Sunday, January 22, 2012
Thought I'd share a method of organizing ribbon that's worked for me over the years.
Aside from being very functional and taking up little horizontal space (which is at a premium in our house), it's 1) simple and 2) free. Perfect!
All you need is a wire hanger (the white flimsy ones from the dry cleaners work well) and, well, uh, ... ribbon!
Untwist the hanger.
Straighten it (except the top hook of the hanger, leave that the way it is).
Add your ribbon and bend the bottom wire at a 90 degree angle to keep the spools from sliding off when it's hung. Since the spools turn, this storage method allows you to pull the ribbon with one hand and cut your length of ribbon with the other. Very efficient.
One tip is to organize your ribbon BEFORE putting them on the hanger. Trust me. They are a PAIN to resort once there are 50 spools stacked up. You may want to organize by type (grosgrain, satin, embroidered), color, occasion (kids, holidays, wedding), pattern (stripe, solid, dots, checked).
When the spools are all on the hanger, just hang the stack of ribbon where it's convenient. For years I've had them hanging from the side of a bookcase. Here they are hanging from the bottom of a wire shelf in a closet. You could also mount a towel holder on the wall. Hang them behind a door. From the hinge of a cabinet. Whatever works for you.
When you need to add more spools (like when there's a really good sale and you MUST stock up) just lift the stack from the bottom and feed the new spool from the bottom. Most times I manage to keep the hanger bent at 90 degrees while doing this. If that's not possible (like when the hole in the middle of the spool is too small, or the spool is too thick or your hanger is a sturdier kind that's not flexible at all) just bend the hanger straight, put the spool on, then rebend it. You can do all this without removing the stack from it's hanging spot.
Another tip is to store any scraps of ribbon that you don't end up using between the spools. In the photo above, see the green and white checked ribbon sticking out? That's a scrap that never got used. So instead of throwing it out, I slid it between the spool it came from and the one on top of it. In the future if I need to see what that ribbon looks like for a project I'm working on, I just yank it out. If it works I'll cut the length I need from the main spool (usually these are just short scraps for eyeballing things).
All in all, this is a very functional way for me to store ribbon. It's easy to use, easy to expand, easy to add another stack (just head to your closet), and easy to fit into wherever you have the space.