We will only CORRUPT YOU!


For some of us, our lace, trim and ribbon collection is a jumbled pile of knots. As a collector hoarder of polka dot ribbon, vintage lace and tatting, I needed to find a system where I could easily see what I had on hand when inspiration strikes.


Let’s start by taking a little inventory of our “collections.” Make 3 boxes:

KEEP – Only keep those which you LOVE or will use within the next 2 years.

DONATE – Although you may LIKE these, you’ll never use them. Give them to a friend or charitable group who will. Let’s face it, you are never going to use that 99 cent red foil Christmas trim you purchased from the Joann’s clearance bin 7 years ago!

TRASH – Stained or damaged items which nobody wants. Throw out that water-stained satin ribbon!

Next, you may need to clean your lace and trims if you haven’t already done so. We know to preshrink our fabrics, but many of us forget to do this to our lace and trims (don’t be washing that vintage silk velvet ribbon…bad idea…LOL). This is something I find necessary to do as I am always purchasing vintage trimmings. I love OxyClean to remove stains and rejuvenate vintage items. It may not be the best or safest method, but it works for me.


Once laces and trims are washed, give them a quick press (if necessary and/or you are a bit on the obsessive side…LOL) and put them on cards of some type. Check out some of these neat ideas for holding lace, trim and ribbon:

Ribbon Cards by Cropper Hopper come in 3 different sizes. You can put one or several different trims on each card. It has a useful saw tooth slit which holds the ribbon secure.

1 ½ x 3

3 x 3

4 x 6

Love these Ribbon Holders by Sticker Stadium. These hold both wide and narrow ribbon. Starter slit keeps ribbon in place while it’s being wrapped onto the card:

You could also use plastic PVC cards:

Try cutting up some white corrugated plastic board:

I also found these neat die-cut ribbon holders in various sizes:

Or you could do what I do…make my own. Pretty simple…I use the cardboard from my husband’s dry cleaning shirt packs. I think they are about 8” x 11”.

I fold it in half lengthwise.

Staple the long end with several staples.

Cut into smaller rectangles.

Staple or tape trim to cardboard.

Wrap trim around cardboard and secure.

Check out these adorable one’s made by Sew-Mad. She’s included instructions on her blog:

I keep my ribbon on the roll it came on…too lazy to re-roll it! Many scrapbooking gals re-wrap their ribbons onto round clothespins!


You can secure the lace, trim or ribbon to the cards like I do using staples or tape. However, if you want to get fancy, you might want some Ribbon Clips (how many would I need? 500? 1,000? LOL):

Or use tiny plastic or wooden clothes pins!

Check these cool Roll Buddies!

However, there is always the cheapskate way…straight pins!  LOL


Now it’s time to figure out what storage system will work best for you. I use three tall Rubbermaid™ rolling carts with clear drawers for my lace, trim and ribbon stash. Each drawer is labeled making retrieval simple. I even use clear drawer and/or cardboard dividers to keep the rows of laces and trims neat.

You can organize them by Type, Color, Thickness, Texture and/or Patterns (example: all polka dot ribbon in one category, stripes in another, all pink trim together, etc.). Here’s how I’ve sorted mine:

Lace Collection
Vintage Lace
Heirloom Lace
Alencon Lace
Lace Scraps

Trim Collection

Ribbon Collection
Grosgrain – thin
Grosgrain – medium
Grosgrain – wide
Satin/Organza – thin
Satin/Organza – medium
Satin/Organza – wide

Every time I open my Tatting drawer, I drool!

Vintage Laces

One of my ribbon drawers

There are so many different ways to store your stash. Find one that is right for you. Here are some ideas:


If you have a small collection, you can store your stuff in clear Ball™ Jars. Target also has some cheap glass ones. Either wrap the lace, trim or ribbon around old-fashioned clothing pins or just stack rolled ribbon in the jar itself.


Cropper Hopper has these great ribbon boxes in 3 different sizes:” />
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I bought these my local Discount Store. I use them to store thin satin craft ribbon. Each box fits more than a dozen of the thin ribbon rolls:

These are great as the lids stop the ribbon from unraveling:

Make your own Ribbon Boxes courtesy of Martha – Begin with a cardboard container (CD storage or photo box). With a utility knife, make a 1/4-inch hole in the center of both short sides. Place ribbon spools in box. Cut a 1/4-inch-thick dowel to length of box, and slide through box and spools; press wide thumbtacks into dowel ends. Cut slits for ribbon, and pull ribbon ends through. For a polished look, attach grommets using a grommet kit (available at hardware stores), and label side of box.

