Techniques

Using ribbon to make jewelry

Recently, someone asked me what ribbon had to do with beading. This gave me pause, and I thought maybe it would be good to talk about the many uses of ribbon, especially in jewelry construction. My favorite way to use ribbon is as an embellishment, whether tied on or added as a textural strand. I like to make pieces that have several strands, both for texture and interest, and adding a strand of ribbon is a nice way to soften a piece, add some graceful movement and a wonderful texture. I have seen people bead on ribbon to embellish its pattern, and use it to easily make chokers and bracelets. Often ribbon is added to the back half of a necklace, t0 finish and for a way of creating a closure, tying the two strands to end or ending the ribbon in end clamps and from there going to the clasp.

The piece show is made with a Vintaj Natural Brass Creative Hoop, two Humblebeads polymer clay disk beads, and some Vintaj charms, along with a ribbon that comes with a series of holes down the center of the ribbon. I worked the ribbon over and under on the hoop, filling the hoop with velvety rippled ribbon. I worked on the polymer clay beads then hooked a jump ring in each end of the Creative Hoop, putting a charm on each one before closing the jump rings. This keeps the disk bead on as well as adding an attractive dangle to complete the bracelet. It’s so soft and pleasing to wear.  And more importantly, it is easy to make and can be made to coordinate with your outfit.

Post a comment about how you like to use ribbon and one lucky poster will receive a goody bag filled with ribbon!  We will choose the winning post on Monday, after we return from the NW Bead Society show that is being held this weekend in Lynnwood, WA.

Bracelet made with Ribbon & Vintaj Natural Brass
Bracelet made with Ribbon, Vintaj Natural Brass, & Humblebeads.

10 thoughts on “Using ribbon to make jewelry

  1. How much ribbon do I need to create a bracelet like this? I can’t wear metal tight against my skin – allergic – but this could work for me! Also considering the rippins for a kumiko bracelet. Will one package be enough? Or would silk strings work better for that? I’d like to add some charms if possible too. I can never get enough Vintaj! Your shop is the best.

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    1. Thanks Martha! I did not measure the ribbon as I made this but I am thinking 2 yards may be too much but one yard might not be enough. The rippins were originally developed to crochet with so they would probably work great for kumihimo too. It should say on the site how many yards are in a package, I am not remembering right now, but it seems like one package would be plenty for a bracelet. I would love to see your finished piece!

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  2. Thanks Pam! I started thinking about this more last night. I’m looking for ways to wear the charms I love to collect and make. I could use sturdy ribbon such as grosgrain as a substrate to cover with stitched beads, buttons, etc. and hang charms from it also. Or just stitch chain directly to folded grosgrain ribbon and then add my charms to the chain in the normal manner.
    I just tried this idea but it isn’t finished yet: Wind ribbons or fibers (maybe try some of your yummy silk strings!) through the chain to keep it mostly off my skin, then hang my charms from the chain as usual. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  3. hello!This was a really exceptional website!
    I come from milan, I was luck to discover your topic in baidu
    Also I obtain much in your website really thank your very much i will come every day

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  4. I love adding ribbon intertwined with the antique bronze chain and pearls. I have also used the velvet ribbon and made pearl flowers as the focal part of the ribbons. It just has a great vintage/victorian look to your piece! great post, I love the ribbon in the picture!!

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