How to Make Ruffled Crepe Paper


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How to Make Ruffled Crepe Paper | Easy Crepe Paper Ruffles | DIY Ruffled Streamers | ruffled streamers without sewingLast week my daughter Maggie wanted to create an under-the-sea-world, which in her 4-year-old mind involved making a bunch of jellyfish out of disposable bowls and crepe paper streamers.

She is one of those kids that once an idea gets planted in her head, there is no letting it go. I finally, after listening to days of pleading, took her to the dollar store for some supplies. She made her jelly fish, I hung them from the ceiling, and she spent a few happy days pretending to be “under the sea.”

The point of my little story is that her project left me with several rolls of pink & white crepe paper streamers. I have never really been a big fan of crepe streamers as party decorations, but I didn’t really want to let them go to waste, either.

I started searching the Internet for crepe paper ideas and lo and behold, I found these and these and these, and I had an aha! moment. I would make ruffled crepe paper streamers for Annie’s Sweet Soda Shop party, and they would be fab-u-lous!

How to Make Ruffled Crepe Paper

Step 1: The crepe paper at the dollar store comes in two-packs, which is enough to make one very looooooong streamer. Using both rolls of crepe paper, overlap the ends as shown. Place on sewing machine & sew for a few stitches (maybe an inch or two). Do NOT backstitch!

Easy Crepe Paper Ruffles

Step 2: Leaving the crepe paper pinned under the foot of the sewing machine, tie the two loose threads together before sewing further. This will keep it from unraveling.

DIY Ruffled Streamers

Step 3: Begin sewing in a straight line, stretching the crepe paper out fairly taut as you sew. It will automatically begin to ruffle as it goes through the machine.

ruffled streamers without sewing

As you sew, you may have to stop periodically to spread out the ruffled streamer or untwist the yet-unruffled crepe.

How to Make Easy Ruffled Crepe Paper

Just keep sewing….

DIY Crepe Paper Ruffles

…and sewing until the entire length has been ruffled, then be sure to tie up the loose ends. The streamer can be cut to varying lengths, just use a piece of tape to secure the loose threads after cutting.

Ruffled Streamers

Be sure to load your bobbin with thread before starting because it will take the entire roll!

How to Make Ruffled Crepe Paper

Easy to Make Crepe Paper Ruffles

DIY Ruffled Streamers

I am SO excited about how it turned out. I can hardly wait to show you how I plan to use it for the party! I know it probably seems overly labor intensive but it really was very easy. One full streamer only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish. In my opinion, totally worth the effort!

How to Make Ruffled Crepe Paper | Easy Crepe Paper Ruffles | DIY Ruffled Streamers | ruffled streamers without sewing


  1. Oh my. I had NO idea you could sew on streamers! And you made them look OH, so CUTE!!! Thanks once again for amazing me with your craftiness! This party will be AWESOME, and I can’t wait to see the end results (via pics, obviously)! 🙂

  2. May 10 at 08:03PM

    Love it. Thanks for all your party tips, I’m taking notes for next time I throw a party. 🙂 Hugs.

  3. May 11 at 05:47PM

    adorable! 🙂

  4. May 11 at 08:36PM

    I love it! I am not a huge fan of streamers either, but this is a really nice twist on them. I can’t wait for an opportunity to try it out!

  5. May 18 at 12:55PM

    Love, love, love! I am just learning how to sew, and this is definately going on my project list!

  6. September 9 at 07:19PM

    I’m trying this, but my crepe paper is NOT ruffling at all. I just have a running stitch up the middle. What’s not right?

    • Ruth
      September 9 at 07:58PM

      You may have to play with the tension & stitch length a bit. On my old sewing machine it just worked, but when I tried this again later (after this post was written) on my new sewing machine, I found that I needed to use the longest stitch length and increase the tension to the maximum tension. Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. stephanie
    October 5 at 02:58AM

    so i am having the same problem as erica in the above message and i did what ruth suggested but still had NO success!!! i am not a very good sewer and have a plain sewing machine but i have tried every length and tension in different ways and nothing has worked….seriously this is paper how hard can this really be??

  8. October 20 at 10:39AM

    I didn’t have much luck either. I could not get nice ruffles. I managed to get bits of nice ruffles but not a nice long continuous stream of them. I tried different things with stitch length etc but wouldn’t call the results great by any means.

  9. Hillary
    October 26 at 02:48AM

    I also can’t get this go work!! I’ve tried everything! Highest tension & long stitch & also pulling it tight–I have a ton to make for Halloween party & I’m stuck! Help!!

  10. christi
    April 16 at 12:50PM

    very cute idea yet I too am not having success. Tried at longest stitch length an increased tension but never got ruffles only breaking thread =(

  11. July 30 at 05:22PM

    I was just searching photos of these ruffled streamers to see what others had done (I made some and use them quite frequently). I noticed that people were saying it wasn’t working. I held the spool of thread in my hand as I sewed and controlled the tension manually, since I could not get the tension right using the settings on my sewing machine. Just wanted to post that here in case people wanted to try that. Worked like a charm.

    • Rachel
      February 6 at 07:59PM

      Molly you are a life-saver! I was getting nothing until I tried holding the spool while sewing. It works perfectly!

  12. November 5 at 06:24PM

    Thanks so much for this tutorial!! I used it to help with decorations for my daughter’s first birthday party:

  13. June 3 at 10:07AM

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read.

    I will certainly be back.

  14. November 11 at 08:05PM

    Just AH-MAZING! I stumbled on your blog looking for my daughter’s 4th birthday “Little Mermaid” party ideas and I am in love with everything you have here. I am definitely going to test out the ruffled crepe paper, they look just delightful ;D

  15. Anonymous
    December 4 at 01:49PM

    Thread just keeps breaking. Ugh.

  16. Anonymous
    January 3 at 02:25PM

    I also had no luck, but checking out your links for inspiration, I saw another method was crinkling it together. I’m kinda cramming it together before it goes under the presser foot.

  17. Liz
    March 17 at 08:58PM

    This was my first sewing machine project! Had all sorts of issues but taught myself how to used
    Used sewing machine doing trial and error!! I made my stitches longer which workcd great for the ruffles!! Thank you!!

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