DIY ruffly belt with Rachel from Heart of Light

Categories   DIY Projects


First off, Rachel is one of the craftiest gals in the blogosphere. If you’re in need of a little modern, down-to-earth Martha in your blog life right now you must visit Heart of Light.

Next, she was nice enough to let us come over and do a little project with her that we are super-dy duper-dy excited to share with you all. Surely we’ve all noticed the crazy belt trend in the wedding world as of late (thank you, J Crew). Well it turns out you don’t have to spend a ton on said accessory. They are surprisingly easy to make.



Quality ribbon – as wide as you’d like your belt to be. We used 1.5 inch grosgrain for our project, but you could certainly use a pretty double satin or something else entirely. Just make sure it will lay nicely on your waist.

Fabric – We used four different types/tones for this project. Rachel chose a few different silks and a tulle. Different textures and weights make for nice variation when they’re all mixed together. The remnants bin of your local fabric store is a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration.



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How to:

Find the center point of your belt/ribbon and start there. We’d recommend cutting your belt longer than you think so you can accommodate for an off center finished product and/or for a big bow in the back.

For the complete tutorial, we’re going to point you towards Rachel’s detailed explanation of a similar headband on her blog. But the gist is this…


Make your petals. Again, how-to is on Heart of Light.

(If you’re concerned with stray threads from rough-cut fabric, Rachel discovered that IF AND ONLY IF you are using 100% natural fiber fabric, you can actually singe the edges of your petals on the stove before you start. This seals the edge and stops your fabric from shedding threads. BUT we repeat, do not attempt this if you’re using synthetic fabric. Two words: Fire. Hazard.)

Stack 2 or 3 petals on top of each other (using a variety of fabrics and colors in each flower).

Twist the back of each flower so you catch the center of all 3 petals and lay it on your ribbon. Now tack it down with a few well placed stiches and repeat.

If you’re using a wider piece of ribbon like we did, you’ll need 2 flowers, side by side, per row. Working in one direction, add as many rows as you want to make the decorative part of your belt the right length. Once you have the general shape and length that you like, you can always go back in and add more flowers where you see fit.

This project is especially excellent because it requires little expertise in terms of sewing. As long as you’re familiar with a needle, thread, and a basic stitch, you are completely qualified to pull this off.


Once you’ve filled your belt with the number of ruffles you like, that’s it! The underside won’t be pretty, but don’t worry. No one’s going to see it. For a more finished product you could always back your belt with a second piece of ribbon.

We can see this project working with just a little flower for your hip or with a full row to accent your entire waist. Totally depends on you!


We’re making more of these, that’s for sure. And seriously, they are so simple you could easily make a whole set for your bridesmaids.


Though they do look lovely on the right wedding dress. Or any dress really.

Happy crafting!

Social Love

emily on Jul 29, 2009

beautiful... thankyou so much! am obsessed with ruffles at the moment and drawn to them like a moth.... so happy I can now ruffle-ise a belt. x

Dana Cordova on Jul 29, 2009

Wow, such a simple and gorgeous idea...I'm going to tell me newly engaged friend about this! Thanks.

Aimee on Jul 29, 2009

This is to die for! Absolutely love it!

Emily on Jul 29, 2009

What a wonderful and elegant project!

The Consummate Hostess on Jul 29, 2009

Stunning! This reminds of a Vera Wang!

Kim on Jul 29, 2009

This is so cute! What a great DIY project!

gwendolyn on Jul 29, 2009

oh my god! making it this weekend :)

Rachel (Heart of Light) on Jul 29, 2009

Thanks for coming over to play! It was so much fun to do some crafting together!

Rachel on Jul 29, 2009

STUNNING! Just amazing. I'll be linking.

Tara Gibson on Jul 29, 2009

this is gorgeous!!! i must make one of these

Amy on Jul 29, 2009

That is just gorgeous on that dress!!

pve on Jul 29, 2009

that rachel is such a delight, she always has something sweet up her sleeve....or on her belt! pve

MeggyD on Jul 29, 2009

I did this last month - I have worn it several times and love it! Mine is a skinnier/longer version. I like how yours is more concentrated in a spot. I'll have to try that next.

lovelyvelo on Jul 29, 2009

oh so very lovely!

Jane Flanagan on Jul 29, 2009

I adore everything Rachel does, but this has to be one of my favourite projects of hers!

Marn on Jul 29, 2009

What a great idea. That looks soo lovely!

nel on Jul 29, 2009

absolutely gorgeous! I think I will be making some of these for summer. I can just imagine them in gorgeous summer colors too or as curtain tie backs... the possibilities are endless, sigh....

Delilah on Jul 29, 2009

Wow so cute! I'm actually going to try and make a really small one for my 2 y.o.'s dress! :)

Katee Grace Photography on Jul 29, 2009

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! What a wonderful wonderful belt!!! I can't wait to try this and blog about my adventure! :) What an absolutely wonderful DIY project! thanks for sharing! xo, katee grace

courtney page on Jul 30, 2009

random question- what font is used for the words "ruffly belt" in your picture caption??

