Ribbon Jar

By January 26, 2008General

I decided to tackle a large box of ribbon that I had been meaning to integrate into my ribbon storage system for months.  I like to have universal & expandable storage systems for all of my favorite supplies.  It is easier for me to keep track of what I have and use it.  For my ribbon I re-spool everything onto wooden clothespins.  It has worked SO well for me.  It was one of the best storage solutions I ever implemented!  The box of miscellaneous ribbon that I had was a big tangled mess (and I didn’t think to take a before photo!).  I finished getting it all spooled this morning!


012608_ribbon_clothespin_2After I gave you a tour of my studio a few months back, I received several questions on how exactly I spool the ribbon onto clothespins.  So I thought since I was up to my eyeballs in the task, I could photograph the process step by step.  You need the ribbon, a wooden clothespin (I buy mine by the bag at the Dollar Tree) and a glass head pin (sewing section of any craft store or Wal-Mart).

012608_step_oneFirst, I insert the end of the ribbon in the slit of the clothespin.  You only need the end to extend about half an inch or so.

012608_step_twoThen fold the end over onto the base of the clothespin and hold it in place with your thumb.  You will want to fold it so the good side of your ribbon is face up.

012608_step_threeNext you want to pull the other end of the ribbon (the opposite end from the one you folded over in the last step) down over the short end.  This will help keep it from pulling back through the slit without using any tape to hold it in place.

012608_step_fourStart spooling the ribbon at an angle down the length of the clothespin.  Try to keep even spacing because this will ensure that your spool will be evenly dispersed once it is completed.

012608_step_fiveThen spool back up the clothespin in an opposing angle.  Keep everything fairly tight as you are working to help make sure that the ribbon doesn’t come off the clothespin when in storage.

012608_step_sixYou will continue spooling until you have completed your entire length of ribbon.  I have found that with most types of ribbon on th market, I can comfortably get 5 yards per clothespin.  The clothespins take up a lot less room than a spool as well.

012608_finished_spoolTo keep the end of the ribbon in place, fasten it with your glass head pin.  Viola, a completed clothespin spool.  Easy, isn’t it?

012608_filled_ribbon_jarOnce I had all of my ribbon untangled and spooled onto clothespins, I organized them into jars.  I have one jar for each color.  It really enables me to find what I want when I need it.  If I need to browse I just pick up the jar and shake it a little to look at all the contents. 

Ribbon_jars_cardstockIt looks like a ribbon rainbow when I have all the jars lined up on my shelf!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 109 Comments

  • 1

    Great tutorial! Gosh, I love this photo of your studio! So fresh, clean and inspiring!

  • 2
    Shannon says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am assuming you cut up rolls of ribbon that are longer than 5 yards (i.e. Stampin Up ribbon)??? Also, how do you store your ribbon scraps? At what length do you just toss them out?

  • 3
    Ketha says:

    When you shared this earlier, I loved it so much, I’ve started doing it myself. I use “cracker” jars (from Target). It’s a nice organizational task to do when you need to “sit down” and be with hubby while he’s watching TV… I also like the look when it’s completed…looks like “candy” in jars….Thanks for sharing.

  • 4

    I love the way that ribbon looks on clothes pins, and I have about a 1/3 of mine stored this way…after seeing your post, I’m buying more clothes pins TODAY!

  • 5
    Chris says:

    Very nice organization. I love the photo of your studio. It is so clean and fresh looking. Thanks for sharing.

  • 6
    Evelyn says:

    LOVE the ribbon spools. What a great way to store ribbon and very attractive to display as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • 7
    Starla (star) says:

    I just went and looked at your studio pics again….I just love the clean, crisp look of your space (heavy sigh here! hehee)…..someday!
    Thanks for the ribbon tutorial….need to rethink my little ribbon storage!

  • 8
    Liz Gil says:

    WOW youΒ΄re blog amazings, thanks for all the great tips!!!!!


    Best regards from Mexico City

    Liz Gil

  • 9
    Kim says:

    Thank you for the directions. After seeing your studio a few months back I immediately implemented the same ribbon storage system but probably didn’t get mine wound as nicely so I’ll have to try again. Love the way it looks. TFS, Kim

  • 10
    Ericka says:

    Thanks for sharing this great idea with us. I (heart) your craft room! I’d love to tackle my ribbon storage situation like you did, but where can I find those clothespins? Do you have a source you can share> Thanks again!

