How to organize ribbons

If you’re lucky enough to have an entire craft room for yourself or even just a little nook where you keep all your crafty items, then you know that the key to inspiring creativity is that you keep your tools organized! And, of course, this includes your collection of pretty and frilly ribbons! Check out some of these creative ideas to organize your ribbon.

Crafters have tons of ribbon. Along with a hot glue gun and glitter, it’s a crafter’s staple piece. And if you’re a crafter with tons of ribbon, then you know how messy it can get when you don’t have it all neat and tidy. They get tangled and lost …. and many yards of ribbon goes untouched and missing. But with all these fun, nifty and stylish ideas … you’ll have all your ribbon organized and ready to use in a snap!

Nifty Ways To Organize Your Crafting Ribbon

1. Use A Dowel

Take each of your spools of ribbon and place them onto a dowel held in place by brackets. They’ll be easier to find and it’ll be easier to grab a piece of ribbon and snip it off to use for your next project.

2. Fill A Plastic Basket

If you can find a basket similar to this make sure it includes all those tiny holes. That way you can sit two rolls of spools of ribbon and punch each thread through the holes so it’s easy to snag a bit.

3. Store Your Ribbon In A Drawer

If you’ve got a drawer … use it! It’ll keep your ribbon stashed neatly away and out of sight, but never so out of sight that it’s lost in the hustle and bustle of a messy craft room.

4. Hang Your Ribbon Up

Another great way to keep clutter from out of sight but still at ease, hang the spools up! Grab a hanger with multiple bars (depending on the size of your needs) and slide them on!

5. Place Your Ribbon In A Cute Jar

Take your ribbon off the spool and buy some wooden slotted clothes pins. Wrap the ribbon around each pin and store them in a cute canister for safe keeping. .

6. Purchase A Straw Holder To Store Your Ribbon

Find another use for that vintage straw canister! Double it as a place for your ribbons. It’s super easy and super cute.

7. Embrace The Mess With Containers

Another way to use the canister, but still keep a pinch of creative chaos is to pack up the mess. Just throw all those extra yards of ribbon into a pot and voila!

8. Organize Ribbon In An Upcycled Shoebox

Have you ever wished that you had one of those fancy dispensers for your ribbon that they have in the store? You can create your own using a show box like they did on Kimber Creations! All you have to do is find 2 dowels to place the ribbon on in the shoe box, then cut a slit in the front to thread all the ribbon through. You can even use this idea as a crafts organizer for other supplies like thread, yarn, or twine.

9. Organize Ribbon In A Vase

This next ribbon organizer is unique and may not be for everyone, but you can get your ribbon up and off the table by making a ribbon vase. Not only is this a nifty way to store ribbon but you also get a decoration for your craft room in the process. This idea was inspired by Everything Etsy, and all you will need is a vase filled with something to weigh it down, then some wooden sticks or dowels to put your ribbon spools on. The only annoying thing is that your spools are stored at odd angles—which could make it difficult to cut exact measurements without removing the dowels from the vase.

10. Wall Mounted Ribbon Holder

If you are looking for a more permanent solution to storing all your ribbon, you’ll want to check out this wooden wall mounted holder by Close To My Art. It starts with a wooden crate that has holes cut in it to hold wooden dowels filled with ribbon. In the example, mismatched knobs were used to hold the dowels in place for a crafty look, but you could also simply paint your dowels to match the crate for a more natural look.

11. DIY Ribbon Spool

Sometimes it is just easier to create your very own crafts organizer for your ribbon instead of trying to make it fit somewhere it doesn’t! Follow these instructions on The Cottage Mama, where you will be able to make a ribbon holder. The original project includes using a 13” dowel, but for smaller collections of ribbon, you could easily cut it, or you could get a longer dowel if you have a large number of ribbon spools that need a new home!

12. Organize Ribbon In A Photo Frame

When you are looking for something to hold your craft supplies that is also decorative, you should give this ribbon photo frame by Cool Creativity a try. And the best part is, you’ll be reusing an old photo frame at the same time! This project works best when you have lots of ribbon in similar colors or patterns, and may not work as well if all you have is black ribbon. But give it a try either way and see what decorative ribbon storage frames designs you can come up with.

13. Tic Tac Ribbon Collection

The whole idea of crafts is making something new and beautiful out of unexpected materials, and that is exactly what Pretty Prudent did when they designed their Tic Tac ribbon holders! Of course, this project requires quite a few tic tac holders, so if you aren’t a fan of the small flavored mint this holder may not be for you, or maybe you’ll have to make friends with someone who loves Tic Tacs and have them give their empty containers to you! Either way, this is an excellent and unique way to store ribbon and other small craft supplies!

