DIY Wrapping Paper and Ribbon Organizer

January 11, 2010

Kids have a way of springing things on you – it just comes with motherhood territory.  Friday, my daughter announced to me that she was expected at the social event of the season.  Okay, it was just another invitation to yet another kid’s birthday party, but it happened to be taking place that very afternoon.  Need gift, need it wrapped, pronto !

In the past, whenever these kinds of social events had arisen, I always found myself scrambling for wrapping paper and ribbon.  It drove me crazy.  I had no place to store wrap in my office and I didn’t want to store it under the bed.  Then I thought, hey, I’ll use the space behind my laundry room door.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  Genius, I tell ya.

I searched around online for a quality organizer, and even considered buying one like this, but most of the consumer reviews said it was junk.  Then I had a light bulb moment.  Light bulb said, “Gurl, what the heck are you thinkin’ ?  Git yer beehind on down to Lowe’s and build yerself yer own, dagnabbit !”  So I did, lickety split.

This project took about two hours total from start to finish over the course of two days, but now I have this great little wrapping paper organizer and I’ve maximized storage in a place I wasn’t using before- behind the laundry room door !   Yeee haw !

organizer for wrap and ribbon

I was inspired by this image from Country Living, but I wanted to build a tall skinny version.

gift wrap station country living

So I did.  This organizer is made of solid wood, holds six rolls of standard size wrapping paper or cellophane, and many rolls of craft and decorative ribbon.

diy wrap and ribbon organizer

Building This Simple Wrapping Paper & Ribbon Organizer

Supplies (all found at Lowes):  2’ x 4’ x 5 mm piece of birch plywood; 2 pieces 1” x 3” x 8’ poplar board trimmed to frame plywood back; 1 piece 1/2” x 4” x 2’ poplar; cup hooks; eight 36” long dowel rods measuring 3/8 inch width; 2” nails, “D” ring hangers; primer and paint.

Step One: Cut your 1” x 3” x 8’ poplar boards to frame the sides and bottom of your plywood back.

trim poplar

Step Two: Determine where your dowel rods will go on the bottom of your frame, mark and drill halfway into poplar board with drill bit.  If your dowel rod is 3/8” then use a 1/2” drill bit to allow your dowel rod to slide in and out of the opening easily.

drill holes

At first, I only drilled four holes (see below), but I later came back and drilled six holes to store more wrapping paper.

Step Three: Match up your 1/4” x 4” x 2’ poplar piece to the base, trim the sides to 3”, then drill corresponding holes all the way through the thinner poplar piece so it can act as a guide for the top of your dowel rods that hold the wrapping paper.

match middle piece with holes

Step Four: Prime and paint all of your pieces including your dowel rods.  I recommend using oil based primer when working with raw wood.  I used the brush on Zinsser, but you could also use spray primer as well.  Allow to dry.

zinsser oil based primer

I chose to paint the box frame with Rustoleum’s ‘Seaside Green’ leftover from this laundry room drying rack I made last summer.

drying rack

Since they’re both hanging next to one another in the laundry room, the colors totally jibe.

seaside green rustoleum

 

 

Step Five: Once your paint is dry, attach your frame to your painted plywood back with nails.  I left the back of the plywood raw since no one will ever see it.

nail together

Step Six: Use a standard height tube of wrapping paper to measure the height of your middle poplar guide.

measure wrap height

With a right angle, make sure your middle guide is level, then attach to your frame with nails.

use right angle

Cut your dowel rods to just above the middle poplar guide.

saw dowels

Step Seven: Attach your “D” ring hooks to the back, then attach and your cup hooks to the front to support the dowels for the ribbon spools.  It helps to drill a small pilot hole before screwing in your cup hooks.

attach d ring hanger

cup hooks and ribbon

That’s all folks.

Total time for this project ?  About two hours, stretched over two days.

I also keep my greeting cards in this little organizer on the shelf.  Mr. CG brought it home to me last year.  I almost cried.  Then I found out it was a free gift when he bought a bunch of Mother’s Day cards.

greeting card organizer

I think ironing boards make perfectly appropriate places to wrap presents, don’t you ?

gift wrapped duo

The best part about my handy dandy organizer is that it is hidden from guests’ view, but not from mine.  Bonus – now I can take inventory as I fold socks.

behind the door wrap organizer

This little shelf keeps scissors and tape away from munchkin fingers.

shelf for scissors and tape

I like my little organizer.

diy wrap and ribbon organizer

Cause I like to look at pretty papers.

pretty wrapping paper

And pretty ribbons.

pretty ribbons in a row

Pretty ribbons are one of my favorite things.

