How to Permanently Curl Fabric Ribbon

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Loosely curl fabric ribbon to top a special gift.
Loosely curl fabric ribbon to top a special gift. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Transform some plain, straight ribbon into curly embellishments for hair bows, gift bows, clothing and other craft activities. Grosgrain ribbon holds a great curl in ribbons of a variety of sizes. Make large and loose curled ribbons to embellish the waistline of a child's dress or make tiny tight ribbons and bunch them together to make a curly korker hair clip. Let a child help to make the accessories by winding the ribbons into shape on wooden dowels and then pulling the bouncy curls off when they are complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Grosgrain ribbon (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch-wide)
  • Wooden dowels or skewers
  • Metal binder clips
  • Cookie sheet

Cut the ribbon into strips about 16 inches long. This is an ideal length for making hair bows, but you can adjust the length of the ribbons according to your preferences. Use ribbon between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch wide.

Wrap one of the ribbons around a 1/2-inch-wide wooden dowel or skewer tightly. Hold the ribbon ends to the dowel or skewer with metal binder clips. Repeat to attach each piece of ribbon to a wooden dowel.

Line up the dowels or skewers on a cookie sheet. Bake the ribbons in the oven for at least 30 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the curly ribbons to cool.

Take the clips off the ribbon ends. Pull very gently to loosen and then remove the ribbons from the dowels.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use these decorative ribbons as hanging streamers for a child's birthday party.
  • Make matching ribbons for bridesmaids to wear in their hair at a wedding.
  • Use a wider wooden dowel if you want looser curls, and a thinner one if you want tighter curls.
  • This method only works with synthetic ribbons. Natural ribbons will not hold their shape simply by being heated.

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References

  • "The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts"; Elaine Schmidt; 2010
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