And if you want yours to look as good as Martha’s, just buy hers…LOL:

Or you can make this one from

Instead of making separate holes for each ribbon to slide through like above, consider just making one long slit in the front of the box. You can also cut holes on each short side to insert a dowel. Make sure you leave enough room for the rolls to spin.

Dollar Store Basket – Purchase a rectangle basket that has holes on all four sides. Place ribbons inside and thread ribbon through the holes. It doesn’t get much easier than this!

Here’s a portable one for those who can’t keep their ribbon displayed:


OMG!!!! How BEAUTIFUL are these Ribbon Lockers? Apparently, they are so popular that they are currently back-ordered!

Check out this gorgeous handmade ribbon drawer:

Perhaps try some of the Sterlite™ rolling drawer units:


These professional display racks will work wonderfully if you have an unlimited budget:

However, instead of shelling out all that cash, why not use an adjustable CD rack?


Use a 5 pair metal slacks hanger. Slide the ribbon rolls onto the bar and reattach the latch.

Over the Door Rack (usually used for canned goods or video tapes) are perfect for storing ribbons on rolls:

This Shoe Rack might also work:


While my mind is in the Gutter, darling Martha is thinking vertical! Use Gutters to keep ribbons and trims organized. Have a lumberyard (or your local home improvement store) cut a half-round copper or plastic gutter to size and add gutter end caps.

Cropper Hopper’s Rail System Holder:

Regular or Magnetic Café Curtain Rods make a great ribbon holder:

What about a Bathroom Towel holder?

A paper towel holder would work, too!

The Ribbon Buddy™ is by far MY VERY FAVORITE (I have two of these)!  It can either be mounted to the wall or hung over a door. Best of all, it’s can be brought over to your work surface as it has an A-frame! I use it for all my rolls of tulle and trim (the cheap stuff). During the holidays, I add rolls of wrapping paper, too. I’ve looked everywhere to find these online to no avail…sorry!

Love this one from Organize More as it has no dowels:

Check out this terrific Ribbon Wheel:

You can also purchase a Quick Release Mounting Bar for the above Ribbon Wheel:

The ribbon wheel can also be clamped to a table with these:

Darla Jones’ husband, Ralph, created this awesome Ribbon Wheel which holds 170 – 200 rolls!!! It can be mounted to the wall or a table. WOW! Ummm…Darla, can I borrow your husband? I promise to return him when I’m done…LOL

I adore this Ribbon/Trim Holder Carrin of Rain’s End made for her stash. She even painted it, too! Detailed instructions can be found on her blog:


A Ring and Header system works great for scrapbooking:


Ribbon Rings and Ribbon Tags 

And when you’re ready to use your newly organized stash, perhaps you might want one of these nifty gadgets:

Pebbles™ Ribbon Iron

You could also use a hair straightening iron set on LOW and better yet, a regular iron! The Ribbon Iron would come in handy if you needed portability.

If you have any clever ideas for organizing your lace, trims and ribbons, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Organizing!


  1. WOW that is some great info! my stash isn’t as large as yours but nearing it it definately isnt in one box counting….counting 6 hat boxes,5 more boxes…2 large basket/trunk like, 6 more baskets 1 fat drawer roll cart caving frome the Large tin of stames on top and ribbonwork books… oh yeah ane one huge box in the closet hubby doesn’t know about yet and a few in the garage…..Well that’ts a lot neeeeeed the organizing…thank you for all the tips and if you have any vintage ribbons you don’t want ….let me know I can make something I just know it!
    THanks again

  2. Hey Lisa! I am totally giggling at all the fun ways to store ribbon. Great job!! Apparently I need more ribbon!

  3. Whoa! Lots of great ideas! Especially the make your own ribbon cards ’cause I’m cheap ;)

  4. This is excellent! So much information! All the links you give are great too. It must have taken so much time to compile. Your personal stash looks great too. Very beautifully organised.

  5. WOW!
    What a great post.
    Thanks for all that inspiration.
    Love your stash.
    I was googling around looking for ideas of wrapping trims and ribbons when selling them… then went into how to store all the stuff I have in a nicer way, looking to find empty spools for wrapping etc.

    I have a HUGE stash on actual shop cards, you know those big cards that trims are on that you buy by the yard.

    I was thinking maybe I could take them off there and put them on spools.

    anyway, I’m just blabbing because of the utter exhilaration of seeing so much organizing goodness in one place! LOL.
    Sometimes I think we art “stuff” addicts are addicts just so we can keep organizing.

    well, now I have to rethink a plan.

