Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ribbon organization and storage ideas

I am utterly obsessed with ribbon. I collect big bolts of it, little spools of it, I even save the bows off of gifts and stick them in a Ziploc bag. I've tried lots of different contraptions to store my ribbon bolts, so I thought I'm impart some of my knowledge on the subject to you. Free of charge.

For my big bolts of fancy ribbon, this is the clear winner.

Can you guess what it is? I stole it from my husband's closet. Since I only have a bedroom-size closet to store my crafting supplies, I needed something that would be out of the way. When these are hanging in the closet, I can see all my ribbon choices and access them easily. Did you guess? It's made from a men's trouser hanger. Look for one with narrow horizontal hangers that swing open. Skip those that are padded (they'll be too big for your ribbon spools) or the kind with open ends (your ribbon will slide off too easily). I found this one at Target for about $5, and I think I've seen them at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, too. Love it!

I've also got a couple of smaller plastic box organizers from JoAnn's. They work well, but they're not particularly pretty. But this one is (if I do say so myself). I saw a tutorial for it in an issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine several years ago (sorry, I couldn't find the reference). It's great for small to medium-sized ribbon bolts. Since it's already made, I couldn't really do a tutorial, but it's so easy that I'll just do my best at explaining what I did.

What you'll need:

*Empty photo storage box

*BIG grommets from the notions aisle, enough for four on the short sides and as many ribbon holes as you want on each side --mine are 3/8" and I used 20 total (get the kit if you don't already have the tools to put them in)

*Two wooden dowels, long enough to stick out either end of your box and small enough around to fit through your ribbon bolts--mine are 12" long and 3/8" diameter (these can be found in packages at craft stores and even WalMart)

*Wooden balls with a notch drilled out the same size as your dowel are around (sorry, that is a bad description, but they are also easy to find on the wood crafts aisle at craft stores)

*Four thumb tacks

*Strong glue, like E6000

First, I took a plain, empty photo storage box and stamped these images with acrylic paint. Then I painted the dowels and balls a coordinating color (these are optional steps).

Next, I measured across to see how many grommets I could comfortably fit on either long side of my box. I wanted to have as many openings for ribbon as I could get (I ended up with 8 on each side). Then I cut the holes and put the grommets in using the kit that came with them.

I had two standard sizes of ribbon bolts for my box. I put a small one in the box on one side, and the medium one on the other side. Using a pen, I made a mark on the inside of the box in the middle of each bolt, and did the same thing on the opposite end. This is how I knew where to put my grommets for my dowels that would hold the ribbon. I added two grommets on each side for this purpose.

On one end of each dowel, I glued one of the wooden balls. I inserted my dowels part way and added the ribbon bolts on each side, then pushed them through the other side.

I glued the head of a thumbtack inside the remaining two balls so I could stick them on the other end of the dowels, but still be able to remove them when I wanted to change or add ribbon spools.

I stuck the balls with the thumbtacks on the other side of the dowels and then pulled my ribbon through the grommets. Some of them have two pieces coming out, which works fine for me because they're narrow.

I put my lid on and voila! A perfectly organized ribbon box. My only complaint is that the ribbon sometimes slips inside the box, but other than that it is fabulous.

Lollychops just posted a review of this clever new product called Ribbon Ring. It helps you get all those off-the-bolt pieces of ribbon out of a messy pile or Ziploc bag (like mine) and organized into something so pretty you can hang it on your wall! Check out her post for more information on this cool product.

I also loved this option I found in Creating Keepsakes' gallery. It's made from this frame she already had plus a book-biding ring. How's that for cheap and easy?

Do you have a creative way to organize your ribbon? Post a picture on our Flickr pool to share with our readers!

P.S. Happy Election Day! Did you vote? I did!

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24 Responses to “ribbon organization and storage ideas”

Missie Krissie said...

fantastic ideas, really inventive! Love the hangers, going to get me some immediately! :)

michelle said...

I have the ribbon ring because I did a review on it and absolutely love it! I actually cut the ribbon done to the size I need for my lunchboxes and then put it on. So easy!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

brilliant! I will pass this on to my scrapbooky friends.

Alena Jo said...

Oh, I am so glad you posted this! It could not have come at a better time. I was just organizing my craft and sewing stuff and realized how much ribbon I had collected over the last year. I was just thinking I needed a good way to organize it and be able to see it all at once!! I love it!

Unknown said...

LOVE IT! I've been looking for a new way to organize my ribbon! Thanks!

Julia Ladewski said...

great ideas!!

Here's another one for all the loose ribbon laying around. Take small (or big) binder clips and clip all the loose ribbon to it. I have mine coordinated by color, then i just hang the binder clip from my peg board!!

Rachael Hutchings said...

Such great ideas! Thanks for featuring LollyChops--she's one of my faves!

Nissa said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so glad I found you.. I use so much ribbon in my crafts that organizing them seemed impossible. I'm going to use your photo box idea (although it'll take a few!) and finally be able to find the ribbons I need for my projects! Thanks so much!

MaryAnne said...

I love all of these ideas, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I'm about to move my crafting space into another room and hoping to be much more organized; this will help a lot!

Sheryl said...

What wonderful ideas. Thank you for sharing this website.

Heard about your site over at jumping tandem.

letterstoelijah said...

Love the ribbon on the pants hanger... so smart!

Lyssa Beth said...

I LOVE the ribbon trouser hanger!! THis is just too simple and perfect! THis site is just great and i LOVE IT!! Keep up the great work!

Jocelyn said...

These are exactly what I've needed! Thank you!

Karen from Ontario said...

I just love your hanger idea...went right out and bought myself one. Thanks so much

::Sylvia:: said...

What a great project with the holidays around the corner! Would you mind if I posted about this project (linking back to you of course for instructions) on Blissfully Domestic's Creative Bliss Channel?

I'm the editor for the channel and I'd love to have you guys join our team of contributors! If you're interested (or if you don't want this posted) please contact me at sylvia{at}blissfullydomestic{dot}com!

Anonymous said...

Oh what a lovely idea, hadn't thought of mens trouser hanger before...you are a lifesaver!

Jamie :)

Casey said...

Love this idea with the hanger.. I'm fairly new to the blogging community, so I'm not sure on the proper procedure here, but wanted to let you know I posted a link to this post as well as your main page on my own blog www.mrscllc.blogspot.com to go with a ribbon box idea I made myself... hope you don't mind! Love reading all your ideas!!

Evelin Turner said...

Love the ribbon ideas! I had a client with lots of ribbon to organize and I sent her a link to your blog :)

Us Simple Girls said...

Thought I'd let you know that I've just linked this post on our most recent post about ribbon storage. Check it out at: threesimplegirls.blogspot.com Have a great day!

Amy Tobin/Amy's Table said...

I love these ideas- and I love ribbon! Gorgeous ribbon inspires me way beyond gift wrap. Does anyone have any great ribbon crafts?

Anonymous said...

These are some really great ideas! I usually stick my strings, ribbons and yarns in individual ziplock bags, and then I have a large plastic bin that they all go in to!

Jennifer said...

This is such a great idea...thanks for the detailed instructions. My ribbons are all jumbled in a storage container, but not for long! Oh,and I'm a new follower! You can visit me at www.all-americanbaby.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

I had been going crazy myself... looking for something to organize my ribbons with.
Here's what I tried. :)

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