Studio Ribbon Storage

By March 2, 2011General


Many of you may already know that my husband and I recently built a new home which we moved into a few short weeks ago.  One of the area that I dedicated a lot of time to was my new studio, the functionality of it and ideal organization for all of my supplies.  This month’s newsletter is the first of a series I will be sharing with you each month.  I will be focusing on the details of my organization choices and why they function well for me.  My hope is that you may be able to take away a little something to enrich your own space, making it more user-friendly and allowing you more time for actual stamping!
This month I am focusing on ribbon storage.  I wish I could just instantly link you to a product I purchased for my Papertrey ribbon spools, but I am afraid after endless searching, I ended up having my husband, David, design a unit that met my needs.  I wanted something that allowed me to store all of my ribbon together in a compact area.  I wanted there to be an effective way for the ribbon to sit out within reach without the possibility of rolling away.  The end result was this:
Ribbon Shelf

The overall unit measures 33-1/2″ x 23-1/2″ and only 3-1/2″ deep.  It takes up a very small footprint on my stamping table, which is always at the forefront of my mind when selecting new storage.  I just now have filled the shelf to capacity with all of the Papertrey colors, approximately 180 spools of our ribbon, so it is very accommodating.  I have already put in an order for a second unit of the same dimensions for the other end of my table to hold future color releases.
Ribbon Shelf down view

I thought I would provide a few brief instructions as to how you could go about constructing this yourself.  It is really quite simple and inexpensive to create.  The only tools you need are a saw and a hammer.  You can change the dimensions to fit your space if you wish.  There are lots of options for customization since it is such a simple design.  These are the supplies you will need:

You will also need:
(1) half- sheet of bead board or plywood
small brad nails
white paint (if desired)
Now, this project is actually created with “1×4’s” and “1×3’s”.  If you are familiar with wood dimensions, “1×4’s” and “1×3’s” aren’t truly those measurements, but that is what you would look for at your home improvement store.  I provided you with the actual measurements of the wood in all of the instructions & supply lists that follow, just to try to keep things simple when you begin to build.  
1. To construct this shelf, you want to build the exterior frame first.  Nail together the four exterior pieces at the corners.
2.  Trace the outline of the frame onto the front of the bead board/plywood and cut to size.  Attach the frame to the front of the bead board/plywood with nails.
3. Attach the remainder of the shelves, approximately 4-3/4″ apart.

4.  Attach the molding to the front of each shelf.
Molding detail

As you can see, the molding acts as a small ledge to prevent the ribbon spools from rolling off the shelf, but at the same time, the spools remain easy to get to.
After you have completed the shelf, you can choose to paint the entire thing white as I did here, or you can stain it.  Whichever would fit your decor.  I hope that you have enjoyed this little peek into my ribbon storage and I look forward to sharing more from the studio in the future!


Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 91 Comments

  • 1
    Lolita Thawley says:

    Thanks so very very much…to you for sharing…to your husband for creating such a functional unit. I’m going to make one, they experiement and possibly use the design for my punches…I was thinking of adding a dowel or such for the punches…first…the ribbon. I’m off to the big box hardware store in about one hour. Again…THANKS. Loli

  • 2
    Renee Lynch says:

    OK…after debating an antique PO desk that I found that would be perfect for buttons, felt, ribbons…
    but only after some much needed love to rescue its condition from previous owners and a horrid paint job (seriously…HORRID!)…
    and this incredibly gorgeous shelf…
    talked love-of-my-life-man-that-I-married into making a couple of these for me.
    I’m so excited! 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous creation…
    I can’t wait to see more 🙂

  • 3

    I have been searching for ages for a system that will actually work for me. Thank God my husband is a carpenter and said he can whip up a few of these for me in a matter of hours! You rock, Nicole!!

  • 4
    Debbie says:

    It is gorgeous and so useful!! If I ever move to a home with more space, I’ll definitely will try building something similar 😀 Thank you so much for sharing the instructions too! And big thumbs up for your husband!

  • 5
    Tina says:

    This is a great idea. My husband made something similar to this for my mounted rubber stamps. Here is a photo. It’s much fuller now, so I had to put the stamps in at an angle instead of face forward,but it’s working out just fine.
    for this project we didn’t put a back on it to keep it from being so heavy

  • 6
    Stacy H. says:

    This is AMAZEBALLS! I am sending my hubs to Lowe’s this weekend to get started!!

  • 7
    Andrea D. says:

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing this! I’ve been looking for a good looking and cheap way to organize my ribbons NOT on dowels. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!

  • 8
  • 9
    Carrie C. says:

    I am totally in love with this!!! It is perfection! Can’t wait to see more!

