Ribbon Organizer That I Made in an Hour

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How to make an organizer to hold spools of ribbon very inexpensively to hang on a wall in a craft or sewing room.

When we moved to the lake house, the first room I set up was my studioffice. I set it up exactly as I had it on our previous house.

After living here for over a year now, I found the set up was not working for me anymore. Now that the kitchen makeover is 98% complete. I am taking on my studioffice.  It has become too cluttered and I don’t need many of the items and furnishings any longer.

One of the biggest things I had to tackle was the creating a new ribbon organizer.

How to organize spools of ribbon

I used to store the spools of ribbon I had in my crafts cabinet on cafe style curtain rods that you see in the photo. I now have double the amount of ribbon… something had to give as the spools were taking over!!!

I knew I didn’t want the ribbon on rods anymore. The rods kept the ribbons easily accessible, but when a spool in the center became empty, I would have to remove all the other ribbons on one side of it to remove it. Not a good thing.

Ribbon organizer to make and hang on a wall

I also wanted to make use of one of the empty frames on the wall I call my Creative Wall.  I previously used the frame as a mini photo studio, but the light in the room is not as bright as my previous house, so I take my photos on my kitchen table now.

So I started to purge and clean out the room last week. I still have a long way to go in the room to get it where I want it to be function and decor wise, but am happy to say…

DIY ribbon organizer to make for easy to access ribbon storageDIY Ribbon Organizer

…I can check ribbon organizing off my list now.

There are many more ways to make a ribbon organizer, but this is what I created using the roofing drip edge and supplies I had on hand. It works for me and I wanted to show you that there is no wrong or right way to do something. There is always a way to create something and it doesn’t have to be the standard way.

I thought about making a wood rack or buying a ribbon organizer, but my plan is to keep the room as simplified as I possibly can and decided to see it I could come up with a way to use the empty frame on my creative wall.

After a trip to the home improvement store where I went to see about using gutters, I ended up buying Corrugating 2.38-in x 10-ft Aluminum Drip Edge. It is sold right next to the gutters and roofing supplies. The gutters I found at Lowes were too big and they were made of PVC. There was no way I could cut them to get them in my little car.  I also like that the roofing drip edge was inexpensive and white. No paint was needed!

How to Make A Ribbon Organizer Using Aluminum Drip Edge

I brought tin snips with me when I went to buy the roofing drip edge so I could cut the long length of the aluminum drip edge to fit into my car to get it home.

supplies needed:

  • Large wood photo frame
  • 3 – Corrugating 2.38-in x 10 Aluminum Drip Edge – roofing/gutter aisle in the home improvement store
  • Tin Snips
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 14 – 1-1/2″ zinc corner braces with screws
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Large brass fasteners
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • Optional: Washi tape to cover ends of cut aluminum drip edge.

I already made the frame that is part of my Creative Wall.  You can read how I created it in this post: Craft Room Idea. If you don’t want to make a frame you can simply buy any size frame and hang it on your wall. I cut the aluminum drip edge into 7 pieces to create 7 shelves that fit inside the frame for my ribbon organizer.

Once the frame is hung on wall (no glass or mat, just the frame), measure the inside width of the frame. This width will be the measurement you will need to cut the aluminum drip edge.

  1. Put on work gloves (the aluminum drip edge does have sharp edges) and use tin snips to cut the aluminum drip edge to the width needed.  If your tin snips are sharp, cutting through the aluminum is very easy.  I drew a pencil line where I needed to cut and then cut into the drip edge from one side, and then flipped it around to cut in from the other side to meet the first cut. My cuts were not perfectly square so you don’t have to be exact.

How to attach a ribbon spool organizer to a wall

2. Place a corner braces as shown above on the outside of one of the cut pieces of drip edge and mark hole closet to edge on corner brace onto aluminum drip edge. Repeat on opposite end. Drill holes where pencil marks are.

Place corner braces around L-shape of aluminum drip edge and line up holes. Place a large brass fastener in hole.

3. Bring tips of brass fastener to inside of drip edge and then spread out to secure. Add a drop of glue over center of opened fastener. Repeat on all other cut sections.

