Craft Studio Organizing: Ribbons


I have lots and lots of unorganized ribbon.

When I work on projects involving ribbon, I never know how much of any particular ribbon I have at a glance and keeping those cardboard spools and loose ribbon in any sort of system has yet to work for me. And if I make a permanent fixture for my ribbon, it won’t be easy to schlep organized ribbon from studio to dining room (where I pretty much take over the entire room for days on end.)


The drapery-ring-cup-hook-yardstick organizer!

I added cup hooks to an old yardstick (pre-drill holes for screwing in hooks along inchmarks.) The yardstick had holes on each end so hung that from Command Wire Hooks.

I have a good amount of vintage wooden drapery rings picked up on the cheap here and there.

I unrolled all my ribbon spools, untangled the piles of random pieces elsewhere and slid each through a ring to its halfway point. Some super long sections were folded double then slid through. I then hung each draper ring from the cup holders by their eye screws in rainbow order.Then, when I need to take specific colored ribbon into the dining room (such as a Valentine palette,) I simply remove the rings from their hooks and run them onto another yardstick, tucking that high into my bookcase, using heavy books to hold it in place.I’ve been using this system for a few weeks now and I’m loving it. I can tell instantly what ribbon options I have for any project. It does take up a big 36″ section of my studio,  but it’s worth it.

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93 Responses to Craft Studio Organizing: Ribbons

  1. #1 - Deneen says:

    This is brilliant!

  2. #2 - patricia says:

    wow, that is the most imaginative organizing idea, i have seen in a long time, thanks for sharing

  3. #3 - Holly L says:

    That is gorgeous and inspirational all on its own! Fab idea!

  4. #4 - susie c. says:

    thank you – i love this!

  5. #5 - tina says:

    Hi Cathe! LOVE this idea, and will definitely keep it in mind! Thanks, and have a great weekend!

  6. #6 - Maude May says:

    Great (and beautiful) idea, but what about when you have 20+ yards of ribbon? OOOOH I just figured it out – I could do a smaller version of this with a yard or two on the hook and a little tag with actual yardage info and keep the spools in their boxes! Thanks for inspiring!

  7. #7 - Jeannie says:

    Another great Cathe idea! Super decoration, too. When I put the ribbons away, I don’t remember what I have. I’ll be doing this—or at least a version of it.

  8. #8 - susan w says:

    You must not have cats…. : )

  9. #11 - Jennifer says:

    This not only is great for organization but looks fantastic!

  10. #12 - Immi says:

    Great idea!

  11. #13 - I Live in an Antbed says:

    Brilliant is not a strong enough adjective for this! Wow!! 🙂

  12. #14 - Patty says:

    Brilliant! I never know what to do with it either!

  13. #15 - MsJoyceG says:

    Love your thought process .. good on you .. may have to “adapt” to my “supplies on hand”. TFS

  14. #16 - Shauna says:

    This really is the best idea for ribbon I’ve seen yet! Thanks

  15. #17 - Meri Wiley says:

    Pretty cool, I might adapt this, however, right now I’m using plastic stacking bins with angled front openings (originally intended for nails, screws, etc., in garages) and they are sorted by color. I have them stacked 4 across by 4 down, for a total of 16 bins. This is a pretty good storage method, but all the ribbons still get tangled, so I might just give your idea a try. Thanks for sharing.


  16. #18 - sheila Zachariae says:

    Brilliant! and so is the idea!


  17. #19 - Laura Evangeline says:

    …and it’s pretty!

  18. #20 - Anna says:

    Genius! I have the same complaints about spool storage, and lots of scraps all tumbled into an old canister. This is much more user-friendly and attractive!

  19. First of all, I’m in awe of your ribbon collection! Second, your system is genius! I’m betting that it takes up far less space than running entire spools along a dowel. And I like that you can easily remove the ones you want to use.

