Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Think I Need More Ribbon...

My ribbon has been a mess for a while now. I save every scrap. I have it stored in several containers, including a Pull-EZ purse, in boxes, on spools, and scraps in a big bag. I've been on a mission to organize my stuff to make it easier to see what I have, and easier to USE what I have. In these tough economic times I cannot afford to buy as much as I used to, and I also cannot afford to re-buy things just because I cannot find it in this mess! I got all my ribbon, fibers, and floss organized over the weekend and I thought you'd all like to see how I did it.

First, I sorted my ribbon scraps. Anything less than about a foot I tossed out. I then sorted in piles by color. Here are a few shots of that. This is everything that was in bags and the Ribbon Purse.

You can see I have large color families: purple, pink, red, green, blue, brown, white, cream, yellow, orange, and black.

Once I got the ribbon all sorted, I cut chipboard squares in 1.5x1.5 and 2.5x2.5 inch sizes for winding the ribbon. The squares take up less space than spools or piles of ribbon.

Then I wound all the ribbon onto the chipboard and secured it with masking tape. The tape is low tack, but still will hold the ribbon in place. I did not use pins as I did not want to get poked all the time! Here is a shot of the pink ribbon all wound. See how small the pile is now! If I had a few short lengths I put it in a small bag, but I vow to only save lengths long enough to actually USE!

Once I got all the colors wound, I placed each color family into a Zip Lock bag. Now, when I want red...I just pull out the red bag. When I have ribbon to put away, I just find the right bag and put it away. I will keep some of the chipboard squares and the tape in the drawer with the bags of ribbon. No excuse for being messy!

I now keep my neat ribbon bags in two drawers right under my workspace! Very handy! And ALL of my ribbon is in one place!

Next I tackled the fibers and floss. I have a ton of yarn and twine and other stuff that I don't use very often. So, first I sorted it and got rid of stuff I would never use.

Some, I just put back in the plastic bin and returned it to the shelf where it normally lives. But the small amounts of fibers and the stuff I use more often, I wound and placed in this floss box. This actually got filled up with more fibers after I took the photo.

I also have one bag of fibers tucked into the drawer with the ribbon. It's all of the same type and all wound! No more mess! The last thing to do was the floss/string. Most of my floss was already wound as it was leftover from my cross stitching days. But it was not organized, and some new stuff came into the house and was pretty messy! My goal was to limit the places where stuff was being stored! I wanted to have one or two areas to look for things...not 5 or 10!

I sorted it all by color family and wound the items that were still loose. I stored it all in these floss boxes.

Here is a shot of them stacked up.

I have one bag of twine that I put in the ribbon drawers. Now, all of my trims are ORGANIZED! It's not pretty, but it's functional, easy to access, and CHEAP. I spent ZERO dollars on this organizing. I already had the floss boxes and Zip Lock bags, and the chipboard was just scraps! I would love to have pretty jars of ribbon, but it takes up a lot of space and costs money to convert. So, for now, this works! Hope I've helped someone else to tame the ribbon monster! (My husband reminded me that it did not cost zero dollars to do this...I had told the family that I'd pay $10 an hour for help...so older ds and dh each spent about 1 hr. total cutting chipboard for me! So I owe them a 10 spot! LOL)

Before I sign off I want to share two more MacMae October Kit cards. Here is another little 3x3 gift card. I colored the pumpkin with pencils. Never tried that before. It worked...sorta.

I fell in love with the SEI paper! It's so pretty! I hated to cut it! this card is blank so I can stamp any greeting I want when I use it.

That's all for today! Tomorrow I'll have more MacMae Kit cards and start showing the October Apron Strings Designs samples!


  1. Holly Molly girl that is a whole lot of ribbon!!! now i dont feel so bad at having my small amount all messed up LOL don't know why i even have it as i dont like to use ribbon! i do have all my dmc floss organized by number and in floss holders due to my cross stitching days :0) oh and thanks for the info on organizing the acrylic stamps i am going to work on that soon. oh yea your cards are fantastic. Wish i wasn't on a spending ban :0(

  2. Anonymous9:28 AM

    Wow!!! that is just way to organized:) great job, did you find some items you didn't know you had, I know I would have, great job, and thanks for the tips and inspiration, I think ;)
    Your cards are just wonderful, they are just lovely!!!

  3. Anonymous5:32 PM

    I was in Hobby Lobby today and THEY didn't have that much ribbon! You tossed out anything less than a foot?!?! Why can't I be that disciplined?

  4. Holy Ribbon Scraps Batman! What a stash! glad its all tucked in nice and neat now... that would have totally stressed me out!

  5. You have every color! Then a girl needs a little something to work with when she's making beautiful cards. Great way to organize it too!
    This why you did such a fantastic job the month you were our guest designer at Clear Artistic Stamps.


  6. Thanks for sharing your ribbon organization with us over at RRR!

  7. I know it was probably messy but it looked so pretty in big piles like that :) No I am not trying to enable to disorganization of the big piles I'm just sayin lol. Great idea!!

  8. Wow!!! So exciting to have so much ribbon. It can be overwhelming, but having the color families grouped together must help. For m e having that many choices can make it more difficult to choose which one to use. Ribbon and lace- fun, fun, fun!

  9. Love all that ribbon you have. I need to adopt your system. I am going to start working on it next week.

  10. I just love to organize stuff. And I think you have done a great job. It's much better to have god and simple organization, and use it, than just beauty, and not use it.