Like raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, and . .

Never mind.

Need more inspiration for storing your ribbons ?

Here you go.

ribbons in jar country livingCountry Living

 

ribbon on a roll good housekeepingGood Housekeeping

ribbons in bowl sundance Sundance Catalog

ribbon in a basket craftstylishCraftStylish

ribbons in a row blisstreeBlisstree

 

 

ribbon spools getty imagesGetty Images

 

ribbons on a shelf country living Country Living

 

martha ribbons duo Martha Stewart

 

 

ribbon spools country living Country Living

For more gift wrap organization ideas, visit another Bay Area gal pal, Cristin at Simplified Bee right here.

______________________________________

This project was featured on Apartment Therapy and also featured on DIY Life.

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96 Responses to “DIY Wrapping Paper and Ribbon Organizer”

  1. Kate says:

    Gorgeous idea! I’ll be making one of these to fit my stuff, the only problem I have is….nowhere to put it :/ So…I think I’ll make just a ribbon version for my crafts!

  2. Sarah says:

    Totally cute! I love your new ribbon/paper holder!

  3. I love this! I have always wanted one of these and now may have to look at building one!

  4. Awesome. Now only if I had a laundry room, I would so do this!

  5. Great job! You’re gifts are going to be the envy of the party!! I love the paint color as well. Must make mental note.

  6. Looks great! I am wondering how you swap out the wrapping paper. I am sure you covered it and I just didn’t understand it. :-) I love how you have made custom organizers for your laundry room. We’re currently renovating the basement, and I may have to incorporate some of your fabulous ideas. :-)

  7. Marla @ Always Nesting says:

    I love ribbon and wrap also! I’m a believer that it’s all in the presentation, and that holds true for much of our lives.

  8. Merry Mary says:

    What a great idea! Since Christmas, I’ve been thinking that I’d like to find a way to organize my wrapping paper – I just found it. Thank you!

  9. Kelly says:

    Love this! I have a question for you though, do you have any problems with your ribbon rolls unraveling? If not, how do you keep them from doing it? I think this is a fabulous idea, great job!

  10. Maddy says:

    Thanks for the ideas! Currently, I have all my wrapping paper and ribbons in a long flat storage bin. But it wouldn’t be great to display them in a more visible way.

  11. Jen says:

    Love it! Thanks for the inspiration. I think it would work great in a closet that I have. Beats storing the pretty stuff in stuffy boxes! :-)

  12. Tammy says:

    AWESOME!!! Thanks for the great idea!

  13. Do you just lift the dowel rod out to replace the roll?

    You have inspired me. I believe I may attempt my own version of this.

    Thanks!
    Trish

  14. Jessica says:

    *SIGH* Gorgeous!! I love all the ribbon pictures!!

    And your organizer is inspirational!
    Love it!

    I have been noticing that, amongst all the Christmas clearance, there seems to be an excessive amount of ribbon. The majority of the ribbon is NOT Christmasy at all! It’s just in Christmasy packaging. With items currently 75 – 90% off you can’t beat that for stocking up on ribbon for gift wrapping!

  15. Janell Beals says:

    Oh, so pretty and functional!! I would love this in my home, my wrapping stuff is piled onto a top shelf of a hall closet…Nothing like this!! Enjoy. Janell
    p.s. yes, don’t you just have to shake your head when the kids spring little surprises like this on you. Keep us on our tippy toes, for sure!

  16. OH, WOW! I absolutely LOVE this idea! I’m going to show it to my hubby and see if he can help me figure out where we could do this. I know he can build it but our laundry room door is a pocket door and there’s really no room in there to install it. I’ll have to think on that one for a while, but I absolutely LOVE this idea. You are amazing!

    I’d love for you to stop by and enter my Pay It Forward Give-away. It’s gonna be lots of fun!

    Have a great week!

    Teresa <

  17. Sally says:

    Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Like the other ribbon organizer ideas, but LOOOOOVVVVVVVVE your idea!

  19. anh says:

    i have a ribbon organizer but i need one for my wrapping paper. this is genius. i wonder if mr anhesty is down to helping me with this lil project…

  20. Heidi says:

    Absolutely love this! And it seems so doable. Thanks for the idea!

