Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ribbon Rewind

Do you remember once upon a time when I first got this Making Memories set-up? It was nearly two years ago and I think there were only about ten people visiting my site at that time, so I won't be offended if you don't remember. 

Since you probably weren't there, I'll tell you, I was so excited, and I couldn't wait to fill it up with all kinds of good stuff. I started with my ribbon because I love ribbon. It was love for the first month at least.

And then I started to become disgusted with the whole shebang. If you own one of these, I'm sure you know why, but if you don't, let me just share a little negativity with you.

The ding dang dowels that hold the ribbon on are too fat! That means some spools of ribbon don't fit on them unless you gouge bigger holes out of their spools with your craft knife, thereby nearly maiming yourself in the process because, maybe you're ungraceful. Like me.

The ding dang dowels have to be removed every time you want to add a new spool of ribbon. That means you have to pull all the spools off if you are an OCD freak and you like your ribbon to be in rainbow order. Not that you are like that, but some of us have special needs.

Because the ding dang dowels are too blinking fat, there is much dropping and launching of ribbon spools in the interchange process, which then results in unspooled ribbon pooling at your feet and possibly tripping you. Because of that whole lack of grace thing.

And yes, I might be bitter because my mom would never let me take ballet lessons and I so wanted to take ballet lessons. I don't care that I have always looked like a football player in a tutu. Even at my thinnest, I had healthy thighs. That's beside the point though. I could have been graceful.

And now I'm not.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up my complaints about the Making Memories set-up, with some of my emotional issues that I'm sure you do not care about.

I don't like to come into the blogosphere and just whine about my petty problems, so I now feel the need to share with you how I solved my ribbon problem. It was such a big problem.

First, I started by clearing off the bottom three shelves. Originally, there were only two shelves for ribbon, but I decided I wanted three, so that's why I have three shelves naked here.

I needed Peanut Head to help me with this project because I have an unhealthy fear of power tools. On account of I lack grace because I never had ballet. 

Poor Peanut Head gets roped into so many of my projects. And just between you and me, he tries to run but I have ginormous muscles in my healthy thighs and I catch him before he can get away.

Plus he loves me. For some reason.

Okay, so what Peanut Head is doing here is he's cutting some yard sticks that I bought. I painted a little more than the first 24 inches with a couple thin coats of white paint, so that they would go better with the shelf. I didn't want full coverage though, because I wanted to still be able to see the inch markings and be able to use them when cutting ribbon.

The shelf itself is roughly 24 inches, so that's what that measurement is. Peanut Head cut three yardsticks for my three shelves. Before he made the 24 inch cut for the length, he cut about a quarter inch off along the entire length of the yardstick. The whole point of the yardsticks is to form a little fence to keep the ribbon from rolling off the shelves. Since Peanut Head cut it to be slightly skinnier, it's short enough that you can still get the ribbon in.

Next, Peanut Head cut some little half inch pieces off the extra bits of yardstick. These little pieces are to hold the fence out a little bit away from the bottom of the existing shelf, so that I could slide the cut end of ribbon through that small opening as a guide.

He finished the cut with an X-acto knife because . . . oh heck, I forget why. I know there was a good reason for it, but I can't remember what it was. Was it to avoid splitting the wood? Somebody that knows, please pipe in here anytime.

We, that is the married "we" which means "him," then glued one of the little pieces to the back of each end of the cut yardsticks. We cut six pieces total--two for each shelf.

After we glued them, Peanut head clamped them together until they dried.

While the glue was drying, we drilled the holes to attach the yardsticks. 

And here's a little heads up, these units are made out of particle board so it's not the easiest stuff to work with. We learned here that we had to drill smaller pilot holes first. Peanut Head let me do some of this part. I'm okay to use a drill, but I'm slow and I mess up a lot.

Peanut Head also drilled some little craters in the ends of the yardsticks for the screw heads to sink down into so they would be flush and pretty. I'm sure there's a technical term for it, but it seems to have escaped me. Sorry. Next time I'll try to take better notes.

See, isn't that pretty? Um, actually . . . no. It's ugly. Not only did we split the wood a bit, but the screw really is not pretty. It needs something.

There. That's better. I whipped out my glue gun and some pretties and got right to work. Pretty nifty, eh? Well, except for the leftover glue gun snot. I still have to go pull all those stringy bits off.

