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This is the second article in a series of projects and techniques on hand embroidery written and designed by Little Miss  Fancy Frocks, the dynamic mother and daughter duo who lovingly create handcrafted clothing for adults and children. Visit their Facebook page here.

The series is sponsored by Minerva Crafts, suppliers of all your embroidery requirements.


Ribbon Roses Embroidery

How to make ribbon roses

Learn how to create these beautiful woven, folded and sculptured roses from ribbons. You can use them to decorate accessories, garments and numerous craft items.


Woven Roses

Woven Roses tutorial


You will need...

Supplies for ribbon embroidery

25cm square light/medium weight fabric

25cm square lightweight, non fusible interfacing

25cm of 4mm satin ribbon for each ribbon rose

Anchor Perle cotton No. 5 - green for the petals and a co-ordinating colour for the roses

You will also require an embroidery frame, a tapestry needle, a sewing needle with an eye large enough for the perle thread



Place the taffeta over the interfacing and place both inside the embroidery hoop.

Hand stitches for ribbon embroidery

(a) Using the perle thread bring the thread onto the surface of the fabric leaving a tail of 7cm below the surface.  Work your first stitch, radiating away from the centre of the rose. The stitch must be approximately .5 cm in length.

(b) Work the 5 stitches as shown.

(c) Take the perle thread to the underside of the fabric and tie the ends together and cut off any surplus thread.

(d) Thread the tapestry needle thread with the ribbon and bring the ribbon onto the surface of your work.


Weaving the ribbon

(a) Begin weaving the ribbon in and out of the five threads in a circular manner, under one, over the next and continue until the stitches cannot be seen - (b).     

(c) Take the ribbon to the underside of your work and tie the ends of the ribbon together or stitch them together and cut off the excess to reduce bulk.

(d) The completed rose.


Stitching leaves for hand embroidery

A simple leaf design will show off your roses effectively.

(a) Draw a leaf shape including a line for the centre of the leaf.

(b) The first stitch will start at the tip of the leaf and lie approximately 0.5cm down the middle of the leaf. Work from the left outer edge of the leaf stitch to just past the centre of the leaf and then work from the right side of the leaf to just past the centre of the leaf, alternating each stitch from one side to the other.

(c) The straight edge of each leaf will be covered by the roses.


Ribbon rose covered gift box

Use your new skills to produce a simple spray of roses. We used our sample to cover a box, which once contained chocolate ginger.


 Folded Roses

You will need...

Supplies for hand embroidery

35cm of 30mm wide satin ribbon for each rose

25cm square of fabric to mount your roses

 25cm square of lightweight non fusible interfacing

You will also need sewing needle and thread and an embroidery hoop


Tip on binding a hoop for hand embroidery

To ensure your embroidery hoop has a good firm grip, bind the inner hoop with bias binding. To secure the bias binding stitch in place with oversewing stitches.



Place the taffeta over the interfacing and place both inside the embroidery hoop.


Folded ribbon roses

Fold over the end of the ribbon forming a triangle. Roll the folded end of the ribbon to the right and secure at the base with two stitches. Fold the ribbon away from you and the top edge will touch the base of the rose. Secure with two stitches at the base of the rose.


Folding ribbon roses

Turn the rose half a circle towards you without folding. Repeat the process until you have 2cm of ribbon left. Fold the tail over forming a triangle and stitch to the base of the rose.

Attaching roses to base fabrics

Put the roses in position on the hooped fabric. Secure each rose by stitching through the hoop and through the rose. You will only need four or five stitches. Take care to conceal the base of each rose.


Placing roses on backing fabric


Finished folded roses

We used our roses to cover a box which contained Turkish Delight and to make a hanging heart. Both will make lovely gifts.


Sculptured Roses

How to make sculptured ribbon roses

You will need... 

Supplies for making sculptured roses

Hobbywire  (25cm in length)

60cm of 5cm wide satin ribbon per rose

20cm of 5cm wide satin ribbon for rose leaves per rose

You will also need needle and thread and a cigarette lighter



Cutting out roses for embroidery

Cut the green ribbon into four equal pieces and cut a leaf shape from each piece.  Cut the rose ribbon into ten equal pieces and cut each piece into a petal shape.

Cut shapes for embroidery

Hold each petal and leaf in turn and pass the flame of a cigarette lighter along the outer edge. This will only take seconds and will ensure the edges do not fray. They will warp slightly to give a lovely effect.  Fold the wire in half and twist loosely together.


Attaching ribbon roses

Fold the first petal around the top of the wire and stitch in place at the base of the rose. Fold the second petal around the first petal covering the first opening and repeat stitch in place. Repeat until all petals have been used. Stitch the four leaves in place in the same way.

Creating a ribbon rose

When the petals and leaves have been stitched in place it will resemble a rose bud. Fold the leaves back to create a fuller rose.

Finished ribbon roses


 Hand embroidery series


If you like hand embroidery, please follow our 10-part hand embroidery series.