Origami Ribbon Trim Tutorial

origami ribbon

In the matching outfits pictured, the origami ribbon embellishment made of 1/2-inch-wide turquoise grosgrain ribbon was used to accent the gathered waist of the red velveteen child’s jumper, “Sundress/Sunsuit” pattern from Creations by Michié. A removable pin includes Whimsy Stick roses and curly grosgrain streamers. The women’s purchased sweater is embellished with origami ribbon embellishment made of 1/2-inch-wide red grosgrain ribbon outlining the neckline and buttonhole placket. Origami ribbon embellishment made from 3/8-inch-wide red grosgrain ribbon adorns the sleeve cuffs.

Looking for a fun trim for holiday garments? Origami ribbon embellishment is suitable for both adult and little girl garments, so it’s a perfect embellishment choice for coordinating “Mommy & Me” garments. By working the technique in not-so-traditional Christmas colors you can get more mileage out of your sewing. Red and turquoise, for example, is a snappy combination suited to both holiday parties and winter gatherings that take place after the season has officially ended. In this article from our November/December 2012 issue of Sew Beautiful (#145), Sis Hutchison shares the top 10 ways to use origami ribbon trim, as well as instructions for making both the trim and fun curly streamers.

origami ribbon

Top 10 Ways to use Origami Ribbon Trim

1. Use as a hem treatment on a border to cover the adjoining seam.

2. Use to cover the waist seam of a yoke dress.

3. Bend and shape into interesting details on sweaters or shirts.

4. Iron flat and use as a bookmark.

5. Cover a headband or barrette.

6. Use as straps on a summer or special occasion dress.

7. Decorate a purse or tote bag.

8. Fashion out of silk satin ribbon and add beads for a more elegant, formal look.

9. Decorate the cuff of a Christmas stocking.

10. Use ribbon with two different colored sides for a geometric effect.

Origami Trim Instructions

1. Starting with flat grosgrain ribbon, fold ribbon down over itself in a 45 degree angle (Photo 1). Continue to wrap ribbon around to create first miter (Photo 2).

2. Using clear monofilament thread or a thread that matches grosgrain ribbon color, take two tiny tacking stitches at top of ribbon miter (Photo 3), attaching two edges of ribbon together.

3. Fold ribbon up over itself in a 45 degree angle (Photo 4) and continue to wrap ribbon around itself to create second miter (Photo 5).

4. Bringing thread across back of origami embellishment, take two tiny tacking stitches in top of second miter, attaching it to ribbon edge behind it (Photo 6 & 7).

5. Continue folding ribbon up on itself (Photo 8), and then wrap it over and down on itself (Photo 9), alternating each time, folding ribbon toward previous stitches; alternating directions will create zigzag effect.

6. Carry monofilament thread or matching thread behind ribbon fold each time (Photo 10).

7. To finish off, end of a length of embellishment, fold in a miter to back of embellishment, and tack with monofilament or matching thread (Photo 10 A-D).

How to Make Curly Streamers


  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Pencil or dowel stick (1/4 inch or smaller)
  • Glass head straight pins or plain straight pins (no plastic heads)
  • Oven (preheated to 200 degrees)
  • Spray water bottle/spritzer

origami ribbon

1. Cut grosgrain ribbon in desired lengths; remember when it becomes curled, it will shrink in length 50 percent.

2. Use a straight pin to secure one ribbon end to pencil eraser or end of dowel. Wrap grosgrain ribbon around wooden dowel or pencil, beginning at one end and finishing at the other, keeping ribbon wrapped snuggly and not overlapping wraps. Use a straight pin to secure ribbon end after pencil or dowel is completely covered.

3. Spritz ribbon-wrapped pencils or dowel with water to moisten and set curls.

4. Place ribbon-wrapped dowels or pencils on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.

5. Place cookie sheet in a preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.

6. Remove and cool completely before touching.

7. Unwrap ribbon carefully from around pencil or dowel.

8. Use these really cute grosgrain ribbon curls for embellishing hairbows, garments, wrapped gifts and more.

Sis Hutchison loves all things sewing and says that sewing has always been a part of her life. She remembers sewing doll clothes at an early age, her own clothes as a teenager and home decorating items for her first home as a single woman. She was introduced to Sew Beautiful magazine and heirloom sewing when her children were born and loves heirloom sewing, smocking and machine embroidery. She has been part of the Martha Pullen team for many years.

Check out the products below for more fun ideas for sewing with ribbon!


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