Monday, September 15, 2008

Crepe paper ruffles, mini tutorial

A few people have emailed with some questions about the garland, so here is a quick and dirty version of some instructions. Jack has a touch of a head cold, so I will just tell you about a few other notes to go with the ruffles.

If you buy Martha glitter at Wal-mart it comes with a tiny tube of glitter glue that is perfect for glittering the edge of the crepe paper. I actually refilled that tube with generic craft glue and an eyedropper because it made just the right size line of glue on the edges.

I punched the holes with a tiny craft hole punch, used scrapbook brads through those holes, and just shoved the brads through the seam binding to hang it.

Because the stickers are really sticky, I used circles cut from the plastic the stickers came on to cover up the sticker part that was still showing on the back so it wouldn't get covered in cat hair.

I always use crepe paper streamers instead of crepe paper because it is easy to find those. The older ones work better if you use the sewing machine method, they bunch better for some reason. If you can only find newer crepe paper, try adjusting your stitch length.
Start with a sticker with a hole punched in the top.
Cut a piece of the crepe paper streamer to about 24 inches.
Stick the streamer to the back of the super sticky sticker about 1/4 in from the edge. You will not be able to move it around if you use the Martha stickers, that is some serious glue on those things.
I am right handed and find it easier to pleat with the paper going up instead of down, so I actually pleat counter clockwise. To start the pleating just start folding the paper over like you are making a paper fan. Smaller pleats = more wrinkles. Because the stickers are sticky, you don't need any glue or anything. If you are doing this on cardstock or some other medium, you can glue each pleat down. (I will tell you I find that method rather tedious and in those cases use method two.)
Keep folding and sticking, folding and sticking until you reach the end. At the end you will need a touch of glue where the two pieces of crepe paper are meeting and at the outside edge where they are meeting.

Sometimes it doesn't end up looking neat on the edge, just trim that extra triangle off with the scissors.
Et viola! A rosette.
Method two*: Stick the crepe paper on the sewing machine. Line the edge up with the edge of the presser foot. Set your stitch length to a fairly long length. My machine will only go to a 4.5, so that's what I use.
Put the pedal to the metal. You can see that it ruffles instantly, make sure not to sew over the already curled ruffle as it bends back around on you!
You can then glue the ruffle to anything you want: glittered letters, cardstock, etc.

Hope that helps!

*Actually, this probably would have been faster on the Halloween garland than doing it by hand. But, eh, sometimes doing it by hand is nice too. Each method does have a slightly different finished look.

**We did some fiddling with the fonts. It's a sort of swirly font on my computer now, maybe it's changed for some of you too. (Hopefully not for the worse for anyone. That always seems to happen to someone.)


  1. That is just too great. Thanks for the instructions. There's nothing better than crepe paper at Halloween. It's still cloudy here, so no feedsack photos (again). Oh, and I'm the first comment - yay!

  2. Anonymous4:55 PM

    That's funny...I actually started working on a Halloween garland last week using the vintagey Martha tags. I had been collecting the frozen juice lids for a long time wondering what I could use them for (I'm big on recycling), and then it occurred to me to make holiday garlands. Right now I am priming & spray painting the lids black...I got a big round punch to cut out scrapbook papers and will then put the stickers in the center. I thought about punching a nail hole thru the lids, but now I think I may just use some old cafe curtain clips and hang them from a wire or something...still trying to figure it out.

  3. Font still looks the same to me..

    Love the garland idea, but we don't start decorating until Oct 1st, so I still have time to work on decorations-- if I have time with a 3 month old baby, that is!!
    I may be able to get my 6 year old to help, if she wants to.

    You asked for my email address, here it is: jshenry (at) tmail (dot) com

  4. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Thanks for posting instructions. I love this banner! And, I'll definitely be referring to the ruffle instructions for future projects.

  5. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Not sure why my link didn't work, must be all the computer trouble I'm having!

  6. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Thank you for this tutorial...I just saw some vintage Halloween stuff at the store today, so maybe I will attempt this.


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