You know the ribbons I’m talking about. The ones that are sewn inside the shoulders of your tops, cardigans and jumpers, and in the waistband of skirts. They are meant to help your clothes stay on the hanger, and take the weight of the garment to save the fabric from stretching. But I’d be interested to know if there is anyone who doesn’t cut these ribbons off! If I wear a garment with them left in, they invariably end up sticking out from the neckline or under my arms. This can look silly!
The only clothing items that I sometimes leave them on are skirts, because it really does make them easier to hang up without creasing. Also, the ribbons are unlikely to poke out when I am wearing them. I would also leave them on strapless dresses, as there is no other easy way to hang them up!
If you cut these ribbons off like I do, what do you do with them? Toss them in the bin? I save them up in a container because I have discovered various uses for them which I will share below:
Uses for your ribbons:
- Use them as page markers in notebooks and diaries. Most diaries come with a ribbon attached into the spine, which is used to mark the page. But in the past, I have had a few diaries that didn’t come with a ribbon. I picked out a clothes-ribbon that matched the colour of the diary, and super-glued it inside the spine. DIY page marker, sorted!
- Use them to hang up your towels. Sew a ribbon onto the edge or corner of your towel in a loop, to make it much easier to hang up on a hook without constantly falling on the floor.
- Use them for colour coding items such as keys and cables. Tie different coloured ribbons to different keys for easy identification. Tie cables of the same type into bundles, using ribbon. (You can also use washi tape to organise cables and chargers.)
- Crafts – there are many ways you could use ribbons for crafts – so be as creative as you like! In the past I have made greetings cards, and tied little ribbon bows onto them. You could also give your ribbons to children as I’m sure they will find something creative to do with them!
- Decorate gifts – the ribbons you cut of clothes are not normally long enough to wrap right around a gift, but you could make a dainty bow and stick it on top, or tie together the handles of a gift bag.
- Use them to fix broken spiral bound notebooks. This is quite a unique scenario! I have a notebook that was originally spiral bound, and the pages kept coming loose of the binding. Eventually, the binding fell off completely. I got several ribbons and used a thick needle to thread them through the binding holes. I tied them at regular intervals along the length of the notebook.
- Use them to extend zip pulls. Sometimes bags have a really small zip pull, and once I had a bag where the zip pull broke off entirely. You can attach a ribbon to make it more tactile and easier to use. You could even thread some beads on to the ribbon to make a decorative, custom zip pull. This tip might also be useful on children’s coats, to make it easier for the children to grab the zip and zip it up themselves.
- Tie them to your suitcase for easy identification. Having a coloured ribbon tied to one of the zips can make it much easier to spot your suitcase when you are collecting it after a flight. I have a bright orange shoelace tied to mine – but a ribbon would work just as well!
- Use them to tie plants to canes. If you grow indoor or outdoor plants, you’ll know that sometimes plants need tying to a cane to keep them upright. Clothes-ribbons are the perfect length for this. They may not last for very long outdoors but you can certainly use them indoors, and it can add a pretty touch to your houseplant display.
- Use them to hang up Christmas decorations. My family has several boxes of old baubles that we use year after year on our Christmas tree, but because they are so old, the threads keep breaking. Clothes-ribbons are much stronger so I use them to replace the old threads. You could also make your own Christmas decorations and hang them up with ribbons.
So, next time you cut the ribbons off a garment, perhaps you will think twice about throwing them away, and save them up instead! I’m sure there are an infinite number of ways to use these little pieces of ribbon. I’d love to know whether you usually keep them, and if you can think of any other uses for them that I haven’t thought of. Let me know in the comments!