Tuesday Tutorial: Ribbon Organizer

 I have a confession to make… I LOVE to organize!  While my craft room, home, or life might not always reflect this love, it is still there.  Pinterest has only helped my obsession with all the eye candy to pin away!  My Queen of Organization board is proof that I will one day have a place for everything and everything in its place.

One particular day I found a pin that would join my two addictions: organization and ribbon!  If you haven’t seen it, my ribbon collection is a bit over the top.  Mind you I don’t have any girls in my home – and yet with the addition of bow making to my long list of craft projects I enjoy – yet I now have BINS or ribbon.  But all that ribbon goodness is way to pretty to be stuffed in a bin.  That is where THIS wonderful project came in!  At about $10 each for materials these aren’t the cheapest solution for me (since I still need like 4 more! Yes, I am well aware that I have a problem), but they are so lovely on the wall.

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer: purchase materials

Begin by taking your adorable assistants to your local hardware store to purchase your materials.


  • Drill with 3/8″ drill bit
  • Wood rosettes: 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″
  • Wood glue
  • Wood board: 2″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood board: 4-1/4″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood dowel rod: 23-1/4″ x 3/8″ – I bought one that was 36″ and had my hubby cut it down to size
  • hanging hardware (I used 3 per organizer)
  • 12 4D finishing nails, 1 1/4″
  • Paint – I used some leftover paint from when we painted the hall bathroom

I bought double of everything since I wanted to make two.

Ribbon Organizer : drill hole for dowel

Drill the holes about 1/4″ in and 3/4″ down.  After completing this I found that the ribbon fit a bit too tight so I would probably adjust the drill holes for the next set I make. Add wood glue to the hole and let it dry.  While at the hardware store I made sure to check with my hubby to see if we had wood glue and didn’t need to pick any up.  He assured me we did.  I found the bottle lovingly placed on my craft room desk the next morning, only to discover when I went to use it that the cap was completely clogged with dry glue.  In an effort to open the bottle, it broke right off.  However, the glue was still useable!  YAY

wood glue fail

Apply the glue to the bottom sides of the rosettes.  Then place the bottom board on the rosette and secure with the finishing nails.

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: nail the bottom to secure

Next, you will apply the back brace.  Line the back board up with the top of the rosette and glue and nail into place just like you did the bottom board.

Ribbon Organizer: nail back brace

Ribbon Organizer: add back brace

Then line up those ribbons!  This was just a test shot to make sure that the ribbons fit.  Like I said, they are a bit snug so next time I will move the dowel a bit.

Ribbon Organizer

Paint it!  My Facebook fans helped me decide on the color.  Overwhelmingly, it was decided that a cheerful yellow would be just perfect!

Ribbon Organizer: ready for paint

Here you go!  This is what they look like up on the wall.  (This is at the old house.  They are up at my new house but you will have to wait to see them when I reveal my crafting space!  First I have to get a few more things in their place and add a few more finishing touches.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

 Happy Organizing!

Tutorial Tuesday: Desk Curtains

Knowing that I wanted to make curtains for underneath my desk, my search began for a tutorial on how to do so.  But unfortunately I really wasn’t able to find one :(  So I just had to make it up as I went along.  Hoping that I can make what I did make sense to you and that I took enough pictures of the process.

Finished Curtains

To begin, measurements of the desks were taken.

My desks measure:

“office” desk – 48″ x 27″ {upper right of picture}

L-shaped (work space) – 64″ (really TWO 32″ small desks put together) x27″

L-shaped (sewing table) – 48″ x 27″


First, I cut the main fabric for the curtain in half along the fold line (where it was folded on the bolt).  That gave me two 5 yard pieces that were 22″ wide. Now I had to figure out where to cut the five yards of fabric so I knew how much would go around the entire desk. This is where the measurements of the desks come in handy.  Instead of just hanging the fabric, a bit more drama was needed to I added in 10″ for box pleats (in the appropriate places, see the breakdown of my measurements below)

My measurements looked like this (using the “office” desk curtain measurements):

27″ (depth of the desk) + 5″ (to allow for half the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the hem on the side =

32″ length of the fabric for the side of the desk

then for the front

total length measured 48″, but since I wanted it to open in the middle I divided that in half

24″ (half the length of the desk) + 10″ for the pleat in the center of this section + 5″ (to allow for the other half of the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the side hem =

40″ length for the front half of the desk

Altogether that piece of fabric measured 72″ (Are you confused yet?  I would be!)

