Wire-Edge Ribbon

Reported by Donna Lannerd

Wire-edge ribbon which can also be found as wired ribbon, is a very versatile ribbon to use in crafts. You can find the ribbon in craft and fabric stores or your local florist may have an ample supply. Wire-edge ribbon is most commonly seen in bows on floral arrangements or on fancy gift wrapped packages. You can find directions for bows throughout the Internet or try a book like Creative Bows Made Easy by the ribbon maker Offray. The ribbon is called wire-edge because a thin wire is encased along the edges of the ribbon giving it body and the ability to be shaped.

Below is a basic bow made with a 2 1/2″ wide ribbon which has been embellished. I like using wire-edge ribbon for big basic bows to adorn wreaths and such because I can twist and manipulate it into the way I want it to look. I just can’t do that as easily with regular ribbon. I was inspired by the 4th of July to add a little pizazz to the plain bow by adding a rosette I made with a piece of the ribbon and then adding a button and a length of grosgrain ribbon to give it a patriotic look. This can be hung by itself, attached to a wreath, or the rosette can be detached (use a pin back to attach to the bow) to be worn as a patriotic pin.

My favorite thing to do with wire-edge ribbon is to make flowers, especially roses. You can find great ribbons sold by the spool or you can get some fancier ones by the yard. I like using variegated and ombre ribbons for the flowers. Variegated ribbons are shades of one color while ombre ribbons use a blend of different colors. The following photos show the different ways flowers can look by how they are manipulated.

This is a rolled ribbon rose that is made by gathering one long edge of the ribbon. Do this by pulling out part of the wire along one edge and then gather. You then roll the ribbon along the gathered edge.

This is a gathered rosette and a folded rose. The rosette is made by sewing the short ends of a length of ribbon together forming a continuous loop, then use a basting stitch about one third of the way from one edge and gather. The folded rose is shown at the end of the article.

These two roses are made from the same ribbon. The bottom one is the rolled ribbon rose while the top one is the folded ribbon rose.

Here are leaves made from various widths of ribbon. Notice how the leaves changed when using different sides of the variegated ribbon. I used the directions for boat leaves found in The Artful Ribbon by Candace Kling. The rosette instructions can also be found in this book but the roses are made a little differently plus there are several more types of roses as well as many other flowers.

Here are a couple of different looks to the folded ribbon rose by using checked and plaid ribbon.

Here are the steps to make a folded ribbon rose:

First cut a length of ribbon 18″ – 24″ (ribbon length will be shorter for narrower ribbon – 1″ and longer for wider – 1-1/2″). Begin by folding down one corner as shown in photo.

Second, roll the pointed end to the inside as seen in the next photo.
Next, fold the long length of ribbon down as shown. Then begin turning the small end toward you.

Continue to fold the ribbon down as you continue to turn the flower. When you reach the end pinch the bottom to temporarily secure the rose. Most instructions I’ve found say to use floral wire to secure but I find it stays better if you take a few stitches with needle and matching thread through the bottom.

Here are a couple of quickie projects using the flowers and leaves I created. The great thing about the flowers is that they are quick and easy and can beautify projects taking something very simple and making it just a little bit fancy and elegant and maybe just a little whimsical depending on the print of the ribbon. Try adding a few to a basket, a pre-made purse or even a denim jacket.

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7 Responses to Wire-Edge Ribbon

  1. Avatar
    Pattyjo July 9, 2007 at 6:20 pm #

    Your ribbon roses are beautiful! I love tutorials they are so easy to understand. Thank you so much for posting this today, they are just beautiful!

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    Michelle July 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm #

    I love the roses. The tutorials here are great. I’m such a visual person so all the pictures you use are very much appreciated.

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    Peggy Maier July 9, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Avatar
    Julia Stainton July 10, 2007 at 7:30 am #

    What a great article! Love those ribbon roses!

  5. Avatar
    StamperSharon July 10, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    Thanks for the tutorial — I’ve always wanted to know how to make the ribbon roses!

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    Couture de Papier January 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    thank you for tutorial..I am not a sewer for sure! …How are the leaves made?

  7. Avatar
    Becky March 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    love these ribbons, and love the tutorial on the ribbon rose.