Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DIY Ribbon Organizer - Part I

Yesterday I was inspired to put on my thinking cap, pull out my power tools, and throw together a wooden ribbon organizer / holder / dispenser (a la Clip It Up).  It's not finished yet, so I will update with Part II later.

Here's how it began:

Step 1) Concept Drawing - Sketched drawing of Clip It Up Ribbon Holder by Simply Renee (very nice but also pretty pricey!).

Hey, be nice!  I never claimed to be an artist.  LOL

Here's the "real deal" if you want a closer look at what this neat product line is about:

I also like Simply Renee's rotating trees with clips like this one:

I am already formulating plans for a DIY version of that one, too!  More to come on that later.

Back to my ribbon holder...

I used some premium grade pine wood scraps that I had left over from the construction of my son's train table, which I made for his 3rd birthday.  That was fun! :)

I also got to use a Kreg Jig Kit, which I bought quite a long time ago but have not had a chance to ever use until now.  It worked great once I took the time to read the directions!  In case you have no idea what a jig kit is, take a look below.  This is the exact kit I own

I don't have a work bench, so I screwed the jig pocket hole system into the top of a wooden TV tray that had the legs broken off (I knew I saved that top for a reason!).  By the way, I bought these TV trays from Target just a few years ago and I do NOT recommend them for obvious reasons. 

I'm glad I didn't strip the bottom of its parts, as they were perfect for lifting it off the floor and stabilizing it as I drilled into my wooden pieces.

Okay, so I found some 1" x 5" wood (which is actually 3/4" x 4 1/2"  for those of you who don't routinely work with wood - the lumber manufacturers downsized from the original pieces that were a true 1" x 5", but the nomenclature remained the same!).  I had a 14" piece that I cut in half with my 41st birthday present - a BEAUTIFUL 10" Ryobi Compound Miter Saw.  (I love tools, can you tell?) 

Here's the model I own (I bought mine from Home Depot):

Next, I cut a 72" piece of 1" x 2" (3/4" x 1 1/2") in half.  I made my first attempt with the Kreg jig kit and it made a pretty good hole, but I didn't have it set to the right depth.  Oopsie!  So, I cut my pieces down to roughly 34 inches.  Here are pics of how this thing works and my initial results.  One simply clamps a piece of wood to the jig and uses the drill bit that came with the kit in a standard drill (I used my husband's Ryobi cordless - we like that brand).  The drill has a special clamp on it that is used to stop it at the appropriate depth (it's sort of a collar that screws onto the bit itself - very simple to adjust).  When the collar reaches the jig, one can't drill any more.  How simple is that?

I didn't take pics, but after my adjustments the hole was much closer to the bottom edge of the wood - just right! 

Next, I found a scrap piece of 1" x 3" (3/4" x 2 1/2") that I also cut to 34 inches in length.  On this piece I added 2 holes on each end since it was too wide to secure with a single screw.  

You can see in the photo below where I placed the boards to connect the two 7" pieces to make one long unit.  I used the square head screws that came with my jig kit because they also included a very long, thin drill bit that was designed for use in pocket holes.  (Sorry, no pics of that.)  The screws went into the side pieces VERY easily and no predrilling of holes was required (thank goodness because it's a pain to get them properly aligned).

I tried to space the wood slats so that I could accommodate a variety of ribbon roll sizes.  I have some rolls that are HUGE (maybe 10" in diameter) and others that are quite small (maybe 3" in diameter).  I think this will work for both. 

So, here's what it looks like right now.  I haven't rounded any corners or sanded yet, but the premium grade lumber left very few splinters - a MUST for using with ribbons!

My DIY Ribbon Holder / Organizer / Dispenser (Unfinished)

Here's what I plan to do next - add a couple of 3/8" dowels.  The first dowel will go across the top front for dispensing ribbon and for making sure the ribbon rolls don't roll out while pulling a length of ribbon for a project.

The second dowel will be inserted underneath the front slat and I plan to hang some Clip It Up clips on it.  These can be used for hanging small pieces of ribbons or baggies of other small crafty items.  I'm also going to get the clip grips, which are VERY IMPORTANT if you don't want grip HOLES in delicate ribbons or fabrics!!


I'm mulling over ideas for finishing the wood, although I'm tempted to leave it plain.  We'll see.  I'll update with more pics once I've completed my project!