I'm going to show how to use the decorative stitches on a sewing machine to make some beautiful custom ribbon.
Step 1: Gather Materials
First start with the basics: a sewing machine, medium weight ribbon, colorful thread and some good stabilizer. Even the most basic sewing machines have at least one or two decorative stitches. I used some 1 inch wide grosgrain, variegated embroidery thread and Pellon Stick-N-Tear. Cut the Stick-N-Tear just slightly larger than my ribbon, peeled off the paper and lightly hand press my ribbon on it. The stabilizer really helps keep the ribbon from puckering and being pulled while stitching and because it sticks there's no need to poke a bunch of holes into the ribbon to hold them together.
Step 2: Select Stitch Design
Then select a fun decorative stitch on the sewing machine. My Brother SE-270d has a lot of them, but if you choose a fun thread any stitch can look decorative. Get creative with basic stitches like zig-zag, feather and blind hem. Playing with the stitch length and width gives even more looks.
Step 3: Start Stitching
Center the ribbon under the presser foot so the design will be sewn down the middle. Begin sewing, keeping the ribbon centered and flat so the stitches will stay even. When it's done while holding the stitched area down with one hand and slowly tear away the stabilizer on one side with the other. Then tear away from the other side.
Now you've got some lovely, custom ribbon to match your latest project, make pretty hair bows, decorate packages - whatever way you use ribbon and a lot cheaper than buying fancy embroidered ribbons!