  21. Very, very cool! Thanks for sharing

  22. So organized. I love that it fits behind the door too!

  23. FrugalMom says:

    What a fantastic idea! I love the result, and I also love your drying rack.

  24. Randa says:

    Love your ingenuity! I have something that works for me, except for the large rolls of paper. I am going to have to hunt down that tall basket shown in the country living pic. Have to find it…it’s perfect!!!

  25. I love this!! I would love to do something similar for my craft ribbon. My wheels are a spinnin!!

  26. Chelsey says:

    So adorable! I’m in the process of doing my “craft area” (in the unused wet bar area of my home…hard to explain unless you’ve seen it!) :) and I totally need ribbon and wrapping paper organizers. Space is at a premium and that is a more doable version than ones I’ve seen! I was thinking dowels with those plastic closet rod holder thingies. again, probably not clear. Anyway! I also LOVE the paper towel holder for ribbon!! Genius!

  27. I’m commenting late today…preschool morning, errands, you know. ;)

    I LOVE that you mentioned putting this behind your laundry room door b/c that would be the perfect spot for me too. It’s just an empty, unused spot. Why not put my ribbon stash there? I have a bag FULL of ribbon that I started collecting to try and make the girls some hair bows. I’ve only made like 4 bows, but I still have a growing ribbon collection. I can’t resist a good ribbon. ;)

    Maybe you could add this to my Decorating Dilemmas Party this week as a SOLUTION??? :) I’m posting it tomorrow night (after 10 PM ET), but it will be up all day on Wed. too.

    Hugs!

  28. Astrid says:

    That is just totally awesome! I’m using that space in my laundry room to hang cleaning tools but I’m going to scope out if there’s another place I could put such an organizer. I’ve got tons of ribbon and they’re such a pain to store, find and use.

  29. Jen says:

    Great idea! I will definitely be trekking around my house to find a place for this!

  30. Molly says:

    So cute! You know what else I’ve been doing? Instead of buying all different kinds/colors of wrapping paper (since I never seem to have the right one for the occasion) I’ve just been buying rolls of plain white or kraft paper, and lots of different sizes and colors of cute ribbon. When I wrap a gift, I embellish it with leftover scrapbook paper – and it works because the wrapping paper is plain (white or tan).

  31. Sue says:

    My name is Sue and I’m a ribbon addict. I love what you’ve done here. I use the guestroom closet, but I like how yours almost becomes decoration for the room. Very nicely done!

    Sue

  32. Danielle says:

    Loving this!! My gift wrapping supplies are in dire need of some TLC. This looks totally doable.

  33. As usual…amazing! Beautiful and functional…the best! Holly

  34. Thanks so much for the link! What a nice surprise.

    I LOVE ribbons and need my hubby to build one of those babies for me too!

    xo,
    cristin

  35. Bonnie says:

    I have the same problem since moving 30 minutes from town to a lake area. No littles one telling me at the last minute birthday, birthday………but showers for church, grad. , weddings, etc. going on all the time. Can’t run to town for paper and bows.everytime. I have a craft space that was suppose to be the utility room but the builder messed up…..hooray! I used pegboard & a crafting table to make a gift wrap station. I am loving it too.
    You did a great job on getting it right for a laundry room area and making it handy! Love your idea ! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. :)
    Bonnie

  36. Meredith says:

    I love this idea and am especially in love with the color you’ve used here and on the laundry room drying rack. I’m slightly obsessed with that color!

  37. alaurajane says:

    What a great way to organize ribbons and paper… Love it! I have a great laundry area and it will fit in just right… Thank you for such great and easy idea…. have a great week.

    Hugs;
    Alaura

  38. Sandy says:

    Wow! That is a wonderful idea Kate. Looking forward to meeting you in Nashville! Also, I live in SO Oregon — wonder how far we are from each other? :)

  39. Peggy says:

    Oh no! Another thing to put on my “to do” list :-).

  40. Jen says:

    I love coming here just to look at all your luscious photos :)

    And my new resolution? To learn to use all the power tools in the garage. You inspire me.

  41. Anne Loyd says:

    Love this idea!!! I’ve been looking for organization ideas for my crap…I mean craft room and was thinking of how I could copy all the PB ideas. This is great!!!