14. Repurposed Storage To Organize Ribbon

Crafters are always looking for ways to repurpose the things around them, and repurposing tea boxes into ribbon holders just like they did in Bright and Blithe is one of the best ideas yet! Not only is a tea box the perfect shape and size to hold a few spools of your favorite ribbon, but it can also be easily moved from one location to another. This is ideal for people who like to store ribbon by their sewing machine or craft table, then tuck it out of sight when they pull out a different project.

15. Bookend Ribbon Storage

For those that love ribbon but also love to read, you absolutely must look into this next ribbon holder by Everything Etsy. It is fashioned out of 3 old books that have had holes drilled into them and dowels glued in to hold spools of ribbon. You can even do as they did in the example, and get dowels a little bit longer than your books to have a nifty space to hang scissors and other supplies on one end. Just make sure you don’t glue both ends of the dowel so you will be able to switch out your ribbon when the spools are empty!

As a crafter, you know how important it can be to keep your craft supplies organized. This way you aren’t digging around in a panic in the middle of your special project! Whether you decide to repurpose an old shoe box, or design a wooden dowel exactly to the specifications of your ribbon, if you use any of these ideas to organize your ribbon, your collection will be looking spiffy in no time at all. And just think, you’ll never have to deal with random piles of ribbon getting tangled ever again!

Learn how to organize ribbon spools and ribbon scraps. This is part of the 30 days of organizing your sewing room series.

Ribbon is one of those notions that I have a hard time storing. They come all nice and fancy and organized- but soon after using them a few times, they become a jumbled mess!

For most of my ribbon, I store them in a drawer. It’s not the best option, but after trying a few different things and putting together a new sewing room – there are better options to try!

What I have used in the past is clear ziploc baggies. While that’s ok for short term storage, you’ll find that you’ll get knots (similar to thread) and be super frustrated when trying to pick out what you need. In addition to that you can’t really tell how much is actually left of that type. Many times I have found the perfect ribbon and when it was pulled out it was 2″ long! Argh!

Ribbon usually comes on a spool. The center hole is typically the same size so that does help when you are choosing a dowel to hang them on. After a time though you will have little ribbon scraps all over because there isn’t enough to stay on the spool. There are a few ideas for those as well– it happens to everyone!

Besides ribbon, ric rac, lace and ruffles are rolled onto a spool. So these ideas are great for any kind of those notions.

How to Organize Ribbon Spools

I have two spindles that I use for some ribbon. I need quite a few more- but they are fun to use with the cuter ribbon that can be seen all the time.

How to make a ribbon storage organizer or rack to hold spools of ribbon 3 different ways. These DIY ribbon holder ideas for your ribbon collection can be made very inexpensively to hang on a wall in a craft or sewing room or in a closet or cabinet as well as a few variations so you can customize each to fit your needs.

DIY Ribbon Storage Organizers To Make for Your Ribbon Collection

Each one of these ribbon organizing ideas has a step-by-step tutorial:

  • The first is a wall rack that requires a few tools. The second and third do not require any DIY skills or tools to make and can be completed in 30 minutes.

Before deciding what DIY ribbon organizer will work best for your ribbon collection read over the ideas in this post, as not every organization method will work for your space or work area.

Think about how you can make the best use with the space you have. If you have a craft table with drawers underneath, this may be and easy and perfect option for you.

For others, use these organization ideas as a creative jumping off point to come up with your own idea to store and organize your rolls of ribbon.

Organizing Ribbon TIPS

Before you get started, here are a few tips about organizing your spools of ribbon no matter what organizing spools of ribbon idea you use.

Choose a Spot – Do you have a room with open wall space where a wall rack will fit?

If not, consider turning a closet into a craft closet where you keep your craft supplies. In this closet you can hang a ribbon rack from the closet shelf or create a smaller holder for a smaller collection of ribbons.

Sort Ribbon – Group every roll of ribbon into categories so you can see just how much ribbon you have and how large the storage organizer should be.

Group the spools by color, then by similarly-sized spools. If you have smaller pieces or scraps of ribbon, these can be placed in old shoe boxes, a basket or tied onto a clothes hanger.

This will allow you to see all the snippets and have easy access to them. Seeing the actual amount of ribbon you have will allow you to see just how large or small your ribbon organizer should be.

