Ribbon Rose Tutorial

Ribbon roses are fun to make, and add a vintage flair to all kinds of projects, including my Dapper Cloche hat shown here.


  • 2 yards of 2″ wide wired ribbon for 4.5″ diameter rose (shown)
  • OR 1½ yards of 1½” wide wired ribbon for 3.5″ diameter rose
  • ¼ yard of 1½” wide velvet ribbon for leaves
  • sewing needle and thread in a color darker than your ribbon
  • 1 bar pin back for small rose, 2 pin backs for large rose


  1. If your ribbon is variegated, choose the edge that you want for the outside of the rose and place it farthest from your body. You won’t see much of the inside color, but it will show up as highlights inside the flower. Fold the edge of the ribbon towards you so that the wire is bent at a 90° angle and the cut edge of the ribbon hangs over a little.

  2. Start rolling up the ribbon and roll 3 times around to make the center of the rose. Make 2-3 small pleats by folding the ribbon ⅛–¼” back and forth, then continue rolling twice more around. This will start the rose opening up from the center.

  3. Thread your needle so that the thread is doubled and knot the end. Stitch through the bottom edge of the ribbon a few times to hold the center of the rose together. Do not cut thread.
  4. Pull the wire along the inside edge of the ribbon to gather the remaining ribbon. This can take some patience as you push the gathers down to the bud of the rose. Gather the ribbon as much as possible (I pulled out 40″ of wire on my large rose). Cut off the excess wire and bend the end back so it won’t get pulled back into the ribbon. 
  5. Coil gathered ribbon around the bud, stitching as you go. Add more pleats if you want to open your rose up and see more of the inside color. Use your hand to flatten the rose as you work. When you’re almost done, pull out a little more wire, bunch up the cut edge of the ribbon, and wrap the wire around the end a few times.
  6. Coil the last of the ribbon around the rose, tucking the wire-wrapped end under so it’s hidden. Take a few more stitches and knot your thread. Use your hand to flatten the rose down more, and adjust the folds to your liking. The wire will keep the rose in place.
  7. For each leaf, cut 4″ of velvet ribbon. With the non-velvet side up, find the midpoint of the long edge. Fold 1 side down at about a 60˚ angle. Fold the other side down over it.

  8. Turn leaf over and stitch across, catching the edge of the ribbon. Pull to gather a little, and knot your thread. Repeat for 2nd leaf. Stitch leaves to back of rose, and stitch bar pin to back of rose near the top edge. Be sure to unpin the rose when you wash the hat, so the wire won’t rust.