  42. These are great! THANK YOU!

  43. This is so great! I’d love to have all of my wrapping stuff so organized and pretty. I keep mine in a long Rubbermaid that rolls under my bed. It’s handy, but not nearly as nice to look at! :-)

  44. What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

  45. Shalee says:

    Ok so I saw your stair case banister a long time ago but I was sitting in my daughters nursey and hating her armoire. Loved it at first but I am changing the style of the room so I don’t know what kind of wood it is but I want to get rid of the paint color and make it look espresso like her crib. Do I do what you did or is there other steps or products?? Please help.

  46. You are such a crafty goddess! Wonderful project.

  47. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I do have to work on my ribbon storage! I actually have the storage, but I bought more ribbon in the past couple of months that still has to be put away, so I might as well do it neatly. I love this organizer, Kate! It’s functional, it’s out of the way, it’s colorful ~ I think you did a great job of making your own. And why not use the ironing board to wrap gifts. That would be about the only use it gets in my house {I hate to iron}!

  48. Molly says:

    I’m DROOLING! Thank you for inspiring me to do more!!!

  49. Pam says:

    Awesome idea. I use bags mostly but I really like the idea for the ribbon
    which I have a lot of. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Ashley says:

    I already emailed my husband asking if he could help me make one of these very soon. Love how you adapted it to be long and skinny. Thanks for the inspiration!

  51. Kristi W. says:

    Wow. That is really cool. Nice work and thank you for sharing. You are very creative. :)

  52. Martha says:

    I love it! I recently did some wooden ribbon organizers. They turned out really cute! I have not put up a tutorial yet, but I will soon!

    I have them listed in my shop though! :)

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36987089

    Martha

  53. Joyce says:

    Oh wow, what a great idea!

  54. PaulaS says:

    That’s my weekend project sorted! Thanks Kate – brilliant as always.

  55. Courtney says:

    Get out! I am so serious…I am dying! That is incredibly awesome!

    You are just brilliant.

  56. I’m amazed at your skills!!!! WOW!

  57. lacey says:

    Love love love it.

  58. Mimi says:

    I love your ribbon organizer. I have been trying to find something that I live and I totally love what you have done. I might have to steal this idea from you. Thank you so much for sharing.

  59. Rachel says:

    That’s gorgeous! I love this so, so much! Thanks tons for sharing the details- you’re amazing! I’ll be linking.

  60. Leanne says:

    I’m so impressed. You did a great job. I love this idea and I’m going to have to copy it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  61. Angie Neil says:

    I want to make one of these SO BAD!! Thank you so much for sharing how you did it!

    Come share your creation at my party: Thursday’s Treasures!
    http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com/2010/01/thursdays-treasures-week-5.html

  62. Sonja says:

    This is fab! What a great way to organize all the bits and pieces that you need for wrapping. And such an easy project, too… I have a very messy and far-too-small shoe carton in which I collect new and used ribbons. And I always swear when I look for something in it. The rolls of wrapping paper are difficult to reach on the top of a cupboard. Have to copy your organiser! Thanks for sharing!

  63. Katie says:

    Very cool! Thanks!

  64. Lynnie says:

    Hi Katie,

    Just came over via AT and love your site! This is a genius idea, well done & thanks for the how to. I’m off to see if I can find a nook in my house for one :)

  65. Looks like I just found my next project to build! I have one of those ugly plastic wrapping paper holders, and it scrunches all the paper up and rips it! This is such a great idea!

  66. Tiffany says:

    So nice, I will have to make one myself. Our laundry room has the same layout with the doors flush to the wall. I absolutely adore the gift wrap station. It’s perfect, heck, I would buy one if I saw it in the store.

  67. Meghan says:

    I love your blog and I loved this project! I just wrote a blog post about your awesome project and my own fail at organizing wrapping paper. Hope you have time to check it out!

    http://thecottageapartment.blogspot.com/2010/01/wrapping-paper-organizer-laughs.html

  68. Alberta says:

    I love love this d.i.y project! It would be so useful to me when i get my new home! Thanks! :D

  69. Toni says:

    I love the idea of wrapping paper on a vertical dowel! I’ve tried the ribbon on a dowel idea already, but became immediately frustrated upon finishing a roll of ribbon right in the middle of the dowel… haha! Needless to say, the empty spool will sit there until I have a few more empty spools. I am looking into installing a simple version of the Martha Stewart wall dispenser (second from the last picture).

