Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tutorial: Recycled, Repurposed Ruffles (Scrap Embellishments)

Repurposed Magazine Ruffle Envelope

A funny thing happened...the post about making envelopes from magazine pages? It got a pretty wildly unexpected response rate. Glad you seemed to like it! Here's a fun idea for a next-step: ruffles! If you are using your repurposed envelopes for gift giving or hand-delivered mail a little embellishment can go a long way.

While usually I have an aversion for all things needle and thread, this couldn't be easier, faster, or more simple - and adds a great touch to envelopes, bags, or other packages.

You'll need:
Magazine pages, paper bags, old maps or other paper waste
Tape, glue, or staples to secure your final ruffle/bow


1) Gather paper you wish to make ruffles from.

Strips of Paper

2) Cut paper into even strips - in this case about 1 inch each.

Needle, Thread, Scraps

3) Thread your needle and tie off a knot at the end. In this case I used a thick embroidery thread because I like the look and sturdiness. To achieve a solid knot I knotted three times in the same place.

Sew Ruffle

4) Sew evenly the length of the strip. For a smaller ruffle sew more closely together, for a larger, more wavy ruffle, sew further apart.

Gather Ruffle

5) Once you've sewn the length of the strip of paper begin to gather the paper by pushing down, along the thread, toward the knotted end.

Gathered Ruffle

6) Determine how long you want your ruffle by measuring against your envelope or package. Knot off the other end of the string at that length. Trim sting ends and space paper ruffle evenly on the thread.

Repurposed Magazine Ruffle Envelope

7) Attach your newly completed ruffle to your envelope or package of choice. Secure with glue or tape.

MiniRuffle Kraft Envelope

For a smaller ruffle: sew more closely together.

Kraft Ruffle

If you've already made magazine envelopes try using grocery bags to make a contrasting ruffle.

Layered Ruffle Pieces

To make a layered embellishment try making ruffles of various lengths and layering them.

Layered Ruffle

Of course, if you happen to have fabric scraps you could use them as well - there aren't any rules so as long as you're having fun you're doing it right!

Enjoy all your repurposing craftiness!


Roz said...


Rain said...

I don't know if my last comment posted, so I'm writing it again:) excellent idea and awesome pictures to. Thanks for the inspiration!

ELK said...

this is a wonderful tutorial ... i will enjoy using it!!

Katie said...

I really really love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to try it!

Sharon said...

What a cute idea! Great use of upcycled pages that might otherwise be tossed aside! said...

What a sweet and pretty idea- I love this! I would also love to link to this project if you didn't mind.

StellaPearlEtsy said...

Very pretty and so smart!
I love it.

The Craft-Arty Kid said...

Great idea. So pretty

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Oh I love the last shot- great idea to put it on a gift bag.

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Fabulous! I would have never thought of adding the sewing. Thanks so much for the gorgeous inspiration.

Rachel said...

Shared this project on my blog today. Keep creating beautiful things:)