  • 11
    planetjune says:

    What a wonderful idea! The finished jars look beautiful too.

  • 12
    Kacey says:

    After seeing your stamp room, I started tackling my ribbon the same way. It is getting there slowly – still a ton to go! My dollar store always has the clothespins, but I haven’t found the jars yet to store it all in; I am still on a mad hunt though! πŸ™‚

  • 13
    Marie says:

    I seen this in your article in PC Mag, and I took all my ribbon and fiber scraps and did the same thing. I found the wooden clothespins at the dollar store, and who doesn’t love to pay a dollar for something that works so well.
    I store them in a Big Clear Cookie Jar (wal-mart) and they look like a candy store with all the great colors. Thanks for the great idea!

  • 14
    Granna on the Go says:

    Thank you so much for the terrific idea for ribbon storage. They look terrific and wow, to be able to see the rainbow of colors. Your studio is so organized. Thank you again for sharing and again, one of your great tutorials!

  • 15
    Sara Paschal says:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea, now I need to get busy with my ribbon mess.

  • 16
    Lisa Carter says:

    I had to cut my su spools to make them fit on a clothespin, What length are most of your ribbons.

  • 17
    Sherlie says:

    Oh my gosh, this is fantastic, I love it,, Now I know what I can do with all the biscotti jars that my mom has. What a great idea! I grew up using this kind of clothespin and we used to make dolls with them. Now another great use. Thank you for sharing your idea.

  • 18
    Cara says:

    I too implemented this after seeing your craft room. We’re all a bunch of sheep I tell ya. My Aunt and my husband saw it and were like…???? My Mom saw it and oohed and aahed. Just the reaction I’d been waiting for.

  • 19
    Dawn Easton says:

    Wonderful idea! Looks great there on your shelf too!

  • 20
    Melanie Muenchinger says:

    WOW! who knew there 30 plus different shades of orange ribbon?? LUCKY!! πŸ˜‰

  • 21
    Aussie Kylie says:

    What a fantastic idea Nichole.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • 22
    Beth says:

    love this idea Nicole may have to do this one
    have plenty of those clothespins and stick pins.

  • 23
    vivian says:

    Where did you find the glass slanted jars? Love that idea. I love ribbon and would like to have mine out where I can see it.

  • 24
    Robb_eeie says:

    What a great use for the old-style of clothe’s pins; I’m certainly going to use this idea next time I spot them at the store.
    But what really **WOWWWWWW’ed** me was your post, giving a pictorial view of your new studio. Ohhh geesh Nichole, what a wonderful room; it’s beyond exquisite.
    I have an idea for you~~~ why don’t you create a Bed & Breakfast, using your studio as the bedroom …. I’ll be your first customer πŸ˜‰

  • 25
    Kristine says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I remember reading about this in a previous post and I’m thrilled you posted a tutorial. I’m going to start doing this from now on.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 26
    Kate says:

    Oh my goodness. I made a special trip to Dollar Tree just for the clothespins. I now have a very big project on my hands. Thanks for the great idea. I love the way that they look. I am having a blog candy contest if you are interested.

  • 27
    suzanne says:

    What a great way to story your ribbon. And I love your first photo. It’s so so colorful!

  • 28
    Erica says:

    Thank you for the clothes peg tip! I took a tour of your studio and may I just say WOWWWWW! I’d like one of those, but have to find a handy hubby first ;o). My room is about 3 x 4 metres, so not too bad, but nowhere near as organised as yours (though we do both seem to have a loooot of stuff…things we love eh ;o)

  • 29
    Inge says:

    Love,love,love this idea! It looks so well organised this way. Do you know where to buy these clothespins online? Overhere in the Netherlands they are very hard to find unfortunately.

