Plaid Ribbon from an Upcycled Shirt

Plaid Ribbon from an Upcycled Shirt

When you can’t find the craft product you need (or are dreaming of), you sometimes have to make your own. And that’s what happened when I was working on an harvest wreath and I couldn’t find any plaid ribbon. So, I started to mull over the idea of making my own wired ribbon with an upcycled shirt.

Because in my mind, I envisioned some plaid ribbon in a harvest orange color, with a small plaid design. But It didn’t seem to exist at the craft store! But this men’s shirt was perfect for my upcycling idea.

Thrift store clothing for repurposing projects

I ended up buying two shirts because I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.

My husband took a liking to the blue one (it WAS his size, after all), so I decided to make the plaid ribbon of my dreams from the orange shirt! 

Recycling a mens shirt for craft projects

Which means I’m actually crafting with a NON-FLANNEL shirt for a change!

Flannel craft ideas and projects

Who knew that was even possible? Ha! But, I’ve digressed too much- let’s get to it!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Making the Plaid Ribbon from an Upcycled Shirt

To make the plaid ribbon I wanted for my autumn wreath, I needed to cut the thrift store shirt into strips of fabric.

I used my fabric-only scissors and cut out all the large/long blocks of fabric from the shirt that I could.

Plaid fabric from an upcycled shirt

Plaid shirts make it easy to cut the same width in order to match up the pattern.

Next, I pinned the strips of fabric end-to-end and stitched them together into one long, continuous piece of plaid ribbon.

DIY ribbon by repurposing a mens shirt

Then, I was presented with the real challenge or making wired ribbon by adding the wire! But it was easier than I had feared.

I simply strung along some nicely-weighted jewelry wire as I hemmed the raw edges, making sure to keep the wire under the fold as I went along.

Adding wire to plaid ribbon from an upcycled shirt

And after carefully stitching in the wire, the plaid ribbon was done. I now had the DIY wired ribbon that I needed for a harvest wreath!

How to make wired ribbon for bow making

I watched some bow-making tutorials on YouTube before attempting to make a wreath bow from the wired ribbon. When all was said and done, I had a nice fat bow to attach to the harvest wreath.

Making a bow with plaid ribbon

Harvest Wreath for Autumn Decor

With the plaid ribbon having been converted into a bow, I turned to the actual wreath itself. I decided on a grapevine wreath, but I wanted to add just little shimmer here and there.

Metallic craft paint in Fall colors

So, I dabbed a little autumn “magic” on the dark grapevine using metallic craft paints in copper and gold using a stencil brush.

Painting a grapevine wreath with metallic craft paint

Next, I hot-glued a wheat stalk here and there in the bottom “corner” of my harvest wreath.

Harvest wreath with dried wheat

I also wanted to add some feathers to my autumn wreath, as well. BUT, the animal lover in me decided to forego feathers from a craft shop.

I can’t bear to think about how they are harvested.

Instead, I did a little research and found an Eco-farm in West Virginia that sells the naturally molted feathers from their variety of free-range chickens! Aren’t they so pretty??

Cruelty free feathers from Running Bug Farm

I’m just so excited that cruelty free feathers are available!

Bless his little heart, Cottonball was CONVINCED I bought the craft feathers for him and not my harvest wreath.

Humane feathers or cruelty free feathers for craft projects

After I added in the craft feathers, I attached my bow made from plaid ribbon to the wreath. Ready to see how it all came together?

Plaid Ribbon from an Upcycled Shirt

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! The plaid ribbon from an upcycled shirt was better than anything I saw at the craft store, that’s for sure.

Upcycling a shirt to make the plaid ribbon for autumn decorations

All in all, making the wired ribbon was definitely more complicated than buying some at the craft store. BUT, if I can do it, then anyone can.

And it opens up a world of possibility! Especially if you don’t have oodles of craft stores to choose from OR simply can’t find the perfect design.

Harvest wreath with a bow made from plaid ribbon

Speaking of plaid shirts and fall projects, my first book, “Crafting with Flannel” is now available! And there’s an entire chapter devoted to my favorite season.

fall leaf wreath from flannel shirts

And if you love the addition of feathers in this post, then you might also love how my blogging pal, Marianne, used feathers in her fall decorating plans, too!

decorating for fall with dried flowers and feathers

Photo source: Songbird Blog.

Craft on!


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How to make the wired ribbon from upcycled clothing

DIY wired ribbon by upcycling clothing

How to make wired ribbon for bows on wreaths

Website | + posts

Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Well, how smart and creative you are making your own wired ribbon. Cute wreath!

