ruched ribbon garland for wreaths

Laura Dowling shows how to make a ruched ribbon garland base for wreaths in this excerpt from her book, Wreaths: With How-To Instructions.

The base layer is the foundation of the wreath that can be made from a variety of materials: evergreens, folded leaves, burlap, ribbons and paper. Much like a mat that goes underneath an area rug, the base layer creates a textured backdrop for lifting and supporting the materials on the wreath, preventing them from slipping. In this case, the base layer also adds color, complementing the design and coordinating with the fruit, vegetable and flower elements.


ruched ribbon garland for wreaths

This technique is a fundamental key to the overall look – not only does it provide dynamic color and texture, it is perhaps the best method for supporting the materials and framing the wreath. The ruched ribbon is basically a one-sided ribbon garland that results in textured loops. It can be made from various widths and finishes (e.g., satin, burlap, etc.) and can be re-used again and again. For the festive and wintry reindeer wreath pictured at left, I used faux fur ribbon as the backdrop for the silver bauble and acorn design. Here’s how to create the ruched ribbon garland:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 ½ – 3 inch ribbon (e.g., satin, burlap, mesh, etc.)
  • Bullion wire
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Wreath form

How-To Instructions

1. Holding the bullion wire in one hand, create a 1-inch loop with the other.
2. Wrap the bullion wire tightly around the base of the loop as close to the base as possible.
3. Wrap the wire around the loop, going around twice or 3 times.
4. Holding the loop with the ribbon extending behind it, make another loop as close to the original loop as possible. Wrap the bullion wire around tightly to secure.
5. Continue making a garland of loops in this manner until there is enough material to cover the top and sides of the wreath.
6. Add the ruched ribbon to the wreath frame, tying the sides with bullion wire, working around the wreath until the form is covered.
lime wreath, Laura Dowling wreaths
This technique is used with emerald green ribbon to create Dowling's Lime Wreath with Holly and Berries.
See the How-To

TIP: Work evenly and precisely for best effect. If done correctly, the underside of the garland will resemble a textured pattern.

laura dowling wreaths book

Excerpt from Wreaths: With How-To Tutorials by Laura Dowling (Stichting Kunstboak, 2018)

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