Getting Crafty in the Kitchen – How to Curl Grosgrain Ribbon

I’m going old school today!

This very basic trick of “baking” grosgrain ribbon to curl it has been around forever, and I just love it! I love how simple it is, how fun it is, and how adorably cute it is! Below you’ll find my recipe for “baking” your ribbon. In my next post, you’ll find two great projects that use it!

Stay tuned!

Nikki, In Stitches

“Baking” Your Ribbon


  • Wooden dowels (These can be found at your local craft store, but they are 1 yard long. Cut them in half so they easily fit in your oven! You can use whatever is in stock…from 1/4″ up to 1/2″.)
  • Bowl of water
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Clothes pins
  • Spray starch
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cookie sheet (Use an old one…you’re probably not going to want to eat off of it after this!)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Soak ribbon and clothes pins in a bowl of water until they are completely saturated. (I leave the ribbon uncut. Just unravel the whole spool and toss it in the bowl!)
  3. Use a clothes pin to attach your ribbon to one end of a wooden dowel. Wrap ribbon around the dowel like a spiral from one end all the way to the other. Cut ribbon with scissors and secure the end in place, again using a clothes pin.
  4. Give your dowel a really good spray of starch.
  5. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place dowels on sheet and bake for 20 minutes. (I bake a “batch” of dowels at a time…usually 10 dowels on a cookie sheet!)
  6. Let dowels cool and with a simple twist, remove ribbon from them. (You’ll be left with one very long curlicue!)
  7. Cut long curlicue into short ones, each measuring about 4″.

Don’t forget to check back soon to see what I’m going to make with these adorable curlicues!

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49 Responses to Getting Crafty in the Kitchen – How to Curl Grosgrain Ribbon

  1. Nikki I LOVE this idea! Thank you for sharing your secret! xoxo

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks, Carla! It’s something I remember my mom doing, and couldn’t wait to try for myself. It’s so fun and couldn’t be easier! Like I said…stay tuned for next week when I post some super cute Valentine’s Day projects that incorporate my curlicues!! XOXO

  2. Stefani {La Belle Parties} says:

    I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing. <3

  3. Nikki, I love this!! I always wondered how those cute hair bows had ribbons that are curled so perfect! I’m assuming this is how…definitely going to try this! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Nikki says:

      Yay, Lindsay!! I’m so happy you like it! Stay tuned for next week…I may or may not have a few tips for making those hair bows in the works!! 😉

  4. Sandra says:

    Cutie patooties!

  5. Wow, what a clever technique!

  6. Michelle says:

    I’ve never heard of this trick either! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Nikki says:

    My pleasure, girls! Send pics of what you make with all of your curlicues!! XOXO

  8. Kristina says:

    I have to do this!

  9. Tracy says:

    i used to make all mu daughters hair bows using this technique.

  10. Always wondered how you kept the curl in these ribbons. My grandaughter got hers wet from the rain so now I can reform them. Thanks so much!

  11. Carolin H says:

    Cute wreath! Any idea how to make it weather resistant so I could put a wreath like this on my front door which is undercover?

    • Nikki says:

      Carolin…great question!
      I don’t think there is a way to make completely weather resistant. I certainly wouldn’t put it somewhere that rain will hit it. I think it might make it through a bit of humidity, but not much. Maybe “twice bake” them? Give them one shot of starch, bake them, and let them cool. Then hit them again with the starch and another trip to the oven. Let me know if that works!

  12. lilly says:

    Hi Nikki,
    I always wondered how this was done. Thank you for sharing. I have 6 granddauaghters and this will be very helpful. Thanks again.

  13. Dalicat says:

    Hi – can’t wait to try this! Just checking, though… is your 250 degrees in Fahrenheit or Celcius? I don’t want to end up with charred remains if I guess wrong 😉

  14. Audrey says:

    Hi Nikki. I came across your site and I love, love it. I like your approach to curling the ribbon, but I was in one of the craft stores the other day and I saw for sale a Ribbon Curler. I think your method will give a stiffer, stronger hold then the curler and also if you are on a budget, it’s more affordable and you can do a lot more. What are your thoughts regading the Ribbon Curler?

    • Nikki says:

      First, thank you! I’m so happy you’re here!
      And second…tell me more about this ribbon curler! Does it heat it up somehow? I just looked around online and found something that looks like a curling iron for your hair…is that what you saw?
      I think that the spray starch definitely helps keep it ribbon stiffer. My wreath is going on 10 months old, and the curls are just as tight now as they were when I made it.
      Plus, I wrap an entire sheet of dowels and bake them all at once. Sometimes up to 10 at a time! This helps me curl a lot of ribbon really fast!

  15. Merilee says:

    What size dow rod do you use?

    • Nikki says:

      I like a tight curl, so I use either 1/4″ or 3/8″.
      You can go up to 1/2″, but I wouldn’t go any bigger than that!

