How to Crochet a Ruffle Scarf

Lucy Lediaev
Original photo by Lucy Lediaev

Ruffle scarves have become very popular because they use inexpensive material and are quick and simple to make. Despite the simplicity of making the scarf, when it is finished it looks elegant and expensive. Ruffle scarves make wonderful last minute gifts, because most scarves can be finished in about an hour.

Materials Needed

Here's what you'll need to make a simple ruffled scarf.

Yarn

These scarves use ruffle yarn that consists of a relatively new type of material that is not technically yarn. Instead, it is a machine woven or knitted lacy tape or ribbon that is opened up as you work. Instructions here are for the lacy pre-woven or pre-knitted yarns. These yarns can be found at yarn specialty stores, fabric stores, and craft stores.

A single hank of ruffle yarn, which usually costs from $4 to $8, is enough to make a scarf.

Other Supplies

  • Crochet hook - choose a hook to easily fit through the openings in the edge of the yarn. You may find a Tunisian crochet hook, which has a head on the end like a knitting needle, easier to use than a conventional crochet hook.
  • Sewing thread to match the main color in the scarf
  • Sewing needle and a tapestry or yarn needle
  • Scissors

Making the Scarf

  1. Hold the yarn in your left hand. The edge with large openings or holes should be at the top of the yarn. If necessary, trim the end of the yarn so that the edge is clean.
  2. Fold over about three inches of the yarn and pin it in place.
    First part of yarn folded and pinned
    Pin the folded end.
  3. Depending on how tight you want the ruffles to be, you will insert your crochet hook in every opening or in every other opening as you work. The sizes of the openings in the yarn edge vary, so you may wish to experiment a bit with the next step before you move on. From the back of the yarn, put your hook through the first opening and repeat this through 8 to 12 openings.
  4. As you work, use your left hand to pull the yarn open.
  5. When the ruffle is dense enough, pull the last loop of yarn from the front through all of the loops on the hook.
    Pulling loop through loops on hook
    Pull last loops through loops on hook.
  6. Repeat pulling loops through in the same way until your scarf has reached the desired length. If you need to set your work aside for later, use a safety pin to hold the loops in place.
  7. When your scarf is the desired length, cut the yarn about 8 to 10 inches beyond the place where you want it to end. With scissors, trim the edge from the top to within 2 inches of the end of the scarf. Cut away the rest of the yarn at that point.
    Yarn trimmed for finishing
    Yarn trimmed for finishing.
    (The remaining yarn you have trimmed to a narrow strip will look ragged, but it will disappear as you weave it in to finish the scarf.)
  8. Fold the remaining yarn over and gather the double layer into the last ruffle. Hold the end of the scarf together with the safety pin. Thread the narrow trimmed portion of the yarn into a tapestry or yarn needle and fasten the end of the scarf.
  9. With the sewing needle and thread, turn over any raw edges at the ends of the scarf.

Choosing Yarn

Several manufacturers provide a wide variety of ruffle yarns. Some feature metallic threads, chenille edging, sequins and other decorative elements. Some are solid colors, and some are variegated. For great results, try one of these common brands and types of ruffle yarn:

There are also cloth "yarns" on the market. For the cloth yarns, Redheart has a video on making ruffled scarves.

Getting the Best Results

The yarn for ruffle scarves is compressed into a ribbon or tape and wound into a skein. To get the fullest ruffles, make sure you consistently open the yarn with your left hand. Note that working from the back of the yarn and then pulling the last loop through from the front, gives the scarf nice twists that hide the "spine" that is created as the loops are pulled through.

Crochet a Thoughtful Gift

Ruffle scarves make wonderful gifts for friends or for yourself. They can add a nice pop of color and glitter to a solid colored dress or top. They also allow you to take simple business wear from day to night, making a fun and festive statement.

How to Crochet a Ruffle Scarf