Becca Bit: Frugal Custom Ribbon

I procrastinated custom coloring my own seam binding until I realized, I could do it my frugal way and have a custom color, ready to go on a card in about 5 minutes.    Oh, the best thing about it was that I used what I already have, in fact, I used some of the things in my studio that have been begging for me to justify their original purchase.    You know how that goes, lol!!  In fact, I can’t think of a more frugal way to expand your ribbon collection without having to run to the store!

When seam binding hit the scene and people were custom coloring it with various dyes I thought, that’s not for me.   Oh yes, I had the basic seam binding colors because it’s inexpensive and lasts forever, but banish the thought of making my own.  I don’t like to get stains on my fingers plus I’m a tad impatient – waiting all night for it to dry was not for me.  Plus I thought, don’t I have enough ribbon colors? (note I said colors, not ribbon, lol!)  That’s the dialogue that played through my head until one day I did need a custom color.  Oh my, it was like pulling teeth.  Well, there’s no turning back now.

So take a peek and see why I’ve become such a fan of custom colored seam binding – you won’t believe how easy it is.  So many of you have had questions about this and what it is, so I took a break to whip up a video for you.  (By the way, the rose colored piece of ribbon on the right side in the picture above is the piece I dyed in the video.  Youtube and my video camera just don’t catch the vibrant color but you can see it here.  It’s one of my favorite colors!)

Thanks for peeking in today!!

  • Tami FJune 18, 2011 - 5:22 pm

    Hi Becca,

    I keep a roll of the rayon seam binding on my desk and whenever I use glimmer mist or maya mist on a project, I use a yard of the seam binding to clean up the mess afterwards. I get my seam binding a bit damp then use it like a rag. Love the soft color it gives!


  • sandygailJune 18, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    I was just thinking about doing this. Thanks for making this video and sharing with us.ReplyCancel

  • Terri SJune 18, 2011 - 5:37 pm

    Wonderful bit, Becca! I found a lot of seam binding in my MIL’s things when she passed, so this looks like a nice way to color it. I’m with you…not a lot of mess and bother and this bit makes it easy! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • ~Maz~June 18, 2011 - 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the video tutorial Becca.
    I haven’t as yet used the seam binding but it is on my wish list.
    I wonder what it would look like two tone…say pink and blue. it has so many possibilities. Maybe a rainbow effect.
    Hugs MazReplyCancel

  • Linda LJune 18, 2011 - 5:56 pm

    Love to colour mine too…even less mess if you put it all in a resealable bag and squish it all around…and no messy fingers! xLReplyCancel

  • Francie (Montreal)June 18, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    That’s very cool bit. I must see if I can find that seam binding here in the frozen north land. I really liked your little iron too. Funny isn’t it. I have no problem getting out the big iron for card ribbon. But when it comes to ironing the laundry, it just seems like such hard work. LOL. Thanks for sharing this info with us. Much appreciated.ReplyCancel

  • Mary H.June 18, 2011 - 6:20 pm

    Am LOVING these tutorials. Thanks so much for the time you spend making them. The instructions are so clear this way. Have a great weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Amy HadleyJune 18, 2011 - 6:20 pm

    Great video! Glad you made it over to the dark side with those of us who custom color…bwahahaha!!!

    I also like to color mine with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. I put the ribbon in a large zip lock, spritz the mist where I want it, close up the bag (don’t worry about sealing it) and scrunch it all up. Then I let it dry on its own or dry it with a blow dryer if I need it ASAP. The fun thing about this is that you get the glitter from the glimmer mist AND there’s no using your hands!ReplyCancel

  • Alisa Orford-RobertsJune 18, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Hi Becca,

    I love your projects. I’m impressed with the ribbon dyeing and I’m going to try it. I’m also impressed with your little iron. Would you mind telling me where you purchased it. I’m in Australia.
    Thanks DMBMReplyCancel

  • LoisJune 18, 2011 - 6:37 pm

    Thanks for showing us how to color ribbons. I would not have thought of that. Also liked the iron.ReplyCancel

  • VioletJune 18, 2011 - 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial. Not sure we can buy that seam binding in Canada or not but I’m now on the look-out for it!ReplyCancel

  • SallyJune 18, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    great tutorial Becca, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this seam binding. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Elaine AllenJune 18, 2011 - 6:44 pm

    Becca –

    I just finished having the biggest laugh. When I started watching the video and you brought out the tintz, I looked at them and said, hmmm. I turned around and looked on my messy table where I keep all my re-inkers and sure enough, I had 4 bottles of the same stuff you had in probably the same shades! Like you, I bought them ages ago (like years) on clearance and have never used them! So your video was most opportune and I had a wonderful giggle. Although I think my husband thought I was losing my mind – LOL!
    So thank you for another wonderful video. And to think I have everything I need for once – LOL!