  • 10
    Alecia says:

    I’m just curious where do you get all your ribbon at?

  • 11
    Lura says:

    Wish I had a husband or some handy person in my life to make this for me – BUT it does look like something I might be able to handle. You are the best to offer a how to on this great looking storage. Also looks like it could be useful for mounted stamps with maybe some minor adjustments. Thank you so much!

  • 12
    Tamara says:

    Love this shelf!! Can you tell me how did you attach the shelves and the molding? Are the shelves attached with nails on the sides or the back (or both) and did you use glue or nails to attach the molding? I want to make one or two of these for all my small items and ribbon. Thanks!!!

  • 13
    Karen H says:

    Love it!!! Thanks so much for sharing the directions. Now to see if my husband will make one for me.

  • 14
    Vicki Davidson says:

    My husband just made one of these. Thank you so much for the instruction, the we easy to follow. The finished product is awesome and fit all the ribbon I own and then some. Thanks again.

  • 15 says:

    I love this idea and love the way it looks too! I currently carry all my ribbon in a plastic tote which is not too easy to do. I would love my husband to make this for me but he is having a hard time finding the proper molding that will work. Where did you purchase your supplies, particularly the crown molding?

  • 16

    Just linked over from Pinterest and I’ve gotta say: THIS. IS. GORGEOUS.

    Looks like I’ve got a project for the weekend 🙂

  • 17
    Darla says:

    Wonderful tutorial! I put a dowel rod through the middle of half of the shelves for my tatting

  • 18
    Simple Mama says:

    This is brilliant! Thank you so much for the design tutorial.

  • 19
    EMC Storage says:

    Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

  • 20
    Lizzie says:

    This looks beautiful. I just moved in with my boyfriend so my sewing machine and materials are all in self storage. Hopefully I can bring it all into the spare room without emasculating his space! He can’t argue when it’s so pretty!

  • 21
    Kristin says:

    I absolutely LOVE this!! Thank you! My husband is actually in the process of trying to gather materials but we are unable to find the 1 1/2 inch crown molding anywhere. Could you please share where you were able to find it? Thanks!

  • 22
    Elsie says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post the instuctions. Mine is finish and up. I LOVE it. Have a Blessed Day. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • 23
    Joy says:

    How clever! I, too, am in the process of outfitting a new studio in our retirement home in the mountains. I so need organizational ideas…and how handy…my husband’s new wood shop is adjacent to my studio! I’ll be sure to get him right on this!

  • 24
    Sharman says:

    OMG This is EXACTLY what I am looking for. I have been searching the web for weeks for something that my husband could build as he is terrible at stuff like this but by gosh, I think he will be able to do this. Thank you thank you thank you and thank you again…… AND thank that husband of yours.

  • 25
    Diane says:

    i’m loving this !!! printing the instructions out for my dear husband now 🙂

  • 26
    Jessica G. says:

    This is such a blessing. My biggest dilemma being in a small space is my ever growing ribbon collection. Since I am not going to stop buying ribbon I need a storage solution. This will be an excellent project to bond with my father over this summer. We haven’t done a project together in years. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  • 27
    angela says:

    Was wondering where you found the molding??

  • 28
    Yelena says:

    Your a woman! You can do anything a man can do but wow… Better that’s why it’s woMAN 🙂 show this world what were made of. I did. 🙂 I didn’t paint mine but It works for me 🙂

  • 29
    Gena Tully says:

    I love you! This is exactly what I had in my head! You are a rock star…thank you for existing! :0)

  • 30
    Therese says:

    I badly need ribbon storage and and my husband is now into woodworking! Thank you so much for sharing this! I printed it and will ask my husband to make a few! I have TONS of ribbon spools and this is a GREAT way to store AND see exactly what I have. Thanks again!

  • 31
    Gena Tully says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I did this today all by myself and it was worth all the hard work and all the crazy looks I got from all the men in the lumber dept. cause I did it! I used 1×5 & 1×4 only because I order 50yards at a time of 3″grosgrain but the basic pattern you listed rocks…thank you again for sharing! You have just helped me organize my entire business!

  • 32
    Charlotte says:

    I have also been searching for just the right ribbon storage and now I’ve found it. Thank you so much.

    Are the instructions available via PDF so I can print them out?

    Blessings to you!

  • 33
    Becky says:

    Thanks for instuctions!!! My husband built one for me and I love it!!! I posted pic on my blog at if you want to see it.