  2. Wow!! I never thought of making my own wire ribbon!! Your wreath looks great!

  3. Oh my! It had never occurred to me to make my own wire ribbon and I never seem to find the colors and size that I want. I will totally be hitting up the local thrift stores for shirts and copying this great idea. I also love the simple use of wheat, feathers and the texture of the grapevine. This allows each lovely piece to be appreciated individually and as a collection. Well done, as always. So happy to share this tour with you. Susie from Chelsea Project

  4. Holy cow! You are a genius. Making my own wire ribbon never occured to me. And you’ve made it look so easy. Plus I love the fact that you researched and used nicely harvested feathers. Not to mention that the wreath is simple and perfect. Thanks for sharing your knowledeg and for joining us on the fall ideas tour! ~ Angie

  5. Love the wreath and the cat!

  6. How so very, very clever!!!!….Great bow…love the fabric/shirt….such a most beautiful wreath!!!
    Happy to be partying with you today!…

  7. I really love it too. You amaze me Sarah. I think you can do just about anything. The wreath is perfect. I would never attempt to make my own wired ribbon although I know what you mean about what is available, ugh. Happy touring!

  8. christykjames says

    Oh my gosh, the DIYer in me LOVES that you made your own wired ribbon! How have I never thought to do that? SO clever and definitely the star of this beautiful wreath! XO

  9. Seriously girl, you just opened the door for us DIYers to finally have unique ribbon for our projects. I would have never thought to make my own wire ribbon and my mind is going back to so many projects where that would have been perfect. Once again, you blow me away with your creative talents! Love your wreath – pinning your wreath and thank you for the clever idea! P.S. Cottonball and my Rexy could be twins!

  10. I love plaid in fall and this is a great way to use plaid shirts in your fall decor. Love it!

  11. You are so clever to make your own wire ribbon! It’s so hard to find just the color or pattern of ribbon that I want and I’ve never thought about making it. And I have to say you have a gorgeous cat! 🙂

  12. love your wire ribbon and how your wreath looks! i think Cottonball is just the cutest!

  13. Thank you for noting the humanely harvested feathers!

  14. I love that wreath. The ribbon is a favorite,since I love anything plaid. You sure a talented lady.

  15. You are amazing. Seriously. I love all you do and this is just awesome!

  16. What a great idea!!


  17. How absolutely clever!! I just love the entire project and I’m so glad we got to be part of this fun tour together!

  18. Perfect timing for me! I was looking through my fall wreaths and they. had seen better days! Now you have my creative juices flowing now I’m excited to start this now! Thank you so much!

  19. Love this idea! Wired ribbon is so expensive. What a great alternative!

  20. So fun! What a great idea….love the wreath!

  21. BEAUTIFUL! Love the simplicity… so pretty!

  22. Love all your posts Sarah! Stumbled upon the pumpkin craft you just did before this and it got me looking through more of the stuff that you’ve done. So creative!!

  23. This is just beautiful! You are so frugal and have a phenomenal imagination.

  24. You are a girl after my own heart! I love to repurpose for fabric! The wreath is so pretty and love the plaid bow!! Pinning!

  25. Clever, clever, clever. Love your wreath and Cottonball is absolutely fabulous. #Catlover 🙂

  26. Sarah, I would never have thought to cut up an old shirt to make into a ribbon, but it is just as cute as can be!! Makes me want to run to my closet and cut up everything I own! Haha! Love the feathers and wheat combination too.

  27. Ok wow girl. I have used clothes for crafts before but never thought to make wire ribbon? This is so cool. Thank you for sharing this with us! Visiting today from Funtastic Friday

  28. This is way cool, and who cares about that first wreath! I’m just imagining all the possibilities with home-made wired ribbon!!

    Thanks for dropping by Throwback Thursday with your post this week! 🙂


  29. What a lovely wreath. I love that you used an old shirt for the bow. So clever! We’d love to have you share this at our weekly link party! Hope to see you there!

  30. Oh wow. Never knew you could do this. Thanks for joining us at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Shared.

  31. What a great idea! I have the same problem finding the perfect ribbon, so I usually don’t use one. Love it!

  32. Can you get anymore creative? Seriously? We never would have thought to make our own wired ribbon. It turned our great and your wreath is beautiful! Super fantastic idea!

  33. Very nice, Sarah. I appreciate that you appreciate flannel. And, I love the part about the cruelty free feathers.

  34. What an excellent idea. And a pretty wreath was made.

  35. I would never tell you to stop being awesome but, STOP IT! Everything you touch seriously becomes some magical stuff 😉 Thanks for sharing your handmade ribbon and wreath with us at Funtastic Friday!

  36. If any of my husband’s shirts go missing, it is all due to you! What an absolutely genius idea of making your own ribbon. I can’t wait to make some! Pinning and sharing!