    Elaine AllenReplyCancel

  • pat p.June 18, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    Another great Becca Bit. I love these Bits. More more..they are so quick and so full of instructions that are simple and clear and easy. That’s for me..easy.
    I always get confused by things that are your bits are the greatest.

    thanks Becca a lot


  • Marilyn BeaumontJune 18, 2011 - 7:17 pm

    That was such a helpful video Becca. I am constantly reminding myself that I do not need to buy every little thing that catches my eye. This was a great lesson!ReplyCancel

  • Patty PriceJune 18, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Fantastic idea!ReplyCancel

  • DebbieKJune 18, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    Becca, you are sooooo talented. It takes my breathe away with what you all create and thank you so much for your WONDERFUL tutorials!
    – DebbieKReplyCancel

  • Edna BurgessJune 18, 2011 - 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the ribbon dying video. Something else to try. EdnaReplyCancel

  • Millie SpeckJune 18, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    Becca, you are sooooooo smart/talented/thrifty. I love it. I am always looking for ways to make something do instead of whatever. Especially, if it means having to run to town. I make my own snowy stuff, my own glue dots, etc. But this is so beautiful. Wonder if Michaels or Joannes carry this tape. Does anyone know?ReplyCancel

  • RebekkaJune 18, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    Another great video Becca. I understand things so much better when I can see it done. I do not own seam binding, and my girlfriend just gave me some to try, so this came in handy :).ReplyCancel

  • Barb GhigliottyJune 18, 2011 - 8:02 pm

    Thanks so much for the great idea and for showing us how easy this is ~ I’m really loving the variation in the shades of the ribbon at the end! Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie AldersonJune 18, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    Very cool, Becca! I love your handy dandy iron too!ReplyCancel

  • BrendaJune 18, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    You are such a sweet lady to share all your hints and tricks with others.
    Thank you for keeping me inspired. God bless you.ReplyCancel

  • Charlene BaileyJune 18, 2011 - 8:37 pm

    Great video. It is such a good idea. With all the ribbon that I have, there are many times that I still don’t have just the right color. This will be perfect. Thanks so much.ReplyCancel

  • Pat JandacekJune 18, 2011 - 8:41 pm

    oh, Becca, I love it when instructions are so technical, lol! It does turn out a beautiful rose color. I would never have imagined that the seam binding would absorb the color as it does. Thanks again for all you do.ReplyCancel

  • LaurenJune 18, 2011 - 8:41 pm

    THANK YOU FOR THE ANSWER to my question. I sort of figured it out, but wanted what I do to look as beautiful as yours……..
    As usual you are beautiful and a wonderful teacher.

  • Becky ThomasJune 18, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    Hello, Becca.

    Ribbon is such a nice touch and I had not thought that you could make one all by yourself. Your video was very helpful and I would like to try this some time.

    Your page is always so nice and your projects so lovely. Thanks for all your sharing.


  • Ann Marie GovernaleJune 18, 2011 - 8:57 pm

    Got his on EBAY. Great tutorial. I just bought the Tim Holtz distress STAINS and they look just like the bottle you had- now I know what else I can use them for! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • DebraKJune 18, 2011 - 9:05 pm

    Nice idea, I’ve heard a flat iron (for hair) is also good for straightening ribbon, and I suppose a curling iron would work also. I like the idea of dou-colors like someone suggested. Great ideas you have, Ms. Becca…ReplyCancel

  • Valerie MartinJune 18, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Oh WOW Becca!!! I just happen to have cream and white Seam Binding from my old sewing days…I happen to have several Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays…I happen to have several Homemade “glimmery mist”…I have a craft sheet…I EVEN have that Ribbon Iron…How about that…I have everything to do this myself…How AWESOME is that??? That usually doesn’t happen like that for me. I do like the way the 1st commenter mentioned that she used it like a “MOP” to clean her “spray messes” I guess that is kinda what you are doing.
    10,000 Blessings,
    Valerie MartinReplyCancel

