Creative Hacks Sustainable Living

What To Do With Those Little Ribbons You Cut Off Your Clothes

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!

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24 Comments

  1. Rachel says:

    This is awesome and you have so many great ideas! I never thought of recycling these!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Thank you Rachel! I’m glad to be able to share my ideas 🙂

  2. Wow! These are all so creative, I’d never considered how useful these things could be! Plus it’s so much better to reuse and recycle so there’s extra benefits to this!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Thanks Lauren! You’re right – that’s one thing I forgot to mention in my post – how much better it is for the environment to reuse and recycle things! Even small things like this can add up and make a difference 🙂

  3. I didn’t realize there were so many different things we could use these ribbons. I normally just took them off and threw them away. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I think most people do the same! They are surprisingly useful though 🙂

  4. Mashibaby says:

    These are excellent ideas!! I never thought about using these ribbons at all!!!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Glad you like the ideas! I’d love to know if you end up trying any of them out 🙂

  5. These are such good ideas! I always just throw them away but if thats one more thing I can stop throwing away then thats perfect <3 x

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I’m so glad you liked my ideas 🙂 Good to know that more ribbons will be saved from going to waste! <3 x

  6. Ooohhh!! You’re such a crafty person !! ♥️ I am too but I NEVER would’ve thought to do this with these little extra strings and ribbons! Brilliant ideas!! Great post !!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I just really like finding ways to use things that would otherwise be thrown away! I’m glad you liked my ideas! 🙂

  7. Love these ideas! They are all so cute!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Thank you Rachel, glad you liked them!

  8. Honesty I always just threw mine away if I decided to cut them out. Some of them I leave because it makes it easier to hang certain articles of clothing up

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I think most people probably would just throw them away, but I like finding ways to re-use things! I leave some of them in the clothes too, especially on skirts and dresses, but for tops and jumpers I never use them to hang them up – even if it would make them stay on the hanger better!

  9. Fab ideas. I always take mine to school for crafting. I’ve shared on Twitter.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      That’s a great idea! Once I gave a load to a lady who was running a crafting event, as I had built up way too many to use myself! Thanks for the share 🙂

  10. Really good ideas, thanks for putting this together!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you liked my ideas!

  11. Candace Burns says:

    My favorite headband was made of metal. It started ripping hair out of my head when I took it off. So I wrapped the band’s in these ribbons that I always cut off and save.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      That’s such a good idea, I would never have thought of that!

  12. Pearl says:

    Love my container of multi coloured ribbons! Great for attaching labels to parcel, platting the longer ones together for bookmarks, decorating hair grips/slides for children’s hair decorations. The list goes on.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Those are amazing ideas, I hadn’t thought of plaiting them together, or decorating hair slides! Thanks for sharing.

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