  • 34
    Kathleen Mc says:

    this is amazing!!
    can you remember approx how much the materials cost??
    i’m wondering whether to give these directions to my dad to make for me!!!
    kathleen mcxx

  • 35
    Mike Bennett says:

    What is the name of the moulding I can’t find it
    Thanks mike bennett

  • 36
    Jonrepair52 says:

    just wanting to know if anybody has a name of the moulding that was used to build the ribbon storage unit

  • 37

    It’s nice to see the things that was organized and arranged in the shelves.

  • 38
    Paige says:

    Umm I have craft lust right now.
    I wish my hubby was handy enough to do this!
    Might just try to do it myself!!

  • 39
    Tina says:

    Wish I had a husband !

  • 40
    mike bennett says:

    did you ever find the crown molding
    thanks mike bennett i am looking as well

  • 41
    Brenda Westhafer says:

    What a beautiful ribbon holder. Thank you for sharing a terrific idea!!!!

    Brenda W.

  • 42
    Jodi Ake says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am going make one of these this week. You make it look easy and thank you for providing the easy to follow instructions.

  • 43
    Susan says:

    This is fabulous. Thanks for sharing the directions!

  • 44
    Lorna DeLoach says:

    How big are your ribbon spools? I would like to make this and want to be sure my bigger spools will fit.
    Thank you.

  • 45
    Natasha Martin says:

    what kind of moulding did you use?

  • 46

    I am finally happy knowing that I can make my own ribbon shelves with your help. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. This is priceless!

  • 47
    Megan says:

    I absolutely LOVE your shelf!! I made something similar to it, but with stuff I already had around the house. It’s not as amazing and pretty as yours, but it works for me! I thought I’d share the blog post I did about it:

    Thanks for the awesome inspiration!!

  • 48
  • 49
    Kristi says:

    Thank you SOO much for this! I’ve been looking for months for something to store my ribbon! Husband is putting it together as we speak!

  • 50
    Francesca says:

    It’s beautiful and absolutely PERFECT! Thank you for sharing all the details!

  • 51
    jessesToons says:

    O my goodness this is what I can get my mom for her birthday!!! Over the years she has accumulated so many spools or ribbon yard and pretty much everything else. If she had this self storage Toronto unit she truly needs this and this would just be perfect for her! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • 52
    Angie says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing!!!!!

  • 53

    Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial and the fact that I can do this myself means I’ll be picking up the supplies on my way home from work tonight!

  • 54 says:

    I have looked and shopped and cannot find trim like this!
    Please let me know where you found yours.

    Thank you very much,


  • 55
    Jenn says:

    So I know this is a random question, but what are the diameters of the ribbon you are putting on your shelf? I see the depth dimension, but all my ribbon is 3.5″ diameter and up and I want to make sure they will fit. Thanks!

  • 56
    Judith Byers says:

    WOW! That is an achievement – to have moved to your house that is really yours already. Because you are still adjusting, you should know how to deal with each other’s tantrums.

  • 57

    Seriously coveting the ribbon rack! Gorgeous!

    Hope my hubby will make this for me too. 🙂

  • 58
    Suzy Frame says:

    Wow that is a great way to store your ribbon! I have been looking into self storage toronto to put all my craft stuff but I do love this and how it works! Can you tell me where I might be able to find more information like this?

  • 59
    Lori says:

    Love your ribbon organizer! I have been looking at different ideas to store my ribbon and this is perfect! Thank you for sharing!

  • 60
    Constance says:

    My friend needed to tame her stash, so we used your pattern. Thanks so much – it turned out pretty well:

  • 61
    Shelby says:

    Hey Laura. Home depot and lowes will cut all the wood and molding sor you. Just make sure u buy size 6 1 1/2 inch self drilling screws and you could this yourself Sooo easy I did!!

  • 62
    Shelby says:

    Oh and use wood glue for the molding

  • 63

    These instructions are both easy and insightful. I love the look of this ribbon storage. My wife loves doing wrapping and craft projects so maybe I’ll surprise her with something like this. Keep up the creativity!

  • 64

    Enjoyed this little peek and would like to hear more of your ideas! Thanks

  • 65
    Tammie Malkow-Dunham says:

    Why do people assemble first then paint. I always paint first then assemble so much easier.

  • 66

    Hi, Your tutorial is lovely! I was just wondering what size spools you built this for? I wanted to see if I need to adjust the measurements for 3.25″ or 3.5″ spools. Thanks so much!

  • 67
    Deb OKeefe says:

    Thank you for posting instructions on the assembly of your ribbon rack. Purchased materials yesterday and looking forward to this in my new craft space ! Thank you so much !

  • 68
    deb nugent says:

    Thank you so much for this post my husband made me a few of these..we added a dowel across the bottom of one for spools of paper ribbon for wrapping presents. I have enclosed heating ducts along the ceiling & it fit 2 rows of shelves we did 2 different sizes to accommodate different spools..I love them! Thanks again for sharing!