  37. Hi Sarah, nice to meet you…visiting from Funky Junk Party. I too love working with flannel and also buy thrifted flannel items. Love the ribbon idea! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  38. A beautiful wreath!! And I love your helper too! LOL – Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  39. This is very pretty!! I love the way the colors blend so well together.

    Thank you for sharing this with us on the #HomeMattersParty. We hope you’ll come back again next Friday when we open our doors again at 12 AM EST.

  40. beth lee-shepard says

    Love the wreath! I also have made my own wired ribbon. I use heat-n-bond or stitch witchery and iron the edge. It is very fast doing it this way.

  41. I absolutely love how the bow is made from a thrift store shirt! It came out amazing!
    Thanks for sharing with us this week at the Merry Monday link party!
    We hope to see you again next week!
    Kate |

  42. What a beautiful wreath you created Sarah! It looks so wonderful and I never thought of making a bow out of a shirt. That is such an incredible idea! I am glad Cottonball liked your wreath as well! Have a wonderful week!

  43. Seriously, you are so inventive. I love that you made your own wired ribbon. The bow is just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  44. Wow… I would never have thought to make my own wired ribbon Sarah. This is fabulous!!
    Thanks for sharing on Shabbilcious Friday. I’m delighted to be featuring this project and yoru wreath at tomorrow’s party. Pinned it too!!
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  45. Oh this turned out so cute! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  46. I’m still mad for plaid this year and well check out the thrift store for shirts to make napkins with. Your wreath is beautiful and definitely one of a kind. Martha Stewart should be calling you for tips and ideas, this is amazing!!! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

  47. I love this! Your ribbon really gives a nice touch to the wreath.

  48. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Sarah that is one beautiful repurpose of a plaid shirt. You are a girl after my repurposied clothing heart! I cannot believe you made the wire ribbon, Truly you have outdone yourself this time. Of course having the cat as assistant doesn’t hurt either.

  49. This is the coolest. I can imagine so many different ribbons to make!

  50. Dear Sarah,
    this wreath is absolutely amazing! I’m in love with that stunning plaid bow! It’s such a marvelous idea. WOW!
    Have a nice week,

  51. When you can’t find what you want, sometimes its just better to quit and figure out a way to do it yourself. This is a terrific wreath. Congrats on the ribbon.

  52. Your wreath is so pretty! I hope you will share it with us at #thecraftycorner link party this week. Have a good day 🙂

  53. nikkifrankhamilton says

    Sadie, First off the wreath is gorgeous! Just enough fall without going over board. I would love to hang it on my door!

    Second, what a brilliant idea! I’ve been stuck when I couldn’t find the right ribbon, I usually end up settling. Now i won’t have too! The bow turned out perfect, and buying the shirt from the thrift saved you quite a bit of money, and you got a pattern you liked! Yeah!

    Third, I love those feathers! What a great resource, and the patterns and coloring is perfect!

    Love it!

  54. Me and my hubby have a lot of old shirt and this tutorial would be a perfect solution for them. In addition, the cat is so cute. Thanks so much for sharing!

  55. I just wanted to say hello and a great big Thank You! Crafting wise, I mainly create quilts and truly love working with the fabrics and creating each and every block that becomes a treasure that will help keep someone warm and know someone cares. Yet, in the past year or so, I have discovered the beauty of wreaths. My first attempts are far from beauties, but they are my beauties! I have bought loads of items at garage sales, second hand stores and the Dollar store. They are all fabulous hidden treasure hunts, you just have to search for the “gold”. Wired Ribbon is pretty expensive and being on a budget, I just could not figure out how to beat the system. Yet, you did! Thank You so much for sharing your superb discovery. With loads of fabric and floral wire (in a box at a garage sale loaded with artificial flowers and the wire for one dollar) and your example, I can now create Wire Ribbons galore! Thank You so much. I am definitely signing up to follow you!

  56. How creative making your own wire ribbon, and your bow it beautiful. Love the plaid! I am not a very good bow maker at all. Your wreath is gorgeous, love the dried sprigs, and the feathers. Looks like Cottonball loves feather as well. LOL


  58. WOW! What a gorgeous wreath, and a fabulous idea! I often think a piece of wired ribbon would be really useful for a project, but where we live there is a VERY limited selection, and even shopping online, I can’t always find or afford what I would like, so I will DEFINITELY be using your idea of making my own, and can’t think why it never occurred to me to do it before. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Judi in the UK

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Judi- that is precisely why I made this project! I think those of us that live near craft/hobby stores with oodles of ribbon take it for granted, and this is a work-around that is affordable for sure!

  59. Such a sweet idea for using my late da’s plaid shirts. Thanks

  60. How stunning! Would love to see simplistic door id as like this for all seasons. I think simple, uncluttered and tastefully done is the way to go. You accomplished all this and more. Well done!


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