  20. #22 - Cindy Pestka says:

    Ooooh, what a fabulous idea. I would so love to try it but I fear my cats would think it was one, big, colorful cat toy. Surely I am smarter than they are, though…

  21. #23 - Lizzy Ford says:

    Wow! That is such a unique idea!
    I love the look of it too.

  22. #24 - Saucy Chick Sherry says:

    Brilliant idea. I love the color and artsy drama this adds to the studio/dining room. I have been wanting to “display” my ribbons forever as I love to look at them. Instead mine are all jammed into plastic bins only sorted by narrow, medium and wide sizes. Very clever of you my dear. Happy June…

  23. #26 - suzanne says:

    I concur with everyone above this is brilliant! Really now, I have tried all kinds of ribbon organizing over the years and I can at long last see the light: this is *IT*. yes!

  24. #27 - Berta says:

    I wish I had the wall space! It is really a cool idea! TFS!

  25. #28 - Natalie T. says:

    Gorgeous! I need more ribbon just so I can do this and take up some wall space. 🙂 Great idea!

  26. #29 - Annalea says:

    I’ll say it’s worth it. It’s gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. :o)

  27. #30 - Sally says:

    What a brilliant idea, so decorative too! Mine are all tangled up in a wicker basket. I think I will have to find something to turn into a ribbon organizer when I go thrifting tomorrow!

  28. #31 - Edith says:

    I absolutely ove this idea (and I love your blog =).
    Thanks for sharing & Hi from Paris (France)

  29. #32 - Carey - Gypsy Thread says:

    This is fabulous! Really. Organizing ribbon and trims drives me insane. I absolutely love this idea. And it looks pretty too.

  30. #33 - Leann says:

    Love this idea – I have my spools in an old piece of rain gutter


  31. #34 - Amanda R says:

    This is a wonderful idea and such pretty eye candy but at my home that would be one humongous cat toy!

  32. #35 - martina says:

    Great idea and look at those beautiful colors of ribbon!This is a lot better than my ribbon storage method, which is a drawstring canvas bag.

  33. #36 - Diane@InMyOwnStyle says:

    Hi Cathe-

    You have done it again – I am totally in awe of your genius. I cannot wait to do this as I have so many of my ribbons thrown in a big basket.
    My best- Diane

  34. #37 - Vicki K says:

    Wow – you get the added bonus of the beautiful array and it’s transportable!! I have been using the metal curtain clip rings for hanging items that I don’t want to put a hole in them – but had not really thought of any way to use my old wooden ones!

  35. #38 - sandy carlman says:

    Wonderful idea. Yes, it does take up 36″, but it is so beautiful!

  36. #39 - Shel says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I’m off to try it myself!

  37. #40 - Rebekah says:

    Industrious, and beautiful, to boot!

  38. I just love this idea…thanks for sharing!

  39. #42 - Terisa says:

    I love this idea – with some adapting, I’ll use it for hanks of beads!

  40. #43 - sue says:

    I had to scroll down to see if the response that immediately came to mind had been made and yes, the cat toy people have let you know that even though this idea is super (as your ideas always are), cats would LOVE this WAY more than their owners would. In fact, my 3 little buddies think I should make one right now! It would be the awesomest cat toy ever! It would be fun to tape them playing with it and I imagine there would be some funny, funny clips to post on the internet. And I just scored some old wooden curtain rings lately, too.
    Thanks for thinking creatively, as always.

  41. #44 - ScarletScorpion says:

    So simple and yet so ingenius! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  42. #45 - Jan says:

    I love this, but yeah, the cat thing. I’ll have to find a place in one of my cat-free zones. I ODed on ribbon last summer so I may need to double-decker it, but doing this will free up a bookcase that is now filled with boxes of spooled ribbon.

  43. #46 - Lauran Weinmann says:

    This is brilliant. I just discovered your blog last week and I am so impressed — not only with your crafty ideas and your skills, but with your generosity in sharing them all with your fans! Thank you.

