Ribbon Spool Boxes

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By Recycled Crafts Contributor, Anitra from the blog “Coffee Pot People”.

Ribbon is a staple material in many crafts, and it’s easy to accumulate spools and spools of it when it goes on sale so often and comes in so many luscious colors and patterns. I like to think it also comes wrapped around its own craft project—the cardboard spool it’s wound on.

Here’s how to turn an empty ribbon spool into a lovely little cache box, handy as a decorative stash for little odds and ends, or as a box for a small gift.

You’ll need:

Carefully separate one end of the ribbon spool from the sides and other end:

Paint the inside of the spool, and the rim showing around what is now the bottom of the box. Now use the lid to trace three circles of coordinating paper and cut them out.

Cut a strip of paper as wide as the side of the spool is tall, and long enough to go all the way around and overlap just a bit. You can use just one color paper for the sides of your box, or do as I did and cut two, punching a design through one strip (in my case, little birds).

Glue one circle to the underside of the ribbon spool, and one to the top side of the lid, reserving the third disk for just a bit. Glue the strip of paper to the sides of the spool, overlapping the ends. (If you cut two strips, glue both, layering the punched strip over the unpunched one.)

Now cut a piece of ribbon long enough to go about halfway across the inside of the lid, and down the inside of the spool/box. Glue it to the lid, leaving the end that will go inside the box free, and then glue the third paper disk to the underside of the lid, covering the ribbon:

The ribbon will connect the lid to the box, and serve as the hinge. Glue the free end to the inside of the box. Note: Since the lid is slightly larger than the box, you’ll want to double the ribbon back from the edge of the lid and glue it so it drops down inside the box right where the side hits the top.

The next step is to glue the lace trim right to the edge of the lid, all the way around, beginning and ending at the back of the box, to hide the edges of the circles. (This is a good job for your glue gun!)

Last step is to create the knob for your box. Experiment. You may find a single button is perfect, or a bit of broken jewely.

Once you’ve decided, glue your knob to the top, or, if it’s a button or bead, punch a small hole through the center of the lid and wire it on, twisting the ends of the wire and flattening them against the inside of the lid. Glue a circle of paper or punched shape over the wire to secure. If you like, you can bend the wire ends into spirals and let them show, as I did:

That’s it! Enjoy your ribbon spool box!

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About Anitra

Anitra Cameron had the good fortune to be born into a family where creativity ran rampant. Her father has authored several books and worked as a photographer and her mother hand-painted portraits. Anitra’s favorite crafts to make are: Jewelry (especially using buttons), collaged book marks, miniature cake stands, all from recycled materials. Anitra’s moto: “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.” Live with that long enough and you’ll never want to throw anything away, so best to turn it into art! Anitra lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, where their combined family’s total seven children, and (so far) seventeen grandchildren. Recently Anitra became a great-grandmother of a darling little boy! You can find more of Anitra’s work at “Coffee Pot People”.

3 thoughts on “Ribbon Spool Boxes

  1. Vanessa W

    That is so cool! I have been saving those big empty spools for a long time cause I knew I could do something with them and now I know! Thank you for the great idea:)!!!

    ~Vanessa W

  2. Gail

    This is really a cute idea, I am going to have to do this. Thank you for sharing this cute craft.

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