How to make a July 4th ribbon garland

It’s easy to whip up a July 4th ribbon garland with stuff you already have in your craft closet (or corner or room—wherever you keep your boxes of bits and pieces).

Why a ribbon garland? For starters, porches. Doorways. Mantels. Also? Bar carts. Golf carts. Go carts. Make tiny ones to put on cakes. (The real question is “why NOT a ribbon garland?”) 

We’ll get you started with some inspiration, but TBH this is the easiest party decor in the world to personalize. Change the color of the string…sub in fabric for the ribbon…or change the colors and celebrate a whole different occasion.

4th of July Ribbon Garland | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We loved this patriotic ribbon garland Union Hill Studio Stylist Nicole C. put together for a recent Hallmark photo shoot. Think.Make.Share (and Hallmark) Designer Ashley H. shows you how super easy it is to create your own with a few pretty basic craft supplies.

Fourth of July Ribbon Garland supplies: scissors, glue gun, ribbon, cord, fabric paint, stamp.

July 4th ribbon garland supplies

  • Blue Ribbon
  • White or Ivory Ribbon with Red Polka Dots (You can dot your own with paint, but don’t use markers, because they’ll bleed.)
  • Red Ribbon
  • Red and White Striped Ribbon
  • Cord (Red, White, or Blue—you pick!)
  • Star Stamp (You can cut your own from a potato.)
  • Fabric Paint (White for stars, red for dots.)
  • Paint tray or Paper Plate
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun

Plan your ribbon garland

Decide how long you’d like your garland. The easiest way is to actually string the cord from one point to the next—that way you can figure out how loose you’d like it to be. For your final length, add about an extra foot at each end so you can tie it or tape it to something. We’d like 12 feet of garland, so we’ll cut 14 feet of cord.

To figure out how many ribbons you’ll need, start with the length of the cord in inches. Divide that by 3″-6″, depending on how far apart you want your ribbons: That’s the total number of ribbons you’ll need. Then divide it by the number of colors you plan to use. For example:

12-foot garland (don’t count the extra) = 144 inches
We want 6″ between the center of each ribbon.
144 divided by 6 = 24 ribbons
We’re using 4 different ribbon colors.
24 divided by 4 = 6 of each ribbon color
We cut ribbons to 18″ lengths.
6 x 18 = 180 inches of each color (or 3 yards)

Cutting grosgrain ribbon for a July 4th Ribbon Garland

How to make a perfect v-cut

Cut a ribbon to 18″.

Make v-cuts in all your ribbons

Fold the ribbon in length-wise, then pinch the ends in half. Then cut it from the open corner up to the fold at a 45° angle—do it in one snip to keep the line straight.

It's easy to make a perfect v-cut.

Ribbons cut and ready to make a July 4th Ribbon Garland.

Repeat with all of your ribbons. Bonus: Cutting at an angle will help keep the ribbon from fraying at the ends.

Stamping blue ribbons with white stars.

Stamp your ribbons with stars

Add some white fabric paint to a paint tray (or paper plate). Lightly press your star stamp (or the one you’ve made from a potato!) into the white paint and then press gently on to the blue ribbon (or the color of your choice). Start from the bottom and stamp up; we kept ours simple with just three stars.

A star-spangled blue ribbon.

Let the stars dry and get everything ready to start assembling.

Tying a red and white ribbon to the July 4th Ribbon Garland.

Assemble your July 4th ribbon garland

There are two ways to add ribbons to your garland. We knotted all of ours to the cord except the star-spangled blue ones—you can mix and match methods however you’d like.

4th of July Ribbon Garland | thinkmakeshareblog.com

To tie a pretty knot, fold the ribbon in half over the cord. Hold it together at the top with your left hand, and bring the ends up to make a loop with your right—then tuck the ends behind and through to make a knot. Gently pull the ribbons down with your left hand, and push the knot up close to the cord with your right.

Red and white ribbon tied on red cord.

You’ll have to wiggle the knot around a bit to make it look just right.

(If all that seems too complicated, do this: Fold your ribbon in half. Lay it on top of the cord with the loop at the top. Pull the ends behind the cord and up through the loop, and pull tight. Bam.)

Gluing a ribbon to the cord.

To glue a ribbon on, fold it in half over the cord—then open it up and put a little dab of hot glue between the cord and the ribbon. Fold it back over, press it down, and let it set.

Gluing ribbon to a cord to make a July Fourth ribbon garland.

Give it a minute to cool off and harden before you move the cord or ribbon around.

4th of July Ribbon Banner | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Keep knotting and gluing until your July 4th ribbon garland is good to go!

If you love celebrating the Fourth of July as much as we do, we’ve got plenty more ideas. You can print party decorations, write with sparklers, make mini-pies and pie-pops, and fancy-up ice cream cones. And you’ll find even more on our sister site, Hallmark.com.

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