Accent Your Home Decor with Ribbons!

comments (5) October 23rd, 2008     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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Just a few ribbons can turn a plain pillow into a fabulous one.
I used grosgrain ribbons on my pillow, but you could also try velvet or silk.
Topstitch close to the edges of the ribbon.
Just a few ribbons can turn a plain pillow into a fabulous one.

Just a few ribbons can turn a plain pillow into a fabulous one.

Photo: Kayte Terry
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A few woven pink ribbons make an ordinary boudoir pillow look extraordinary. Experiment with different colors and types of ribbons. I love grosgrain ribbons because they are a little preppy (I can't help it, I'm from Connecticut), but velvet ribbons or silk ribbons look fantastic on a pillow, too.

You can tailor this project to work with any décor or color story.

What you'll need:

  • 12-inch x 16-inch boudoir pillow form
  • 1/4 yard natural-colored linen or cotton
  • 1/4 yard complementary cotton print fabric
  • Scraps of grosgrain ribbon that are at least 17 inches long
  • Fabric scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Quilting ruler
  • Magna-tac fabric glue
  • Iron
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

Prep Work

1. Prewash all of your fabrics and press.

2. Cut one 13-inch x 17-inch piece from linen. Cut two 10-inch x 17-inch pieces from the complementary cotton print.

Embellishing the Pillow

1. Lay the linen piece face up on a cutting mat. This will be the front of the pillow. Square up the linen piece with the mat so that the pillow front is lying straight on the mat.

2. Cut three 13-inch and three 17-inch pieces of grosgrain ribbon.

3. First you will add ribbons from the top to the bottom of the pillow front. We are going to call this the warp. Starting on the right side, lay one piece of 13-inch ribbon 1-1/2 inches from the right side of the pillow front. Lay the next ribbon 1/2 inch to the left and the next ribbon about 1/4 inch to the left of that ribbon. Using a quilting ruler, make sure each piece is straight, then pin at both ends.

Start weaving the horizontal (or weft) ribbons into the vertical (or warp) ribbons.

3. Next, you will add the ribbons to the left to right side of the pillow. We are going to call this the weft, and we are going to weave them through the warp ribbons. Lay one piece of 17-inch ribbon (running from left to right) 2-1/2 inches from the bottom side and pin just on the left end. To weave from left to right, bring the weft ribbon under the first warp ribbon, over the middle, and under the last. Pin.

4. Lay the next piece of ribbon 1/4 inch above the first ribbon and pin on the left end. To weave from left to right, bring the weft ribbon over the first ribbon, under the middle ribbon, and over the last. Pin.

5. Lay the next piece of ribbon 1/2 inch above the middle ribbon and pin on the left end. To weave from left to right, bring the weft ribbon under the first warp ribbon, over the middle, and under the last. Pin.

6. Secure all ribbons with small dots of fabric glue.

Topstich close to the edges of the ribbons.



7. Topstitch the ribbons to the pillow front on both edges of the ribbons. Where the ribbons are woven, only stitch the parts of ribbon that are woven over.

Tip: To sew only the parts of the ribbons that overlap, backstitch where the ribbon is woven under and lift your presser foot and needle. Reinsert the needle where the ribbon overlaps again and backstitch. You don't need to cut your threads until later. This makes for faster sewing!

Assembling the Pillow

1. Grab your pillow back pieces. With an iron, turn and press one short side of the pillow back to the wrong side 1/2 inch. Turn and press another 1/2 inch to make a hem. Sew the hem. Repeat for the other back piece.

Sew the hems of your pillow back pieces close to the seams.

2. To make an envelope closure for your pillow, lay out the pillow front face up. Lay one of the pillow back pieces face down over the pillow front and the other back piece face down over that. The two back pieces should overlap in the center and match up on the sides with the pillow front. Pin the pieces together.

3. Sew around all sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance and clip close to the corners. Turn the pillow right side out and push out the corners with a chopstick.

4. Insert the pillow form and fluff.

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Comments (5)

Anasofia writes: it is so pretty!
i have made some pillows myself weeks ago, and they are fabulous!
i love your idea!
Posted: 3:06 pm on December 7th
Jen1964 writes: I Love, LOVE, LOVE that woven look. Maybe some day I'll have that much patience - and coordination sense! If anything I'm timid with ribbons and trims. Probably has something to do with the embellishments my mom used on my homemade dresses when I was in 2nd grade... and wearing them for years until they got too short to be decent even as mini's. Still I like the things... have used wide embroidered yards of ribbon to make camera straps for family. They went over well too. My daughter is a natural with pillow design. Maybe they'd be good on aprons too. (Don't laugh, but some of us still use kitchen aprons, cleaning aprons, shop aprons, whatever.)
Posted: 4:31 pm on October 25th
kaytet writes: thanks guys! my only suggestion sofia is to make sure you get ribbon with a little stretch if your lampshade has any curve to it!
Posted: 12:36 pm on October 24th
Sofia_crochetgourmet writes: So cute! Thanks for sharing! I've been wanting to do that in a plain white lampshade i have! I guess now is the time to do so! :) Great work!
Posted: 2:09 pm on October 23rd
LindaPermann writes: this is really cute kayte!
Posted: 12:12 pm on October 23rd
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