Four ways to cheat a custom, decorator’s look without hiring a decorator.

Laurey W. Glenn

Decorators spend a lot of time and money selecting trims for workrooms to sew on pillows and curtains that will complement various colors and patterns peppered throughout the room. However, don’t be intimidated – ribbon-decorating ideas are some of the simplest ways to upgrade your interiors. Get inspired by spending some time on Samuel and Sons website to get a sense of their trims and then head to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to find similar looks from their ribbon aisles. Grosgrain ribbon and twill upholstery tape are the easiest ribbons to work with because they are thicker than satin and silk ribbons. For pillows, cushions, and curtains, head to HomeGoods, Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond, and TJ Maxx to stock up on basics.

Box Out Your Pillows

Define the shape of your sofa pillow or bed sham by using ribbon to create a square that borders about 2 to 3 inches from the pillow’s edges. Work with ribbon that’s 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Make sure to take the insert out of the pillow while you’re working and place a piece of cardboard inside the pillow so the glue won’t leak from the front of the pillow to the back of the pillow. If you’re working with a patterned pillow, take the pillow with you to the fabric store to make sure you match the ribbon color with a shade that’s in the print.

Line Your Lampshades

A thin satin ribbon or cording glued to the top of your lampshades bottom pleat gives it enough oomph that guests will assume you’ve hired a decorator. When you’re gluing, make sure to start and stop at the back of the lampshade that’s the most hidden from view.

Gimp Your Walls

Every decorator’s favorite trick and the easiest thing to do. Use a thin .5 inch ribbon and glue it directly to the wall all along the top of the base boards following up and over the door surrounds and right below the crown molding to give your room a little extra something. This works on both painted walls, fabric covered walls, and wallpapered walls. You can also add small nail heads evenly spaced apart to your gimp for a more masculine tailored touch.

Edge Plain Curtains

Glue a thick, 2 to 2.5 inch ribbon trim along the inside edge and hems of curtain panels. Be sure to make them as symmetrical as possible since the curtains will be pulled together. Take the same approach with shower curtains and bedskirts.

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Editor’s Tip

Before you glue a single piece of ribbon to your fabric, do a test glue first to make sure that the glue dries clear and does not harden. Specific glues depend on what your project, but we recommend using StitchFix or a Fabric Glue and try and use as little as possible.