Embroider a Silk Ribbon Guest Book

The silk ribbon guest book.
Wedding program courtesy of Julie and Calvin Cook. Photograph by Joe Coca.

Having friends and family sign a guest book at a wedding is a great way to remind the bride and groom of all who celebrated their commitment to each other and continue to hold them dear. This guest book utilizes the drama of silk ribbon embroidery to accentuate the elegant background of cream-colored ribbons.


  • YLI Silk Ribbon, 4mm wide, 5 yards (4.6 m)/reel,
    1 reel each of #19 Fern Green and #004 Purple
  • Mill Hill Glass Seed Beads, 4.54 grams/package,
    1 package each of #02001 Pearl and #02019 Crystal Honey
  • John James Needles, chenille sizes 18 and 20 and beading size 10
  • Offray Ribbon, white and cream, various widths ranging from 1 to 1 1/2 inch (2.5 to 3.8 cm),
    each measuring 12 inches (30.5 cm) in length, 20 pieces
  • Muslin fabric, 100% cotton, cream, 1/2 yard (.5 m)
  • Dressmaker's carbon, blue, 1 sheet
  • Sewing thread, cream
  • Fusible web, 1/2 yard (.5 m)
  • Hem tape, cream, 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) wide, 3 yards (2.7 m)/package, 1 package
  • C-thru Ruler, 18 inches (45.7 cm) long
  • Guest book, 8 x 9 1/4 inches (20.3 x 23.5 cm)

Materials are available at needlework, bead, and fabric stores or from mail-order or online resources.

Finished size:
8 x 9 1/4 inches (20.3 x 23.5 cm)

Lay the opened book flat on a sheet of white paper. Lightly draw around the book edges with a pencil. At the ends, mark the paper 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm) beyond the book's edges; mark the paper at the top and bottom of the book 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) beyond the book's edges. With the pencil and the ruler, connect the lines to make the rectangle. Use this pattern to cut the muslin fabric.

According to manufacturer's directions, adhere the transfer web to the muslin fabric. Remove the paper layer of the transfer web after it has cooled. Place the cream ribbons on a diagonal on top of the muslin fabric and carefully adhere them with a warm iron.

Use dressmaker's carbon to transfer the pattern to the top side of the ribbon-covered fabric. (We randomly placed two more flowers on our cover by repeating a portion of the pattern.) Use the size 20 chenille needle to puncture the fabric at the beginning and end of each design line. Use the size 18 chenille needle and the silk ribbon to stitch the design. Stitch the small flower petals with lazy daisy stitch and the leaves with Japanese ribbon stitch. Create the large flower petals as if working lazy daisy stitch, but do not tack down the top of the loop; instead, bring the needle back up near the base of the ribbon loop and cover the base with French knots. Use the beading needle to attach the beads, referring to the pattern for color placement.

To construct the cover, fold each short end of the muslin 1/4 inch (6 mm) with wrong sides facing; fold again. Press with a pressing cloth and warm iron and sew the hem 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the folded edge. With right sides facing, fold in the short ends of the muslin 2 3/4 inches (7.0 cm), press, and baste 3/8 inch (1.0 cm) from the raw edges. Turn the muslin right side out and insert the book to ensure that the cover fits with the book closed. Turn the muslin wrong side out; adjust and rebaste, if necessary. Fold in the raw edges of the long sides of the muslin 3/8 inch (1.0 cm), or according to your adjustment of the flap size; press. Sew the end flaps and clip the corners. Turn right side out and press the edges. Sew the hem tape to the raw edges of the long sides and whipstitch the hem tape to the inside of the muslin, being careful not to stitch through to the front. Insert the book.

Japanese ribbon stitch
Lazy daisy
French knot

Copyright 2004 Interweave, Inc. Pattern may be photocopied for personal use.
The May/June 2004 issue of PieceWork magazine features many wedding accessories and gift ideas.