May Arts Ribbon Blog

Once Upon an Empty Frame…

There once was a frame with such sad emptiness that it yearned for a beautiful ribbon to save it from the hollow inside. All the surrounding frames are filled with pictures of my family from years gone by but the center would not hold the chicken wire as I was hoping. So onto the innovation…

I started with silk ribbon in white and to match it to the sepia tones of the old pictures I dyed the ribbon.

  Once Uopn an Empty Frame

  • Step 1 – Divide ribbon into 3 equal pieces. Rinse the ribbon and wring out the excess water, rinsing will remove the starches from the ribbon and ready it to receive the dye. Prepare dye by diluting with water to acquire variations in the shades. Submerge damp ribbon in dye. When desired coloration is achieved rinse completely until water runs clear. Hang ribbon to dry.

Once Uopn an Empty Frame

  • Step 2 – Coat ribbon in glue or fabric stiffener. Wrap around balloon spreading smooth and getting a nice even coverage over the balloon. Let dry for at least 24 hours. Pop balloon and remove through space in ribbon.
  • Step 3 – String bakers twine around 1 width of ribbon in ball and tie to secure. Cut lengths of twine to allow balls to hang at different levels. Tie twine together in one knot. Affix twine bundle to frame and tie 1 1/4 inch silk ribbon into bow around twine bundle to finish.

Once Uopn an Empty Frame Once Uopn an Empty Frame

By  Jennifer Davey



Other Supplies Used:

  • Empty frame
  • Fabric dye (I used Tulip ® Liquid Dye ™ in Carmel and Black)
  • Glue ( I used Aleene’s ® Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid)
  • Balloons (the rounder the better)
  • bowl


Products Referenced in This Post

  1. Martie Rollin

    Interesting project, but not one I would ever make. Good thing ribbons are so versatile!

  2. Jean_H

    Okay, that is too cute!
    You could also use Glimmer Mist or other spray inks to colour the ribbon.
    This is a must try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. barbara macaskill

    I love this!! I have done the balloon thing with crochet thread but never thought to do it with ribbons!! Alas, a new project to try!! YAY! Thanks for the inspiration!


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