Wednesday, April 7, 2021

DIY Knock-Off Ribbon Plumes

Some of my favorite crafting projects have been done with ribbon! I work with ribbon all the time and the worst part about it is the fraying that might happen. There are several methods that you can use to stop ribbon from fraying or unraveling, but what if you actually want it to unravel!  That's right! This is all about unraveling ribbon to make beautiful plumes - a great way to "knock-off" a pampas grass design I saw on Crate and Barrel! Don't you just love figuring out how to re-create something you saw in a high-end shop? Perfect for this month's DIY Challenge, "Get Your DIY On Knock-Off Challenge" 

But unraveling ribbon isn't all that easy. The trick is finding those threads that are continuous on the ribbon and unwinds it all. And it can be tricky because all ribbons are not created equal. There're the ones where you can find that particular thread - like here: You simply start pulling the threads on the end and suddenly it's starts to unravel - the thread coming off - going back and forth - unraveling the ribbon!

And then there's the other kind of ribbon where no matter how hard you try, the one thread that's suppose to be holding it all together just doesn't exist. And I think it has something to do with the quality of the ribbon and how it's made. Like this type pictured below:
The ribbon is very rough and not soft like the other type. I got it from Hobby Lobby for 50% off. HL has ribbon on sale for half price just about every other week. The sides of this ribbon seems to be stamped sealed and not woven. It's the only ribbon I had that was long enough to make a few plumes. I didn't have enough of the first ribbon or any other ribbon that I could find "the thread" that unravels it all! 

Do you see the large safety pin in the picture? That is what I used mostly to remove the threads from the length of the ribbon. I also used a seam ripper when my hand started to cramp (something that happens often - not just for this project). But I'm jumping ahead of showing you how I made the ribbon plumes. So let's begin by gathering what you need: 


  • Ribbon - 1.5 width
  • Double-sided tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Large safety pin/seam ripper/small brush
  • Cutting board surface 
  • Floral stem wire (16-18 gauge)


After gathering your supplies, start cutting about thirty, 5" ribbon strips to make one plume. Next add double sided tape to one of the short end edges. Do this for all the ribbon strips.After adding the double sided tape, cut the side edges, sometimes called the welting, off of the ribbon strips.Then start removing the fray threads from the end.Use the tip end of a large safety pin to scrape the fraying threads off to reveal soft silk-like fibers. I like using a small cutting board as a work surface to scrape the ribbon. It's nice and sturdy and seems to make it all work better.Use a small brush .  .  to help remove the gathered loose threads that bunch up from scraping the ribbon.  .  .creating a nice smooth silky fringed piece. It took me about four minutes to get it to look like this. Imagine doing thirty of these - it can be very time consuming! So take a seat in front of the tv and binge watch a good movie or series! Better yet, listen to some good music to make it all go quicker!To add the ribbon fringe to the stem wire to create the plume, remove the backing from the double-sided tape and .  .  .place the tip of the wire on the edge of the tape and .  .  .begin rolling the ribbon fringe around the wire stem .  .  .                                                

until the ribbon fringe is secured around and onto the wire stem. Isn't this beginning to look fabulous!Continue adding the ribbon fringes to the stem wire, staggering the tape slightly below the previous ribbon fringe.

Adding each fringe on - one by one.

I tried grouping the fringes together on the tape for the second plume I made - either way is ok, but I prefer adding the fringe on separately .  .  .

to make a beautiful plume!

Welcome to our monthly DIY Challenge hosted by Terrie @Decorate and More with Tip! On the first Wednesday of the month, Terrie hosts a DIY Challenge with a group of talented bloggers who love to create budget friendly d├ęcor for their homes. For the month of April we were tasked with creating a DIY Knock-Off! 

If you're coming over from Cindy @Cloches and Lavender, welcome!  To see more knock-off ideas click on the blog titles below to check out their awesome knock-off creations!


Decorate and More with Tip                              Sweet Southern Grace


Cloches and Lavender                                    Purple Hues and Me


B4 and Afters                                                                Patina and Paint

Bluesky at Home


  1. I love to! Super creative and budget friendly!!!!

  2. Gail you always surprise me with your talents. This is such a neat trick, I would of never thought to do this. You know I love the Boho look and this would be perfect!

    1. Thanks, Terrie! Yes, I was a bit surprised how it turned out, too! Lol!

  3. Oh, that is such a wonderful idea, Gail! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Thanks, Gayle! It's so great hearing from you! Hope you had a great Easter!

  4. I love using ribbon to craft with, but I have to admit that I would never have thought to use it this way. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I can't believe how feathery your ribbons look! That's amazing how you did that-- they look so nice. I've pinned them.

    1. Thanks, Liberty! I know! They take on a whole new silky look and feel!

  6. Gail, this is an amazing project. I’ve never even thought that you would unravel ribbon. The plume is really pretty.

    1. Thanks, Carol! I was surprised at how ribbon could look this way, too!

  7. They look so good. I'm going to have to make some of these. Thanks for sharing the idea.


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