    XO, Inge

  • 30
    Jen says:

    Hey Nichole! I’ve seen this before…maybe in shots of your new studio and I tried it then. Love this way to store ribbon. I have some that needs to be done…wanna come over?=)

  • 31
    CherylQuilts says:

    Awesome! I use the small glass-headed pins (actually, 1/2-inch applique pins…I’m also a quilter), and it works so well. But I think the clothes pin idea is great! Thanks again, Nichole! You’re the best…

  • 32
    Michelle says:

    I got this idea from you when you first posted it! I love it! so much easier now. The same time I found the clothes pins (dollar store),I found glass cannisters on clearance. Everyone that comes over and stamps with me always comments on the pretty ribbon jars πŸ™‚

  • 33
    Linda S. says:

    THANK YOU! After I saw your craft room (and saved it for future inspiration!) I ran out to Walmart to buy the cookie jars and the clothespins. All they had were the clothespins with the spring actions, which I thought would be good b/c I could tuck the loose end between the pinching end of the pin. Well, once you get your ribbon wound, it’s too tight to open the pin-bummer! Well, now that I see how you did yours, I’m on a mission to find the other type of clothespins, thank you for showing up how! Ok, I’m off to play with my newly arrived PaperTrey Ink stamp set!!!!!!

  • 34
    Mary Puskar says:

    Now the only question on this wonderful system is…..where do you find clothespins like that?

  • 35
    Kelly W says:

    Wow… you are seriously organized girl! Look at your craft space (insert drool here). I am waiting for my hubby to make me a space just like this.

  • 36
    Elizabeth Jones says:

    I did this after I saw your studio post and it has worked out amazingly well! All of my ribbon is still in one large bin, but at least it isn’t all tangled and wrinkled anymore. Thanks for sharing all of your helpful tips and tricks.

  • 37

    Wow! That’s a lot of ribbon! I love your organization!

  • 38

    As soon as I saw your first post about how you store your ribbon, I went to the dollar store to stock up on clothes pins and got all my ribbons wound up and seperated into color families. This new post reminds me that I have some new ribbon that is waiting to be wound up and put away…. better get on that.

    Also I wanted to let you know that I just started a new blog and used the digital kit that you were giving away back in October to make my blog header. I hope that is ok with you!

    Thanks for all of your wonderful inspiration!


  • 39
    Mauna says:

    Thanks for sharing! I was just wondering what to do with my ribbon box that is such a mess. Your craft room is beautiful!

  • 40
    Misti says:

    I have been hunting for those clothespins for a while now and haven’t been able to find them. I wondered if it was because it’s kind of the off-season for clothes pins!! I checked my Dollar Tree store too. I’ll have to keep checking around! I have the jars and have just put my spools in them. Can’t wait to transfer them over to the clothes pins though!

  • 41

    Nichole, I’ve done this in my studio too — it looks SOOO pretty! Love it! Thank you! (I confess though, that I still have quite a few yet-to-be-spooled ribbons…..I need to get on that!) LOL!

  • 42
    Rhonda K. says:

    That is just the cutest! Great idea and I love the way you display them as part of the room. Thanks for sharing your idea! Fabulous tutorial!

  • 43
    Amanda A. says:

    Now I need to buy more ribbon…..

  • 44
    Karen says:

    I also decided to use this method to store my ribbon after seeing pictures of your studio several months ago. It looks like you have 6 jars of ribbon in your studio. Could you share how you divide the colors among the jars? I am having the hardest time dividing my color families.

  • 45
    kaystamps says:

    Where do you get the old fashioned clothes pins? I have not seen those for years. Looks great.

  • 46
    Beatriz Hernandez says:


    I love your blog and all your tutorials and design are amazing.
    I was wondering if you have more pictures of your studio, I would love to see how it looks like.
    Keep posting, you inspire me every day to keep stamping.

  • 47
    Chris Mott says:

    What a fantastic way to store ribbon. Love your studio. So bright and cheery!

  • 48
    Jennifer says:

    super cool idea! Thanks for sharing. I love the way they look in the jars!

  • 49
    Jennifer says:

    super cool idea! Thanks for sharing. I love the way they look in the jars!

  • 50
    Amy G. says:

    OOO this is sooo great!!!
    I love your storage ideas. I just went back to the post to see your room again. I am just in awe at the organization of it all. It’s just amazing. I’m really no surprised though, all your things are amazing!!! πŸ™‚

  • 51
    Heather says:

    I know you are super busy, but hope you can address this question — by rolling your ribbon this way, does it curl up for when you want to use it that you have to iron it? I have thought about this before, but worried that it would curl.

