Handmade Jewelry Using Ribbons: Sweet and Silky Accents

Handmade Jewelry Using Ribbons: Sweet and Silky Accents

Ribbons have long been a crafting staple for their versatility, availability, and visual appeal. Crafters around the world have used these strips of fabric to add a pop of color, texture, and whimsy to everything from gift wrapping and home decor to clothing and accessories. In recent years, ribbons have become increasingly popular for handmaking jewelry. The silkiness and sheen of ribbon complement beads, charms, and other jewelry components beautifully. Ribbon is also easy to knot, braid, wrap, and manipulate into eye-catching designs. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy intro to jewelry making or an experienced artist seeking inspiration for new statement pieces, ribbons have so much creative potential. Explore some of the many possibilities for making chokers, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and more with these silky accents.

Materials and Supplies for Ribbon Jewelry

Making jewelry with ribbons allows for lots of room for creativity in terms of colors, textures, and materials. Here are some of the most common supplies and components used:


The ribbons themselves are the star of the show. Look for ribbons in a variety of widths, from skinny 1/8″ sizes up to 1″ or wider. Thinner ribbons work well for delicate designs, while wider ribbons make bolder statements. Stick to wired ribbons, rather than unwired, for more structure and support when crafting jewelry. Other qualities to look for include:

  • Fiber content – Polyester, nylon, rayon, silk, or satin are common. Silk and satin have the most luxurious sheen.
  • Patterns – Solids, prints, stripes, dots, metallic, and ombre effects all add visual interest.
  • Texture – Ribbons can be smooth, textured, or have a subtle woven look. Pick textures complementing the overall design.
  • Color – Choose classic neutrals, brights, pastels, jewel tones, metallics, or black – anything goes!

Findings and Embellishments

Jewelry findings refer to the functional components like clasps, crimp beads, jump rings, and head pins used to assemble pieces. Embellishments are decorative extras like beads, charms, tassels, and appliques. Some ideas:

  • Clasps and closures – Lobster clasps, barrel clasps, toggle clasps, button closures, snap closures, slide cord ends, etc.
  • Beads – Glass, acrylic, metal, wood, pearl, gemstone; all sizes and shapes.
  • Charms and pendants – Look for small charms with bail attachments to dangle from ribbons.
  • Jewelry chain – Add lengths of chain for a layered look.
  • Crystals, rhinestones, and jewels – Sparkly accents to highlight ribbons.

Tools and Equipment for Ribbon Jewelry Making

Ribbon jewelry making does not require any specialized or expensive equipment. Here are some basic supplies to have on hand:

  • Scissors – Sharp fabric scissors for cutting ribbons.
  • Pliers – Flat nose, round nose, and chain nose pliers assist with crimping and opening/closing jump rings and clasps.
  • Wire cutters – For cutting jewelry wire.
  • Rulers and measuring tools – For accurately sizing ribbon lengths.
  • Adhesive – Clear-drying craft glue or hot glue. Useful for attaching embellishments to ribbon.
  • Needle and thread – Helpful for stitching ribbons and adding bead or sequin embellishments by hand.
  • Jewelry findings – See above. Stock up on assorted clasps, crimps, jump rings, head pins, eye pins, etc.
  • Beading supplies – Beading needles, thread, mat, etc. if adding beads by hand.
  • Jewelry workspace – Use a bead mat, towel, or tray to contain supplies while working.

Basic Techniques for Crafting Ribbon Jewelry

Working with ribbons is easy. Here are some fundamental techniques to help get you started:

Cutting Ribbons

  • Always use sharp scissors to prevent fraying or distorting ribbon edges.
  • Place ribbons on a cutting mat or board when cutting for stability.
  • For straight cuts, align one edge of the ribbon with a ruler, then slice through cleanly.
  • Angle scissors slightly and cut in smooth motions rather than short chops.

Knotting Ribbons

  • To prevent slippage, use wired ribbons rather than unwired when knotting jewelry designs.
  • Try square knots, double knots, triple knots, or simple overhand knots spaced along a length of ribbon.
  • For chokers and necklaces, tie ribbons together with knots to create the desired length.
  • Knot ribbons around jewelry findings prior to crimping for a decorative look.

Looping and Wrapping Ribbon

  • Gather ribbon ends together, then make small, tight loops by hand to form decorative elements.
  • Wrap ribbons around jump rings, head pins, eye pins, or even lengths of chain.
  • Use a bit of hot glue inside loops or underneath wraps to hold ribbons in place.

Attaching Ribbons to Findings

  • Thread crimp beads onto ribbon ends, followed by a clasp or jump ring.
  • Pinch crimp bead flat with pliers to secure ribbons to findings.
  • Options besides crimping include tying knots or using glue to attach ribbons to jewelry findings.

Adding Embellishments

  • Sew beads, sequins, or rhinestones onto ribbon with needle and thread.
  • Use hot glue or craft glue to attach flat-back crystals, charms, or appliques.
  • Weave ribbons through chain lengths or around bead strands for a layered look.

