Organizing Your Ribbon

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Article Courtesy by Georgina Hefferman

If there is one type of embellishment I really must stop buying, it is ribbon. I have entirely too much for one person’s needs, and yet I cannot help myself! It is too pretty.

I had my ribbon stored away in little glass jars but I got a little frustrated recently, when I just wanted a piece of red ribbon and simply could not find it.  The jars were so small my fingers couldn’t reach the bottom and it was becoming such a chore to have to empty the jars each time I wanted a small scrap.

One weekend, I decided enough was enough and I was going to sort the problem out.

I began by collecting and scrunching all my ribbon up in a couple of carrier bags. I took them downstairs to my living room table and there I sat for the next five hours, painstakingly sorting my ribbon out into baskets. I sorted by color first and that worked for a while, but then I had multicolored ribbons, ribbons with stripes or dots. It was all a little overwhelming if I am honest, but I stuck it out – knowing that my satisfaction would be high when the job was completed. For these multicolored and textured ribbons I decided to choose the most dominant color and organise it by that. I think that was the correct decision for my needs.

Once the ribbon was sorted by color, I cut up an old cardboard box into  3” squares and began the process of wrapping one piece of ribbon around each piece of cardboard. I then secured the end of the ribbon with a little tape on the back. I did this for any piece of ribbon that was over 6” long. Anything on a roll, I kept on a roll and anything that was a funny texture or wouldn’t wrap very well (ribbon with wire for example) I kept to one side. 

When that job was eventually complete, I placed the cardboard pieces into drawers of an old plastic storage unit, organised by color. It means that when I want a ribbon of a specific color I can simply open that drawer and have a rummage around until I find something I like. Being on cardboard they are so much easier to see and I can reach everything instead of having to tip the whole drawer out.

For the ribbon on rolls, I did the same thing – organised it by placing in these drawers. The unit itself I had salvaged from a friend who was going to throw it away, so I was really happy because this whole organisation solution was so cheap and good for the environment too.

I labeled the front of all the drawers with either the word “ribbon” or the color  that was in the drawer. This assists me for easy and quick identification when working on a project.

I did have a lot of ribbon that was under 6” per piece and I decided that I would store this by placing them (via color combinations) into little organza bags I had. I then hung these on a hook over my craft room door and as they were slightly see through I could see what colors were inside.

When I reach for my ribbon now, I get exactly what I need and really quickly too.  I know that if I just need a small scrap I can find it in the bags; anything larger I reach for the drawers.

The whole process was actually quite therapeutic and something I recommend. It felt cleansing to finish the job too.

I hope this has given you some inspiration for your own ribbon storage needs; just remember it doesn’t always have to look pretty. Storage should meet your own, individual needs and if it is practical you will be happier. Good luck.


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