NOTE: Before I did any cutting, I measured the fabric, pinned the pleats, and secured the curtains to the desk using large binder clips so I could make sure that they looked right. 

Ok, so now that your fabric is measured and cut it is time to mark your pleats.  I marked each pleat at the center (where I wanted the pleat to be on the curtain once hung) and then from that center point I measured 5 inches on each side.  I then folded both pins into the center pin, secured the fabric, and sewed the pleats in place.

Notice my pins are placed at the 0″, 5″ and 10″ lines.

marking the pleats

Bring the pin at the 0″ mark to the pin at the 5″ mark and secure in place with another pin.  Now do the same with the 10″ mark and bring it to the center 5″ pin.

forming the pleat

Your pleat should now look like this

pinned pleat

Just to hold the fabric in place more securely than pins, I sewed along the pleat.

secured pleat


I then cut the stripes for the accent panel along the bottoms of the curtains.  This required a bit more work since the stripes had to line up.  Each of those pieces measured around 10 inches to allow for hemming.  I sewed the accent fabric all along the panels of main fabric after each one had been sized according to which desk it was going on.
attaching accent fabric

Once that was attached, I went back and pressed the edges up toward the top of the curtain and topstitched to secure them in place.

top stitching accent fabric

panel ready to hem

Now it’s time to hem up the bottoms and sides of the curtains. For the bottom I measured the length and hemmed each curtain up about 2 1/2″.  Then the sides were each turned in 1/2″, pressed, and turned in another 1/2″.

pinned hem

To secure the curtains to the desks, I used Velcro Decor since it allowed me to sew the looped side to the curtains and then adhere the hook side directly to the underside of the desks.  I cut pieces that were about 6 inches each and spaced them evenly under the desks making sure to sew on the ends and the pleats.  Unfortunately, all my curtains are not yet hung since I ran out of Velcro.  Since JoAnn’s is having a BIG sale this week I plan on going and buying more with my 40% off coupon!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Please let me know if you have any questions or if anything isn’t clear.  I tried to take pictures of each step but I know that didn’t always happen.  If you make your own curtains please link back so I can visit your blog!

Completed curtain panel

Hello Curtains, Goodbye Clutter

As a crafter, I have supplies ALL over the place.  My craft room needs to be organized.  So after recently rearranging my supplies I realized that I needed some curtains for underneath my desk areas to conceal all the clutter supplies that I store my work spaces.

Craft Room BEFORE

Here is how my work spaces looked before the curtains:
Office Desk BEFORE

Sewing Table BEFORE

While I love all the storage that putting the supplies under the desks provides, I do not like the way it looked as I walked into my craft room.  I used the same fabric that I used for my ironing board cover.  Knowing I would need lots of fabric, I purchased 5 yards of the patterned fabric and 3 yards of the accent stripes.

We bought 2 of  these desks a while ago and redesigned them to make them fit our needs.  The two larger sections are my “office” desk and my sewing table.  The two smaller sections were put together along with the sewing table to create an L-shaped workspace.  Once my cutting mat was put on the top you can hardly tell it was two smaller desks.

