How do you store ribbon lengths?

Whether you are a crafter, gift wrapper, or avid bow maker, properly storing ribbon can help keep your supplies neat, untangled, and easily accessible for projects. When it comes to storing ribbon, there are a few key factors to consider: ribbon length, ribbon type, storage method, and storage containers.

Why is Ribbon Length Important for Storage?

Ribbon length plays a big role in determining the best storage method. Shorter ribbons, like those for gift wrapping, can be neatly folded or rolled. However, longer ribbons and trims are best stored wrapped around cardboard or plastic spools. This keeps them tangle-free and makes it easier to access the amount needed for projects.

Some quick answers about ribbon length and storage:

– Shorter ribbons (1-5 yards) can be folded, rolled, or hung
– Longer ribbons (5+ yards) are best stored wrapped around spools
– Consider the length of your ribbons when choosing storage
– Avoid tangling by storing ribbons of similar lengths together

Different Types of Ribbon

The material and texture of ribbons should also be considered for storage. Here are some common ribbon types and tips for storing them:

Satin Ribbon

– Fold or roll tightly
– Smooth satin frays easily if creased

Grosgrain Ribbon

– Can be folded, rolled, or hung
– Heavyweight texture avoids tangles

Chiffon Ribbon

– Roll or wrap around cardboard
– Delicate material is prone to wrinkles

Wired Ribbon

– Coil wires neatly to avoid kinks
– Use plastic bags to store and prevent snagging

Raffia Ribbon

– Hang or coil loosely to avoid creasing
– Natural fibers can become brittle if folded tightly

Ribbon Storage Methods

There are a variety of ways to store ribbons based on their length and material.


Rolling ribbons is great for shorter lengths and satin materials. To roll ribbons:

– Spread ribbon out flat
– Begin rolling tightly from one end
– Secure with ribbon, elastic, or bag

Rolling helps ribbons hold their shape nicely.


Folding can work for shorter ribbons as well. To fold ribbons:

– Lay ribbon out smooth and flat
– Fold accordion style into small sections
– Stack folded sections

This keeps folded edges neat and hidden.


Hanging is best for longer ribbons that should not be creased. To hang ribbons:

– Gather ribbons in hand and hang over a peg board, rack, or hook
– Hang in sections by color, material, or length
– Use clips if needed to hold loose ends in place

Hanging allows ribbons to flow freely without bends.


Spooling untangles longer lengths while keeping them accessible. To spool ribbons:

– Choose a spool or winder
– Attach end of ribbon with tape or slot
– Neatly wind ribbon around central column
– Store spools upright or on their sides

Spools are great for ribbon trims 5+ yards.

Choosing Ribbon Storage Containers

The right storage containers will help keep your ribbons tangle-free and within easy reach. Consider these container options:


Pegboards allow you to hang ribbons neatly in sections. Choose a wall-mounted pegboard or one that stands on a surface. Designate certain pegs just for ribbons.


Open shelving has great visibility for ribbon storage. Use bins, boxes, or baskets to corral spools, rolls, and other ribbon items. Label shelves for easy organization.


Drawers neatly conceal rolled and folded ribbons. Segment longer drawers to keep similar length ribbons together. Consider lining drawers with felt to avoid snagging.

Hanging Storage

Use hanging storage like wall racks, over-the-door hangers, or wall-mounted shelves. These are great for spooled ribbons and work well in tight spaces.

Clear Plastic Boxes

Store rolled ribbons upright in divided clear plastic boxes. You can easily view contents while protecting ribbons from dust and humidity.

Top Tips for Storing Ribbons

Follow these top tips for keeping your ribbon collection in top shape:

– Store ribbons in a dry, cool place away from direct light. Heat and sunlight can damage fibers.

– Consider archival storage bags or acid-free tissue for especially delicate materials like silk or satin.

– Wrap wire edges of wired ribbons with tissue or fabric to avoid snagging on storage containers.

– Periodically unwind and re-roll or re-fold ribbons to avoid permanent creases if they have been stored a while.

– Before cutting long portions of ribbon, wind entirely onto a spool for easier storage.

– Utilize vertical storage like walls, hanging racks, pegboards, and tall shelving to take advantage of space.

– Label storage bins, boxes, and drawers for easy organization. Group similar ribbons together.

– Store ribbons in sealable plastic bags if storing for extended periods of time. This prevents exposure to dust, dirt, and humidity.

Creative Ribbon Storage Ideas

Beyond traditional storage methods, there are also some creative ways to store your ribbon collection:

Repurposed Materials

Give empty tubes, spools, and cylinders from paper towels, wrapping paper, and vinyl new life for winding ribbons. Pool noodles sliced lengthwise make inexpensive spools.

Drawer Organization

Use drawer dividers, trays, or diced containers to segment rolled ribbons upright. You can also adhere ribbon samples to the front of drawers to identify contents.

Wall Storage

Install wooden molding with nails, hooks, or clothespins for hanging spooled ribbons along a wall. Or adhere ribbon samples in frames to hang and identify ribbon selections.

Pegboard Art

Create fun ribbon art by coordinating and color coding spooled ribbons on a pegboard. This shows off your inventory and makes it easily accessible.

Fabric Ribbon Boards

Cover a bulletin board in felt or fabric, then use ribbon strips to section and hold spools in place with pins. Great for craft rooms!

