Friday, October 31, 2008

My Ribbon Storage Solutions

I have had ribbon storage nightmares for years!! I end up with messy drawers, tangles of ribbon, loose pieces with no home, and endless frustration. I thought carefully about my ribbon dilemma for a long time before deciding what to do about it. If you have any wall space at all, even the back of a door, this is a great storage solution! I have had a number of requests for the details of my ribbon storage, so I am finally getting smart and posting it here.

This is a view of my ribbon storage system. This is the system I use for ribbon on spools. These are made of rain gutters that I purchased at Lowe's and had them cut for me. I had them cut in 2 1/2' lengths. They gave me grief about it, but I stood my ground and made them cut it. They thought I was nuts when I told them it was for ribbon storage. The gutters are hung on pegboards. They are actually white on the back, but my hubby cut a chunk out to accommodate the kitchen cabinet on the wall (just barely visible at the top right corner of the photo). He accidentally cut out the wrong corner, so rather than get my panties in a bunch, I just said "Thanks hon!" and left it at that. I can always paint them white later. Let me back up a bit to say that my stamping space is located in a 2nd kitchen that we have in the daylight basement of our house. I'm lucky enough to have built-in cabinets, counter tops, a sink, and even an oven for those Shrinky-dink projects!

This is a closeup of my gutters. After much debating, I finally settled on this system of organization. I started by organizing according to pattern, but quickly realized it was a pain and that I'd rather organize by color. This makes it so easy to bring my project over to the gutter and choose a ribbon that fits. I don't have even a fraction of the ribbons I carry in my store down here in my storage. I add ribbons to my personal collection on an "as needed" basis. So far I have not had any problems with storing ribbons like this and love the color sorting.

I thought about installing curtain rods instead of rain gutters but there are a few problems with those. First, if you are pulling on one spool of ribbon, the ones next to it end up spinning as well and you have to end up respooling them. Second, if you want to remove a spool or you run out, you have to take all of the spools off to get to that one. For these reasons, I decided I was a rain gutter gal.

When purchasing your rain gutters, make sure to buy the ones that are shaped like a 1/2 octagon. You don't want any lips curling in on the top edges. Also, you don't have to purchase end caps (they cost more than the gutter by the time you purchase 8 of them), but I prefer the nice looking ends, and you'll need to do something to keep your spools from falling out.

The cost was about $10 for 10 feet of gutter, which I cut into 4 pieces. The end caps were somewhere in the range of $1.35 each, if I remember correctly.

I apologize for the small photo, but if you click on it, it will get bigger. I can't find my original, so I copied from my gallery at SCS. This photo shows a closeup of the hooks my hubby used to hang my gutters. (Notice the white pegboard, this was taken before our move and the ill-fated cutting error.) The hook on top is what the hooks look like when purchase from Home Depot or Lowes. The one going through the gutter is what it looks like after my hubby bent it to provide more support for the gutter. If you leave it straight like the one on top, your gutter will flop forward. Also, note the spot my hubby drilled for the hook to go through the gutter. He experimented and found the optimal place for the hole to get the gutters to stay upright and not dump the ribbon out. It's hard to see in the photo, but the hole is actually angled, not drilled straight through. It is angled in the direction that the hook is going through the gutter. Aim your drill bit the same direction as you see the hook going through in this photo, and drill from the outside in.

OK, so the gutters are all fine and great for ribbon on spools, but what about loose yardage, or sets purchased from my store? The perfect solution, in my opinion, after trying many other options are the Ribbon Rings. Here is a photo from Michelle's Blog showing her fabulous setup of Ribbon Rings.

The best things about Ribbon Rings is that they are inexpensive. They are also easily portable and sortable. I have all of my different kinds of ribbon stored by color. Michelle prefers to separate hers by ribbon type. they are easy to switch around, easy to see what you want and get just the ribbon you're looking for. They can also hold an incredible amount of ribbon in a small space. Melissa, the Ribbon Ring inventor suggests cutting 1-1 1/2 yards of each ribbon you need to store and putting it on the ring. Then you take an inventory dot and mark if you have more of that particular ribbon and store the remainder in a drawer or bin, out of the way. These are amazing, and a starter set sells for only $10!!

Feel free to send me a message if you have questions about my storage solutions.

Happy Stamping~~


Danielle said...

I have to say using a gutter for ribbon storage is GENIUS! I think it's the greatest idea I've ever seen. I'm simply amazed! I would've never even guessed that's what it was! Thank you sooooo much for sharing that idea!!

SueB said...

I'm so pleased to see the queen of ribbon post ribbon storage solutions; I've been using empty CD spindles but have to think about this one when I organize my space - TFS!

LuvNlife said...

Love your idea using gutters for your ribbon storage! What a great idea!

Nancy Ward said...


Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK>


Nancy Ward

They Call Me Bobby said...

OMG you are a genius! I have been wracking my brain on what to use for my ribbon storage and before this I had come up with "canned good" storage shelves but didn't know how that would hold mey 3/8" ribbon in (slide through holes). This is the perfect fix. I am creating a portable box that I can wheel out of a storage closet and take anywhere and this is light and simple to do. Thanks so much for sharing!

radn said...

Love the idea! You are a genious!

I am writting an article on upcycled and repurposed storage solutuions. Would like to use this idea in the post. I will link back to you.

Let me know if you are fine with it.

Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life said...

I linked up to your post on my blog. Thanks for the great idea, even though I didn't end up using it!

Anna said...

Hi! I would like to know, now that you have been using this gutter ribbon storage system for a while now, do you have any problems with it? Like ribbon tangling? I have tried many ribbon storage ideas and have been disappointed with them. So my search is still on. Thanks for sharing. I hope that this will be the end of my search.

Mara Dances said...

Thank you for sharing this!