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Ribbon Organizer




Perhaps it's time to graduate from the shopping-bag school of organization. Ribbons will stay untangled and ready to use in this easily made box (a shoebox will do). Use a utility knife to make slits. Or use grommets; you can find them, and the tool to install them, at hardware stores.


  • Utility knife or grommets
  • Shoebox
  • Thumbtacks


  1. Step 1

    Make round holes in box with a utility knife.

  2. Step 2

    Push male half of grommet through hole and rest on anvil; add female half, set mandrel in place, and hammer.

  3. Step 3

    For both versions, make a 1/4-inch hole on box ends. Place ribbon spools inside, then slide a 1/4-inch dowel into one end, through the spools, and out the other. A thumbtack on each dowel end keeps it from shimmying into the box.

Martha Stewart Living, October 1996



Reviews (19)

  • sollysaba 13 Jan, 2014

    That is useful

  • missyterry 20 Feb, 2010

    I love this idea. It is defintiely a 'to do', especially for my ribbon collection for making cards!!!

  • screaminscott 21 Jan, 2009

    You can buy these ready-made at places like The Conatiner Store. However, I know that part of the fun is making them yourself.

    You can aslo use this idea to create an inexpensive charging station for cellphones, etc. Place a power strip inside the box, and cut a [filtered word] in the back to run the cord the the wall outlet. Then plug in the chargers into the power strip and run a wire out each [filtered word]. You can place the phones, PDA's, etc on top of the box while charging.

  • shelkris 19 Jan, 2009

    I did this for my scrapbooking ribbon. I did two layers of drommets as the spools are smaller and I have them just laying in the box without a dowel. I have been really happy with it.

  • MountainberryButterfly 18 Jan, 2009

    Great idea for my sewing room. It will work for laces and cording too. I think I will even make a small one for when I do thread crochet to hold the thread ball.

  • younggrama 18 Jan, 2009

    LytningBug--I've looked and the only place I could see where you might be able to do that is the Community Table link from your homepage/"My Place"

  • Gramma57 18 Jan, 2009

    1/18/09 What a great idea. I inherited a box of ribbon and lace from an Estate Sale. Now I can finally take care of it. Thanx for the idea. Gramma from MI.

  • busywife 18 Jan, 2009

    Marycassells---maybe, but I have found the best thing is those little cardboard bobbins that you store in the flat plastic box with slot dividers.

  • Marycassells 18 Jan, 2009

    That's a good idea. Can one do the same with embroidery floss?

  • craftsaremything 18 Jan, 2009

    What a great idea! It sure beats an overflowing plastic shoebox. I have to go find a couple of empty boxes right this minute . . .

  • craftsaremything 18 Jan, 2009

    I love this idea! It sure beats an overflowing plastic shoebox. I have to go try this right now. So long!

  • Wendaloo 18 Jan, 2009

    I have SO many ribbons and have kept them in a plastic biin, but this is a much better idea, and I'm going to look for a box and do it! I love the idea of the rubber bands on the ends -- a simple but excellent idea!

  • SandiSohn 18 Jan, 2009

    I bought some storage boxes at Ross last year and haven't used them, the idea was to turn them into ribbon boxes. I really like the idea of covering them with paper to match the ribbon theme, ie: Christmas.

  • LytningBug 18 Jan, 2009

    I made this last night and I want to share a picture of it on my crafts page but I can't find where to do that (to upload my pics, although I HAVE uploaded pics before). Can anyone help me? My email is Thanks!

  • lapdog87 25 Dec, 2008

    An oatmeal box is great for this.

  • terivanhecke 20 Mar, 2008

    I just saw this in Williams Sonoma and thought "I can make that myself" - I don't get the thumbtack suggestion - I was going to use rubberbands wrapped around the ends of the dowel to keep it in place. Anyway - have the dowel and am scouring the closets for the right shoe box - both boys wear size 15 shoes, so I am going to have a nice big box!!!

  • Hubendog 18 Mar, 2008

    This is great. I am a groomer and make my own bows.....this idea keeps debris such as hair shavings off my ribbon and it is at hand and tidy alll the time!

  • MissyMouse 30 Nov, 2007

    Great gift idea for all your crafty friends, especially if you add some new spools of ribon to their collections!

  • guamcasatway 29 Nov, 2007

    This is a great idea! I would decorate the box with gift wrap to match the type ribbon inside.