  • DebraJune 18, 2011 - 9:54 pm

    Wow, thanks for doing this video..I was much like yourself and never wanted to try this. I have looked at seam binding a few times in Walmart or the fabric store but didn’t think it was for me and left it there. I’ll buy some and try it.. I have reinkers too so it should work. Thanks for the great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Denise TrottierJune 18, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    Thank you so much, Becca, for the tip…I think it’s a great idea…saves on space and having to buy loads of ribbon of different colors…will definitely try this and then everything will match…hugs…
    Denise TrottierReplyCancel

  • KathyNJune 18, 2011 - 10:51 pm

    Thank you Becca! You make me laugh – I recently bought some of that white Hug Snug seaming binding and have been trying to color it. Thank you for the tips on how you have been doing it. I’ll try this. I was using Copics – re-inkers and dropping in drops in a plastic bag and scrunching it, but not happy with how it was turning out. Comes out dull looking, the shiny look of the seam binding seems to go away with how I was doing it. I’ll try the technique you used, but will try Distress reinkers I have. Thank you again!!ReplyCancel

  • kendellJune 19, 2011 - 12:13 am

    Thank you Becca. You make it look so easy. I hope I can find time to try this. Kindest regards kendellReplyCancel

  • Peggy DollarJune 19, 2011 - 12:27 am

    Thank you Thank you for your wonderful Becca Bits! I was wondering if you have ever put pictures of your workspace on your site. I would love to see where you create and how you organize.ReplyCancel

  • bribrie51June 19, 2011 - 1:23 am

    Merci tout plein pour ces explications.ReplyCancel

  • SusanJune 19, 2011 - 1:39 am

    Obviously what you call seam binding in the U.S. is quite different than we have in Canada!
    As someone else mentioned, putting it in a ziploc bag works great and you don’t colour your fingers.
    Thanks for another great Becca Bit!ReplyCancel

  • AndreaAJune 19, 2011 - 1:45 am

    Wow Becca, That was really neat to watch. I am going to try this. I have lots of trimming that use to be my MIL’s and never really knew how to change the color because like you I don’t like get my finger’s all stained from dye. Thank you for such a great idea.

    P.S. I even have trim that was my Grandma’s. great idea!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mrs FrizzJune 19, 2011 - 3:37 am

    oh wow … have to say … loving this idea.ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - UKJune 19, 2011 - 4:38 am

    Than you for the great video Becca….now we will never be short of the colour of ribbon we need!

    Love Sheila xxReplyCancel

  • PamJune 19, 2011 - 5:39 am

    I just discovered you and have been devouring your lucious and gorgeous pages for literally the last 24 hours (except when I’m sleeping, of course!). Your work is some of the best I’ve seen in this wonderful world of papercraft. Have also taken advantage of several of your tutorials. I will definitely be a beneficiary of your awesome gifts and talents! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • JessicaJune 19, 2011 - 6:25 am

    Hey Becca, Thanks so much for this bit! I’ve often wondered if the little irons are worth the expense. I don’t have any kind, but it’s nice to know the hair iron will work too. So I’ll keep an eye open for one on sale.It might be a good use of a 50% off coupon too. I really appreciate the time you put into your videos. You teach well.
    Thanks again, JessicaReplyCancel

  • MaryAnneJune 19, 2011 - 6:41 am

    I recently ordered this rayon seam binding in white and ivory…..have only used it “as is”, but now will definately start dying. Thanks for the info to do this project.

