Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas ribbon out of old men's shirts

I took one of my husband's old, ratty button-up shirts and turned it into long strips of Christmas ribbon for myself. I can use this fabric ribbon over and over again to wrap presents or as part of my everyday decor. It's easy to make too!

For this project, I used 1 old men's dress shirt that matched my Christmas decor, scissors, an iron, matching thread, pins and a sewing machine. A seam ripper, measuring tape and dressmaker's pen would be helpful as well.

To start, I took an old dress shirt (that happened to be in my Christmas colors, cream and red) and cut it into pieces like I did to prepare for my apron. Next, I took the back and cut out strips that were about 20 inches long and 3 inches wide (I needed at least 1 cm on each side for seam allowance). I was lucky because I had a fabric that was checker-print so I just followed the lines. If you don't have this, mark the measurements on the wrong side with a dressmaker's pen and then cut out.


Now, I got out the iron. I really hate ironing but this time I did it. I pressed each strip with the seam allowance (1 cm on both sides) so that it would be easier for me to sew it down.


Next, I threaded the sewing machine with matching thread, pinned the ribbon and sewed the seam allowance down. I sewed it first very close to one edge, then close to the other for top-stitching. Since it was all ironed down, this was very easy.

That's it! That is all that it took to make these strips of ribbon.

Estimated time for this project: an evening or about 3 hours. It took time to cut up the shirt then cut the ribbon out. Ironing took about 15 minutes then it took about 2 hours for me to sew them all up. For one ribbon, I'd say that it took about 45 minutes.

  • You could easily do this with old dress shirts (or pants, skirts) in solid colors or patterned or old skirts, pants, etc. 
  • You could try different textures like tweed, corduroy, jean, etc. Mine is a fine whale corduroy.
  • You could sew smaller strips together to make a longer ribbon. 

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