May Arts Ribbon Blog

Ribbon Essentials Kit & Swatch Book


When I’m working with ribbon, I always reach for the same tools and adhesives over and over again. I decided to create a kit for myself to store all these items together in one convenient place so I can just grab it and go.



 I used a vintage sewing box that I discovered stashed in my closet to contain my kit, but the possibilities are endless. Old suitcases, boxes of all kinds, or even a tote bag would work just as well.



These are my ribbon essentials, but your list may vary:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Mini sewing kit with tape measure
  • Fray Check
  • Fabric-Tac
  • Ribbon Adhesive from GlueArts
  • Scor-Tape
  • Scotch Tape



I stored the larger items, including my swatch book in the bottom of the sewing box.



The smaller items fit perfectly in the top tray.



I use lots of ribbons in my projects, so I need a way to keep track of my overflowing supply. A ribbon swatch book is the answer!



These are the elements I used to create a basic swatch book:

  • 2 Die Cut Chipboard Labels {6 x 6}
  • 1 Die Cut Chipboard Label covered with Kraft Cardstock {5 x 5}
  • 20 Die Cut Kraft Cardstock Labels {6 x 6}
  • 1 book ring
  • 2 each of 2 patterns die cut into 6 x6 labels

Cover the 6 x 6 chipboard labels with Jenni Bowlin paper then punch a 1/2” hole in the top left corner of all the pieces except the 5 x 5 chipboard label.



Jenni Bowlin papers add the perfect vintage flair to my swatch book, but of course I wanted to fancy it up even more!

To embellish the cover I took 10 inch strips of May Arts 1.5” satin pleated ribbon in black and cream and layered them on the front along with some gorgeous 1.5” crochet ribbon in cream.



 Flip the cover over, and tape the ribbon on the inside.



To add a finished look, cover the tape with a 5 x 5 chipboard Kraft covered label.



Bling up the front cover with some glittery letters that spell RIBBON, and for a crowning touch add a pleated ribbon flower!



These are the elements for the pleated ribbon flower:

  • ¼” Scor-Tape
  • 2 inch circle punched from sturdy cardstock

Quick Tip: Punch the circle out of a shipping tag and use the string for the button accent on the flower



Place a strip of Scor-Tape in the center of the pleated ribbon on the back side.



Peel off the liner of the Scor-Tape and fold the ribbon in half.



Snip into the ribbon every 3 pleats, making sure not to cut completely through.



Roll the ribbon into a spiral and secure at the end with some Fabri-Tac.



Cover the 2 inch circle with Fabri-Tac



Press the bottom of the flower spiral into the Fabri-Tac pushing firmly to create a strong bond.



Embellish the flower with a red button and attach to the cover of the swatch book.



Add swatches of your favorite ribbons to the inside pages of the book. The swatches can be organized by color, theme, project, or material – whatever works best for you. I plan to use a white gel pen to write in the item numbers and color names of my swatches. I can’t wait to grab my ribbon essentials kit and start crafting!


Blog Posted By: Kimberly Jones

  1. Barbara A.

    WHOA—-I love that ribbon flower–so georgous!!!! Thank you for the inspiration…now I’m off to try my hand at it!

  2. Gigi

    What a perfect flower and so easy to make too. Absolutely LOVE it.

  3. Pam

    Love Love that flower on the swatch book, LOL just read the above post, think we all think alike, great project, and the headband is so cute also, have a couple girls that would love that… TFS Reply

  4. SuZeQ

    LOVE the idea of the swatchbook. LOVE the flower even more. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. shelly

    Great Idea. The swatch book is terrific.

  6. Charlene

    That is one awesome flower, Kimberly!!

  7. steph

    fabulous swatch book and kit. love that flower, it’s so pretty! thanks for sharing and happy new year! *hugs* steph 🙂

  8. jen shears

    Love your kit- and I am OVER the MOON with that flower!! Thanks SO MUCH for the tutorial!!!

  9. Donna Przybylowski

    Wonderful job, and I love the ribbon flower, but this would not work for me, as a lot of my ribbon is bits and pieces from a local store that is kind enough to give to me the ends of rolls when they are revamping their stock, for now mine is all in a big plastic drawer type container, still searching for the perfect idea!! But this is great idea and looks fabulous.

  10. Michelle Mathey

    This is your best tutorial yet!! WOW – LOVE that flower!

  11. Pam Loris

    Absolutely LOVE the ribbon flower! I have that ribbon so I must try it!!

  12. sue w.

    what a great ribbon flower. good idea for a swatch book of ribbons. stamping sue

  13. Mandie W

    This is such a great idea! I LOVE the swatch book!!!!


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