December 23, 2008

DIY Ribbon Wreaths

Around Halloween, I saw this great idea for ribbon wreaths via Design Crush, originally found on

I didn't have the time to create any then, but I kept the idea in the back of my mind, and with the hopes of having a semi-homemade Christmas, I decided to make some wreaths as gifts for some family members. I am really excited at how they turned out and I'm anxious (and a little nervous) to give them to people. I hope everyone really likes them and they're not just useless piles of ribbon. (I always get a complex about my gift-giving skills right before the holidays. Ah, the joys of being a perfectionist.)

I started with a 12" round wreath form from JoAnn and some grosgrain ribbon. The instructions called for 1.25" wide ribbon, but I went with 1.5" as that's what I could find online for the best price. It didn't make much of a difference. I purchased this ribbon from PaperMart and was able to make two wreaths from each 50 yard spool. (I went with a spool of wine and a spool of ivory. Here you'll see what the ivory wreaths looked like in the end.)

Beginning with the ivory ribbon, I first cut two long pieces of ribbon at 48" long — these would later serve as the large loops for hanging the wreaths. Then, I cut the rest of the ribbon into 16" long strips. When I was done, I counted them out into two even piles so I knew what I was working with for each wreath. (Obviously, if you're only making one wreath, you need only cut one 48" long piece of ribbon, and about 45-50 16" long strips.)

On wreath numero uno, I started with my 48" long piece — I tied one end to the wreath and made a double knot; I did the same to the other end right next to the first end, so there was now a large loop of ribbon hanging from my foam wreath form.

Next, I began knotting the 16" pieces of ribbon. It doesn't matter how you do this, as long as you stay consistent all the way around. I did right-over-left:

... then pulled it tight:

... and then did left-over right to make my completed knot:

One trick I learned was to tie the knots snugly but not TOO tight — if you tie them too tight, you will need more ribbon all the way around to fill in the space (otherwise you can see the foam wreath form peaking through).

Once I had my knot-tying-strategy down pat (very high-tech), I just kept tying! Round and round and round...


Now, I wasn't quite finished yet. From all the man-handling of the ribbon (I guess we'd call that ribbon-handling), the edges got a bit frayed.

Very slowly, in my true OCD form, I worked my way around the wreath and trimmed very carefully. Using grosgrain ribbon helps as you can just follow the straight lines of the ribbon as your cutting guide. Just make sure you have some nice sharp scissors so you don't keep fraying them even more!

Once all the ribbons were trimmed, I was really excited at how pretty it looked. I spent a little time maneuvering some of the ribbons so they sat nicely alongside each other, and it all came together much like the picture (which I find to be very rare when tackling DIY projects). I really like that the wreaths can be hung any time of year and I hope my loved ones appreciate the craftiness that went into them. I may have to make a few to hang around our apartment. They could also be fun accents for a DIY wedding.

We don't have a very pretty front door, so I hung the finished product from our china cabinet-turned-storage shelves to take a picture. The benefit of moving into an apartment when your mother sells the house you grew up in — you get all her fancy dining room stuff, even if you don't have a dining room!

Here's the cost breakdown of this project, not including the shipping for the ribbon:

Ribbon: $11.99 per 50 yard spool / total for two spools: $23.98
Wreath forms: $5.99 per 12" form / total for four forms: $23.96

Total for all supplies for four wreaths: $47.94
Total cost per wreath: $11.99

A success, I think!


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