Ribbony Happiness!

Susan headshoot Ribbony Happiness!

Susan R. Opel

A funny thing happened a couple of weeks ago. I was merrily working on some card making in my craft room just reveling in the joy of creation when tragedy occurred. While I was digging through my super full and embarrassingly messy pink ribbon bin, I dropped the most perfect little pink rose brad into the abyss. I dug a little, but I knew it was hopeless. It was gonna be awhile before I saw that brad again.

So, in true Susan-style, I threw up my hands and started to plan my complete and total ribbon revamp. Where the ribbons are housed wasn’t the problem. It was how they were stored within.

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My ribbons are stored in the black shoe bins hanging from the bar on the right.

I store my ribbons by color in these affordable shoe organizers that I bought at IKEA (and I splurged to add in the drawers). Each drawer is labeled accordingly, and then there is room for more tools in some of the open sections below. Here is a close-up of what it looks like:

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Each drawer is lovingly labeled so that I know right where everything is!

From the outside it all looks so tidy, but as you can see, that green drawer is a hot mess of ribbons. Just all sorts of random thrown in there. It’s a little cumbersome to say the least. I’ve seen people use wooden clothespins to wind their ribbon around, but after three stores did NOT have the type of clothespin I was looking for, I decided to use a little ingenuity. Because you see, I am far too impatient to buy them online and wait. This revamp needed to begin NOW.

Hobby Lobby hooked me up with their jumbo craft sticks. I bought 150 to begin with (but had to go back for more!). Armed with straight pins, scotch tape, and a marker to label each stick, I was ready for action.

You see, I had determined that ribbon cards and rolls were taking up far too much space in each drawer, so it was my plan to eliminate this waste of space. Ribbon scraps were gathered in snack-sized baggies. General ribbons like plain satin and grosgrain were unrolled and popped into the bin as-is, but specialty ribbons were wound one by one around the craft sticks. The end of each ribbon was secured with a straight pin, and I wrote the initials of the manufacturer at the end of each stick. And the transformation had begun.

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My favorite color! It’s all looking much more manageable!

Don’t get me wrong – this took a VERY long time, but with persistence, I got it done, and I’m so glad! It is so beautiful and so organized! It’s just a few nights (and one snowy weekend) in front of the TV rolling and rolling and rolling ribbon. See how pretty?

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Who wants to get crafty? I do!

All of this organization made me want to dive in and craft again. I’d found so many beautiful ribbons and trims that I had forgotten I even owned!  So, with a renewed sense of craftiness, I headed to the craft room and tried again.

This first card utilizes a multi-colored ribbon. This striped ribbon became the focal point of this card, and all of the papers and embellishments came together because of it. It was a fun way to approach making a card!

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Let ribbon colors drive your design!

PinExt Ribbony Happiness!Another card I made features several scraps from the green ribbon scrap baggie. I adhered the scraps to a piece of cardstock with super-tack double-sided adhesive and then die cut the ribbon panel into this label shape (inspired by a card by Sarah J. Moerman that you can find in Die Cutting for Paper Crafters). The label didn’t cut all the way through (I used a Spellbinders die in my Cuttlebug), but I was able to easily finish the cut with a craft knife.

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Don’t let those scraps go to waste!

PinExt Ribbony Happiness!Not to leave you hanging—that perfect little pink rose brad that I had lost in the pink ribbon bin that started all of this madness? Yep, I found it. icon wink Ribbony Happiness!

I love ribbon. Obviously.

Susan thumbnail Ribbony Happiness!




P.S. If you want to see more of my craft room, you can check out this blog post from awhile back.

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31 Responses to Ribbony Happiness!

  1. Kara says:

    It’s like a beautiful rainbow of ribbon. Doncha just love when the organizational bug hits?

  2. maria f. says:

    Uh, yeah, obviously! Love the cards and that the ribbon drove the cards. Seems like the ribbon deserved that attention after being cramped up in the bunch for so long ;) Good thing my ribbons can’t read this post or they’d be organizing to strike at this moment…

  3. ~amy~ says:

    Love seeing how you store your ribbon! Awesome fun cards…glad you found that brad:)

  4. Sue says:

    Great use of tongue depressors! I love the cards.

  5. Judy says:

    Great solution to ribbon storage!

  6. Donna Polley says:

    Can you see me drooling?? You have a yummy ribbon collection! Love the way you are storing your ribbon so cleaver!