    Tall and skinny is definitely the way to go, by the way. I had 3 foot dowels, which sagged in the middle :-/

  70. Sahand says:

    We shared this with all the Floral Supply Syndicate fans on facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Floral-Supply-Syndicate/60346884209?ref=ts

  71. Anna says:

    Omg, ribbons, so cute!!!

    Seriously, it’s a great idea you’ve got there, thanks for sharing.

  72. CHRIS M says:

    This looks fantastic! Are you worried at all about the humidity in the laundry room and its effect on the wrapping paper?

  73. megan says:

    love this. I could totally use this.

  74. Kit says:

    Organizer – total win !
    I’ll be making one.

  75. Meg says:

    Ooh, I love it!I can’t wait to make one!

  76. […] Check out Erika’s craft station, inspired by this gift wrap organizer. […]

  77. SUCH a great idea, just in time for Spring Cleaning! I’ve added this to my “Get Organized” roundup for today, and you can grab an “I’ve been featured badge” if you’d like!

    Thanks so much for the terrific idea! :)

  78. Amanda Whitewood says:

    I love your wallpaper organizer and have purchased all of the supplies to get started on the project. Before I start, I have a question that I am hoping you can answer. How can I adapt the organizer to accomodate gift bags and sheets of tissue? I don’t want to place them as an afterthought, but am at a loss to incorporate it into this design.

    Thank-you!

  79. Lois Benton says:

    My husband and I built this organizer this past weekend. It was fun to build and very easy. Thanks so much!!! You are brilliant! Being a bit Type A, I was looking for info about how to space the holes and how many inches down from the top to place the hooks. Using your picture as a guide helped calm my Type A nerves and helped me to just go with it. The organizer looks great tucked into a 26 inch space on one size of sliding closet doors. Now I want to build your drying rack, but I’ll have to find room for it first!

  80. robin seeber says:

    looks great.. but I still have the problem of the rolls all unrolling when you hang them like that.. so I have been just using cheap plastic bins which work great.. so is there a secret to keeping the bolts from unrolling.. besides tape or pins? and I also notice that rolls are all different sizes of holes some you have to cut larger etc… just curious.. t hanks!

  81. […] Ready to Gift Wrap.  One of the reasons I built my gift wrap organizer last January was because of the disorganization I felt with my holiday gift wrap.  Now, I have […]

  82. Kristin says:

    May I ask how you keep your 4 year old from grabbing sheets of the wrapping paper and just running away with them, un-rolling the entire roll? LOL. I know this is what my little guy would do. What a great idea though!

  83. Paula says:

    really need this project on our Shop!

  84. Wrapping says:

    Thats a great custom solution for a real problem. You can always take it a step further and create custom wrapping paper!

  85. Sandy Jenney says:

    Love the gift wrapping station! I would love if you would link this to my new Organizing Mission Monday link party.
    Thanks!

  86. Cinnamon says:

    I just happened across your site and honey, you are AMAZING.

    you’re a goddess!

  87. Nicola says:

    After seeing this amazing project here on your blog last year, I took myself off to the Hardware Store purchased timber, glue, dowel etc and set about making one for myself! Best thing I ever did – I added a little shelf at the top for my cards and have been warpping organised ever since!

    You are such an inspiration – thanks for inspiring me to give DIY a try!!!

  88. Ellen says:

    This looks great. Dumb question: How do you remove the wrapping paper? Does the vertical dowel get lifted up? Is there sufficient clearance from the ribbon-holding dowel to remove the paper without removing the lower ribbon dowel? Or do you just lift it a little and slip the paper roll off from the bottom? Are the holes at the bottom of the frame (holding the lower end of the wrapping paper dowel) drilled all the way through, or just enough to secure the bottom end of the WP dowel? Thanks for your answers. I want to show this to the Mr. Fix It in my house!

  89. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Ellen, it’s super simple, I just lift up the dowel rod and the old roll slides right out. Easy peasy.
    Kate

  90. annie says:

    I love this idea. Great job! Thanks for sharing!

  91. Susan says:

    Love this so much. thanks for sharing

  92. Joe Helms says:

    This is a really great and simple solution. I was tasked with making a “wrapping station” for this Christmas season, and I’ve been trying to figure out how that would be different from a “table”

    But I guess I now can see a difference, hah!

    I’m thinking I’d like to have the rack of paper hinge down so that 3 or 4 rolls can be pulled out along the table as needed, without having to take the whole roll off. This gives me a great place to start.

    Thanks!

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