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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ribbon Storage for the Space-Impaired

This inspiration for this idea comes from my sister-in-law's mother's ribbon storage. I really, really, really, wish I had the insane amount of ribbon and crafting supplies she does. Instead I saw her ribbon storage idea and tucked it away for future use. I'm also space-impaired. There's no room for shelves or walls of ribbon. However, I've finally acquired enough ribbon to justify moving from a large ziploc bag to this...

This is one of the easiest things I've ever done. You'll need a rubbermaid container (preferably clear and with a lid), a few dowels (depending on how many rows of ribbon you can get into your container - size needed will also depend on your container), a glue gun, and your ribbon. You'll also want a marker to make marks on the container. If you're using dowels that aren't precut, you'll need something to trim them also. I just used a serrated kitchen knife.

The first thing you want to do is figure out how many rows of ribbon you think you can fit in your container. This will depend on the size of spools and the size container you have. Do some playing around and make sure you can comfortably fit your ribbon spools in the way you think you can. I chose to make the bottom two dowels for wider ribbon, one of the top ones for 5/8" and 7/8" ribbon, and the other top one for anything smaller.

After you know how many dowels you want to put in and how many spools you think you can fit on each dowel, you'll need to start warming up your hot glue gun. This works best if you don't have any glue in it you just need the heat) but if there's already glue in it, you should be able to easily pull the glue stick out after it's warmed up a bit. If there is only a little bit of glue left in it, you could just squeeze all the glue out or just be sure not to push the trigger as you're doing this.

Start with the slots for the dowels. Take your hot glue gun and melt a hole through the plastic big enough to comfortably fit your dowel. You don't want it to be too snug or too loose, for obvious reasons. For my needs, pushing to entirety of the metal part of the glue gun through made the perfect size hold for the dowels.

Do the same on the other side so that your dowel has 2 holes to sit in.

Repeat the process for as many dowels as you need in your container.

With the dowels still in their holes, you want to make holes on the main sides of the container for your ribbon to be pulled through. Again, figure out how many spools of ribbon you plan to have on each dowel. You might consider separating them by size, for this purpose. That way you can have all your 3/8" ribbon on one dowel and all your 5/8" on another - so your holes are spaced evenly and so you don't ever have to struggle to make ribbon fit on the dowels. But that just might be my OCD side coming through.

Before you make your holes in the main side, you'll want to mark where you want the holes. I used a permanent marker to give myself and estimate as to where to put the holes.

Then, using the same heating technique, make holes in the sides for the ribbon to slide through.

Pull your dowels out, load them up, then put them back in. As you put the dowels in, you'll want to go through and pull the ribbons through the holes. If some of them don't want to stay, you can just use a small piece of tape to keep the ribbon on the outside of the container. This is what I did for the smaller ribbon, especially the slippery satin stuff.

Here you can kind of see how the smaller ones are taped down.

If you're worried about ribbon or the dowels sliding back and forth, then wrap some rubber bands around the ends of the dowel or next to the spools of ribbon to keep them from going anywhere. I put rubber bands on each side of each dowel (except the one that doesn't have any ribbon. I'm still growing into my container).

I also wrapped some ribbon arouund next to the ribbon on the dowels that aren't filled up. Then the ribbon isn't sliding back and forth across the dowel.

And there you have it! Easily accessible ribbon storage for the space-impaired. I can easily pull it out and put it away when necessary. All I have to do is pull the ribbon through and cut off what I need.

We're linking up with these super awesome parties:

Whatever Goes Wednesday, Idea Sharing Wednseday, What I Made Wednesday, Creative-ly U, Feature Yourself Friday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Frugal FridayDIY Under $5, Lovely Little Linkup, Craftastic Monday, Woot Woot Wednesday, Strut Your Stuff, Our House of Joyful Noise, Get You Craft On, Wow Me Wednesday, Weekend Wander


  1. I love this! I don't have that much ribbon, or at least I don't think I have that much ribbon. I am organization impaired right now. But if I ever get to be more organized and need ribbon storage I will know what to do. I love the hot glue gun trick. so smart!

  2. Genius! I've been trying to organize my ribbon for months, but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the great idea! (BTW found you through Someday Crafts Whatever Wednesday)

  3. That is seriously a brilliant way to make the holes in a plastic bin. Love it!!

  4. Thank you so much for putting into action what I've been trying to organize in my head for months! I have a small plastic container that's made for this but I was frustrated by how few rolls it would hold so I knew there had to be something better =) I might tweak the design a bit and use a Dremmel tool to just make an opening all the way across for the ribbon to come out, so that later on if I add new rolls they won't have to be the same size to line up with the holes just right. Great job!

  5. That is really very creative. You have been featured on Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. Feel free to grab the button and use it on your blog.

    Thanks for linking up at Tea-Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. Your post added to the celebration. Party for this week is going on now. Hope to see you there.

  6. I NEED one of those! I'll try to do it... lots of ribbons everywhere....

  7. Such a neat idea and perfect for staying organized..a keeper! Linking up from Kreative Korner.

  8. This is a great project. Just love the idea.

  9. This is now on my pinterest list of things to do on a winter's day! I have an insane amount of ribbon in a big box that I stir through when I need some....this would be so much better. Your tut is very well done....thanks


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