook page to create a colourful or textured border.

If you’re making individual tags or tag books, with pull out pieces, you can use ribbons to make the pulls. They’re great with altered projects too and, for example, as you can create colourful ribbon details on item.

For example, if you’re altering a spiral bound journal or notebook, you can tie small pieces of multicoloured ribbons all down the spiral – not only does it cover the spiral up, but it also looks great too!

Different Types of Ribbon

When it comes to choosing which type of ribbon you’ll use, there’s a fantastic array of choices out there. Some of the commonly available ribbon types are:

Grosgrain

Grosgrain is a form of textured ribbon. Rather than being smooth to touch, the fibres are woven and you can usually see and feel the line of the weave. They come in all colours and designs and many designs complement the weave of the ribbon really well. Grosgrain ribbons are ideal for using as borders in projects and are very hardy.

Ric Rac

Ric rac is basically a term used to describe a zig zag or wiggly line! So ric rac ribbons aren’t straight, but are cut in a zig zag manner. They were particularly popular in the 1970s, but are now regarded as rather funky, and come in different types of textures and colours. Ric rac ribbons add a fun element to all sorts of projects.

Chiffon

Chiffon ribbons are lightweight and made from plain woven sheer fabrics, such as silk, nylon or polyester. Chiffon ribbons are quite delicate to work with, but are nice tied or incorporated into various project.

Organza

Organza is another type of fabric that tends to be very thin and sheer. Organza ribbons are a plain weave fabric and can be made of fibres such as polyester, nylon or silk. They’re lightweight and nice to work with.

Satin

Satin ribbons have a glossy surface and are usually made of fabrics such as silk, nylon or polyester. There are various types of weave available, such as twill or plain, which give the ribbons a different look.

Velvet

Velvet ribbons generally have a nice soft touch feel on one side, then may be flatter on the reverse. They’re great for adding additional texture to a project.

Silk

Silk ribbons tend to be made from 100% silk and have a gorgeous soft, silky feel to them. They’re lightweight and can be used in many ways.

Securing Ribbons on Your Projects

Depending on the effect you want to create, ribbons can be either tied, sewn or stuck to projects. If you’re planning on sticking them, you’ll need to ensure that you’re using the right type of glue for the particular ribbon you have in mind.

For example, an all purpose craft glue won’t work well with chiffon or sheer ribbons, as the glue may show through, so you’ll either need another type of glue (such as silicone or a glue aimed at vellum). Alternatively, you could design your project in a way that the area you’re sticking won’t show, for example by gluing at the back or putting an embellishment over the glued area.

Ribbons can easily be tied down the spine, or fold, of a card. You also use a few stitches to sew them into place on cards or scrapbook pages, or to sew together a bow that you want to look nice and shipshape.

Another fun way of attaching a ribbon without having to use glue is to consider attaching it with a brad. The brad (which is a bit like a paper fastener) can be stuck through the ribbon and the card or paper and secured on the back. Brads are often decorative in themselves, so can add an extra sparkle or bit of colour, and you can be sure that the ribbon is safely secured without the need for lots of glue.

Whatever your papercraft project is, consider incorporating ribbons into it and enjoy experimenting with the options!

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