Craft Room AFTER

Sew Table AFTER

I LOVE the way the curtains turned out!  It feels amazing to walk into my “quiet” place and not see all my junk staring back at me.  The colors work so well with the blue on the walls.  Now to find items to decorate my walls a bit and some spray paint to give my boring grey office chair a make-over.  But that is all for future posts ;)

Craft Room Valance

Once again Pinterest has inspired me!  My craft room was in need of curtains and I had recently bought this third coordinating fabric that matched the previous fabric I had purchased. With my hubby’s help, I hung the fabric from the existing curtain rod so I could stare at if for a bit. The look of long curtains was amazing, however, my hanging scrapbook storage and magnetic rack (in the photo- on the right) made long curtains pretty much impossible.

So while scrolling through my Pinterest feed I came across this post about No Sew Curtains. Being that I know how to sew, I decided to make my own version of these using them as my inspiration. I measured my curtain rod and went to work figuring out what I needed to do. My print looked better (in my opinion) one direction than the other and so I had to piece the fabric together to make the length I needed. Instead of having a seam down the center, I used my full panel in the center and then two side panels. This way the seams would be covered by the accent strips.
After sewing those and them hemming the sides and bottom, I made a casing for the rod at the top. Once that was done, I got to work on the accent strips. For those I cut two 6″ strips of fabric, sewed them right sides together, and then turned them.  After top stitching along the sides and sewing the ends into a point, I added a button and buttonhole for attaching them.

Here is the finished product. I will probably be going back and shortening the accent strips to make the valance pull up a bit more like the inspiration picture.  I could not be more happy with how these turned out. Walking into my craft room now I am greeted with pops of design and color instead of just lots of blue!

Sewing Machine Cozy


In continuing my posts on my craft room decorating, next comes my sewing machine cozy. While happily pinning one day I came across this pin for a sewing machine cozy complete with pockets on the side. Yet another perfect project for making my craft room even more cozy.

So one night after coming home from Bible study, I went into my craft room and began sewing. First I whipped up a valance for the window (post coming soon) and then since it was only 11pm and I had had a venti coffee, the night was still young. So I decided just to cut the fabric for my machine cozy. Next think I knew, it was done. Yes, I didn’t get to bed until 1:45am that next morning, but I felt so nice to get these projects accomplished.

Ironing Board Up Do

Let’s be honest – who really spends a lot of time ironing anymore?!?!  Definitely not me (much to my hubby’s dismay). If I am really making confessions here, I think in the almost 10 years of having my ironing board I had used it less than 10 times. That was until I started sewing. If you are going to sew, you have to iron!  So out it came and it is used on almost every project. I don’t at all mind ironing in this sense. It is fun since it goes with my creations. Isn’t it lovely!!!

Well one day while searching Pinterest I came across a tutorial from Sew4Home (which I LOVE) on how to recover your ironing board. Since I had been wanting to buy fabric to make under desk curtains I knew this could go right along with it!  First I had to find just the right fabric. This proved to be the largest challenge since the JoAnn’s here in town doesn’t have a huge selection. Before my nephew’s birthday party we decided to check out the Redlands JoAnn’s and I hit the jackpot!  A beautiful set of coordinating fabrics were practically jumping off the rack and into my basket. I love the color combos and the fun in the patterns.

Just a few days later I was following the tutorial to make my new cover. I am horrible at taking pictures along the way so all I have is finished project. I do have a smaller table top ironing board that I plan to recover and I will try to remember set by step pictures of that.

I love the color it adds to the room. More projects to dress up my craft room are coming. Including a sewing machine cozy and a Pinterest inspired valance. Check back soon!

Evolution of my Crafting Space

I know what you are thinking! She has re-done her craft room again!?!?!  Well yes and no. I finally have found a layout and organization for my craft room that works great. It allows me to get lots of cutting, sewing and other crafting done with ease.

So why the make-over?  Well you see when we first moved into this house, the craft room was my husband’s home office. Over the next several years I tried to make some different areas of our home a craft area only to always return to the dining room table. With small children at home, that was not a great solution since they quite often would get into my paints, papers, or glue. Fast forward a few years, my husband’s business had grown and he decided to rent an office space outside of the home. I was then allowed invited into the office to have a crafting space. Hence we got this. Trying to share the space proved difficult (I have a lot of stuff!). Then there was this attempt to set the room up. But still it didn’t work for long.

