Curling Fabric Ribbon

Learn how to curl fabric ribbons by spraying with starch solution. These curled fabric ribbons can be used for crafts and for decorating gift wrapped presents.


  • Fabric ribbon
  • Dowel, pencil or rod
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Scotch tape or clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle


Step 1 Curling Fabric Ribbon 1. Obtain a dowel, stick, pencil or rod on which to curl the ribbons around. A smaller diameter makes smaller curls while a larger diameter makes bigger curls.
Step 2 Curling Fabric Ribbon 2. Mix about 1 tablespoon cornstarch powder and 1 pint (470 mL) water in a spray bottle. Swirl the bottle to completely dissolve the cornstarch.
Step 3 Curling Fabric Ribbon 3. Cut a length of fabric ribbon. Remember that curling will shorten the ribbon so allow for a few inches of extra length.
Step 4 Curling Fabric Ribbon 4. Clip (use a clothespin) or tape the tip of the fabric ribbon on one end of the dowel.
Step 5 Curling Fabric Ribbon 5. Carefully wind the ribbon around the length of the dowel. You may (a.) wind the ribbon close together (but not overlapping) to obtain tight curls; (b.) or wind the ribbons at widely-spaced intervals to get partial or loose curls. You will need longer sticks or rods for making loose curls.
Wizard Hat 6. Clip or tape the end of the ribbon in place.
Step 5 Curling Fabric Ribbon 7. Spray with the cornstarch solution, making sure to cover all areas of the ribbon.
Step 8 Curling Fabric Ribbon 8. Allow the ribbons to dry completely.
Step 9 Curling Fabric Ribbon 9. Once the ribbon is dry, remove each tape or clothespin then slowly slide the curled ribbon off of the dowel. The curls on these starched ribbons will stay unless you wash the ribbon in water.
Step 10 Curling Fabric Ribbon 10. Tightly curled ribbons (black ribbon) make pretty spiral curls which are perfect accents for elegant gift wrapped presents or use them to fancy up your hair ties and hair accessories.

Loosely curled or wavy ribbons (gold ribbon) are great to use as trailing material for masks, hats and other crafts.

More Ideas

Other ways to curl fabric ribbons include:
  • Curling with a hair curling iron
  • Baking—makes permanent curls, find instructions at Zakka Life