Creating Hair Jewelry

  • Many ribbon jewelry pieces like headbands, hair clips, ponytail holders, and barrettes are perfect for accenting hairstyles.
  • Simply tie or knot ribbons into the desired hair accessory shape.
  • For more stability, attach ribbons to plain hair clips and bands using hot glue.

Quick and Easy Ribbon Jewelry for Beginners

Here are some easy ribbon jewelry projects even total beginners can make in minutes:

Ribbon Choker Necklace

Chokers are so on trend and ribbon makes them comfortable and adjustable. Try this:

  1. Cut a 36″ length of 1/2″ wide ribbon.
  2. Fold ribbon ends together and tie a tight double knot to form the choker band.
  3. Tie another double knot about 8-10″ down for the choker tie.
  4. Trim ribbon ends.
  5. For added flair, glue on rhinestones, sequins, or a small charm.

Twisted Ribbon Bracelet

Twisting two ribbons together makes a quick, stylish bracelet:

  1. Cut two 24″ lengths of 1/4″ ribbon in contrasting colors.
  2. Align the ends and tightly twist ribbons together.
  3. Form a circle then overlap and knot ribbon ends together.
  4. Trim excess.
  5. For added texture, braid or tie small knots along the length.

Beaded Ribbon Bookmark

This beaded bookmark takes just minutes to complete:

  1. Cut an 8″ length of 3/8” ribbon. Fold over 1″ at the top for hanging loop.
  2. String beads onto the ribbon length – glass, gems, acrylic, or mix and match.
  3. Knot ribbon ends together to secure beads.
  4. Trim any excess ribbon.

Ribbon Flower Ring

This colorful bloom makes a lovely handmade ring or gift:

  1. Cut three 6″ strips of 1/4″ ribbon in coordinating colors.
  2. Stack ribbons and fold them together into a flower shape.
  3. Overlap the folds and hot glue the flower together at the base.
  4. Glue the flower onto an adjustable ring band to wear.

Dazzling Ribbon Necklace Designs

Ribbons make ideal focal points for necklaces ranging from breezy boho to uptown glam. Incorporate beads, chains, and other embellishments to take these designs to the next level:

Braided Ribbon Necklace

Braiding multiple ribbon strands amplifies color and texture for an eye-catching look:

  • Materials: 1⁄4″ ribbons, clasp, crimps, glue
  • Cut three 15″ lengths of various ribbons.
  • Align ribbon ends and braid strands together.
  • Finish braid ends with crimps and add clasp.
  • For added glitz, glue beads along the intersecting edges.

Chunky Knotted Ribbon Necklace

Love the look of knotted rope necklaces? Ribbon makes this style lighter to wear:

  • Materials: 1/2″ ribbon, pendant, beads, clasp, crimps
  • Cut ribbon about 20″ long.
  • Tie chunky knots every 2-3” along the length.
  • At the ends, finish with crimps and add clasp.
  • Glue a pendant drop and beads along knots for embellishment.

Chain and Ribbon Layered Necklace

The combination of dainty chain and silky ribbon creates cool contrast in this necklace:

  • Materials: 1/8” ribbon, jewelry chains, clasp, crimps, charms
  • Cut ribbon 24” long. Wrap and tie ribbon around multiple short chain strands to intertwine.
  • Finish at both ends with crimp beads and a clasp.
  • Hang charms along the chains for a bit of added sparkle.

Ombre Ribbon Necklace

Ombre ribbon gradually fades from one color to the next for a mesmerizing effect:

  • Materials: 1” ombre ribbon, chain tassel, beads, clasp, jump rings
  • Cut ribbon to desired necklace length.
  • At the ends, attach jump rings and clasp.
  • Accent the center with a beaded chain tassel.
  • Optional: glue on beads for extra shimmer.

Breathtaking Ribbon Earring Styles

Ribbon earrings can be exquisite yet so easy to whip up. Make hoops, drops, clusters, and more with these techniques:

Twisted Ribbon Hoop Earrings

Two-tone twisted hoops offer a modern, minimalist look:

  • Materials: two 12” ribbon strands, earring wires, glue
  • Select two complementary 1⁄4” ribbon colors.
  • Align ribbon ends and tightly twist strands together.
  • Shape the twisted ribbon into loops. Overlap ends and glue.
  • When dry, glue loop bottoms onto earring wires.

Tassel Dangle Earrings

Tie colorful silk ribbons into a tassel for bold statement earrings:

  • Materials: 8” of various ribbon strands, head pins, earring wires, pliers
  • Cut ribbon strands into 6-8” lengths. Arrange together and tie ends into tight knot.
  • Wrap ribbons into a bundle below the knot to form a tassel.
  • Make a small loop at the headpin end with pliers. Attach earring wires.

Ribbon and Chain Earrings

Connecting chain and ribbon makes for movement and visual intrigue:

  • Materials: 1⁄2” ribbon, jewelry chain, head pins, earring wires, pliers
  • Cut two 3” pieces of ribbon. Fold 1⁄2” over at top and glue to seal.
  • Use pliers to make a loop at the headpin end through the ribbon fold.
  • Attach length of chain dangling below each ribbon section.
  • Finish with earring wires at the headpin loops.