  16. Jenn says:

    Love your idea!!!!!!…I’m not crafty at all but, I’m considering tackling this wreath. Wanted to know about the ribbon..any kind of ribbon will do?

    • Nikki says:

      Jenn, you can do it!!
      I’ve always used grosgrain ribbon. It’s easy to find and often on sale. Plus, it comes in a huge variety of colors and prints.
      Let me know how it goes!

  17. Kaye Catral says:

    Hi Nikki!

    I stumbled upon your blog after searching for a “How-to” on curling Grosgrain ribbons. I was wondering if this technique will work with a toaster oven (not a bread toaster but those small ones that open in front)? Or will I end up burning my ribbons? I live in a small apartment and have yet to get a counter-top electric oven.

    Bloghoppin’ from the Philippines 😉

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Kaye! And welcome!
      I think you should be ok! I’m pretty sure you can regulate the temperature of a toaster oven just the same as with a regular oven, right?
      You won’t be able to do as many at one time, since the toaster oven is smaller, but other than that, I think you’ll be fine!
      Keep me posted!!

  18. Amanda says:

    I just came across your posting for how to curl ribbon its wonderful!!! I bought a curling iron for ribbon and have to saw was disappointed and I will be taking it back! It does not give a very tight curl and wont curl some ribbons even though it says it will curl them all. I did it your way and it was great and super easy!! Thank you!!!

  19. marie says:

    j’adore, je vais faire ça tout à l’heure

  20. Dina says:

    hi there..
    i was just wondering, can i use my regular oven to do it? or is like polymer clay where u cant use the oven once you’ve baked polymer clay in it.. Can i use my oven for baking cakes after i’ve used it to bake the ribbons? thank you so much for your answer in advance! =)

    • Nikki says:

      I do! Now that you bring it up, I guess if you had a separate oven for clay, that might be a better choice, but I just used the one in my kitchen!

  21. Becky says:

    What about using fabric stiffener, rather than spray starch? Our groomer wants me to make bows for her clients, and I thought I could just soak the ribbon in fabric stiffener and wrap it around the dowels.

  22. Dolly says:

    Where can I buy ribbon wholesale— from
    Places you know that sell what they advertise—
    How about little flowers?? Is there one place that
    Sells any needed and/or decorative items—- thank you
    Wonderful to have someone to answer questions

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Dolly!
      I’ve never bought ribbon wholesale online. I’m always very afraid that I won’t like the quality when it arrives, especially considering you have to buy so much to get wholesale prices. I would definitely suggest requesting a sample first, which move companies are happy to do.
      You can also now purchase items in bulk from most craft stores if you ask. The prices aren’t quite as good as “wholesale” but they are at least better than retail!

  23. Heather says:

    Hi, please could you advise if I could use this technique to make fascinator loops & if so, would I make the loops first and then spray with starch? Also, is the spray starch ok in the oven as I read somewhere that it’s highly flammable and I’ve got a gas oven? Thanks

    • Nikki says:

      Heather, I’m not sure what exactly you mean by fascinator loops, but if they are similar to this, I think you would be fine.
      If you’re concerned about them in your oven WITH the starch on them, I know some people bake them with nothing first…then spray them a bit when they remove them from the oven (still on the dowels!) and let it dry. Then remove them from the dowels. This way the starch is never in your oven, and most people say the curls stay just as well!

  24. Angela Williams says:

    Hi Nikki,

    Thanks for the idea, I love this wreath. Are you cutting the 4 inch ribbon strips with the ribbon stretched out or curled up?

    • Nikki says:

      Angela, I cut it curled but don’t worry about too exact! You can always give your wreath a “haircut” afterwards!

  25. Tylstenie says:

    Having never used starch I am afraid I will sound really stupid but could you not just soak in a homemade starch instead of water and skip a step? Also homemade corn starch is made with corn starch which is used in baking so therefore goes in oven so I should think this is safe .

  26. Katherine Ala says:

    This is just what I was looking for. I am decorating my son’s wedding. I want to hang ribbons from paper lanterns from the chandeliers. Since there are two chandeliers and twelve small paper lanterns I am wondering how many of these I would need to make. I still have time since the wedding isn’t until October but I have LOTS to do besides. Do you have any suggestions? Thanking you in advance.

  27. Valerie says:

    I just KNEW I would find something on Pinterest about this. THANK YOU for not disappointing! 🙂
    Time to go curl some grosgrain!

  28. I am very enjoyed for this site. It’s very informative topic. I think it may be assist all of you. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I appreciate it very much!

  29. Maria T Ryan says:

    I am embroidering a Jellyfish Girl with ribbons. The ribbons are curled and I was wondering how to curl them. This is going to be a gift for a little girl.
    My question is once washed it will lose it’s curls. How to get the curls back?
    Thank you.

  30. bev j granone says:

    I wonder if this would work with denim fabric.? im trying to make frayed denim curl

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