"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Monday, January 10, 2011

Get It Together - Week One - Ribbon Organization

(Note:  Prepare yourself, this is a long post!)

Over at the Little Blue House (the local store where I design and teach) we have started an 8-week session to "Get it Together, Organize with Style."  We will be posting each Monday on the blog about organizing different sections of our craft/art spaces.  Check it out and become a follower to avoid missing any important ideas and tips that might just help you create order out of the chaos that we all have in our creative spaces.  And we aren't just preaching here - all of us at the LBH have resolved to work right alongside all of you in our own spaces!

This week we tackle ribbon.  Does your ribbon pile resemble this?  I think we all have something similar, especially if you just love ribbon!

It seems that I, personally, have tried just about every way to store ribbons.  When I first started out, I used a divided plastic storage box (the kind often used for embroidery floss), but my collection soon outgrew that idea!

Here is another idea - hanging spools on a tiered pants hanger.  This is great if you don't have too many and if the spools are all a similar size.  It's also very portable.  I tried this for awhile also, but once I got to 2 racks and still didn't have room for all my ribbons, I decided it was time to try something new.

This was one of my most favorite (and most inexpensive) forms of storage.  This is a cardboard ribbon display rack usually found on the end caps of Michael's or Hobby Lobby with their seasonal ribbons.  I happened upon one that was almost empty and took it to the register to see if I could have it.  They were happy to get rid of it as it's usually just thrown away.  I have used this for a long time and it's sturdy and holds alot of ribbons. 

 Last summer my ribbon collection had outgrown every storage solution, so I decided to try Tracy's solution (she is my co-worker and owner of the LBH - she posts about this storage system today on the LBH blog).  I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner!  It utilizes the photo/video storage boxes (like shoe boxes) that can be purchased inexpensively at craft stores.  Once you have your box, you measure to determine the size for cardboard cards to fit inside.  This is about 4"x7".  Cut the cards from scrap chipboard, cardboard or even cereal boxes (recycle, recycle!) and wind your ribbons on each card by color family.  A pearl-headed pin secures the loose end.  Then file the cards by color!  This photo shows one card completed.  Depending on the width of the ribbons, you can fit five to seven ribbons on each card.

 Here is one box filled - eye candy for sure!  It's so easy to see all you have - the hardest part is removing the ribbons from the original spools!  You will be amazed at how efficient and space-saving this method is.

At present I have two full boxes with a third started.  But I must admit I still am using a few other storage methods as well.  Below you can see how I store my small ribbon pieces, ones that aren't worth wrapping around the cards.  I like seeing them through the glass jars on my little shelf unit. This is also the first place I go to look for a piece of ribbon.  If I don't find anything here, then I will cut into my larger pieces within the boxes.

 I don't have alot of twine or baker's twine, so I use old vintage thread spools or regular clothespins for wrapping these.

I also don't like to store my silk ribbons on the cards as they crease.  I use old-fashioned round wooden clothespins (usually found in the doll or wood section of the craft store), wind the ribbon around and secure the end with a bit of regular tape.  Since I don't have many of these, they fit nicely in an old insulated glass that fell apart.

Now that my ribbons are under control, maybe I should tackle my fibers!  I think I will try these on the cards in boxes also as they are taking up way too much space and it's a disorganized mess!

 I hope you find some inspiration in these ideas and photos and will join us in taking baby steps to getting organized!


ElaineH said...

Susan this is great..had not thought about silk ribbons creasing..as I don't have many I will make sure I keep this in mind.

Diann said...

Susan, I enjoyed following these informative ways of getting ribbon under control...I admit that I needed the tips and that gentle push to get it done! Diann