  • 52
    Carolyn King says:

    I was just looking for a way to store the ribbon I buy by the yard…ingenious! Thanks for the tip!

  • 53
    liannallama says:

    what gorgeous ribbon storage and a wonderful room you have!

  • 54
    Ida Faye Cutler says:

    What an ingenious idea, Nicole. You inspire me in so many ways. I could hardly wait to get to the Dollar Tree to get my clothespins. Thanks once again for sharing your ideas.

  • 55
    Sharon Pankau says:

    oh I wish I would of seen this last weekend,
    I wrapped all of my ribbon on long wrapping paper rolls and it’s not that great of a idea since they are so long…. I’m going to
    the store and getting some wooden clothes pins… where did you get the cool jars??

  • 56
    Sharon Pankau says:

    just read from Wal Mart
    Thanks for the great idea!!!

  • 57
    Lori J says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I need to see if I can find me some old fashioned clothes pins. :0)

  • 58
    Heather says:

    Great Idea. I must say, you room looks “too die for” Do you have any other photos of the room to inspire us? I am just starting to redu my room! Looking for ideas!@!

  • 59
    Mika says:

    This is a fantastic idea!! I’m a sewer, not necessarily a scrapbooker, but I use ribbon on a pretty regular basis, and the rough rack my husband built for me, while functional, isn’t nearly as pretty as the spools!! I’m gonna have to do this!

  • 60
    Tanya says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your great tips and fantastic ideas Nichole!!!

  • 61
    Mary Brautigam says:

    I LOVE your clothespin approach for ribbon. I spent the afternoon putting many pieces on clothespins (originally all stuffed into a 1-gallon jar). I expect I’ll start using them now that I can ‘see’ them, they’re not tangled, and they won’t need ironing. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 62
    Jackee says:

    WOW! First of all, yesterday I came across your awesome crafting space. I called my husband into the computer room and said, “Oh my gosh you have to look at this!” We have been kind of looking for some ideas for a crafting room. Yours is over the moon for sure. It is fabulous. So many great ideas there. Thanks for sharing. Then, I was looking at the picture of the ribbons and was wondering how you did that. Then today, Voila, I found your tutorial. I am going to try it. Looks great and it beats my mess. Thanks again. P.S. What size is that room?

  • 63
    Amanda Newton says:

    I am going out this week to get those clothespins!!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the idea!!!

  • 64
    Frances says:

    Oh my goodness!!! That’s so cute! Where did you get the jars? I love the idea! do you have more pictures of your craft room?

  • 65
    Judy Walsh says:

    Love your studio! And guys, I’ve seen those glass jars at Container Store.

  • 66
    eryn says:

    just curious, what’s in the the little plastic tubs with the letters on them?

  • 67
    eryn says:

    just curious, what’s in the the little plastic tubs with the letters on them?

  • 68
    Haydee says:

    This is genious! Can I please link to you and maybe use a few of your photos for this tutorial?

  • 69
    Becki says:

    What a pretty storage solution – I love it!

  • 70
    Nicole says:

    Hello Nichole,

    your Ribbon storage is so great !
    Thanks for the inspiration .
    IΒ΄ve stolen your idea, perhaps youΒ΄d like to look in my blog :=).

    Greetings Nicole

  • 71
  • 72
    Nicole W says:

    FYI – I tried to sub to your blog & got this message….

    Subscribe to: “{capture the moment}”

    Widget error – please ask this publisher to recreate their FeedBlitz subscription Widget

  • 73
    Wendy says:

    I just love this cloth pin idea. This will definitely be my project for this weekend. Thanks for sharing. Your craft studio is just beautiful.

  • 74
    Sarah C says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this fatastic idea with us all. I went out and got osme of the pegs and now all my ribbon is neatly stored. ATM, it’s in plasic drawers as I don’t have anywhere to put the jars, but at least they’re tidy and dust free now :wub: xx

  • 75
    Nora Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing, I have the ribbon purse, but I’m not crazy about it, it wrinkles my ribbon. I need a new system and this one looks great!

  • 76
    Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the idea for ribbon storage – much nicer than my current system of wrapping them round the inner tubes of toilet rolls.
    Will have to go on the hunt for the clothes pegs, but just wanted to ask how do you make sure you don’t damage the ribbon with the pins, especially the delicate organza type?
    Many thanks again

  • 77
  • 78
    Lana says:

    Great job. Now can you come to my house and help me?

