Utilitarian Art

Art, Crafts, Minimalism

Lately, I’ve been working to minimize our belongings as much as possible.  The toughest part of this is the fact that I’m an crafter, so the ability to have an area that is all art all the time is important.  I need to have some small part of the world that is my place to sit and craft without distractions.

While I was cleaning, I had this awesome idea.  I recently collected a bunch of ribbons so I could use up my cloth pieces.  I ended up making some ribbon boards which turned out really nice looking.



Well, I’ve been trying to figure the best way to organize my ribbons.  I need to keep them nice, or have a way to carefully smooth them should they become wrinkled.  I did a search on Pinterest for different ideas and they’re all beautifully done.  However, few are conducive to our current circumstances.  I need something beautifully done, portable / pack-able  and not heavy.

Since learning how to make my own ribbon boards, I’ve made the decision to give up my old ribbon boards (black and white with doodles on them) for something new and a little more exciting.  I was a little sad over this as the black and whites still have plenty of wear left in them, and saw me through a deployment, so I’ve clung to them.  While cleaning, I took the photos off the smallest one and moved them to the new board – then it hit me.  I can still use this one!!

So, I gathered my ribbons together and set to work.  And… TA DA!!photogrid_1361504878704


That’s right, ladies and gents.  I just completely re-invented the idea of the ribbon board!! *collective groan*  I know, I know… I’m cheesy.

I’m sincerely excited about creating my own utilitarian artwork!  Not only does it meet all of my storage needs in a method of controlled chaos, but it pleases my artistic desires.  This will allow me to have a very uniquely styled art area without quite so much clutter or bulk.  So happy I was inspired to do this.

I found it easiest to tie the longest ribbons to the intersections of the board (see #2) so the intersection takes up a little extra space of the ribbon.  The tied ribbons will likely wrinkle (I’m sorry, but this isn’t an option for everyone), however, it is not too difficult to smooth them back again.

Lastly, I wanted to share one other cute idea for storing ribbons.  If you have an art caddy made of cloth or canvas, use the handle.20130221_134747


I find that this is a great way to travel with ribbons.  So if you teach a class and need ribbons, this is one way to carry them.  While I still had my cardboard spools, I checked and they do fit perfectly into some of the pockets on this particular caddy.

Have you come up with a form of utilitarian artwork in your organization activities?  I’d love to read about them!  Or maybe, you’ve just found a nice way to minimize the things you have, I would love to hear about that as well!  Thank you for reading.

Happy crafting!