  44. #47 - Cindy Dowdle-Schoen says:

    What a great and colorful idea, thank you for sharing it!

    Hi, I’m your newest follower. Hope you can stop by sometime..
    Have a great Monday!


    Purple Froggie Clay Stuff

  45. #48 - Kathleen in St. Louis says:

    This is brilliant! I think I’ll try it using a closet curtain rod and shower curtain rings that I can clip over it. It’ll free up about half a dozen clear Rubbermaid boxes that I can now use elsewhere! Thanks for sharing.

  46. #49 - Jess says:

    I love this idea! About 40 years ago my Mom used those same wooden drapery rings as picture frames for adorable photos of her & and my sweet Father (now passed away…) as children. I have them now & they hang in the dressing area of our closet. I just wish I could find more ;(

  47. #50 - PennyA says:

    How wonderfully cool! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  48. #51 - jet says:

    awesome smart solution, love it, thank you for the sharing!!!;-D

  49. #52 - Lauri says:

    I love this idea! and I’m so comforted to hear that someone else has a studio but also takes over the dining room for days on end with a project (or two) that just needs ‘spreading out’!!! lol

  50. #53 - Kathleen says:

    Plus you have the added bonus of always having a measuring stick handy to cut your required lengths of ribbon! Clever and functional!

  51. #54 - Jamie says:

    Totally brilliant!! And so very pretty, too. I need to find the space and a solution to do a similar thing with my vast art paper collection. It’s getting more and more difficult to dig through the pile standing squished in large cardboard portfolio folders without doing damage to the sheets.

  52. #55 - Clydia says:


  53. Pingback: Drapery Rings

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  55. #56 - Nikki says:

    what a fab idea, so well organised, I have many wooden curtain rings, so if anyone needs them cheap to do the same…

  56. Pingback: Ribbon Storage

  57. #57 - Christina Fernandez says:

    What a cute idea!! This could work for neckties too. Thanks!!

  58. #58 - LaDonna says:

    All of the above – brilliant! genius! clever! beautiful! And I love the fact you have an entire drawer of wooden drapery rings!

  59. Pingback: Epson Stylus NX625 Review, Giveaway & JSIM Ephemera Downloads! | Just Something I Made

  60. #59 - Ruby says:

    Love it…thanks for sharing this….all the ribbon storage options I have seen are soooo expensive.

  61. #60 - wendy baker says:

    how in hades did i miss this? you just solved a huge problem for me. i will show you when i adjust my own storage units! as always, you are the queen. xoxo.w

  62. #61 - Suzann Walker says:

    LOVE what you created……I should take a picture of the thread rack Uncle Bud made me….
    Hope y’all are doing well!

  63. #62 - Lori Fodor says:

    I LOVE this idea…unfortunately my cat Sammy would have all these ribbons on the floor in a heartbeat…and chewed! 🙁 I have to keep my ribbon behind closed doors which means more times than not I forget I have ribbon to use on my designs.

  64. #63 - Sarah J says:

    Great idea, I think I will certainly have to downsize it to a standard ruler to work in my space, but seems like the kind of solution I have been looking for.

  65. #64 - Ryanne van ophem says:

    I’ve been wondering how I can de-clutter all my ribbons and lace, thank you so much!

  66. #65 - Victoria Ciolek says:

    hi Cathe, I have recently gotten into the computer world of crafts, design,etc… what a new world that has opened up for me. I am disabled and been making cards for yrs. i have antique everything, even down to old soap labels (and the soap) I was a porcelain doll maker before I became disabled in 98,) and yes my dolls are all dressed in vintage, down to their pantalets and stockings. anyway I love vintage. a friend told me abt The Graphics Fairy and the free vintage templates/downloads and that’s how i found you! I don’t know if I’m doing it correctly but I want to thank you for all your freebies. If it weren’t for people like you i wouldn’t be able to enjoy what I do, and what I’m learning to do. i want to make mini booklets/albums and use the vintage art. this is going to so fun. I got to looking at your DIY and came across alot of things I can do in my craft room. ie ribbon on a yard stick!!! what an idea and pretty too! Well thank-you so much. I appreciate you. blessings, victoria

  67. #66 - Audrey Dickinson says:

    What a neat idea… thank you for sharing..

