May Arts Ribbon Blog



shoes with ribbon

This shoe re-do project can be happily accomplished with any type of shoe – from patent leather to canvas.
I have chosen a child’s size 8 for this illustration.  Adjust amounts accordingly if your shoe to re-do is significantly larger or smaller.


  • Shoes to decorate
  • Ribbon: 2 one-yard pieces of 1 ½” wide; May Arts # DD03
  • Buttons: 2 ½” shank buttons
  • Bendable wire: 12”
  • Small utility knife
  • Tweezers
  • Cloth tape measure
  • Pencil


  • Using the tape measure and pencil, mark cutting lines around the shoes.
  • The sets of 2 cuts that show ribbon woven to the outside are ½” apart and ½” long.
  • The distance between these sets is ¾”.
  • PLAN cutting diagram so that the beginning and end of the ribbon will come to the surface symmetrically at the toe of the shoe.  TRANSFER lines to shoes.
  • With the tip of the cutting blade or a large needle, PUNCH a small hole at each end of each marked cutting line.  These holes will prevent over-cutting.
  • With the blade, carefully CUT all pencil lines from hole to hole.
  • CUT each yard of ribbon into two lengths  – 24” for weaving and bow’s tails    and 12” for bow’s loops.
  • A wide ribbon was used for the project for a full effect.
  • To weave the 1 ½” ribbon through ½” cuts, FOLD the entire 24” piece lengthwise into thirds.
  • WEAVE the folded 24” piece of ribbon through the cuts all the way around the shoe’s edge.  Tweezers make this process easier by pushing the ribbon through the cuts using the blunt end and pulling the ribbon out the other side using the “tweezer” end.  Make sure that the woven ribbon lies flat, not twisted on inside or outside.
  • After the weaving is accomplished, ADJUST ribbon tails to the same length and carefully UNFOLD to their original 1 ½” width.
  • THREAD wire through shank of button.
  • CROSS the two ribbon ends to form 2 equal loops.
  • CENTER the remaining 12” ribbon piece onto the loops.
  • SECURE the bow using the wire with the button centered in place.
  • TWIST wire around bow until it feels secure.
  • TRIM away extra wire and MANIPULATE the bow into a pleasing shape.
  • CUT the tails’ ends at a 45 degree angle to prevent fraying.

You may have noticed that the two bows are not twins.  The bow on the Right of the photo was made according to the directions above, while the other one was made layering the elements in a different order.  The bow on the photo’s Left was made using the extended ribbon ends as the bow’s tails and the 12” piece was folded to create the two looms.

The finished bows are different but equal.


headbands with ribbon


  • Ribbon: 2 yds May Arts #DD03 – 1 ½” wide
  • Thread to match ribbon
  • Purchased headband: approximately 1 ” wide
  • Shank button:  approximately 1 ¼” wide

GATHERED HEADBAND INSTRUCTIONS – Stitch by hand or machine

  • CUT ribbon into 2 pieces – 30”.
  • FOLD the 4 ribbon ends ½” to the wrong sides and FINGER PRESS folds.
  • PIN the 2 pieces of ribbon, wrong sides together and stitch along both long sides, as close to the edges as possible.
  • The resulting tube will be approximately twice the length of the headband. And the raw ends will be turned inside.  SLIP the headband into the tube.
  • HAND STITCH the turned ends.
  • Neatly FOLD 1 ½” of each tube end to the inside of the band.    Manipulate these two folded ends until they have upholstered the 1 ½” ends tightly onto the band.
  • A generously gathered ribbon tube now covers the rest of the band.  ADJUST the gathers evenly.
  • As is – the headband is ready for utility and accessory duty.  However, attaching a snappy rosette of the same ribbon will be worth the extra few minutes.

RIBBON ROSETTE INSTRUCTIONS – Stitch by hand or machine

ribbon rosette

  • STITCH a line of gathering stitches ¼” from one long edge of the two 12” pieces of ribbon.
  • With Right sides facing, STITCH the 2 ends together, taking care not to include the gathering thread.  FOLD this seam over to conceal raw edges.  STITCH.
  • Carefully PULL the thread to gather the ribbon into a rosette.  Secure the thread with several back stitches.
  • ADJUST the gathers.  CENTER the large button and stitch in place.
  • SECURE the completed rosette about 4 – 4 ½” from one end of the band.

Blog Posted By:  Ellen Highsmith

  1. Ann House

    I apologize that I missed the shoes! What a creative way to change the traditional little white patent shoes! Love it! Very creative!

  2. Ann House

    This is a cute and patriotic headband that any young girl would love!

  3. Emily Smith

    these are both adorable!


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