My Ribbon Rose Experiment

Helen Cloke how to ribbon rose tutorial

I love to add a wee ribbon rose embellishment to my handmade lingerie.  I currently have a shop bought collection of roses but as this is running low I was inspired to try to make my own.

I've called this my 'experiment' rather than a tutorial because I had no idea what I was doing!  Even though there are a couple of things I still need to work on, I think for a first attempt they came out really cute!

A collection of ribbon roses

Of course there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to make ribbon roses but I wanted to try and recreate the shop bought ones that I have and none of the videos that I found were quite right.  Most of them also used glue and I was keen to avoid that as it can be messy or take a while to cure.

My Ribbon Rose Experiment:

1. I started by taking apart one of my shop bought roses to see how it was constructed.  There was a hole melted through the back of it and this is how the rose is secured together.  I managed to pry it apart with a little bit of force and unravelling the rose revealed a ribbon that was 13mm wide and 160mm long.

unravelled ribbon rose

2. The end of the ribbon that would be the centre of the rose was folded with the long sides together and then the very end was squashed down to make a triangle (like an origami fold.). The points of the triangle then folded back towards the tail of the ribbon.

Folded end of ribbon

Another photo of the end of the ribbon

3.  The ribbon I had (in grey) was slightly wider than the shop ribbon (blue) so I cut my length of ribbon 20mm longer to maintain proportion.  I decided to heat seal the cut ends of the ribbon with a flame even though this wasn't done in the rose I pulled apart.  I then folded the long ends together like the blue ribbon had been.

New ribbon folded in half

And then created the folded triangle at the end.

Folded triangle at end of ribbon

4. To make it easier, I decided to secure this end by running the bottom of the ribbon through a flame and melting the points of the triangle to the main part of the ribbon.  Tweezers came in handy for this!

Holding the ribbon with tweezers

5.  With this little melted edge as the bottom of the rose, I started rolling the centre up towards the tail end of the ribbon.

rolling up the ribbon

The long edges of the ribbon start to unfold, rather than stay edge to edge.

6. Just before the ribbon edge flattens out, I folded the main part of the ribbon behind on itself, angling downwards.  This is the same technique as many YouTube tutorials so if it is a bit tricky to grasp from my photo (sorry one-handed ribbon folding was impossible) then you'll be able to find a video to cover it.

Folding the ribbon back on itself

7. Keep repeating this roll and fold method.  I found it easiest to hold the rose at top and bottom while doing this so that the centre of the rose stayed put and didn't 'pop' out.

Holding the ribbon rose at top and bottom

8. I kept rolling and folding until the very end where I then had just enough ribbon to tuck underneath the whole rose.  I then placed the rose face down on an old chopping board (don't let it go!)

Rolled rose face down on cutting board

And held the end of the ribbon in place with the tweezers making sure to apply downward pressure so the rose didn't unravel.

Holding the rose with tweezers

9. Now I just had to melt a hole through the back to seal all the layers of ribbon together.  All I had to hand was a candle flame and a metal BBQ skewer that I heated up.  This isn't ideal as the heated up metal does char a bit and that leaves a small amount of sooty residue around the melted hole.  I need to come up with a solution of something that will heat without a flame.  But, it worked for now. (Also I was a bit concerned I'd accidentally brand myself with the hot skewer!)

Melting a hole with a hot BBQ skewer

I pushed the skewer down to where I thought it wasn't quite breaking the front surface of the middle of the rose and hopefully catching all the layers of ribbon on the way.

Melted hole in back of rose

10. Ta-da! One DIY rose that is pretty much identical to the shop bought one!  A little refinement on the melting technique and you'll not be able to tell the difference!  

A completed ribbon rose

DIY rose (grey) vs. shop bought rose (blue)

Diy vs. Shop bought rose

Back of the roses

I'd love to hear from you if you try this out or have any suggestions on how to improve on the melting technique!  It was a lot of fun and I can see my little rose embellishment container is going to become quite full again.

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  • Helen ~ Nellie Joans on

    Glad to hear that Ian! Thanks for following along.

  • Ian on

    After a few attempts following Youtube, finally. This was so much easier.
    Thank you.

  • Helen ~ Nellie Joans on

    Hi Kit, a printed ribbon rose would be neat to try! Good idea with the wood burning tool – I’ll look into getting one of those.

  • Kit on

    This is awesome! I’m definitely going to try doing this myself, I want to try it with a printed ribbon to see how it turns out. You could use a soldering iron or wood burning tool to melt the back. You can usually pick one up pretty cheap at a hardware, craft store, or online.

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