Ease of Accessibility – You’ll want to spend some time really thinking about how you create with ribbon.

Do you like to take down spools and have them close by while you’re working? If so, you may want to keep them easily accessible instead of in a closet.

#1: How to Make a Ribbon Organizing Rack to Hang on a Wall

When creating this wall mount ribbon rack, I wanted to make use of one of the empty frames on the wall I call my Creative Wall.

I previously used the empty frame you see on the far wall as a mini photo studio in my previous home.

After a trip to the home improvement store where I went to see about using gutters to organize my ribbons, I ended up buying Corrugating 2.38-in x 10-ft Aluminum Drip Edge instead.

I also like that the “drip edge” was inexpensive and white. No paint was needed to make my DIY ribbon rack!

You may be asking – what is aluminum drip edge? It is used to protect roof edges and allows water to go into rain gutters.

It can be found at the Home Depot or Lowes in the gutter aisle. It is usually already painted white, brown, black or silver which saves you any need to paint.

AND…the best part of this system (besides that it looks pretty!) is that I can quickly see that I have plenty of lime green piping or purple ribbon so I don’t need to by any more! Ever. (How many times do you buy something that you already have buried in your stash?)

Lastly, I did have some monster spools of ribbon (100+ yards) that were NOT going to get wound on those tiny bobbins! Thanks to some of those inspiration ideas on Pinterest, I snagged this paper towel holder from Target (on clearance!). I easily loaded up all my big spools of ribbon, and now these are just as handy as all the rest!

That’s all I’ve got for today! Happy Monday!

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20 Comments on “A New Way to Store Ribbon!”

This is such a great way to store ribbon! I love that it's available to see what you have, and it's pleasing to the eye … thank you for sharing!

Genius. Plus is decorates the room at the same time. I wish I had a stash of ribbons just like yours.

This is such a creative idea. I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

PS: I am your newest Linky Follower!

This is absolutely ingenious – especially since you group by color family, so you can see right away which colors are low. And a couple of other things – any night with Downton Abbey is a good night! And "rotund"? pure awesome. I need to start using that word again.

Such a great idea! I love how organized it is!

Applause, great ideas!! Hugs and happy weekend wishes. P.S>Happy St. Pattys Day

Super duper smart! I love this idea, and it also acts as artwrok on your wall, how cool is that?

This is wonderful. I love how the bobbins save space; no more bulky rolls. Now you could even hang the bobbins from those lined picture racks (not sure what they're called — the ones that you use the clipped hooks) from Ikea.

Oh, it's actually called a curtain wire rod, and the hooks are called curtain ring clips (similar to those used on clip it up).

I love all your posts 🙂 Amazing is just a word that describes them all 🙂

Thank you! I was searching for those exact bobbins and couldn't figure out what they were called, then I found your site! Genius! I love it!

Love it!! Where did you find the spools to put the ribbon on?

Hi Misti! Looks like the site on the other end of my link has changed – boo. Not sure where else you can find them, but I found them while searching for "plastic bobbins." Sorry I can't be of more help! Good luck.

I use bobbins like this to otganize my embroidery thread, only they were made of cardboard. A plus here is that I can write the color/lot number right on the bobbin.

I tried this method, but my ribbons came out dented/creased. Does yours do that, too? Thx…

Hello, Grest idea on the plastic spools for the ribbon. I am looking for the same thing can you tell me where you purchased them? I have only been able to find the small ones. Thanks.

Thanks for your email, and unfortunately I don’t think I can be of much help. I bought them years ago, and I recall them taking forever to find. I never recorded the name of the source and after searching a bit just now, I can’t seem to find them myself. I have seen people make similar ones from cardboard, so that might be a place to start until you hunt them down.

Sorry I can’t be of more help! Good luck!

I live this idea for storing all my ribbons. Can you share where you got the plastic bobbins from? They are taller than the ones that i can find on line. Thanks!

Hi Tracy!
Unfortunately, this post is pretty old and these bobbins I think are long gone. I recommend checking Etsy to see if any sellars have cardboard versions that are similar!
Sorry I can’t be of more help here!Thanks,Megan

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Hi, I’m Megan!

I am a military spouse, mom to 3 young boys, and a constant creator. Thanks to my husband’s career, we have moved 8 times in the last 15 years, and I’ve made it my personal mission to decorate, organize, and re-imagine each rental space until it feels like home.

