Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to print on ribbon

Thank you all for taking the time to view my tutorial. I thought about selling it rather than offering it for free, but I realize I am still new to the board and have no feedback yet. So I decided to offer it for free so you can see my work first. If you would to donate though it would be much appreciated. There is no set amount you have to donate, just whatever you feel would be a fair price for this tutorial.

Okay lets get started.

Supplies needed
Please note that brands do vary and I do not know how different brands will work as I have only tried this with the brands I have on hand. The brand I use will be wrote in smaller print, if no brand is listed then any brand will do.

1) Grosgrain ribbon (cut to length of your choice for bow making) Offray
2) Heat sealing method Lighter
3) Clear tape scotch
4) Double sided tape
5) Printer paper
6) Iron

7) Starch Faultless
8) Fabric Softener
Gain Joyful Expressions
9) Scissors
10) Printer Cannon Pixma iP2600
11) Image to print I usually do a google search to find my images
12) Measuring tool

Your printer paper needs to be the same length as your ribbon. I am using a 21" inch peice of ribbon. If you don't have printer paper that length, (I didn't) you are going to need tape some together the length you need.

Please note that in the picture I only had 3 small pieces of tape on the paper. DO NOT do this. The tape needs to be the same width of the paper because if not the areas where there is no tape can get snagged in the printer and cause jamming!! Also make sure when loading paper in printer that the tape is on the back side of the paper not the side where you will print. and make sure the piece that is on top goes in first to prevent snagging.

Open up a word document and set your paper to size you are using, and
set all margins to 0". Insert the picture in your document. (Rotate and resize if needed)
You may want to do a quick print on a scrap sheet of paper to be sure your image is not going to be larger than the size of ribbon you are using. Once yo
u are sure of the size and placement copy and paste the image all the way down the paper.

Then Print. I like to do a quick print so its not wasting a lot of ink.

Now lets treat your ribbon. Take your ribbon and dip it in fabric softener un
til the whole ribbon is saturated.

Now squeeze out the excess liquid and rinse off the ribbon. When your done rinsing it will probably still feel a little slimy, this is okay, you don't want to wash out the ribbon just rinse it.

Cut your iron on the polyester setting and NO steam and iron the ribbon. It may be possible to just let the ribbon dry. I am not sure. But because I am very impatient I iron it dry.
After you are done just leave it to dry a little more. While waiting go ahead an put your double sided tape on your paper with the printed images. (Don't throw the paper from the tape away, will explain later) Put the tape directly on the images the entire length of the paper.

Now you are ready to add your ribbon on there. To do this I like to first tape
my paper on a window with sunlight coming in so I see through my ribbon to make sure I am lining it up correctly.

(I can be hopeful can't I lol)
Now lets print your ribbon. Load the paper back in your printer. (If you changed your quality setting for the quick print remember to change them back before printing.) Then print.

After it is done printing pull the ribbon off the paper and allow it to dry for 2 to 3 minutes. After it has dried for a couple of minutes it is time to iron it again. Use the same settings you did earlier. This will help the ribbon to fully dry. After you have ironed a few good times, spray it
with starch and iron again using the same settings until good and dry.

Now get that double sided tape paper I told you not to throw away. Simply place it back over the tape and you can store the paper for future uses. Don't forget to save that document you created too. For paper that I have had to tape together I usually just pin it to the wall to store it that way I know it will not get bent.

Okay now let's test that ribbon to make sure it is not gonna come off. (please note that I don't try to actually put soap on it to test it because who is gonna try to wash there hair bow. I just wet it to make sure if they get caught it rain that it will not ruin the hair bow.) So just simply place it under running water, and rub it a little to make sure it isn't gonna come over. Mine has never came off when following these steps.

Now let it dry again or of course iron it :) and your are ready to make a bo

Thank you for viewing my tutorial. I hope you found it very useful.


  1. Hi. I was wondering what you suggest if you have a printer that does not load from the back? I have an HP and it loads in the front. Thanks.

    I have tried the iron-on transfers and hate the quality it gives my ribbon. I would love to be able to do this. Just worried about my printer. Thanks again. :)

  2. Mine loads from the front and it prints and WORKS GREAT!! You still follow her directions and just load it like you would your paper :)

  3. i will donate if you were to send me a video tutorial to do this . if not i will send you money thru paypal if you make it let me know my email is

  4. and how would you do a spool of 20 yards?

  5. On my hp it wont let me print continously it trys to spit the paper out after the first page any suggestions

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I've followed your tutorial to the letter, but the ink is still bleeding. I did a simple black and white design. It's not completely come out, but definitely faded a fair bit, water was murky. How much starch spray am I supposed to use, a light spray or soak it?
    Thank you :)

  8. Hi, I'm back again. LOL I am just now getting around to trying this tutorial. Anyway, I am not understanding what you mean by set the paper size to what you are using. Does that mean set it to the size before you tape or after you tape? I tried setting it to the size after I tape and it didn't print at all and the when I use the regular size, it doesn't go on to the second taped piece. So I'm wondering how this is going to print on the ribbon. I hate to be a pain but would like to learn how to do this. I think that for this project I may have to go ahead and use the iron on transfer method... would love to know if you ever did make a video tutorial. :) Thanks.

  9. Hello, I tried doing this myself and i failed over and over again. If I sent you my project idea, could I have you do it. I'd be willing to pay.

  10. So I know this is an old page but I've used this and it works awesome! Wonder if you have ever printed on Stain Ribbon? Do you think this would work?

  11. Any idea of this would work on fold over elastic?