Picture of Custom Printed Ribbon Using a Typewriter
typing on ribbon 12.jpg
As founders of the Letter Writers Alliance, we receive a lot of great stuff in the mail. Sometimes, that stuff is so great that we have to pick the brain of the sender, so that we can share their genius with the world. This tutorial is the idea of our member Lisa. She graciously shared her step-by-step and now, we're sharing it with you. Providing you have a typewriter and a little patience, it's a fairly easy and quick project.
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Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Picture of Gather Your Materials
¼” width, light-colored satin ribbon
Card stock
Double-stick tape

Note: If you are using the ribbon to wrap a package, you might want to wrap the ribbon around the package and tie in bow to gauge how much you will need. You can also type directly from the roll of ribbon without pre-cutting it, but you may find that a little awkward. 

Step 2: Insert the Paper

Picture of Insert the Paper
Step One:
Roll your card stock into the machine. I used card stock because it is a little thicker than regular paper and held up well to the tape and ribbon replacement during the course of the typing. 

Step 3: Apply the Tape and Ribbon

Picture of Apply the Tape and Ribbon
typing on ribbon 05.jpg
typing on ribbon 04.jpg
Run a length of double-stick tape across the top of the paper as shown in the first photo. Then adhere your ribbon to the tape, keeping the ribbon as straight as possible.
zani871 year ago
Wow, great idea!! :)
crowsfolly1 year ago
By first typing a line of text on the cardstock, you will then know where the exact keystrike will land. Then put the double stick tape over the typed line, the clear tape allows you to see the center of the type line, and you can line the ribbon up accordingly (on the first try) and avoid the need to remove-replace-remove-replace the ribbon. Brilliant idea! I love it.
donovanbeeson (author)  crowsfolly1 year ago
Great points!
MB-DK1 year ago
Cute idea...thanks for sharing. Would be fun to print the name of someone you're giving a gift to, and then use that ribbon on the packaging. No need for a card then (even though cards are great!) Good idea for multiple kids gifts, like birthdays or Christmas.
patchezzie1 year ago
Great idea ! definitely gonna try this
askjerry1 year ago
Very nice! Wish I still had my old typewriter.
pjaj1 year ago
Love this idea!
Thank you for sharing it :)
Zargon1 year ago
Sweet... indeed! I have a couple old, working, typewriters in my closet somewhere...
and of course there are decidedly way too few people writing letters at all these dayze.

I personally prefer long hand, fountain pen, authored letters both the send and receive.
But then again; I Make Custom Pens and have incredible handwriting. So; go figure!
sniffydogs1 year ago
nanaverm1 year ago
What's a "typewriter"? (j.k.) Great idea, and far simpler than what I had thought was necessary to do.
cp2331 year ago
This is so nice and simple which makes it brilliant! Ingenious.
cyberpigue1 year ago
Seems like maybe if the ribbon you are typing on was not wider than the typewriter ribbon, you might be able to "spool" them together and type right from one to the other. I wonder if you could run the inked ribbon in its correct guide and the "typed on" ribbon behind the guide against the paper roller. It might even leave you with a it of desirable smudging for a distressed or antiqued project. Just a thought for those who might want to experiment.
(Of course, what do I know, I can't even post a comment correctly... lol)
corvan1 year ago
Thanks for creating this Instructable, I am a fan of novel uses of materials. Does the ink on the ribbon smear when you are tying it on the package?
donovanbeeson (author)  corvan1 year ago
I haven't noticed it doing so. It might depend on the freshness of your ribbon though.
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing such a clever and creative project. Now...where to find a typewriter that doesn't cost a fortune :0(
poofrabbit1 year ago
What a neat idea! I have a friend I write to a lot, I'm going to have to search for my type writer!
Ahhhhhhh! So smart!

I love these and the encouragement to write more letters. I'm penpaling with a friend back home and it's been so nice. :D