Rickrack Christmas Crafts

Rickrack seems to shimmy and skip, its dips and points all but doing a dance. Add it to any surface, and expect a smile. You can weave it into decorative braids, gather it with needle and thread to fashion flowers, or stiffen it to create wreaths, holly clusters, and candy canes.

Rickrack Christmas Crafts

Photography: Maura McEvoy

Source: Martha Stewart Living, Volume 121 December 2003


This inexpensive sewing staple is sold in all sorts of styles -- metallic and matte, satin and chenille -- at craft and fabric stores, and online ( or Vintage varieties can often be found at yard sales and flea markets.

Use our techniques to transform trim into seasonal sundries. Kids can help create stockings, ornaments, or gift bags; making shams or a table runner is a more ambitious endeavor. Whichever project you choose, rickrack will give the holidays a charming twist.



  • Rickrack

  • Embroidery scissors

  • Fabric glue

  • Iron

  • Thread

  • Floral pips

  • Corrugated cardboard

  • Pins

  • Small art brush

  • Fabric stiffener


  1. Because of rickrack’s wavy weave, two pieces of it can be twisted into a single strand with interlocking points. Use an embroidery or other fabric scissors to cut two equal lengths of a single color, or one each of two hues for a candy-stripe effect. Affix the pieces at one end with fabric glue and let dry before twisting them together. Braid will look bumpy; press it with a steam iron set to high heat. Trim the ends evenly and glue them together. You can make gift-bag handles or ornaments with your braids.

  2. The wider the trim is, the bigger the flower will be (above, center). Cut a thirteen-point piece of rickrack. We used contrasting thread to demonstrate, but you should use a matching color. Baste and tightly gather points on one side of trim, and knot (top); without cutting thread, secure folded ends with a running stitch (center), and glue to prevent fraying. Snip wire from floral pips; attach to front with contact cement.

  3. Make a work surface for pinning and coating ornaments. Cover a piece of corrugated cardboard with clear packing tape to prevent rickrack braids from sticking to the surface. With your fingers, shape finished lengths of rickrack twists into a circle, cane, or leaf, using straight pins to hold in place on the cardboard. With a small art brush, generously coat ornament with fabric stiffener, which is white when wet (as shown) but dries clear. Run a length of thread through the top, and knot to form a loop.



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