This is what it looked like after all the little fences were put on. I could hardly wait to get all my ribbon on it. In my giddy eagerness, I might have knocked Peanut Head over before he was finished tightening that last screw. Oopsie.

Ahhhhhhhh. I could just drape some twinkle lights over it and lay under it like it was my Christmas tree. It's so pretty.

I glued buttons and flowers over the screws. Because I could. And the knobs that used to hold the dowels on? I just glued them over the unsightly holes they left behind. I fed the dowels to the Gunny Man Who Thinks He's a Woodpecker.

I went back to IKEA over the summer and got enough of these CEEEEEEEE-UTE little jars to hold all my buttons. Um, buttons that I didn't have yet, but had to go and buy immediately upon acquiring the super cute jars. Don't they just scream "Fill me with buttons!" to you? Me too.

I've been living with this set-up for a couple months now and I have to tell you, I LOVE IT. It was the perfect fix.

And I don't miss the dowels one little bit.


  1. What an easy fix! Glad you don't have to fuss with those dowels anymore! That would be very annoying.

  2. Oh my gosh!!! That is BRILLIANT!!!!!

  3. I love this! I am using two tension rods in my craft closet for my ribbon, but it is the same issue, some of the ribbon holes are too small to fit over the tension rod and I have to make them bigger {or not put them on there}. For now, though, it works okay for me. Love your button jars!

  4. how can one person be so brilliant and organized :) your house should be in those organizing magazines. It is picture perfect way to go :)

  5. That is all bloody genius! And hooray for your hubby!

  6. Great idea! I get irritated at my dowels as well! Especially for the ones that are in the middle! Hubby says I have to deal now! LOL!

  7. Oh, sweet, Sweetaimee . . . aren't you just too funny? Did you not notice how closely I cropped in on my pics so you couldn't see the disaster that surrounds the ribbon/jar cuteness? It's shameful, just trust me on this.

  8. It would be a dream to be this organized! This is great!

  9. I love your amazing idea! Now I just need you to send Clark over my way to help me with mine!! I know he'd loooove it:) HeHe!

  10. thats a FABULOUS idea! my shelf has never held ribbon. because my little terrors (AKA- 2 little boy children) unroll allllllllll my ribbon from the spools. SO- my shelf is just a shelf and holds lovely things like my eleventy billion martha stewart edge punches and loads of stickles, amoung other pretty things :) (that I never get to use because I have boy children)

  11. Look, I love the jars and the rainbow order ribbon, but I know that you did it on purpose and now I expect you to go fix it and take a new picture so I can quit freaking out. Go on. You have had your fun, now go make it right. Go. I am waiting. Go.

  12. That is an amazing piece of organization! It's beautiful and functional. Love it!

  13. Youre still the queen bee of organization i can see! Youre camera takes really up close and clear pictures too!

  14. I'm drooling over your setup! The rulers are a fantastic idea. I'm still messing with dowels over here . . .

  15. I'm loving your blog first time visiting thanks to a friend who attendes my Croptoberfest today! I've been cracking up! You're SO funny! It used to bug my college roomates that I would hang all my green clothes together and blue clothes together, etc. I feel your organized pain! Now I've got to go organize my ribbons!

  16. Thank you again for this tutorial. I have my organizer modified and sitting in the box to be opened on Christmas morning (yes, by me! The hubby let me "fix it" so I could put it up on Christmas day and enjoy it right then). Rather than taking a vacation this year, I was wondering if you could just offer a class and I could come and be filled with your creative wisdom. Love your work. Thanks for all the ideas.

  17. Oooh. I am just starting to get my craft room together in a corner of our unfinished basement and I've been wrestling with the ribbon problem. I am totally stealing your idea.

  18. OMG! I love you! Not in a creepy, "I-wanna-marry-you" kinda way, but in a "we-are-soul-sistas" kinda way. :-D

    I have been frustrated with my ribbon shelf since I got the flippin thing and your GENIUS has given me new hope for the crappy-no-good-dowel-infested ribbon trap.

    Thank you! :-)

  19. Dido to what Jen (DragonWillow) said... you rock, love ya, "crappy-no-good-dowel-infested ribbon trap" covers my sentiments exactly about all the other junk out there. Can only add I think you are hilarious and love your non-websters-dictionary vocabulary!