DIYdiy projects

DIY Ribbon Border Boxes

by Grace Bonney

Photos by Maxwell Tielman.

After a day of gushing about borders, it seems right to bring my obsession to a close with a little ribbon-trim DIY project. I always seem to have ribbon around the office, so I decided to solve two problems with one project: Ribbon-Trimmed Organizing Boxes. I really need to get my corner of the office desk in check (sorry, Max and Amy), so I decided to pick up a few inexpensive boxes to organize my desktop accessories, clippings and styling pieces. Rather than painting or applying patterned paper like I normally do, I decided to use ribbons to create decorative borders and shapes and finished them off with metal pins. I love the end result so much that I’m destined to be at least slightly more organized; these are just too cute to put away on the shelf. Whether you’ve got some old pillowcases, storage containers or curtains that need sprucing up, this idea would work for just about any room. Just switch up the ribbon style or trim type (pom pom garland anyone?), and you’ve got a totally different look. And if you want to apply this ribbon to fabric rather than paper/cardboard, just cut Stitch Witchery to size and you can easily iron on these ribbons for a more permanent design. xo, grace

*P.S.: This is a great way to spruce up old lampshades. If your living room or bedside table needs a little winter update, try adding some fun ribbon to the top and bottom for a spot of color.

The full how-to continues after the jump . . .


  • ribbon (I used grosgrain and velvet from M&J Trimming and Michael’s.)
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • tacks, short nails or brads
  • hammer
  • fabric glue
  • boxes (I used super cheap boxes from Michael’s, two of which I painted a neutral gray/taupe color.)
  • optional: foam, wire cutters



1. Clean each box top, and using your pencil and ruler, sketch out the line shape you’d like your ribbons to follow. (I used Pinterest and standard Google image searches to look for ribbon border patterns I liked.)

2. Measure the lengths and cut your ribbon segments to size.

3. Using a nail and hammer, gently tap holes into the spots where you’ll be attaching your ribbons to the box.

4. Using small dots of fabric glue, lay out the ribbons in your desired pattern, press gently and let them dry.

5. Using your pins/brads/tacks/nails, tap them into the box. I felt the nail hole through the ribbon and then with one swift hit, nailed them into place.

6. If you’re using nails, you can use a wire cutter to snip the ends off the nails on the underside of the box top. Or, if you’re like me and don’t want to snip them all, you can cut a piece of foam to size and glue it into place so nothing inside the box gets poked by the tack ends.

Enjoy your pretty new storage!

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  • This is such a cute idea! I love the borders! They spice up any cork board or photo hanger! I looking for a corkboard/ photo hanger to put pictures and this is a great tip to help tie my room’s colors together. It looks quick and easy, but tasteful. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to do this without help from anyone else. I also like how it doesn’t just need to be on a photo hanger, but I can decorate some boxes that are lying around my room too. Thanks!

  • you’ve told us how to make it, to be honest it’s easier to me to make your art project. when I see the picture first. I thought that “oh maybe I can make it” and look due to of you I’ve make it easier. thank you so much for the tutorial :))

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