Organising your craft room

Since a child I have loved messing around with crafts and materials and have always had a special place to store everything. Buttons in jars, paper in drawers and decorations in used boxes.

Jane Means in her studio

In my early days it was a plastic bucket that had been used for toys, Which I could easily rummage through when a good episode of Blue Peter came on

giftwrap storage

When I bought my first home I made great use of my under stairs cupboard and soon filled it with paints, ribbons and papers. Space was tight so papers were neatly folded and stored in crates. Ribbons and embellishments were popped into baskets which were hung from the beamed ceiling.

pom pom trim

Over the years I have grown a business based on craft and gift wrapping. Through my work and extensive travelling, I have carried much of my craft materials away with me by the use of a rigid suitcase and gentle packing.  When I have flown to the US on holidays, every inch of my suitcase has been carefully packed so I can bring back lots of new craft materials.

gift wrapping materials


If you are lucky enough to designate a space in the home as a craft room, Here are some great storage ideas. Alternatively your craft room could be a garden shed or a designated corner of the garage or potting shed.

tissue storage

Rolls of wrapping paper can easily be stored in umbrella stands and planters. Sheets of paper and tissue can also be rolled in to scrolls and tied with string or ribbon. They look great in a pretty waste paper basket.

DIY gift wrap storage

Sheets of paper can be stored on a collapsible washing line and small pieces can easily be stored and decorate a vintage wooden ladder.  You can even make your own collapsible gift wrapping ladder using wooden poles and metal chains.

Tissue storage idea

When I buy prepacked tissue I always remove it from the packaging and roll it into scrolls. This is a great way to iron out the creases.

shelf ribbons

Rolls of ribbon can be kept in shoeboxes or baskets. For larger collections of ribbon buy an inexpensive bookcase and glue on some wooden edging to stop the ribbons from falling out (B&Q Offer a free wood cutting service and sell wood glue too). I have several of these which I take to courses around the UK and have painted them with a cream egg shell paint from Laura Ashley.

Ribbon storage box

I love to keep all remnants of ribbon and recycle wherever possible. Longer lengths can be wound around pretty wooden spools, or placed loose in a large storage jar.

ribbon remnants

Smaller ribbons can be wound around card or rigid gift tags and secured with a pin. I also love to use dollypegs, Which look very effective too.

jane means gift wrapping

If you have string, raffia and twine in your collection, store the ball in a jar or used metal can (They make a tidy dispenser). Always keep bundles of loose raffia in a plastic carrier bag to avoid any mess.

gift boxes

Gift boxes are great for storing any embellishments, Loose decorations and gift tags. You then have some spares incase of a last minute gift.

craft room

Utilise every space around you ensuring you don’t clutter your craft table. Boxes can be stored underneath and utilise your walls with plenty of shelves and hooks

craft cupboard



A product that I have just designed, is our brand new Ribbon storage dispenser set which holds 5 rolls of Jane Means ribbons. You simply thread through the ribbon and the dispenser box neatly stores them.

ribbon storage dispenser

To celebrate the launch, we are giving away a set to a lucky follower which includes 50 metres of ribbon and is worth £25.  Just leave a comment below and the winner will be picked at random next week.  Good luck everyone x

jane means ribbon dispensers



Categories: Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Making a handy ribbon dispenser box

ribbon tidy

I’m always having trouble keeping my craft room tidy, and one thing I often struggle with is storing loose rolls of ribbon, which easily get tangled if you don’t pin them


craft tutorial

I’m going to show you a really inexpensive and neat idea for ribbon storage and show you how to make a ribbon dispenser box.  This DIY craft project will take you less than 10 minutes

cake box



You will need a box made of thin card. A good place to get these is from a cake shop or bakery, plus a ruler and hole punch (which I bought from Staples),  and a scrap piece of paper.  Calculate your measurements on your scrap paper and punch out the holes. This will ensure that your measurements are correct and you don’t punch unwanted holes straight in to the box.  Through the holes on the scrap paper, mark the cake box with pencil

craft hole punch

Punch the holes out of the cake box ensuring they are straight and measured correctly (Here I have done a straight line in pencil so it looks neat)

ribbon box


Remove any pins from your rolls of ribbon, and one by one thread the ribbon ends through the holes. To make it easier cut your ribbon at angles

ribbon storage


Keep adding your ribbons until the box is full but don’t over fill it as the rolls won’t be able to rotate (your ribbons need to move easily inside the box)

ribbon tutorial


Close the box up and cut all of the ribbon ends at a slight angle (if you haven’t done so already) as this will stop them from fraying.  You could also have several boxes and colour coordinate them

ribbon dispenser

Boxes can also be stacked on top of each other in a cupboard and this makes great space saving storage.  It’s also a great way of recycling unwanted boxes, and a good way of supporting your local cake shop even if you’re on a diet!

ribbon collage



Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , , , ,

Clever ribbon storage and display ideas

 I’m often asked about the various ways to store and display ribbons, especially by craft lovers and shops.
 Whether you have lengths or rolls of ribbon, I have put together a collection of handy ideas.
Loose lengths of ribbon can be wrapped around a piece of card and pinned.  This makes a great filing system and can be done in colour order. We find this works really well when we send our ‘ribbon by the metre’ orders out.
If you are selling or storing pre cut lengths of ribbon, these can be rolled and secured with a band and stacked on shelves.  Although initially it looks tidy, I do find at our shows that this method isn’t suitable so I wouldn’t recommend this to busy shops with a heavy footfall.
In our Haberdashery Closet we have stocked these handy gift tags which are made out of card, and rigid enough to withstand ribbon being wrapped around them.
Storing Pom Pom trim can often be a challenge and here we have used a free standing metal kitchen saucepan rack.
You can also use book shelving units to store Pom Pom from the wall.  I picked this one up from a local charity shop for £15 and painted it light grey.
At most of our trade shows we use a dresser on wheels, which is ideal in a retail environment as it is mobile and free standing and can be positioned in alternative places.  The dresser was bought from Ebay for £25, painted cream in Farrow and Ball.  We also added industrial wheels to the base which were from B&Q.  The base of the dresser is also handy for storing additional supplies.
If you are storing rolls of ribbon horizontally, you will need to add some shelf edging to stop the rolls from falling out.  You can buy inexpensive lengths from B&Q and have them cut at no extra charge. I added the wooden edging with wood glue, and painted it the next day with eggshell paint.
If you haven’t got edging on your shelves, it’s better to store them vertically in short piles to avoid them rolling off the shelves. If you sell ribbons, it’s a good idea to fill any gaps with wrapped boxes or other merchandise.
Luckily I have access to these rustic farm crates from my dads farm, and my mum added some wooden dividers. These make wonderful rustic storage and the natural look of the wood shows the colours off really well.
I also store ribbons in small bookcases with edging on the shelves, and these are lightweight and can easily be free standing on a floor or placed on a table top.
When I’m running courses I will store ribbons in these handy wooden crates or trays which I bought from an interiors shop.
Wicker hampers and baskets make a good alternative for ribbon storage.  If you are selling ribbon, it’s a really good idea to have some display boxes with ribbon that you have good quantities of.  I particularly find hampers are useful as they are easy to transport with ribbons inside.
One of my favourite displays is this one.  I picked up an old gilt frame from a junk shop for the bargain price of £5 as it had no glass or back.  My mum took it to her woodwork class and added a sturdy back template that we had designed and cut some wooden poles for the rolls to slot on to.  We currently use this as a display purpose only as it is hassle removing the poles to access the rolls of ribbon.  This however would be a suitable solution if you sell or use ribbons by the metre.
I picked up these rustic wire baskets at the Country Living Fair.  These are lightweight with the rolls easily visible, and our price tags can be tied on to the basket.
Another alternative is to use a simple glass bowl or vase for displaying rolls, which looks very effective. Here I have used a contrasting colour bowl to highlight the nautical ribbons.
For a Spring photo shoot I used some china from Time for Tea with Elena Alice, and had rolls of ribbon displayed on a cake stand.  It is a very effective method introducing height for the display.
At a Christmas Fair we needed so much storage for ribbons that we combined lots of different displays which worked very well.
I am always dreaming up new ways to display ribbons and will keep adding to this post.  If you have any good ideas please also let me know!
Categories: Haberdashery Closet, Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , , ,