How to Stiffen Craft Ribbons

Updated April 17, 2017

When you work with ribbon for craft projects, you may need to stiffen it so that it stays in place and has a professional, polished look. While you can use hairspray to stiffen ribbon, it can make the ribbon sticky and cause it to attract dirt. Ordinary spray starch can also stiffen ribbon, but may leave stains or a noticeable residue on the ribbon. Your best bet is to purchase a spray made specifically to stiffen ribbon at your local craft store. Many brands of stiffening spray are available for £3 or less.

Form your ribbon into the finished look you want. Once you spray the ribbon with stiffening spray, you will not be able to adjust it or change its shape without washing it.

Hold the stiffening spray bottle five to six inches away from your ribbon and press down gently to release a light spray.

Hold a warm hair dryer over the ribbon for two to four minutes to set the spray. The spray will dry clear. You can also simply let the ribbon air dry for 10 to 15 minutes.

Repeat the above steps if your ribbon has not reached the desired stiffness. By applying light layers of spray, you will avoid saturating and staining the ribbon.

Wash the ribbon with hot water and detergent to remove the spray if you sprayed too much or want to change the ribbon's shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon stiffening spray
  • Hair dryer (optional)
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About the Author

Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.