  68. #67 - Kelley says:

    What a gorgeous storage solution. If it has to be big, at least it’s pleasing to look at. I store my ribbon in a similar fashion, but on a much smaller scale.

  69. #68 - Terri Harmon says:

    Love your organization. I use a similar method called Ribbon Rings. The ribbon is hung on plastic cards that have slits to keep the ribbon from slipping off. The cards (similar to the kind you might wrap floss around) have a hole and are hung on a large ring. I have all my ribbon organized by color on three large rings. The ribbon hangs just like yours and is instantly portable. When I travel, I just shove them in a photo box and hang them from my cup holder where ever I am cropping. Check them out at Thanks for sharing your photos.

  70. #69 - Karen Duchnowski says:

    Love it! BUT, my daughter and my cats would steal my stash!! LOL!

  71. #70 - karen reilly says:

    What a neat idea, and it is pretty also!

  72. #71 - Alice Manis says:

    I love the idea! Unfortunatley the first thing I saw was “Cat Toy Heaven” but I really love the idea and might alter it enough to be cat safe. Thank you!!!

  73. You just solved my problem in how to display vintage linens in my booth. Thank you!

  74. #73 - Jan says:

    That is the best thing I’ve seen, I’m always looking for ways to organize my “stuff”.
    If they give out awards for this type of thing, You deserve the top one
    Thanks for sharing

  75. #74 - Patricia says:

    Very clever, I love it. But what about dust and fading?

  76. #75 - Launa says:

    What a great idea!!

  77. Pingback: Scarf Storage | Pure Organizing

  78. #76 - CATHY says:


  79. Pingback: Manic Monday: Ribbon Storage « Charmios

  80. #77 - Leticia says:

    Wow, what a great idea, now I know what to do with all my ribbons. I’m glad I found your page,awsome job.

  81. #78 - Leticia Arroyo says:

    Awsome, this is so cool, I’m glad I found your page

  82. Your ribbon storage idea is so colorful – and creative!

    I just recently organized my craft ribbon by winding them around foam board cards. I was able to condense two storage boxes of rolled ribbon into one box – and still have room:

  83. Pingback: Craft Organization Ideas - Uncommon Designs...

  84. #80 - alta mcdaniel says:

    I would think the ribbons would slide off the wooden rings. To alleviate this, I used some 4 x 6 plastic GLAD container lids, and cut slits into them, about 3/4 of the width. (One for each color family), This method easily holds the ribbons in place, and I can put short ribbons on these also. I punched a hole in the top of each one, and strung them all on a circular belt hanger. Portable and doen’t take up as much space.

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  88. #81 - Judi says:

    Oh, WOW! I think you’ve finally cracked it for me!! For absolutely AGES I’ve been trying to figure our a storage system that actually works for my ribbons, but always end up with some hung up and others in drawers due to the prohibitive cost of commercially made ribbon storage systems. However, I have a load of old wooden rings from curtain poles which would be just perfect for a system like yours. Thank you SO much for the inspiration.

    Judi in the UK

  89. #82 - sandy says:

    very clever. I have such a mess. This gives me something to shoot for.

  90. #83 - Elizabeth says:

    This is SOOO gorgeous! I am a ribbon fanatic! I don’t know what it is about it that always draws me in but I keep acquiring more. I’ve ran into the same dilemma, the cardboard spools are great if you have a whole room devoted to organizing ribbons and such, but this, this is wonderful. And how visually pleasing! I’m trying to think of a way to modify it to work with something I already have, because drapery rings are not in my Arsenal, but I really just wanted to comment on what beautiful art you have created in the process of the art you were probably intending on making! Lovely!!