My hubby finally gave up any hope of having an office space at home and he moved out of the room completely (except for a TINY desk space in the corner). The result was the beginning of the space I have now. The paint color was changed to suit me SO much better and the furniture again rearranged. At the time we had hopes that the space could also serve as our homeschooling room since we would start that adventure that fall. Quickly we learned that with only 1 in school and the others being a toddler and a preschooler, that just wasn’t possible. There was NO extra space to move in there!

A few changes have been made to the furniture layout but I think we finally have a winner! {Pictures will be added to this post soon, thought I had some already on my computer, but I don’t and nighttime doesn’t provide the best lighting in there.} So now that it is set up properly, I am trying to dress it up a bit.  I have wanted to make curtains for under my desk for some time now, but I cannot find a tutorial on how to do so anywhere. Can you guess what will be coming to this blog really soon!

Thanks to Pinterest, I have a list of other craft room projects I have set to work on. But those are for another post.

Craft Room Reveal

It’s done! My craft room is finally done! Almost a year ago (for Mother’s Day) Bryan told me the home office could become my craft room. He no longer needed a home office since he has his business office now. With the boys being so curious, crafting in the dining room wasn’t working. Leave anything out for a bit and they were getting into it. So now a year later, the room is done! As you can see from previous posts, this has been a long time in the making. I moved things around several times, we got new furniture, I purchased cabinets and drawers to put it all away, and the last step was to paint!

Here is the finished product!!!

This is what you see when you stand in doorway. The left side of the wall is the school area. Bryan and I are calling the office the SCOR, school-craft-office-room. I am homeschooling Christopher next year so I wanted a space to work for him that is away from the distractions of the other boys. Cameron also has a desk for future schooling. He can work on some preschool type activities while Chris does his school work.

Chris’s desk is on the left and Cameron’s desk is on the right.

View from the doorway looking at the right side of the room, my crafting space!

Lots of cabinet space for supplies – stamps, adhesives, embellishments (eyelets, brads, tools), etc. The clear boxes at the bottom are for pages that are being worked on for the boys’ scrapbooks. Hoping to get scrapping very soon and get closer to being caught up on their albums.

This cute buckets are from my wedding! They were the centerpieces on the tables in the reception. Now they are repurposed for craft supplies. These have chipboard, stickers, and rub ons. More are in the cabinet underneath that hold small letter stickers, various scissors, and more.

This is my main workspace.
From top to bottom:
top shelf – paint & CM cutting system
long shelf – various sizes of ribbon (the boxes are FULL!!!)
hanging rods – flowers, buttons, pens, tools
underneath – Cricut machine & drawers for bow stuff, cards, and ongoing projects

This is more workspace!

More storage on the walls!
The tall cabinets hold scrapbooks that are in progress, idea binders and tear files, more paper pads and scraps, Cricut mats, 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and TONS of alphabet stickers.
Notice all the pictures I need to scrap on the left. They are FULL of pics from Jan of 2008 – February 2009! I need to get busy.

Close up of the wall storage over the work area.
Small trash can for little pieces of trash and a bin for little scraps.

Lots of stickers – now I can actually SEE what I have!
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!!!
Thanks to my wonderful husband for 1) giving me the space to be creative (and relax!!!), 2) for painting the room for me on Monday and Tuesday nights after working ALL day, and 3) for putting up all the shelves and rods all afternoon today.
Bryan, I love you so very much. You are always willing to go above and beyond to make me happy. Thank you so much for loving me!

Craft Room – Reorganized!

You might be thinking to yourself, “Didn’t Allison just redo her craft room?” Well, yes, you are correct. It wasn’t that long ago that I purchased several cabinets, spent a few days putting them together, and totally overhauled our home office to make it into an office / crafting space.