    I wonder if those cards wouldwork side by side on one of those cd racks.

  6. wow! i want to dive into that tatting and bobbin-lace stash!
    thanks for sharing insights!

  7. I love this post – it is so, so beautiful!

  8. Great ideas. Thanks

  9. You are my hero – just one question though; can you come to my house and organize me?

    I am a hoarder of vintage fabric and laces too and with having my own website and selling on Etsy, I find very little time to organize. Your wonderful system is an inspiration, though and I’m going to commit to trying to organize my stash by the end of the month.

    My problem is that I’m a collector and I have too many interests and collections. I have some fabulous high end utility shelves with 5 shelves each that I need to clear away of my vintage glass and pottery collection. Once I do that I’m going to invest in some of those clear plastic boxes like you have because that is a wonderful idea. My laces are in plastic bags, boxes and rough totes and I probably have 15 different ones with nothing even sorted into type.

    How long did it take you to do all of this? What kind of cards did you use to wrap your laces around?

    Gosh, I would love my workspace to look so clean and uncluttered!

  10. Loved your sight. I am looking for bulk ribbon roses! Any ideas?

  11. Where can I buy ribbon roses? Any ideas?

  12. Ribbon Roses?

  13. I am looking for Ribbon Roses

  14. shirley attanaro says:

    What a wonderful discovery for the new year…..I have untilized many of the ideas, but you have offered a whole new group. My biggest problems is I have too many interests: quilting, smocking, doll clothng, dolls, scrapbooking, etc.

  15. WOW! AMAZING! I’m absolutely speechless! ….and that doesn’t happen very often…WOW! is all I can say right now! THANKS!!

  16. Shirley D. – how about these:

    Thanks Shirley A. and Priscilla! Shirley, I know what you mean–another reason I haven’t taken up scrapbooking!

    With friendship,

  17. Mildred McGough says:

    I have a bag of vintage lace and trim (some handmade) that I would like to sell. Would you be interested. If so, I will give you a complete list of what I have.

  18. I personally use the over the door shoe rack and it works wonderfully!! I have mine nearly full and you can see it on my blog here all organized by color.

    I also use floss cards on rings which are hung on black wire plate racks. It sounds funny, but it looks pretty cool. I have thought about putting my floss cards in those plastic storage containers, I think by Cropper Hopper, but I like them out in the open where I can see them. I use ribbon/fiber/yarn/string/lace on almost every craft/scrapbook page/card, so I need them super handy.

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ways to store such an addicting item.

    Happy Scrapping,

    Kimberly in Nevada

  19. thought I’d share my way of organizing ribbons. I Use the base of florescent light that comes in a package ($8 only a lowes or HD) . .


  20. Love these ideas, Thanks!

  21. terrific ideas: but I only got here trying to find the best way to keep a young friend’s satin hair ribbons from unraveling. she cuts them straight across and I was going to advise a v shape into the ends — but she is a very picky 13 yr old, so you experts — please advise! thank you

  22. Thanks so much for this great info!

  23. Ok cracking up here! We just started a small hair bow making business and the ribbon is just piling up. Our next big check is going towards organization. There were so many great ideas here I’m not sure which we’ll try. Thanks for the ideas and laughs!

  24. I just had to send off a BIG Thank You… This post provided the very answer I was searching for… Until I found you, I had absolutely no idea how to store all my reams of ribbon.

    Thanks so much for doing all the legwork it took to put all these ideas in one place! :-)

  25. Hi, Just wanted to say a big thank you to you. I first came across this fabulous shoe storage product on your blog and, as they say in the classics… was so impressed I bought the company! Well not really but am now selling and distributing Clear Shoe Boxes in the UK through tszuji the Shoe Storage store. Thanks again. Shoe Wheel by Rakku is also now available! By the way if you loved the girls from Sex and the City have a look at what Sam and Carrie think of us!!

  26. Holy cow!!! You have sooooo many options on here! I love it! I’ve been feeling totally overhwlemed catagorizing/finding containers for my sewing room. Thank you thank you thank you for all this work and research you did!!

  27. Thanks Jenn! Glad I could help give you some ideas. I, too, struggled with how to organize all my massive sewing supplies and had to find some solutions. Happy Organizing!

  28. i came looking for ideas on storing my beading wire (and a few ribbons) and found so much inspiration! It’s not so much the storage, but the unravelling. I love these, and will be following your blog too. Jen


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