Organizing crafts in your home can be challenging. With lots of quilting fabric, there's enough shelf space for fabric but not enough room for the extras – ribbon, books and more. Learn how to organize ribbon so you're ready for the next project.
As I'm still unpacking from my move to Florida, when Mary asked for ideas to organize ribbon, it was time to explore more storage ideas. What I discovered is you've got to step back and look at your room and where you'll do what, to find the best solutions. After assembling the bookshelves, I lined up my fabric buckets on the floor by color before moving them onto the shelves. When it came to my quilting books, I wondered if I needed another bookcase?
My first approach was to put some fabric in the drawers to free up one shelf. That gave me enough room for quilting books and a bucket of ribbon. Then I found more quilting books, so when I saw a discussion about how to organize ribbon on HomeTalk.com, I realized I needed to consider more ideas so … please join the conversation with a comment below.
Stepping back from how the room looks, I realized it would be helpful to think through the following decision factors:
- List projects that use ribbon and where I'm most likely going to work on those projects.
- Explore Pinterest to get ideas for organizing ribbon from other crafters.
- Identify the best organizing options for how I use ribbon.
Projects Where I Use Ribbon
Most of my ribbon gets used for holiday cards. They're lots of fun and a great way to use scraps of fabric leftover from quilting. Wondering why there's so much ribbon to organize? Ribbon is expensive so you can save a lot buying at the end of the year when it's half price. Of course you then have to organize and store the ribbon.
Not being a traditional quilter (crazy quilting is what I do), you might imagine ribbon will show up in unusual places. Here are examples of a ribbon on a crazy quilted Christmas wreath and use Diane Hire style dongles in my art quilts, with buttons, ribbon and other fun stuff. So it's not just ribbon I have to organize but almost anything you might combine with fabric.
Where Will You Use Your Ribbon?
It makes sense to organize your ribbon for ease of use as you tackle your craft projects. As every house is different, the best way to illustrate this is where will I work on the projects outlined above.
- When making cards with ribbon:
- It's easy if you're only making one or two cards. Then you want to quickly scan your ribbon stash for the ideal color and width, grab some scissors and cut off what you need. For these projects, my sewing desk will work well so ideally it would be nice to see my ribbon choices while picking fabric for the cards.
- When making batches of 10 or more cards, you need more space. Rather than put away my sewing machine, cards are easy to move to another flat surface area. It might be the kitchen island, dining room table or possibly my quilt cutting table if I don't mind standing. When all the cards are the same color, I'll grab one wheel and take it to the work table.
- When making small wall quilts (wreaths above), most of of the work is done at the sewing machine. Some of you might do a lot more embellishment (read Tips on Sewing with Ribbons) so your craft projects will tell you how often you'll want to access your ribbon.
- Ribbon embroidery is my new discovery, found researching this article. You need an entire pallet of ribbon colors similar to my fabric stash. It will be important to organize the ribbon to quickly switch from one color to another, varying the length of each piece of ribbon. If you want to explore these more, here's a link to find the ribbon and book at Amazon.
Choices to Help You Organize Ribbon
Now that you've got a good idea about when you use ribbon and where you work on these projects, it's time to decide how you want to organize your ribbon. Here are the decision factors to consider:
- Do you want your ribbon visible at all times? If yes, you'll want them on a shelf, the wall or maybe a rotating organizer. Here are my favorites for the wall and a tall organizer for my thread, patterns, rulers and other gadgets. Hint: Loving IKEA's new white pegboard so I carried my ribbon bucket over to the home electronic board we just finished … for inspiration.
- Will you measure and cut your ribbon where it's stored? or take it with you to another room where there's more space to work? If you take your ribbon somewhere else … will you take all of it or just a few spools? Here are several ideas to help you organize ribbon for mobility.
DIY or Buy Your Answer to Organize Ribbon
There is no right answer! We're all different – you might have more time? more money? be ready to build something?
As I've just moved after living out of boxes for more than a year, I just want to get settled so I decided to buy the craft tower. It not only gives me a way to display my ribbon, it has room for my quilting books and tons of other gadgets.
So let's go shopping. Can't say I fully understand how Google is moving into the sales lead world. It was amazing to see the range of prices so be sure to click on the right arrow. Found the craft tower from a low of $209.99 at Walmart (store pickup) to $319.99 at Office Depot. It was also fun seeing how different online retailers are branding products … but Sauder is the manufacturer!
PS Liked learning about the manufacturer as Sauder, especially because they've been building “ready-to-assemble” furniture for more than 50 years (see patents back to 1953). While they partner with other companies, they also employ more than 2,000 people in Archbold, Ohio … so let's support them!