Decorating with Ribbon: Shelf Trim

When decorating a home, 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.  Decorating with ribbon is the easiest way to add personal style to all the ordinary objects around your home.

I like to add colorful ribbon to the edges of shelves in bookcases. Decorating with ribbon makes anything look a little extra special.

Decorarting-Ideas-Using-RibbonDecorating with Ribbon on Bookshelves

Ribbon is easy to find in most craft and fabric stores. It comes in a many colors, stripes and patterns and is inexpensive so it is budget friendly, too.

How to Add Pretty Ribbon to the Edge of Shelves


Resource: Over the washer and dryer rack

In my laundry room I wove multi-colored plaid ribbon through the wire shelving in my laundry room.


I tacked striped and sheer ribbon down using silver nail-heads along the shelves in my pantry.


When striped ribbon runs along the edge of the shelves, it can resemble molding, like the green and black ribbon does in the above photo.  I have been searching for ribbon like it ever since clipping the photo out of a magazine.

How to Attach Ribbon to Laminate Shelf Edges


Last week, I finally found something very similar at in the clearance bins at Michaels.

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.

  • Rubber cement or white glue can also be used to apply the ribbon. Brush the glue over the edges if you don’t have picutre hanging strips handy.  Hot glue would not work well to attach the ribbon – it would leave a raised edge.

Bookcase shelves before adding ribbon


Bookcase shelves after adding ribbon


To add more color to this bookcase I covered the backs of the shelves by covering cardboard with pretty fabric. You can read how I did it in this post: IKEA Billy bookcase Makeover.


I started to wonder how different colors would look.  Light turquoise would look nice for the summer months.

The color and pattern possibilities of ribbon are endless with the wide range of ribbons.

Don’t Have Any Pretty Ribbon to Decorate With?


Try using Washi style tape. It is inexpensive and comes in a huge variety of colors and styles.  Washi tape would be very 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.

More Decorating With Ribbon Ideas:

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  4. Simon Picken says:

    Enjoyed reading your blog… Learned so much

  5. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

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

    1. Diane Henkler 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. Miranda @ Someday Crafts says:

    What a fantastic idea! I’m excited to try out the new Scotch decorative tape! We’ll be featuring this over at Someday Crafts tomorrow, so come check it out!

  8. Susan Kay Fidler says:

    Such a great touch to add an awesome look! If you’re up for it, I’d love to have you come by my linking party today!

    Hope to see your talents over there!

  9. Well that’s just pretty much brilliant!!! Well done!

  10. 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!

  11. Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips 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?)

  12. says:

    I love this idea! I have some ribbon and some areas that need jazzing up! Thank you for yet again inspiring me!

  13. Love the pop of color and that you’re not committed if you want to change the ribbon.

  14. Linda A. Young 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

  15. Joyce Ward 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!

  16. Debbie @ Deliciously Inspired says:

    Thanks for sharing . The ribbon definitely dresses up a shelf. Fun having the preview of the new tape before it even hits the market.

  17. 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.

  18. Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage says:

    Beautiful post!! I so agree. I added ribbon and burlap ruffles to my linen closet and… they just make me smile . You’ve got some great tips and ideas here. Sharing :)