Storing Ribbons by Project

Beyond storing ribbons by length, material, and color, you can also store ribbons together that will be used for certain projects. Here are some ideas:

Gift Wrapping

Keep an assortment of solid, patterned, and wired gift wrapping ribbons accessible for quick wrapping.


Have your most-used ribbons for crafting stored together – try burlap, raffia, satin, and grosgrain.


Holiday ribbons can be stored together in plastic bins and accessed when needed. Try red, green, gold for Christmas.


Store go-to ribbon solids and patterns used regularly for projects in easy-reach areas.


Sewing ribbons like twill tape can be stored on spools near your sewing machine and notions.

Best Practices for Storing Large Ribbon Collections

For large ribbon collections, stay organized with these best practices:

Take Inventory

Catalog all ribbons by length, fiber, color, and any other categories important to your needs. This helps inform storage decisions.

Assign Dedicated Storage Space

Whether it is a room, closet, cabinet, or set of shelving units, have a designated place for your ribbon inventory.

Utilize Vertical Storage

Maximize space by storing ribbons vertically utilizing pegboards, hanging racks, shelves, and storage containers whenever possible.

Break Up Collection

Divide ribbons into sub-collections by fiber, color, or project type. Store subsets together for ease of access.

Label Thoroughly

Use labels on storage units and individual ribbons to stay organized. Create a labeling system for easy identification.

Wind New Ribbons Immediately

When acquiring new ribbons, wind them onto spools right away to avoid tangling before storage.

Reassess Storage Regularly

As your collection changes, re-evaluate your storage solutions. Adjust to meet your current needs and inventory.

Storing Ribbons By Color

Storing ribbons by color can create a beautiful, rainbow-like display while also helping you quickly find the hue you need for projects. Here are some tips:

– Hang spools in color order on a pegboard or wall rack. Group all reds together, then oranges, yellows, etc.

– Coil ribbons in ROYGBIV order inside clear plastic storage bins. Create a gradient effect.

– Designate drawers or shelf cubbies for specific color families – warm tones in one, cool tones in another.

– Sort folded or rolled ribbons into colorful boxes, baskets, or bin dividers. Arrange by shade.

– Label storage containers clearly with their designated color family for quick identification.

– Display most-used colors most accessibly. Store seldom-used shades further away.

– Wrap ribbons around empty paper towel rolls and stand upright in ROYGBIV order inside jars or boxes.

Choosing Spool Sizes for Long Ribbons

For ribbons 5+ yards, wrapping around spools keeps them smooth and tangle-free. Follow these tips for selecting spool sizes:

– Opt for larger diameter spools for very long ribbons to limit layers.

– Sturdy cardboard tubes around 3-4 inches in diameter work well for most ribbons.

– Plastic spools with notches or slots help hold ribbon ends in place when winding.

– Avoid spools that are too short in length for the ribbon – excess will drape off the sides.

– For wide ribbons, choose spools with a width of 1-2 inches for balanced winding.

– A variety of spool sizes lets you alternate based on specific ribbon properties.

– Empty gift wrap rolls, paper towel tubes and vinyl blinds work nicely repurposed as free spools.

– Test different spools to find what works best for each of your ribbons.

Troubleshooting Ribbon Storage Problems

Ribbons can get tangled and messy over time. Here are tips for troubleshooting common ribbon storage problems:

Issue: Ribbons are wrinkled or creased

– Gently iron ribbons on low heat or roll between your hands to remove creases. Avoid over-ironing delicate materials.

Issue: Ribbons are dusty or dirty

– Clean ribbons by wiping gently with a lint roller, soft cloth, or using the low suction of a vacuum.

Issue: Ribbons have kinks from poor storage

– Wind kinked sections around spools to reform shape. Weight or pin ends while drying to re-straighten.

Issue: Ribbons are tangled beyond use

– For severe tangles and knots, it may be best to cut your losses and discard unsalvageable sections.

Issue: Satin ribbons are fraying

– Carefully use fabric glue or clear nail polish on frayed ends to prevent additional unraveling.

FAQs About Storing Ribbons

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about ribbon storage:

How do I store ribbon on a spool?

Wind ribbon smoothly and tightly around an empty spool beginning at one end. Secure the start with tape or a slot. Neatly coil remaining ribbon avoiding overlaps until you reach the other end.

Where should I store my ribbon collection?

Choose a dry, room temperature location out of direct light. Options include closets, cabinets, shelving units, under beds, or chests of drawers.

What are ribbon keepers?

Ribbon keepers are small plastic disks with notches used to hold the tail end of a spool in place when in use. The notch stops the ribbon from unwinding completely.

How do you organize a ribbon collection?

Use consistent labeling, sorting by color, material, length, and project type. Store similarly grouped ribbons together in bins, shelving, or drawers for easy access.

How do you untangle ribbon?

Carefully separate strands, gently tugging apart knots. Use seam rippers to open loops. Work slowly from the outermost knots inward. Detangle in small sections. Cut out severely twisted tangles.


Proper ribbon storage helps keep your craft and sewing supplies accessible, protected, and ready to use. Consider length, material, storage containers, and organization methods that make sense for your collection. With a little forethought, you can untangle the mystery of how to store ribbons of all types for years of creative enjoyment!

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