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Ric Rac Paddy Whack: How to make your own ric rac

Good Morning  and happy Monday! Fall has arrived here in Texas and boy is it beautiful! The air is crisp and cool and my family and I have been outside all weekend! I ran inside real quick to share a tutorial on a technique that I learned a while back and have used many times since then!  Have you ever been working with a kit and realized that there wasn’t  ric rac ribbon enclosed? You COULD search through all your other kits and find another ric rac that MIGHT be the right color you need OR you can make your own out of a premade ribbon that already perfectly matches your kit! It is so simple and easy that you will wonder why you never tried it before!

Let’s get started!

Begin by opening the ribbon that you want to convert to ric rac. I am using a ribbon from Mye’s Hello Love kit!


 Once the ribbon opens onto your desktop,  you will need to rotate it so that it is vertical instead of horizontal. I am using Photoshop CS, but this can also be done using Photoshop Elements. I will share both steps, so make sure that you read the right step for YOUR program!

In Photoshop CS

Go to Image>Image Rotation>90 CW.  

In Photoshop Elements 

Go to Image > Rotate > 90 Right.


 In order to transform the ribbon into ric rac, you need a little extra canvas to work with. 

In Photoshop CS

Go to Image>Canvas Size.  A dialogue window (like the one below) will appear. Change the width to 5 inches. Click OK to accept the changes.  

In Photoshop Elements 

Go to Image > Resize > Canvas Size and then change your width to 5 inches. Click OK


Now for the fun part! adding the wave to the ribbon!

In Photoshop CS AND In Photoshop Elements

Go to  Filter > Distort > Wave.


This is the part where YOU get to decide how you want your ric rac to look!  These numbers will change according to what ribbon you use and how YOU want it to look. I am giving you my numbers (listed in the above photo) as a starting point, but play with your ribbon and change the numbers to see what you can come up with!  I usually have my Generator number anywhere from 10-16. My wavelength is usually from 130-175. Whatever number I enter into the Min. box, I also enter into the Max. box.  Photoshop will change it a degree or two…that’s OK, don’t worry about it!

 When you are finished, your ribbon will look something like this.


I think it is pretty flat and lifeless at this point. Adding a drop shadow will help on your layout, but adding an inner shadow will give the ric rac some much needed depth.

In Photoshop CS

At the bottom of the Layers Palette, choose the fx option. When the fly out menu appears, choose Inner Shadow.


 Once you select Inner Shadow, the Layer Style menu box will appear. This is where you will be able to make changes to the inner shadow. I always begin by clicking on the color picker shadow box (located next to the blend mode option at the top of the menu box.)  Once you click on the box, the select shadow color option box appears. Click on the darkest shade in your ribbon using your mouse as the color picker. This will allow the inner shadow to blend with the ribbon. Click OK to make the shadow color selection. Next, input the following numbers to set your ric rac inner shadow.


Make sure that you have the Inner Shadow Style selected before making any changes. Once you input the inner shadow settings, you can also click on the Drop Shadow Style and add a drop shadow to your ric rac. I will cation you by saying that you can not use a drop shadow STYLE on this one you have set the Inner Shadow or else it will erase the Inner Shadow and replace it with the drop shadow you chose.  Make sure you add and change all your styles here on the Layer Style Menu.

In Photoshop Elements

Unfortunately, you don’t get as many options when it comes to adding your Inner Shadow in Photoshop Elements, but it still gets the job done!

Got to the Effects Panel on the desktop and select the Inner Shadow from the drop down menu.


Choose the smallest Inner Shadow and PSE will add it to your ribbon. You do not get to choose the color of the shadow…but you do have one!

Finally…the finished product

Here is the finished ric rac all ready for you to scrap with!


Wasn’t that easy? The next time you get stuck and want to add a matching ric rac…give this tutorial a try! You will be happy you did!

Have a great week and happy scrapping!


comments +

  1. Leslie

    September 24th, 2013 at 12:20 am

    One workaround I have to the inner shadow in PSE is using the “scale effects” command. So I can put on a deep shadow and then scale that and can usually get what I want. Or I use my Anna Forrest action that allows me to have more control of my inner shadows!!

  2. Jhari

    November 18th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    WOW! I love this tutorial.Thanks for this Tamara and Mye.

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