I love navy blue, a good peel-and-stick wallpaper, my Cricut machine, and really hot coffee; and I genuinely believe that…

Happy Friday! Need some ideas to store all your Ribbon and Fabric? Here are 18 great ideas from crafters like you on how to store your ribbon and fabric collections! This is a round up of your suggestions on the Craftaholics Anonymous Facebook page. If you have a craft question, post it on Craftaholics Anonymous FB page and the great community on there is more than happy to offer help, advice, and great tips! I love it!! I have learned so much from your answers. You guys are amazing!

Ribbon and Fabric Storage

I recently got a question from Susan about the best ways to organize and store ribbon and fabric – such a great question! Fabric and ribbon can get out hand quickly and having a fun way to store and organize them means you can always see what you have for your projects and it can add some fun and color to your craft room!

Ways to Organize & Store Ribbon and Fabric

1. “Ribbon – Use old CD holders. The kind that have the insert that sticks up. Fabric – Store in a filing cabinet. You can even use wide folders to hold smaller amounts.” – Lisa F.

2. “Empty tic tack boxes for ribbon and I store my scrap fabrics in a dollar store laundry bin. You could organize different color fabrics in shoe boxes or small clear bins by color or whether it has a pattern.” – Emily B.
3. “I have seen several ribbon organizing methods on Pinterest. A cafe curtain rod(s) on your wall would work great.” – Jodi D.
4. “I have a pin for a ribbon frame…cute and effective. I’ve also seen people use dowels through a little storage box.” – Stacy P.
5. “One way is to hang fabric from pant hangers if you have closet space.” – Kelly A.
6. “Check out the ribbon ring!” – Pepper H.

image from The Ribbon Ring
7. “I use the pant hangers to store my ribbon. Also a paper towel holder works well too!” – Kevin A.
8. “I have all my fabric sorted by type (cottons, fleece, knit, heavy weight) then I have them all folded neatly and on clear rubbermaid tubs. My ribbon is kept on the spools I buy them on or neatly rolled and rubberbanded. I keep all my ribbon in a 4 drawer plastic container under my craft table. The shallow drawers hold the small pieces where the deep drawers hold the rolls.” – Tamara C.
9. “I saw a blog where someone wrapped each fabric around cardboard or foam board and stood them up on a shelf. Like at the fabric store, but at a much smaller scale.” – Aimee W.

10. “I have a very wide, 2 drawer cabinet that i store my fabric in. I just cut up old boxes and used slats of them to wrap the fabric around to store. For my larger rolled ribbon, i have 3 units of those shelves you would put in your pantry nailed to the wall. For my rolls of 1.5″ ribbon, i have plastic paint tins (like a gutter) hanging on the walls with shelf brackets. Also, the expedia shelving from ikea is wonderful! I have all of my 100 yd ribbon in bins that fit into the cubbies of the system” – Jamie B.
11. “I had a open space on my wall in my craft room and hung up 5 curtain rods and slid on the ribbon spools. Keeps them handy and makes it easy to dispense. I have plastic storage boxes labeled by colors. I also have a hand towel rack on the wall to fold my current project material so I don’t get it wrinkled or lost.” – Katie B.

12. “I store my longer ribbons on a hanger. Fold it in half and do a loose loop to hold it in place. It works for me because I can see what I have at a glance. Just cut it off as you need it.” – Melissa L.
13. “This is how I store my ribbon. I am still working out the fabric. Right now it is in rubbermaid tubs which doesn’t work that well to know what you have.” – Laura S.

image from Laura’s Crafty Life
14. “Here is my new way to store my ribbon!” – Rebekah H.

image from Rebekah Dawn Designs
15. “I personally use the photo boxes from Michaels. They’re always on sale and you can fit a good amount of ribbon in them and label the outside by theme, color, or width. With having over 200 rolls of ribbon, I find this is the easiest and nicest looking way to do it. Then when you need just one width, take that box with you.” – Ashlee H.
16. “I store my ribbon that are on spools in a fish line box–pull the plugs and stick the ribbon through–they work great–and you can get them from Walmart – Fish Line Box is what I think they are called.” – Barbie H.
17. “I’ve seen white rubbermaid-like baskets with larger holes in the sides used for ribbon storage. Stackable, and you can use the holes as dispensers.” – Stacey G.
18. “my friend uses half a drin pipe (so it is like a curved shelf) with the ends of the ribbon hanging over.”

*You can find the complete thread of responses on CA’s Facebook page here. Come join the active crafting community on Facebook!

Looking for even more fabric storage ideas? Read my other post with lots of pictures here!