Each cut to size shelf should have two corner braces attached. One on each end.

Optional: I left the cut edges of my ribbon organizing shelves alone, but the cut edges can be sharp. If you want to cover the edges, add some colorful Washi tape over each edge before hanging the shelves on the wall.

How to Hang Ribbon Organizer On Wall

Starting at the bottom of the frame, begin attaching the shelves to the wall by screwing in the other side of each corner brace into the wall with screws. You may have to bend the front of the shelf out a bit, but this is OK to do since when you place the ribbon in, the spools will push the front out also.

I attached the bottom shelf so it sits on the frame. When the ribbon spools are placed on the shelf, the metal will bend out slightly. This creates a angled view and secure fit for the spools of ribbon.

Arrange your ribbons by the size of the spool before screwing the shelves to the wall. For the spacing of my ribbon organizer shelves, I placed the largest spools of ribbon I had on the the bottom shelf. I needed 5″ of clearance for these ribbons. I placed the next two shelves up 5″ apart. For the rest of the shelves I spaced them at 4″ to 4-1/2″ apart.

Use a bubble level to make sure the shelves are level as you attach them to the wall.

Place ribbons in shelves by size and or color.  Some of the spools don’t touch the bottom of the shelf, but they are all secure and easy to get to now. The best part though is that they are now not only organized by color, but easily accessible and pretty to look at.

ribbon organizer for make for a craft room wall. It is perfect for ribbon storage, but easily accessible for when needed to DIY and create.

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  1. Hello Diane:
    I’ve been looking for just such a solution to my ribbons that have taken over the plastic bin they were in. One question: How big is the frame around your ribbons shelves. I’m trying to gauge how much space I may need.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi LeAna – The outer measurement of the frame around the ribbons is 34″ wide x 41″ high. I have 3 frames this size on what I call my “creative wall” in my studioffice aka a craft room. :-)

  2. Somehow, I missed this post! I love what you did here, Diane. My brain is searching for ways to adapt this for my space and needs? Currently, my ribbons are grouped, mostly by colors, stored in photo boxes or clear plastic containers, on a small bookcase that sits below my main work surface area. Not the best solution, but it works and they are handy. Thanks for sharing! Oh, my Lowe’s and Home Depot both cut things for me if I ask.

  3. I found your site while setting up a new printer. I think it is awesome and I am very impressed! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to try some of your ideas.

    1. Hi Kimberly – Thanks for taking the time to say hi and connect with me. Isn’t it funny how one search for something – brings you to something entirely different? I am happy that you found my site. :-) If you ever have any questions about any of my projects, don’t hesitate to ask.

  4. I’m going to try this! Sounds like the solution I’ve been needing for a long time! S

  5. I had mine in a spool + tray contraption. I took out the spool years ago and ended up with a similar set up as you created here. Yours is far less expensive – one of the reasons we all appreciate you!
    Does anyone have advice on how to wrangle the big spools of Costco ribbon? I have several b/c they are such a good deal but they are just stacked on the counter b/c I haven’t taken the time to think of something creative for them. I find I use those most often (for gift wrapping) so it would be nice to corral them.

  6. I love this! I really need it for my very many spools of ribbon, but even more for my sewing thread. Do you think it would be too tall or large for the thread? I have yet to make a trip to Lowes to get a look.

    1. Hi Sheryll – I think the drip edge would be too large for thread spools. On your next trip to the home improvement store you may be able to find something similar and smaller.

      1. Thank you! I still want to copy it. I had a dream, that you went down every aisle and looked at every item and said “I can do something else with that”.

  7. Love your blog! Love your ideas! You made the perfect choice when you bought the lake house. (Envy!!)
    I have had a problem with your site for a while now where I cannot see the pictures of your projects. I read a number of blogs and yours is the only one where I am experiencing this problem. I can see everything until I click on “Continue Reading.” Help!

    1. Hi Elena – I am not sure what is happening. :-( Not a good thing. I will look into it. Can you remember when it started to happen? What browser you are using? Chrome, Safari? Are you using a PC or a Mac? Knowing the answers to these will help my tech person to figure out what is happening. I hope she can figure it out.