Magdalena on Jul 30, 2009

The belt looks absolutely great! Have to do this for myself, thank you for tutorial :)

Sarah on Jul 30, 2009

This is gorgeous. I can't wait to make it! Thank you!

100layercake on Jul 30, 2009

Hey Courtney! The font is called La Portenia. It's available on Veer:

jeska on Jul 30, 2009

This is absolutely stunning, thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, I can't wait to make this!

Cheryl on Jul 30, 2009

This is a great idea! Only thing I must point out though as a seamstress myself, I believe you have one instruction reversed-- you can only seal the edge of a fabric if it is synthetic-- it melts the edge so it will not fray. If you try to do this to natural fiber fabrics, they will just burn/ smolder, turn to ash, and leave nasty brown singe marks at the edge. Best way to do this is to use a candle/ tea light-- not the stove or a lighter. A candle will give you a low, steady flame and make it easier for you to turn the fabric piece as you go. And, do a larger test piece first. The thinner the fabric (a la polyester organza) the faster it melts! Another awesome product is "fray check" which is sold in most fabric and craft stores, to seal the cut edge.

anna and the ring on Jul 31, 2009

I want to go and be crafty right now!

Cosmopolitan Events on Jul 31, 2009

I have been looking for a unique way to create a flower girls head piece, and I think this is just the ticket (but smaller)!

Amanda on Jul 31, 2009


[email protected] on Jul 31, 2009

rachel makes the prettiest things.... love it

Rachel (jolie jolie) on Jul 31, 2009


katrina + andrew = sedona bride photographers on Jul 31, 2009

LOVE this! I wish I had time to be crafty. It's gorgeous! {katrina}

weddingchicks on Aug 2, 2009

ok, that is just darling! love it!

Floralshowers Craft Blog on Aug 3, 2009

This belt is amazingly beautiful! I wish I had an excuse to wear something so elegant.

Mary on Aug 5, 2009

This is such a fantastic tutorial! I'm so clueless when it comes to diy, but your tips and tricks are awesome! I'm definitely going to go home and try this today! Thanks!!

Rosie Parsons on Aug 5, 2009

Really beautiful! Wish I had the time to try this out!!

Lisa on Aug 6, 2009

Wow! Definitely putting this on the "To Try" List. It looks so simple and lovely!

Melody @ Sweet & Saucy Shop on Aug 6, 2009

In love with this!

Kristin @ Contented Me on Aug 7, 2009

Wow! It's so gorgeous, and I never would have guessed it would be so simple to make. Thanks for the tips and the inspiration!

this must be the place blog on Aug 9, 2009

What a clever way to jazz up a chic simple dress. I have a dress this would be perfect for! Great project!

Deb on Aug 22, 2009

These are just gorgeous! Thankyou so much. I think I'll be embellishing my girls' dresses with these or make some headbands!

Kendra on Aug 27, 2009

Did you make the dress in the last picture? I absolutely love it and definitely wouldn't mind seeing a tutorial on that! : )

brandi on Sep 1, 2009

Where is the dress from?

100layercake on Sep 1, 2009

Hi everyone, The dress is Kristina's wedding dress... the "Grace" from Alix & Kelly.

arzu on Sep 9, 2009

very nıce!!

Mon on Oct 9, 2009

Thankyou so much for this great idea & for posting a tutorial!!!!! I have just finished making my ball dress and I need something extra for it, this was perfect....I have actually made it to go right along the really finishes it off :D Btw, I love your blog!!!!!

Christine on Jun 18, 2010

Hi This is so gorgeous!!! ^^ Unfortunately, I am not sure if I can follow the instructions well...The next you make the ribbon, could you make a short video on how to make it?? Thank you so much in advance... I love to try making the ribbon... ^^

Alice on Jun 28, 2010

This is just about the cutest belt I've ever seen! I've had this bookmarked for ages and now I'm going to attempt to make it for my e-pic session. I was just wondering where you purchased the grosgrain ribbon?

Denise on Jul 21, 2011

This is so pretty! I love ruffles - just makes everything perfect. :-)

Yvette on Sep 22, 2011

I made this belt to modernize a re-designed bridesmaid dress to wear to another wedding. I was able to do it using scraps from the original dress. I love the way it turned out!

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Lindsay on Oct 23, 2011

LOVE THIS but how do you close the belt? Tie the ends of the ribbon together? If I'm looking to get a flat clasp of some kind (I'm wanting to wear it under a sweater) what do you reccomend?

donna on Mar 1, 2012

I adore this and can't wait to try it out!!

Kim on Sep 10, 2012

its sooo cute :)) thanks and God bless

Anna Dusek on Feb 10, 2013

I made a similar one to my friend's wedding last year. It's so worth making one personalized. She loved and just told me she is giving her dress to some one but keeping the belt I made her. :-)

Kristofer Rumple on Jun 4, 2013

Hi Kes, If the issue is usually a username/password challenge and you won't be able to log in then I'm not sure what's wrong. I tested it a second ago and it seemed to be working fine. Could you check once more and see if it's ok now?

amy sword on Apr 1, 2014

I saw on the tutorial that you did 2 in squares is that the same size you used for the belt???

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