So why am I organizing it again you ask? Lots of time recently has been spent in the craft room as I worked on Christmas presents and various other things. I quickly realized that 1) I still had lots of organizing to do – the mess was driving me crazy & 2) Some of the cabinets were not arranged in a functional way. I found myself having to stand up each time I needed something out of the drawers since they were stacked on top of the cabinets. Plus, with the 6 foot table in the middle of the room, it was feeling a bit cramped!
Most of my Saturday was spent moving cabinets, organizing the closet so all office supplies were in there thus making more room for my craft supplies in my cabinets, and then getting settled in. You can find pictures of what the previous “redo” looked like here.
Rearranged and Reorganized
My half of the office

A view of the newly arranged cabinets

View from in front of my craft table

My Cricut, how I love thee!
With it on the rolling cart I can wheel it over to the table easily.

I so wish I had a wall full of ribbon! For now, this will have to do.

Next year, this will become the office / craft room / school room.
In order to prepare for homeschooling CB, I made him a little desk area of his own. The pocket chart was hung so I can post sight word for him to practice or words he wants to use to write notes. I gave him the organizer on the desk and CB put in all his “stuff”. Too cute, but OH SO VERY like his mommy!!!

The left side of the closet
Rolling cart full of MORE craft supplies and wooden crates with art supplies for the kids.

Right side of the closet
Office supplies, no longer taking up my craft space in the cabinets!

We will see how this works out. I am sure it will need some tweaking, but I am planning on trying to get some scrapbooking done over the next few weeks, so I will be in here a lot.

Craft Room Makeover

For Mother’s Day, Bryan gave me a very thoughtful present. On top of my standard gift of scrapbooking supplies, Bryan also decided to turn his office into my craft room. He put a sign on his office door and told me that after he cleaned all his things out, I would have a craft room. Part of his motivation for this was the fact that when I would scrapbook or craft, I typically haul all my supplies from the office to the dining room table. When I would leave things out the boys would get into my supplies and would even routine my crafts sometimes.

So here is the problem with what my sweet husband did…. I could NOT work in that office! It was so disorganized and dysfunctional that my OCD brain couldn’t focus! Recently I have felt the need to purge and reorganize the ENTIRE house. This started with the craft room (I am hoping to get busy making crafts for Christmas). With just a bit of money and a lot of organizing and purging, I would be able to have a space I could work in.
Here is what the office looked like about 2 weeks ago:

It was sort of a dumping ground for all sorts of things: Bryan’s work stuff, old college textbooks, my teaching junk, kid art supplies, scrapbooking supplies – you get the picture!
Bryan’s old desk that he cleared out completely for me. So loving – but this is NOT a desk that is conducive to crafting since there really isn’t much actual desk space. So instead, it became where I dumped all the stuff I needed to file, work on, etc. Walking in the room and seeing this made me nuts!
My workspace. A table where I could spread out and really scrapbook since I like to have lots of space to work. This became where Bryan would set up and work when he needed to keep the boys from bothering him.

Here is what the office / craft room was transformed into:
I cleared off the desk for Bryan so he could still have a workspace in the office (at least for now, this time next year this area will have a desk for homeschooling).
My new Closetmaid cabinets and shelves! This makes my heart skip a beat! So many places to put things and so many ways to organize my supplies.
These shelves are for paper storage and scrapbooks in progress. Each of the boys has a clear 12×12 box where I keep the pages I am working on.
A rolling cart for scrapbooking supplies to stay organized in. Each drawer houses different supplies: embellishments, adhesives, cutting system parts, scraps, etc.
The finally product (for now). I would still like to paint to make the room a bit more serene, but that will have to wait!
Lots of shelves for scrapbooks, paper, accordion files, pictures ready to be scrapbooked, and supplies for gifts.
The boys even have a space that has been reorganized for all their craft supplies. The drawers are now complete with labels too!