  8. Diane! You never cease to amaze me! I knew you had talent but you’re an engineer too!

  9. Forget the organization – I’m in awe that ANYONE owns that much ribbon. LOL! Random counting of the spools in this photo is upwards of 140 rolls of ribbon. I MIGHT have three rolls in my china buffet. Obviously I’m not a ‘crafty’ person and I cannot imagine what one would do with all that ribbon. But it looks very pretty and neat. Good job. p.s. – I was very impressed with the ‘under the stairs’ make over. Just wow.

  10. You are so talented. I smiled at the time for the project and thought if I were to tackle this it would be the ribbon holder that took 3 months – 1st week, go to home improvement store, go home rest from the ordeal, 2nd week look for drill and screws and measuring tape around house, 3rd week back to store to buy drill etc, 4th week, lie on couch and consider whether I can actually make this work……. you get the idea.

    1. I love this comment from Liz. She must be my twin that somehow my mother didn’t know about! Her post sums me
      up EXACTLY!!!! I love to read Diane’s blogs and see her beautiful and beautifully clever projects. Then I have to stagger
      to the couch, collapse, and try to convince someone to fan me! I truly appreciate all of you talented, skilled, and creative people!

  11. Ribbon can be so hard to store sometimes! It always gets wrapped up in each other! Great idea! I’ll have to steal it! Haha

  12. I agree about the ribbon spools on the rods when the one in the middle becomes empty having to pull off the others to reach it is a pain. I love the ribbon racks you created for this studioffice and they look so finished and neat too. I would, however, strongly encourage you to cover those sharp edges. I am quite a bit older than you are and as we age and do so much driving here in the southern sun the skin on the backs of our hands thins so I find myself cutting and gauging my hands very often on simple things like a zipper or cabinet edge. Especially if I’m engrossed in a project and grabbing supplies without thinking. Otherwise your ribbon project is just perfect! pamela

  13. This idea is just one of the reasons I LOVE your blog. It’s so practical, nice looking, and best of all, not expensive! What a great idea. Thank you! My ribbons are now sitting in extra long, shallow plastic bins, and I’m not a happy camper.

    1. Hi Catherine – Thanks. It makes me happy that my idea has inspired you. I am hoping that seeing all the ribbons out and not hidden away will inspire me to find new ways to use them.

  14. What an awesome idea! I love the way the ribbon is all organized. You would probably faint if you saw mine! :)


  15. I love the fact that the ribbons are not on dowels. I hate the shelving I bought to use for ribbon for just that reason…. the rolls of ribbon are on dowels, and every time I pull one ribbon, they all turn and get messed up. This is far more practical than all those hanging ribbons which end up twisted and turned. Thanks for the neat idea…. I never would have tho’t to use drip edging to make shelves for this project. You are a very clever lady! I’m on my way to Lowes!

  16. Wow! This is amazing :) Very clever and practical! I am dreaming of the day when I have enough space to have my own craft room sooo for now only this is going in my “back burner” file. I love ribbon too. I also would be interested in hearing what others do with craft supplies that they no longer need/want. I’ll warn you though, I’m a craft supply scavenger ;)

    1. Colorado has a “Creative reuse center” called Who Gives A Scrap with stores in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Other cities may have something similar. If not, elementary schools, day care centers, or senior centers might be interested in your supplies. Have you tried offering supplies on Freecycle? Someone always wants what you no longer need.

  17. Oh no, now I HAVE to keep all my spools of ribbon! What a clever idea!
    Please, when you say you’re purging, what do you do with the stuff you get rid of?
    I have such a time knowing what to do with it all, mostly it just sits in my ‘studio’ as I can’t figure out what to do with it. Can’t throw it away!
    Thank you for your so-good ideas…

  18. Love this! Great idea, and so inexpensive! Now if I can just get my OCD to stop wanting to sort and organize your colors and sizes….. ;)

  19. Oh, that is neat! I tried the curtain rod idea once, but found out that sometimes, especially if the cat is around, the ribbon just throws itself over the edge and unrolls! …Another clever Diane idea! I love ribbon too!