Decorating with Ribbon: Shelf Trim

Sometimes it is the subtle little details that can make the biggest difference in the appeal of a decorated room.  They catch your eye and take whatever they are embellishing up a notch on the style scale.   I love the decorating details and enjoy finding ways to add them to every room.  They are the easiest way to add personal style to all the ordinary objects we have around our homes.


One such detail I like to add around my house is colorful ribbon to the edges of shelves. Decorating with ribbon makes anything look a little extra special.

I wove it through the wire shelving in my laundry room.


I tacked it down along the shelves in my pantry.


I started adding ribbon trim to shelves after clipping the photo below from a magazine a long time ago – way before Pinterest. I like to write right on my clippings, why I clipped it. Does anyone else do this?   This photo has made it through many clipping purges.   I think I have kept it for so long because I love the striped ribbon. When it runs along the edge of the shelves, it resembles molding.  I have been searching for ribbon like it ever since clipping the photo.


Last week, I finally found something very similar at Michaels.  In the clearance bins.  I attached it to the edge of my IKEA Billy bookshelves in my studioffice. I used no-damage picture hanging strips, so if I decide to a change the color it will be easy to do. I could have used rubber cement or white glue brushed over the edges if I didn’t have the strips handy.  Hot glue would not work well to attach the ribbon – it would leave a raised edge.


bookcase shelves  before



bookcase shelves after


Then I started to wonder how different colors would look.  Light turquoise would look nice for the summer months. I covered the backs of the shelves by covering cardboard with pretty sheets. You can read how I did it in this post: IKEA Billy bookcase Makeover.


I could have played with it for a while to determine what color I liked best. The green won for now.

The color and pattern possibilities are endless with the wide range of ribbons and now Washi style tapes available.  When I was at the Snap Conference, we got to play with new decorative tapes. They are not even out on the market yet, but will be soon. I also got a few rolls of Washi tape to play with.   They would be super easy to apply to the edge of shelves – no strips or glue needed.  When you want a change – just simply remove it.


My kind of decorating – easy, affordable, fun, and eye-catching.

Where can you add a bit of decorating details around your house?   Kitchen shelves, pantry, bedroom, linen closet…

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! It is going to be nice and sunny here in southeastern PA – time for a day trip to the seashore for me  :)

Sharing With:

Under The Table and Dreaming

I Heart Naptime




  1. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Have a fabulous mini vacation!

    AND just STOP….. take a vacation.

    I am on overload now… and I am just reading….. you work so hard. But I so love you and your posts…… just how in the world do you do it all?

    Leave the tech behind and enjoy! We will catch you on the flipside.

  2. says

    How fun! I did a similar ribbon treatment with bead trim on two open shelves in my bathroom, adding the same trim around the small trash can, and a couple of accessories about 4 years ago. Everyone wanted to know where I purchased the items and were surprised when I told them that I embellished all of them….mine were attached with Velcro dots.

    Your ideas motivate me, keep up the good work. All the best!

  3. says

    What a cute and clever idea! I think anyone could do it! Really fun idea for a kids room or to gussy up those cheap particle board shelves I have. I’m going to Hobby lobby and a flea market tomorrow, and looking for ribbon!
    I’m thinking about the seashore myself. I’m about an hour away and
    Cape May is my favorite place, but I love Ocean City, N.J. too! Have fun! Linda

  4. says

    Great idea. I love how you hold on to an inspiring thought until you find a way to make it work for you.

    Washi style tapes are the best. Glad to hear there are new designs on the horizon! Ribbons are classy, but tape is a little easier and maybe cheaper.

    Speaking of horizons, have a relaxing time and enjoy your view of the water while at the shore. (Do you EVER relax?)

  5. Judy H. says

    Diane, your bookshelves are finished out so beautifully, I love them! I’ve always felt like something didn’t look quite finished no matter how I arranged or decorated my bookshelves. I just walked into the den and THERE I saw it, the corners are DARK and there is just not enough color. I have always felt like I needed to be rather sedate with my color scheme on the shelves because they are floor to ceiling along one whole wall. After looking at yours, I see mine definitely need some “dark corner” treatment and a pop of color here and there. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity today…I can’t wait to get started!

  6. Lori says

    Where did you get the wire shelving for your laundry room? I love this idea but I cant find the shelves.

    • says

      Hi Lori – This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. I bought the unit at a store called Clover – it was like a Target in the Philadelphia area. It was over 18 years ago. I have looked to see if there was a company name on it, but there isn’t. I have also done extensive searches for it. All I come up with are little shelves to place on a wall behind a washer and dryer. If I ever find it, I will be posting about it.

  7. Sharon Taylor says

    Love this- just organized my linen and coat closet and wanted to add a little pop to them- this is the answer. Oh and the wire shelves I have them in my laundry room- ribbon here I come. Also you can buy those wire shelves at Home Depot.

    • says

      Hi Sharon –

      I have only seen the wire shelves that have to be attached to the wall. Does Home Depot sell the shelving unit that has 4 legs that is made to go over the washer and dryer and has a drying rack? If they do, I will have to go check it out and then create a post about it since so many readers would like to purchase it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *