Saturday, March 3, 2012

One Tiny Step in Craft Room Organization

I have my vast collection of ribbons in some of those little clear storage drawers. Many of them are on spools, but others were bought by-the-yard or came around gifts, blankets, flowers, or chocolate boxes. I try to keep them sorted by color in little baggies, but they don't always fit...or stay inside the baggies. When I pull the drawer out, this is what I get. And if I want to get a ribbon out of the bag, all the ribbons must come out.

Recently, I've seen ideas for wrapping ribbons around either small pieces of cardboard or clothespins. I don't have any cardboard to turn into ribbon holders at the moment, but the clothespins seemed like a pretty good idea.

There are lots of pictures of this idea all over the internet, so I'm not exactly going to do a tutorial. I will, however, tell you a few things that worked for me. If a ribbon had an angled end, I clipped the tip of the angle into the clothespin. If not, and the full width of the ribbon wouldn't fit within the clothespin's jaws, I folded an angle into the end of the ribbon (or blanket binding, in this case.)

If the ribbon was wider than about a half inch, I tried to wind it in straight, smooth rounds on top of itself. That worked better with some ribbons than with others. There were a few velvet ribbons I had almost a yard of, and they didn't want to stay straight at all! By the way, this works best with about a yard of ribbon or less. You can try it with up to two yards, if the ribbon is rather thin, but more than that and I'd definitely say to try spooling it on a piece of cardboard, because it will get rather ungainly on the clothespin. If the ribbon was narrower than a half inch, I didn't even try to keep it in straight lines, but instead wound evenly around the full length of the clothespin's jaws.

I tried a couple different ways of securing the ends of the ribbons. A straight pin seems to be what they used in a lot of the pictures I found, but I'm somewhat concerned about the pins snagging on other ribbons. I also tried threading the last few rounds of ribbon through a safety pin, sort of as a latch to loosely hang on to the end of the ribbon. I didn't have nearly enough spare safety pins, however, so I secured others with a dab of scotch tape, just like they do in some of the fabric stores. I'm thinking I don't want to leave that on too long, but it will probably be fine as a short-term solution until I find more safety pins.

The clothespins take up a good bit more space in my drawer than the baggies did, but I'm thinking that they will be much easier to use. And if I can see the ribbons, I'm much more likely to actually use them!  (This year I'd like to drastically reduce my stash of paper, ribbons, and beads.) It's not much, but it's definitely a step in the right direction!

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