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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.

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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