  • EileenJune 19, 2011 - 6:44 am

    Yet again, another great Becca Bit! Your way was good and so is the ziplock bag a good way of doing it too…….so easy!
    LOL EileenReplyCancel

  • mamajulieJune 19, 2011 - 7:03 am

    I am loving everything about your new focus on tutorials. I’m one of the folks who voted for more tutorials and boy, have you followed through. Your cards are so beautiful, but sometimes daunting for the rest of us. Breaking it down like this into steps makes it seem more possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Becky GreenJune 19, 2011 - 8:26 am

    OH BECCA!!!!!!!!! This is SUPER!!!!!!!!! I too, have thought, “not me!” YOU have CONVINCED me otherwise on dyeing ribbon!!!!!!!!! I LOVE this!!!!!!!!!! ALL of your little tips on here a FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just think of all the people you are turning into wonderful card makers with your SUPER TIPS !!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU BECCA!!!!!!!!!!! :) WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Diana BJune 19, 2011 - 9:24 am

    Oh – I have a couple of spools of that ribbon – but have not gotten up the nerve to try to dye myself – I have bought some instead – oh silly me. So – I see it is pretty easy – will have to give it a go.ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte ZweigoronJune 19, 2011 - 1:33 pm

    I am thoroughly enjoying all these tips. My frugal tip has to do with all the little Stickles, Distress Stickles and, yes, even my 20 year old Scribbles that I am still using. I found an old two-level, spinning spice rack at the thrift store for 25 cents. It was harvest gold so that should tell you something about its age!

    Originally, it was to be used when I am working on miniatures because it put my project at a height where I didn’t have to bend over my crafting table and I could turn it to get at my project from different angles. All that changed when I started paper crafting in earnest!

    I keep a supply of packaging styrofoam we have gotten with items we have purchased over the last few years…just in case I’d need it some day. I pieced together several “slices” about 1 inch thick to fit the bottom of my spinning rack and, after making the appropriate sized holes (larger hole with small hole at the bottom to fit caps properly), I glued the puzzle-like pieces to the bottom shelf on the rack. (you cannot cut one to fit the whole circle and get it in… the support posts get in the way and the one from the thrift store had screws that were so rusted I could not take the posts off.) You can only use the outside edge of the circle very effectively. I use the interior of the circle for the most seldom used items and just have them tossed in… no special holes.

    I kept my Crystal Light oval-shaped packaging, cut them in half and glued them to the top shelf where I keep scissors, x-acto knife, homemade glimmer mists, pen, pencil, small ruler, tweezers, etc. I have one sturdy little box (from a gift) glued on that holds all my little bottles of alcohol inks. There are lots of different sized containers you can fit on the top. I used some pieces of TP paper tubes to keep round bottles of glue in place. Squeeze them all together, glue them to each other and the shelf and you will have so many things right at hand all the time.

    Now I have the perfect place to keep those little bottles & frequently used tools that used to clutter up my work space. All I have to do is give it a turn to see everything I have and stick it right back in its spot when I am done.ReplyCancel

  • sandi ackermanJune 19, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    That was fun. Being creative to create on the items for the cards, scrapbooks etc, is almost as much fun as doing the items themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy ClickJune 19, 2011 - 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much for showing how to color seam binding. I have alot of inks and I can go crazy with any color I want. It looked so scary, but you showed the simplicity of it all. (I do that with alot of things, and have to remind myself, I can experiment and make mistakes!! And there are no rules to art) Love it.ReplyCancel

  • Marge (mer)June 19, 2011 - 10:59 pm

    Great video, Becca! I too LOVE to color my seam binding and usually use Copic markers — simply dab some on the inside of a baggie (I like the snack sized ones) and then I spritz with Colorless Blender and seal it up and squish it all around to coat it well. If it’s not dark enough, I use a bit more color until I LOVE it. It too dries lighter and you can definitely do more than one shade, if you like. SOOO fun to play with and the Snug Hug rayon wrinkles sooo easily/beautifully. Because I’m using the alcohol-based markers, it dries very quickly too!!! A little extra bonus!!! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • debraJune 20, 2011 - 8:35 am

    Beautiful! I’ve also wondered how to create that type of ribbon without getting a mess on my hands! We could always wear gloves, but why bother with them when this is so easy. As always, thanks for product and process information.ReplyCancel

  • LyndaJune 20, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    Becca, thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I’ve always wondered how easy/hard it would be to do custom colors, and now I know it is a snap!ReplyCancel

  • Gloria WestermanJune 21, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial……I knew your ribbon was a lot prettier than some I’ve seen….and also yours is a lot less expensive….thank you so much….I will have to try this….ReplyCancel

  • KelleyJuly 4, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    I love coloring my seam binding. I put ink from my Distress Reinker, some Perfect Pearls and water into a mini mister. I can mix any colors together and match anything. I love the look of multiple colors on the ribbon, too.ReplyCancel