Home > Papercraft > Using Ribbons in Papercraft

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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Cathy
    Re: Guide to Quilling
    Terri, I know you asked this awhile ago, but I know exactly what's happening. When you roll your strips are you rolling them flat or does the…
    12 February 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    evemom4 - Your Question:I'm trying to complete my sweater project but I'm stuck on this line of instruction. In ref to the…
    9 February 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Fernilicious - Your Question:Hello, I’m new to knitting in the round with dpns and I’m currently working on a pattern that…
    9 February 2018
  • lulu
    Re: Making Scatter Cushions
    wonderful ideas would like more on decorative bedspreads
    9 February 2018
  • Fernilicious
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Hello, I’m new to knitting in the round with dpns and I’m currently working on a pattern that tells me to cast on 32…
    8 February 2018
  • evemom4
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I'm trying to complete my sweater project but I'm stuck on this line of instruction. In ref to the sleeve it say to knit 26…
    6 February 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Topaz - Your Question:Help what does wlfwd mean pleaseOur Response:It's probably just an alterna
    29 January 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    CAJ - Your Question:What is meant by saying the following: Work 2 rows in garter st using B, carrying A loosely along side of…
    29 January 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Michmac0305 - Your Question:This is from a baby sock pattern. I don't understand the beginning where it says K0(1,2). Is that…
    29 January 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Tina - Your Question:I am trying to understand & simplify: increase 1st 4 times every 8th row. This may sound silly but I…
    29 January 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CraftExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.