DIY Framed Ribbon Art

There are some things you need to know about me. First, I love antique-looking frames. Second, I love ribbon. Why not combine them?

A few weeks ago, my mom was having a garage sale and I was tasked with helping her price everything. As I was adding books to the “$1! Books for a good home!” box, my mom held up two frames.

DIYRibbonArt02“How much should I price these for?”

I looked up and saw two of the most glorious antiquey-looking frames ever, all distressed and swirly. Sure, the paintings inside them weren’t anything magnificent, but I was instantly intrigued.

“I want them!” I exclaimed, still holding a few castoff books.

“Sure! Here,” my mom said before handing them to me.

Free frames! Yay!

My mind ran through everything I could do with them. I was sure of one thing, though: I’d make my own art.

I came up with the ribbon art idea because, well, I had a lot of ribbon. And I like it. Thus, DIY Framed Ribbon Art was born.

DIYRibbonArt03For this project, I used:

  • 2 awesome antique-style frames
  • Butter knife Small screwdriver
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue gun (you could use tape, too)
  • Various kinds of ribbon.

DIYRibbonArt04As for the ribbon, it’s a good idea to pick a color scheme to work with. My favorite color is pink, so I decided to go with pink, black and white. I suggest choosing ribbon of varying widths and textures to make your picture more interesting and dynamic.

DIYRibbonArt05First, you need to take the pictures out of the frames. When I turned over these frames, I found that the backs were stapled to the plastic frame. Boooo.

I tried prying it off with a butter knife. There was some ripping. Learn from my mistakes.

DIYRibbonArt06In the end, I pried out the staples with a small screwdriver—just enough the get the pictures out of the frames.

DIYRibbonArt07Next, it’s time to rid the world of the art formerly taking up space in the frames. After checking to see if these were worth any money (hey, a girl’s gotta eat), it was time to paint them white.

DIYRibbonArt08The number of coats you’ll need depends on the paint and the original painting. I ended up needing three coats to finally cover up those bouquets.

Let it dry before moving on.

DIYRibbonArt09Next: the fun part. Gather up your ribbon and come up with a cool design and ribbon combination for your picture. Since I was working with two picture frames, I made two designs. The first involved a bit of a weave, but also a lot of white space. I went for a minimalistic approach.

Cut long pieces of ribbon so at least an inch hangs over each side of the edge of he picture. Lay out the design for both pictures before moving on. Make sure you actually like it (duh!).

DIYRibbonArt10Once you like it, you can affix the ribbon to the picture. While you could glue the ribbon directly to the front of the former image, that glue can show through light-colored ribbon. Not cute.

Instead, fold the ends of the ribbon over the side and glue them to the back of the picture. After you glue one end and it has dried, pull it taut and do the same thing to the other end.

DIYRibbonArt12You’re done! Once the ribbons are glued on and the glue has dried, you can put the pictures back in the frames.

DIYRibbonArt13Remember how the backs were affixed to my frames? With staples? I’m impatient, so I just hot-glued them shut again. Quick fix!

DIYRibbonArt11Hang them up and admire your handiwork. Pretty!

What color scheme would you choose for your ribbon?


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  1. Great idea with the garage sale finds!

  2. They’re so beautiful, well done!

  3. Very cool! I would have thicker strands of velvet ribbon (navy), some pale gold chiffon and a polyester cream :D. I would stick to really classic colors. But then I’d throw in some antique ivory lace and then a brighter color like periwinkle. I’m sorta cheating though. 😛
    I love color so this is such a fun question.

  4. Love this, Trisha! The ribbon patterns are so cool and I love the patterns you chose as well. And those frames, lucky you hahaha 🙂

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