As any crafter knows, the more you craft, the more room you need to store your supplies. One of our biggest issues was how to store our ribbon. We make diaper cakes and, aside from diapers, ribbon is the most important ingredient. And we have a LOT of ribbon in every color, size, style, and fabric. We need our ribbon out where we can see it and within easy reach.
We tried many solutions. We stored the ribbon in plastic craft boxes, but some ribbon sizes would not fit in the box. Plus, if we wanted to look at the ribbon for inspiration, we would have to get all the boxes out and have them open which used up our precious work space.
The next solution we tried was hanging ribbon ladders from Joanne. These looked nice, but they are really for people who just need to cut off some ribbon from the spool. We need the ribbon out and around our cakes while we try different ideas. Taking the rack off the wall and removing the ribbon we needed was a pain. We needed something better.
I started my search for a solution on Pinterest. The best solution I saw was crafted from rain gutters and hung on the wall. This seemed like a really good idea and so I started to research ordering plastic gutter. The problem is that we live in the desert so 10 foot lengths of rain gutter is not readily available and shipping was insanely expensive – more than the total to purchase the gutter. There had to be something better.
And then I realized that we had everything we needed in my garage. We had just finished making shelves so I had some wood left over. All we needed to do is make shelves, but ribbon sized. Be forewarned, this project requires power tools, but I think there are some substitution products you can use in place of having to use a table saw.
Here is what I did. The first step was to figure out how much ribbon storage we actually needed. This was actually the most intimidating part because we were kind of scared to find out how much ribbon we actually had. We treated this as any collector (hoarder?) would. We pulled all the ribbon out of all the boxes, racks, and cubbies, stacked it and measured it. We had over 30 feet of ribbon. No wonder our prior solutions didn’t work.
Luckily, we had a large empty wall in our craft room where we could have 5′ long shelves. We opted to build 8 shelves which would give us 40 feet of storage. You know … so we could buy more ribbon.
The design of the shelves is fairly simple. Each shelf is 5″deep, 1″ thick and 5′ long. We made ours from leftover MDF that we already had, but you could definitely use a lighter wood. Home Depot carries some 5″ wide trim that would work great and you could use it without a table saw. To keep the ribbon from rolling off the shelf, we added a piece of wood 2″ tall across the front of the shelves and then added small pieces of wood at the ends using wood glue and small brad nails. We have a cordless nail gun which made nailing a breeze, but you could use a couple of screws or some finish nails with the wood glue.
To install on the wall, we used another strip of wood that we could screw against the wall to brace the shelf. We cut this brace to 3 feet. Since the shelves are so narrow and ribbon is light, the strip of wood was all the bracing we needed. Before hanging the strips on the wall, we pre-drilled holes through the back of the shelf into the strip. Because we were doing 8 shelves at once, we numbered the shelves and the corresponding wall strip so we could match the pre-drilled holes.
Before hanging on the wall, you can paint or stain the wood to coordinate with your craft room. If you use MDF, make sure you paint two layers of a primer coat letting it dry between each layer before you paint your finish color.
We used a stud finder to locate the wood studs in the wall and marked the stud locations with a chalk line. We also used the chalk line to mark the end point of the shelves so they would all be lined up once they were installed. Starting at the bottom of the wall, we used a level, to make sure the bracing strip was level and then screwed it into the wood studs in the wall. We then measured up 8 inches and installed the next brace the same way until all 8 braces were secured.
Matching the shelves to the matching brace, we set the shelf on top of the bracing strip and screwed them together. The final step was to touch up paint. Once everything was dry, we arranged our ribbon. It is now my favorite part of our craft room.
We would love to hear about your craft room ideas. Please share in the comments. If you have specific questions about the shelves, comment below or go to the Contact Us page.