Introduction: Make a Quick and Easy Neck Ruffle

About: I'm a designer - I started off working with commercial Architecture/Interior design and transitioned through to Graphic, Product, and Industrial Design. I love making things, especially trying new techniques.

I'm home visiting my family and my cousin asked me to join him at Dallas Pride. I didn't have any costume (I like dressing up for such occasions) so I had to quickly make something from the supplies I found in my sister's home.

It took maybe an hour to complete, so it was really quick to make once I figured out an easy production method.

I realize now how any unconventional material could be used to make this - origami paper squares, newspaper, leftover bits of fabric, flexible plastic.


  • Squares of gold mylar foil (my sister had this in her crafting supplies)
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Card Stock
  • Fabric
  • Velcro
  • Sewing Machine

Step 1: Make a Quick Folding Template

Cut a piece of cardstock to the exact dimension of your material. Then cut it in half so that one edge is aligned with the middle.

Fold it in quarters accordion style so that you have 2 peaks/1 valley.

Then cut out a chunk in the middle so that it's shaped like a C. The reason i did this was so that it wouldn't flatten the fold.

Place double-sided tape along the edge as shown in the picture. This is to grip the material so that it folds easily. You can "dirty" up the tape so that it doesn't stick too well - just enough to temporarily grab the material.

Step 2: How to Use the Folding Template

Align the two ends of the template along one edge of the material. If you're using mylar like I am, make sure you only grab up one sheet as they tend to stick together.

Quickly fold the template and by doing so, it folds the material perfectly for you. Without the template, this process would be tedious, so that's why I decided to use it.


On this first piece, mark the middle. Then take the template to your machine and adjust the template to match the width of your sewing machine foot. If you sew it without trimming the template, your folds will be shifted making one side shorter than the other.

To easily do this, just take the width of your sewing foot and divide it in half. Cut that amount off the two legs and now, you'll be able to sew it along the exact middle with the bonus advantage of having a guide to sew along.

NOTE 2: You don't have to do this if you're using a different method of construction which I discuss at the end of the Instructable.

Step 3: Sew Several Pieces at a Time

I used about 40 pieces, but I sewed up ten at time to vary my task. You should end up with a manageable piece like this.

Step 4: Cut a Piece of Fabric Just a Bit Larger Than Your Neck Circumference

I made mine from scrap material and made it just slightly shorter than the folded edge of the ruffle. I then cut a piece of paper that was about a 1/2" and marked lines along the this. This will serve as a base for the ruffles.

Align the mark with your sewing needle. Then place one of the ruffle pieces and sew. The mylar tended to slip so if you want, you could put a piece off double sided tape along the fabric to keep it in place temporarily.

Make sure that the two folds of the ruffle are facing along the same direction. If you don't, it may make a messy pattern (in other words, make the "bumps" or mountain folds all on the top where it will be seen).

Before you get to the end, sew in pieces of velcro. It will be more secure if you do it at the beginning, and is also good for test fits.

Step 5: Voila - a Quick Neck Ruffle

So, I thought if you don't have mylar squares (which most people don't, but my sister tends to be a supercrafter) you could use precut origami paper or cut newspaper squares. Test that the material has enough stiffness to maintain the a vertical extension.

If you want to make them even more quickly, you could use s stapler and staple it directly to the neck piece. It would make a quick kid's craft for a party or classroom or halloween costume (which I love making).

I imagine you could make a similar template, but this time, you wouldn't need to shorten it to accommodate the sewing foot. Just staple at the edge.

(p.s. Yes, I'm wearing LED eyelashes. I designed the LED eyelashes with my partner for a Kickstarter that went viral, but we decided to not go retail. Our product was knocked off almost immediately and we felt the stress of running a side business was just too much, despite the profit to be made.

You can't buy our LED eyelashes, but you can buy the knockoffs. Personally, they are crap up close; the wires are much thicker and there's no interactivity - ours reacted to movement and the lighting effects were spot on due to my partner's knowledge of LED programming. Know that we don't make any money off the knockoffs - the design was essentially stolen from us. I don't advocate buying them, but I do realize that people want them and I'm no longer selling them, though.)

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