  • 79
    typhany says:

    Awesome Idea…I love organization that is pretty.

  • 80
    Holly says:

    What a great idea! I love the picture of your shelves too. Can you say green with envy!?

  • 81
    Lisa M. says:

    Oooh, thanks so much for explaining how to do this! I bought some of these clothespins and now I can actually use them!

  • 82

    This looks like art all by itself!

  • 83
    Geri says:

    Do you know approx. how many spools will fit
    into each jar? Also, where can I buy jars
    like you have? I’m in the process of
    “spooling” mine now!

  • 84
    Bonnie says:

    Where do you find these jars?

  • 85
    Elise says:

    Oh, I love it!! Great idea!!

  • 86
    Kelly Leo says:

    Your blog is amazing. Is there any way I can get updates sent to my email when you post something on your blog? I am kinda new to this. Thanks! πŸ™‚ Kelly

  • 87
    Martha says:

    loved this so much., so cute.
    now I need jars and clothespins lol

  • 88
    Rebekka says:

    The best and cheapest idea I have seen, thanks, I will be running out to Walmart πŸ™‚

  • 89
    Holly says:

    you have just solved my ribbon DISASTER.

  • 90
    Erica K says:

    That’s a fun way to store (and cutely display) ribbon! Thanks for the idea!

  • 91
    SewCalGal says:

    I like your tutorial for storing ribbons. Very cute idea.

    I am curious if you have any sources to share for buying cute ribbon? It seems that my local sources have ribbon, but never as nice as what I see people use on their projects that are in magazines or web articles.


  • 92
    Carrie P. says:

    Just came from Jodi’s blog. What a great idea you have shown us. thanks.

  • 93
    Karen Chadderdon says:

    I just discovered this from the new blog Pleasant Home, formerly Simply this and that. Yay! Thanks for the tutorial!!

  • 94

    Oh, I love that idea! I’m going to have to do that with my ribbon!

  • 95
    ter@waaoms says:

    I just came here via the Little Birdie Secrets where this post was featured and I think I got a little excited, especially with that last photo!

    I love this tip!! I am going to look for some wooden clothes pins like this next time I’m out and about! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • 96
    colleen says:

    Hi! I LOVE this idea! It is so fun. I copied you and was so happy with the results that I blogged about it. Here’s the link:)


    thanks! colleen

  • 97
    Liz says:

    How easy and CUTE! Thanks for the wonderful idea. Off to the store to get some wooden clothespins in the morning!

    Loving This Mom Stuff

  • 98
    rebekah says:

    what a fantastic idea! my ribbons are all just thrown into a jar! love this! going to have to become a follower!

  • 99
    elisabetta says:

    Great idea!!! thanks for sharing!

    hugs from italy

  • 100

    great idea! I can’t find that kind of clothespins in Italy, I will think for anything similar. hugs

  • 101
    kamagra says:

    It doesn’t matter is the rainbow is on a poem, a cake , a draw in the wall, in our hair , in the sky or in any other place is always beautiful to see all those colors.

  • 102
    Paula says:

    this is just what i,ve been looking for… I voila idea for ribbon storage. Way to go on doing this, Hats off to you.

  • 103
    Amy says:

    LOVE this – I want to buy ribbons just to have jars lined up in my sewing area for the decoration!!

  • 104

    Ah this is a fab idea. I only just found out about it through a Tweet from somebody. Thank you πŸ˜€

  • 105
    Puma Shoes says:

    This really is an great written article, Thanks for yet yet another insightful post, as continually!

  • 106
    Tracy says:

    Brilliant idea, I will have to look for this kind of pin.

  • 107
    Gail says:

    I just found your site and I LOVE IT. So many interesting and exciting ideas. I want to see picts of your studio but can’t find where to go……

  • 108
    Mike says:

    One thing that brothers me about a box of ribbons is when your trying to find that certain colors and you can’t find them. I find for myself the ribbons I always want are way in the bottom. I’d rather separate them by color. It may be more work but it’s less frustrating overall.

  • 109
    Rochell says:

    I love this idea for my ribbons. It will take up less space than what I have now.

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