  • 69 says:


    I purchased 2 ribbon storage racks from you in 2013. Is your husband still making them to sell? If so, has he designed a larger rack? I’m interested in buying 2 more.

  • 70 says:

    I just looked at the pic again. I may have purchased them from another vendor that was similar. Anyway thanks for the info.

  • 71
    Susan Sprague says:

    Oh, such a great solution. I’ve invested in many solutions that were outright failures- must get to store for wood before the snow flies tomorrow so my husband can make this for me! Very excited! Thanks for making my day!

  • 72
    Judith Saarinen says:

    This is exactly what my husband and I have been talking about for my ribbons, we’ve just spent over an hour discussing it, and then I look on line and here is exactly what I need. If you have more detailed description of the pattern it would be great. However, I printed this off and I am going to get him to work.
    Thank you so much for your idea. Judy

  • 73
    jimstout7878 says:

    These look like some really good storage containers for your ribbons right here. These would also be good for canned foods as well. I have never seen someone with the same variety that you have here. It is really cool.

  • 74
    Sissy says:

    This is EXACTLY what I need. A lot of friends have them wrapped around clothes pins, cardboard, and many other ways. I don’t want my ribbon folded. I have always kept it on the spool, in a large expandable tote.

    But I love this better. It holds a lot. and they are in view. Thank you so much for sharing the instructions. Can’t wait to make this.

  • 75
    Xavier Smith says:

    This is a great storage idea. Thanks so much for posting. Something like this could help me with my own storage problems.

  • 76
    Sharman says:

    When I first saw this I went crazy. I loved it so much that I also printed out your directions. Had my husband built me one also. Then I loved it so much that he built me another one. He is getting ready to build me a 3rd one. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. The very best ribbon holder EVER……. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us the directions/dimmensions…..

  • 77
    Joanne English says:

    Thank you thank you so so much for these instructions and your pictures and wonderful pattern. I can’t wait to get started (I LOVE POWER TOOLS).

  • 78
    Carol Boiter says:

    This is the greatest idea I have seen. I can’t wait to get mine built. My husband will be making mine today Bless his heart!, thank you for sharing your great idea.

  • 79
    JulieM says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this project! I am totally saving it for one of my to do’s in my craft room!

  • 80
    Linda says:

    Same here Holly aka Toy, same here.

  • 81
    Cathy says:

    I went to our local Rona and purchased the things I needed (they even cut some things to size for me) and used some leftover beadboard we had for the back. Hubby assembled it all and I painted it a creamy white to match my desk and filing cabinet. It turned out beautifully and ‘no dowels’! Thank you so much, I love it!
    P.S. I also purchased a solid 4-cube shelf to set this on so it’s off the floor. I purchased 4 clear totes I use to store embellishments and other odds & ends in. Love it!

  • 82
    Adrienne Chesney says:

    Awesome ! Do you think David can make me one? LOL. You two should consider making them for sale!! I would love to be your first customer. Run it by David & see what he thinks! I am soooo serious. I know I can’t make it & don’t know anyone who could make it for me.

    Thank You for sharing,

  • 83
    Christian Jordan says:

    I just found this blog post after watching a crafter on YouTube talk about the one she made. I have been looking for a way to store my ribbon without the dowel and now I have found it! I cannot wait until the weekend to make this shelf! Thanks so much for the idea!

  • 84
    mercedes says:

    I am SO making this!!!

  • 85

    I was researching for my ribbon organization and found this. I love these units and have asked my husband to build me a couple of these. Maybe a large floor unit and then the smaller one for my work table. I have hundreds of rolls of ribbon that are in box bottoms by colors. This would be ideal for me. Thank you for sharing.

  • 86
    Hope says:

    I just had my husband make this for me this weekend. I can not thank you enough for giving us the dimensions! Today, I will be painting it and then loading it up on Tuesday with my ribbons.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • 87
    Deagra says:

    Best ribbon storage solution I found & easy to follow instructions. Made mine in 1 afternoon. Thank you

  • 88
    Cathy says:

    I want to thank you so much for posting this! I have so much ribbon and was running out of room. I hated having to take half the ribbon off of a dowel to replace one in the middle. I had the lumber store cut most of the pieces to the dimensions, then had the hubby do the trim and put it together. I painted it white and it’s perfect! Thank you! In fact, I am looking at building a 2nd one 🙂

  • 89
    Cathy says:

    By the way, mine currently sits perfectly on a sturdy, four-cube cubby that I had found on clearance.

  • 90
    Annemarie says:


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