How to Make DIY Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons


The pink breast cancer awareness ribbon is one of the most recognizable symbols in the country. You can find it on the helmets of NFL players in October and on the T-shirts of those attending breast cancer events. 

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The “pink ribbon” is also an easy memorial craft to raise awareness for breast cancer at the funeral of a loved one. 

Here are some tips for making a cancer awareness ribbon. You could also use these instructions to create any other awareness ribbon you choose.

What Materials You’ll Need to Gather for a Breast Cancer Ribbon

To make a simple awareness ribbon, gather the following materials:

  • Light pink satin ribbon at least ¼ inch thick
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Safety pins

Of course, an awareness ribbon can be made with a variety of other crafting materials, as well. For example, you might want to make yours out of paper or lightweight cardstock if you wish to print a message on it. 

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Steps for Creating a Breast Cancer Ribbon

Do you have a family member or friend who’s fighting breast cancer? Encourage them by making breast cancer ribbons for everyone in their support group. This will let your loved one know that they’re not alone in their journey. 

Here are the simple steps for creating a breast cancer ribbon.

Step 1: Purchase your supplies

If you’re trying to raise awareness for breast cancer, purchase a roll of light pink satin ribbon at least ¼ inch wide. The size of the safety pins should be proportional to the ribbon. If you buy safety pins that are too big, they will poke out from behind the ribbon. However, tiny safety pins may be difficult for some people to use.

Step 2: Test a three-inch length of ribbon to determine the desired size of the project

A three-inch length of ribbon will create an awareness ribbon that’s around 1 ½ inches long. Of course, the awareness ribbon can be made larger or smaller, depending on the situation. 

Step 3: Cut the ribbon with an angle on both ends to your desired length

Once you’ve determined how long you want your final product to be, cut each ribbon segment accordingly. Some people choose to cut both ends of the ribbon at an angle, while others prefer a straight cut. 

Step 4: Heat the glue gun

Once you’ve cut the ribbon to the appropriate length, it won’t take long to loop it into the correct position. You’ll need to have your glue gun hot and close by to hold the ribbon in place. Be careful! Glue guns are hot, and the hot glue will burn your skin. 

Step 5: Loop the ribbon

Loop one side of the ribbon over another to make a flat loop. Are you unsure of what this is supposed to look like as a finished product? Check out this video on how to make an awareness ribbon. 

Step 6: Place a dot of hot glue at the intersection of the ribbon loop

To hold the loop in place, place a small dot of hot glue between the two ribbons at their intersection. Carefully press the intersection with your fingertips and wait a few seconds for it to dry. 

Step 7: Continue the process until you have completed as many ribbons as necessary

Keep the completed ribbons in order of how they were finished. This will be important in the next step.

Step 8: Glue a safety pin to the back of each awareness ribbon

Starting with the first ribbon that you completed, place another dot of glue on the back of the intersection of the ribbon ends. Make sure the hot glue is wide enough to cover the width of your safety pin. Next, press the pin into the hot glue, being careful not to burn yourself. 

Step 9: Let the pins dry

Hot glue will ruin clothes, so make sure your awareness pins are dry before putting them on your or another person’s favorite shirt or jacket.

Step 10: Spread awareness and show support

Once your ribbons are completed and the glue has set, share them with your friends and family members. Breast cancer awareness pins probably need little explanation, but you might need to offer more details if you’re creating awareness for a different type of cancer or illness.

The hot glue/safety pin method isn’t the only way to create an awareness ribbon. If you wish the ribbon to be sturdier, you can also purchase matching thread and hand- or machine-sew a stitch or two at the intersection of the ribbon ends. You could also use Super Glue instead of a glue gun to hold the ribbon loops in place. 

If you’re in a hurry, you might want to pin the loop in place without bothering to adhere to the intersection of the ribbons with glue or thread.

What Can You Write or Attach to a Breast Cancer Ribbon?

What made you want to complete this craft in the first place? Do you have a spouse with cancer, and do you wish to give ribbons to family members and friends so they can support your loved one during their treatment? 

Perhaps you recently lost a loved one to the disease, and you created the ribbons to wear at the funeral. 

The situation for which you created the ribbons may determine what type of message you want to attach to them. Here are some examples. 

Faith. Hope. Cure.

If you or someone you know has breast cancer, these three words say it all. You can encourage a loved one with this simple message.

In October, we wear pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Support a friend or family member who’s undergoing breast cancer treatment or remember a loved one who died by wearing this ribbon.

Together we fight

Think about ways you can support your friend. Perhaps you can purchase children’s books about cancer so they can properly educate their children about the disease they are fighting. 

Maybe you can coordinate meals for the family, so they have one less thing to think about when going through chemo or radiation. If you’re a good friend, you might volunteer to do the person’s housework, like washing the kitchen floor or cleaning toilets. Show your support by thought, word, and deed. 

Nothing is impossible with God

This verse, found in Luke 1:37, may encourage your Christian friend who’s undergoing treatments for breast cancer. 

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Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, honoring the taken, and never giving up hope

Are you attending a fundraising event for breast cancer research? Here’s a phrase that might be appropriate for the situation. 

We love you, (name)

You can pinpoint your support to a specific person by attaching a tag to the pin with this message. You may also want to include a photo of your friend or family member, too.

Never give up

While this message encourages your loved one to fight hard mentally and physically against the disease, it also conversely implies that someone who passed away didn’t fight hard enough. Think about the consequences of your words.

I wear pink for my sister (mom, friend, grandmother, etc.)

Tell others who you’re supporting by attaching a tag with this message to your awareness ribbon. 

Cancer picked the wrong princess!

Just because you or a loved one has cancer doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few lighthearted moments. Does your friend or family member embrace the “princess” designation? Get her a tiara and a feather boa, and show her you love her princess tendencies. 

No one fights alone

Show your coworker who’s preparing for chemotherapy that the whole team at work is behind her (or him.) It’s amazing how wearing a simple ribbon can show love and support to someone going through a difficult time.

Find a cure!

There are many reasons you may want to raise awareness of breast cancer. For example, you might want to support a friend or remember someone who passed away from the disease. You might also want to encourage others to financially support research efforts to find a cure.

You might be able to purchase pre-made awareness ribbons from organizations that support cancer research. 

How to Support Someone With Cancer

Wearing an awareness ribbon of someone going through cancer is thoughtful, but what else can you do to show support?

Before you inundate your friend with meals and offers of help, you might ask around to see if anyone’s already coordinating such efforts. The person might not be mentally or physically able to answer texts, calls, and emails, and they may want to socially distance themselves while undergoing cancer treatment. 

While you wait to see how you can be the most helpful, consider sending a card or flowers. 

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