  7. Jeannette R. says:

    So I have my ribbons also stored by colors but reluctantly admit it’s a pathetic version of this, so I thank you for this inspiration to make my ribbons feel a little better! ;)

  8. Elizabeth P says:

    very cool idea ! If you wanted to go even bigger, you could use paint stirrers.

  9. Barbara Martin says:

    Great idea! I can never find the ribbon I am looking for – this would definitely help!

  10. Pat C says:

    What a great idea!!!

  11. Helen F. says:

    Oh Susan, after seeing your organizers, I now have ribbon-envy :)
    Love the bright fun cards you made and soooo happy you found the ‘missing’ pink brad ;)

  12. Lucy says:

    This was another of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments? A perfect and simple solution. The resulting cards are great. I especially like the multi-color striped ribbon card, but am always on the watch for ways to use up those precious pieces of gorgeous ribbon.

  13. Love your organization but especially your fun cards!

  14. I love, love, love your organization!!!! I’m always organizing and re-organizing, so you are a girl after my own heart! :-)

    I love the second card with all of the different ribbons – fabulous!

  15. love me some ribbon..love how you organized yours.. fabulous cards.

  16. You’ll find that you use ribbon more often now that it is easy to find. I question wrapping the ribbon around the craft sticks though. Won’t the ribbon get bent? Like with fold marks in it? I’ve had ribbon stored on cardboard tabs before that I ended up throwing out because I never could get the creases out of it (I suppose ironing it would work, but iron is a 4-lettered word, if I ironed ribbons, hubby would expect no less of his work shirts!).

  17. Mendi Yoshikawa says:

    What an inspiring post! Love your idea for ribbon storage and the darling cards you made! I have been meaning to catch up on ribbon organization. A couple year ago I got a good start, but I need to finish the job. Thanks for inspiring me again! :)

  18. Raquel Mason says:

    What an assortment of ribbon you have! Now that it’s tidy I’m sure you’ll be putting it on everything as it’s easier to find. Thanks for the organizing tips.

  19. kathy/NorthCarolina says:

    Fabulous! Nothing makes me happier than organizing my ribbon…and I need to do it again, so thanks for the great ideas!

  20. Susan DR says:

    I love your shoe bin storage for ribbon. I have tried so many different things that never have seemed to work. Right now my (excessive) collection of ribbon is such a mess that I go out and buy more ribbon instead of finding what I know I already have! I see a total makeover in my future. Thanks for such wonderful inspiration!

  21. Maureen Chandler says:

    I LOVE your ribbon storage system – beautiful eye candy too! My ribbon collection could use some help too! Maybe this will work for me…..

  22. Jen R says:

    I love your organized ribbons! It feels great to get supplies nice and tidy…I re-organized my craft room 2 weeks ago. (although I think you have more ribbon in one bin than I have total!!)

  23. bzyPTmom says:

    Great idea! I use old gift cards to wrap ribbon around–when I ran out of ribbon spools for my clear boxes–hate to say I now have 3 storage boxes full of ribbon!

  24. Mary Mac says:

    Susan, Love your craft room.. Feel free to come to my house, I’ll order the pizza.

  25. Becky D says:

    What a fabulous idea Susan! I may even be inspired to do this :) I have been looking for a good way to store my ribbons – I too love ribbon! Now I am off to check out your craft room… I know I am going to be envious!

  26. barbara lassiter says:

    Oh my! You have a rainbow of ribbon goodness stashed away in your craft room. How fun is that!!!!

  27. katie brooks says:

    Sweet loveliness…the room and cards!

  28. Katie B. says:

    I loved this post! Great cards – especially like the diecut ribbon! Your ribbon piles look so pretty and very organized now! Thanks for the ideas – I wonder if there is a plastic alternative to the wood… Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  29. Susan S. says:

    I prefer my ribbon on spools on a rack purchased from Joanne’s. I even brave Black Friday to get a new one. That looks like a good idea for organizing my Wal-mart bag full of scraps though.

  30. Atticelf says:

    Fabulous idea! I’ve got my ribbon jammed in a box – not even by color. Not pretty.

  31. Cheryl E says:

    Ha! This reminded me so much of myself. The part about one tiny brad sparking an organization revolution. Love your results! And I’ll admit I’m jealous of all your pretty ribbons. Love your cards.

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