How to Make a Plaited Ribbon

Updated February 21, 2017

Making plaited ribbon is useful in creating a variety of different crafts and fashion accessories. Plaited ribbon can be used as cushion edging to give soft furnishings in the home a personalised touch, or can be incorporated into head bands or barrettes to provide a bit of colour to your hair. You can also make bracelets from braided ribbon. Learning how to plait ribbon will provide you with a useful crafting skill that has multiple applications, limited only by your imagination.

Choose the type of ribbon and ribbon colours for your project. Pick 1/8-inch satin ribbon for bracelets and projects that require tight, round braiding. Choose 3/8-inch double-sided satin ribbon for wider plaited ribbon projects.

Decide upon the length of plaited ribbon that you need, and multiply that number by three. Use a measuring tape to measure the length of ribbon required, using scissors to cut it to the correct length. Cut two more pieces of ribbon to the same length, for a total of three ribbons of equal length.

Use a hot glue gun to spread a thin layer of glue along the short edge of one ribbon, spreading the glue 1/4 inch down from the ribbon's edge. Position the short edge of the second ribbon on top of the glue and line up the edges of the two ribbons. Spread hot glue on the top of the second ribbon along its short edge and spread the glue down 1/4 inch. Place the third ribbon by its short edge on top of the glue and line up the edges of both ribbons.

Allow the glue to dry completely. Push a pushpin through the centre of the glued area on the ribbon stack. Fasten the pushpin into a cork mat and clamp the mat to a work table with wood clamps.

Take the bottom ribbon (ribbon 1) in your left hand and grasp it 6 inches below the pushpin. Take the top ribbon (ribbon 3) in your right hand 6 inches below the pushpin. Overlap the middle ribbon (ribbon 2) completely with ribbon 3 so that there is gap between the two ribbons.

Overlap ribbon 3 with ribbon 1, moving from left to right so that ribbon 3 is in between ribbon 1 and ribbon 2. Pick up ribbon 2 with your right hand and overlap ribbon 3 by moving from right to left over ribbon 3, and positioning ribbon 2 between ribbon 3 and ribbon 1.

Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to continue plaiting the ribbon. Adjust the tension of the plait by using tighter or looser overlaps. Use a hot glue gun and glue the ends of the ribbon together in the manner outlined in Step 3 once you finish plaiting.

Place a pushpin through the glued ends and into the cork mat to stabilise the plait, and allow the ends to dry before using the plaited ribbon.


Cut the ends of the ribbon to the same length if they are of uneven lengths once you finish plaiting.


Use the same overlapping tension on all ribbons to prevent uneven plaiting.

Things You'll Need

  • Satin ribbon
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pushpins
  • Cork mat
  • Wood clamps
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About the Author

Residing in the coastal county of Devon, England, Jane Humphries has been writing since 2004. Writing for "British Mensa" nationally and regionally, Humphries has also held key roles within the High IQ Society. She received a Bachelor of Science, honors, in psychology with combined studies covering biology, statistics, economics, politics and sociology.