Coordinating My Crafty Crap: The Ribbon Box

The Pie and I are in the market for a house.  Whee, I know, very exciting.  We haven’t yet found said house, however, and thusly we are still essentially living out of boxes in two rooms in the upper corner of my parents’ house.  Because it’s probably going to be a while until we find this unicorn of a house, I think it’s probably time I did a little unpacking.

Ribbon Box 7

So this:

Ribbon Box 1

That’s the shelf upon which I am currently storing the piles of art and office supplies that I shoved into boxes back in August of 2013.  This shelf is also home to part of our board game collection.  So it’s haphazard and it’s ugly and I spend a good part of my crafty time digging through those large boxes trying to find the one thing I want and overlooking all the other great stuff I could also use, simply because I don’t see it.  Hence my new project of Coordinating My Crafty Crap 2014.  I’m not looking for a final matchy-matchy Pinterest-worthy organizational system for all my junk, but if I’m going to be here for a while yet I want to be able to sort out my garbage so I can see it and find it when I need it.  That’s the kind of organizational person I am: everything in its logical place.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it has to make sense to the person doing the organizing.  It’s going to be an ongoing project for me, as I try to figure out a system that works for me.

Today, we are taking baby steps, and attacking my ribbon “box.”  I put that in quotations because the last time I had a designated ribbon box it was so full it actually burst at the seams.  Then I moved, so in the interim the ribbons have all been tangled up in one of those cardboard boxes.  Well, today we are going to change that.  This is my ribbon collection.  Appalling, I know.

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There’s a bunch of stuff in there that isn’t even ribbon, like rick rack and bias binding.  And washi tape.  Tape goes in another box entirely, bub.

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But I do have a large number of ribbon scraps that I have saved off presents and packages and I hate to throw them away (because I ALWAYS come up with a use for them).

I’ve seen a number of projects where crafters use dowels to line up their spools of ribbon in baskets with convenient holes and everything is very Martha Stewart hunky-dory.  But most of my ribbons are not on spools and I don’t have any fancy pants baskets.  I do, however, have this lovely sturdy box, which held some of the accessories to a set of gaming headphones I gave the Pie as a wedding present.

Ribbon Box 2

I’ve kept the box because a) it’s lovely and sturdy and b) it has this shockingly fantastic orange interior.

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And then I also have a tube full of wooden dowels, which I picked up on sale at Michaels forever and a half ago.

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The dowels are ever-so-slightly longer than the box is wide.

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My plan is to cut them down so that they are flush with the inside edge of the box, meaning that I can put all my ribbons inside and still be able to shut the lid.

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So I carefully measured the dowel and used a teeny tiny hacksaw I found in my dad’s garage to trim them up.  I have since kidnapped said teeny tiny hacksaw and adopted it as my own.  I love tiny tools, and my dad’s hands are huge.  I don’t even know why he has it.

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Anyway, then I measured out where I wanted the dowels to go on the box.

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And used my teeny tiny hacksaw to cut down just to the level I wanted, which was about halfway (conveniently it was also where the double black layer started).

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I used a box cutter to cut along the bottom.  It was easier.

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My first dowel in the first slot.  And the teeny tiny hacksaw.

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You see how it’s flush with the edge of the box?

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Okay so the second dowel, I had some form of brain fart in the measuring, and it came out crooked.  But I’m not that fussy. With all the ribbons on you can barely notice.

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Once all the dowels and slots were cut (I have five dowels in there) it was time to deal with the ribbon.  I wound it around the dowel and fastened it with a little piece of tape just to keep it in place until I needed it.

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This took me a LONG time.  I have a lot of ribbon to work with.

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It was fun to do the stretchy lacy stuff.  I strung everything on sorted vaguely by type: all the lace together, the grosgrain all on one dowel, etc.

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I’m quite pleased with the result, and the lid fits on just fine.  I will be honest with you here: not all my ribbon fit on the dowels.

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I probably could have cut the box differently to fit in a sixth one, but the loose ribbon I have left is all in larger amounts that is easier to deal with.

Ribbon Box 21

I’ll probably also adorn the outside with something appropriate, but probably not until we’ve moved into a place where I can put it more permanently. One step at a time, right?

Ribbon Box 22


Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

18 thoughts on “Coordinating My Crafty Crap: The Ribbon Box”

  1. The thought of organising my ribbons sends me into fits of hysteria, massive congrats on sorting out your dreaded ribbon tangle… I wonder if I could pay someone to tackle mine :/


    1. Ha! My thought exactly. I keep every ribbon, too, wad it into a snarled ball and throw it into a giant old gift bag in a back closet. When I need one, I typically whatever is closest to the top, if it will work. This is admirable (I could never make it happen).


      1. hehe and me. I got the marklin edition thats a german railroad not long ago (not played it yet) but usually play the europe one. There are so many different maps now! 🙂


  2. Your dad’s going to realize his hacksaw is missing one day, I just have a feeling. 😉

    If you’re in the organizing mood, feel free to go through our boxes of stuff.. and take what you can use (the juicer, breadmaker…)!


      1. Don’t mention the girls, because if they decide they want it, you *know* he’ll send it their way. And then you and I both lose. 😉


  3. Oh, and the project looks really great. We throw our ribbon into a basket, and the cat takes whatever she likes. We’ve already used smelly cat-breath ribbon to top off a present…


  4. you r seriously funny! OCD organizer but not fussy about mismeasured miscut dowel!!! all perfectionists need to add ” good enough” to their vocab ! good for you. ! another choice might be to discard a few ribbons to goodwill so some inspired dollmaking granny can embellish her grandbabies’ dolls with truly vintage ribbons!!! going to keep an eye on your blog now!!! the seat of your pants must have strong wings!!! keep flying!!!


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