Colorful Ribbon Cluster Earrings

Gathering ribbons into a pretty clustered bouquet creates stunning drops:

  • Materials: various ribbon scraps, head pins, earring wires, glue
  • Cut ribbon pieces into short segments around 2” long.
  • Group together on headpins in pleasing color arrangements.
  • Using glue, bind ribbon bundles about 1” from the top.
  • Create loops at the headpin ends to attach earring wires.

Captivating Ribbon Bracelets and Bangles

Ribbon bracelets lend themselves well to being layered and stacked. Weave in beads, hardware, or charms for even more flair:

Ribbon Wrap Bracelet

Wrap ribbon repeatedly around a cuff bracelet base for a high-end look:

  • Materials: 1⁄4” ribbon, plain cuff bracelet, strong craft glue
  • Add dots of glue along the outer bracelet edge.
  • Begin wrapping ribbon end tightly around the cuff width. Make neat, snug overlaps down the length.
  • When the cuff is fully covered in ribbon, trim any excess ribbon.

Dainty Knotted Ribbon Bracelet

Mini knots make this bracelet sweet and chic:

  • Materials: 1⁄8” ribbon, clasp, crimp beads, clear nail polish
  • Cut ribbon to desired length. Tie tiny knots evenly spaced along the length.
  • At the ends, finish with crimp beads and a clasp.
  • Seal knots by brushing over lightly with clear polish.

Ribbon and Chain Bracelet

Connecting ribbon and chain makes for an intriguing contrast of textures:

  • Materials: 1⁄4” ribbon, chain lengths, clasp, jump rings, pliers
  • Cut ribbon to fit wrist. Fold over about 1⁄4” at each end and glue closed.
  • Use jump rings to attach short chain lengths along the center of the ribbon.
  • Finish with a clasp at the ends.

Beaded Ribbon Cuff

Embellish a ribbon cuff bracelet with sparkling beads for glam:

  • Materials: 3⁄4” ribbon, assorted beads, elastic cording, strong craft glue
  • Wrap wide ribbon around elastic cord and tie ends together.
  • Sew, glue, or tie beads onto the ribbon for decoration.
  • Tie knots at the ends to attach the adjustable elastic cording.

Sweet Ribbon Hair Accessories

The softness of ribbons makes them idea for accessorizing hair. These beginner accessories couldn’t be simpler:

Knotted Ribbon Headband

  • Materials: 1⁄2” ribbon, hair clip
  • Cut ribbon about 16” long.
  • Tie knots evenly spaced along the length.
  • Loop ribbon around a plain hair clip base, overlapping ends about 1”.
  • Hot glue ribbon ends onto the clip.

Twist-Back Ribbon Clip

  • Materials: two 10” pieces 1⁄4” ribbon, alligator clip
  • Choose two coordinating ribbons and twist together lengthwise.
  • Curve ribbon length into a U-shape.
  • Hot glue twist onto the clip base, covering the metal.

Folded Ribbon Barrettes

  • Materials: one 12” ribbon, barrette base
  • Cut two 12” lengths of same or different ribbons.
  • Stack ribbons and fold together accordion-style.
  • Hot glue accordion fold onto a plain barrette base.

Laced Ribbon Ponytail Holder

  • Materials: 1⁄2” ribbon, elastic cord
  • Cut ribbon 24” long.
  • Lace ribbon over and under elastic cord to cover it completely.
  • Overlap and tie ribbon ends; trim.

Get Inspired! More Creative Ribbon Jewelry Ideas

Ribbons offer infinite possibilities for handmade jewelry. Here are more ideas to spark the imagination:

  • Glue ribbons onto ring blanks for custom embellished fashion rings
  • Wrap ribbons around hair sticks and hair forks to accent updos
  • Use ribbon to re-cover plain hair barrettes and headbands
  • Tie ribbons along chain lengths for necklaces or dangle drops
  • Affix ribbons to bobby pins for a pop of color when pinning hair back
  • Cut ribbon into tiny fringe for colorful tassel earrings
  • Shape ribbons into abstract floral shapes and cluster into earrings or pins
  • Thread ribbons through large bead holes for eclectic stacked bead bracelets
  • Sew ribbons together into unique textured watchbands
  • For kids, use ribbon to customize and brighten plain hair elastics
  • String letters or numbers onto ribbon to spell out names or words for one-of-a-kind necklaces
  • Embellish fabric ribbons with studs, rhinestones, or other blingy elements
  • Layer contrasting ribbons together in pleated designs for dimensional necklaces

The beauty of handcrafting jewelry from ribbons is that it offers limitless room for creativity. Whether delicately minimalist or boldly ornate, ribbons add artful style and personalized flair when incorporated into jewelry and hair accessories. With a spool of ribbon and simple jewelry findings, crafters of all skill levels can fashion stylish adornments to complement any outfit.

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