Upcycle: Turn an Oatmeal Box Into a Pretty Ribbon Holder

created on: 12/03/08

 Turn an oatmeal box, baby wipe container, corn meal box or any other cylindrical container into a fabric covered pretty ribbon container. Covering the container with a fun fabric  could easily turn this into the perfect handmade gift for the crafty friends in your life. To see the step by step instructions and photographs, read on....

What you need:

  • container
  • fabric
  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • straight edge
  • utility knife
  • spray adhesive
  • fabric glue
  • gimp or other trim for the top
  • dowel rod (optional)

created on: 12/03/08

What you do:

1. Using a straightedge, draw a one inch wide rectangle running the length of the oatmeal box and cut out the rectangle.

created on: 12/03/08

created on: 12/03/08

2. Measure the circumference and height of the box, adding one inch to both measurements.

created on: 12/03/08

created on: 12/03/08

3.  Cut your fabric to to the determined size.

created on: 12/03/08

4.  Spray adhesive onto the oatmeal box and wrap the fabric around, stopping short of the end.

created on: 12/03/08

5.  Run a line of fabric glue along the cut edge and fold over to form a finished edge.

created on: 12/03/08

6.  Finish wrapping the fabric around box and secure the edge with fabric glue.

created on: 12/03/08

7.  Run a line of fabric glue or hot glue along the inside top of container and fold fabric down until it's secure.

created on: 12/03/08

8.  With a pen, draw a line down the center of the fabric that is covering the cut out rectangle, stopping an inch short of the end and then continuing the line out to the right and left corner in a "v".

created on: 12/03/08

9.  Cut fabric along drawn lines. Apply glue to the edges and fold 'flaps' to the inside of the container. Hold tight until fixed securely.

created on: 12/03/08

created on: 12/03/08

10.  Trace the top of the container onto your fabric. Cut out, glue onto the top of the container and add gimp along the cut edge.

created on: 12/03/08

created on: 12/03/08

created on: 12/03/08

11.  Cut a piece of dowel rod to run through the ribbon spools. You could make several of these containers and string them through one long dowel rod that you hang handily above your craft area. 

Gift Idea: Make one or two for a friend and fill them with some fancy spools of ribbon.

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View/Add Comments (19)


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MAry on Mar 01, 2015:

Thank you for the great idea. M Rossell

Mommajozy on Jan 27, 2011:

AWESOME IDEA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 23, 2010:

Thanks Amanda!

Anonymous on Nov 23, 2010:

I featured this today on my blog - todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

I would love if you stopped by and grabbed a button!


ModHomeEcTeacher on May 19, 2010:

Great Laura, it's a fun project.

Laura on May 19, 2010:

very useful! I'll try to make a similar one for me! :D

Laura from Italy

ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 02, 2009:

RJ-Great tip! I know, sometimes you need to use these awhile to see what needs tweaking.

RJ on Nov 02, 2009:

suggestion: don't use one long rod for multiple containers.  It sounds good in theory, but think about when you have to change the role.  It'll be a huge pain the the butt.  But I do like the idea of using a oatmeal container.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Jul 15, 2009:

Nina-GREAT idea!

NINA on Jul 14, 2009:

Wow now  I will have to start eating my oatmeal again!  To hang this I will use velcro on the wall.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Dec 11, 2008:

asilnnigcm-Thanks so much!

asilnnigcm on Dec 11, 2008:


  I just Lovvvvvve your posts. Always interesting and oh so clever. Very talented.

Best to You friend,


ModHomeEcTeacher on Dec 04, 2008:

Simple is best. I'm going to hang a dowel rod in my auxiliary sewing room to hang fabric covered ribbon holders, organized by color. The boxes of ribbon take up too much shelf space.

kathc on Dec 04, 2008:

I upcycle lots of things, but I never even thought of something like this. Thanks for the idea!

ModHomeEcTeacher on Dec 03, 2008:

Yikes! I'll have to dump those two spray cans I have of adhesive. It's so basic for upholstery, what will I use? Maybe I can research this a little bit.  Thanks for the tips girls!

lilybee on Dec 03, 2008:

That really is clever! Now let's see,

Hundreds of baby formula tins + More ribbon than one person should really have = Project for this weekend.

374 lbs on Dec 03, 2008:

HOW COOL! I am totally doing this tonight!

I agree with DYI Maven about the spray adhesive, though. As an environmental chemist, I can tell you that the stuff is POISON and doesn't just affect us. The stuff sticks around forever (sorry about the pun), and componants of it have even been found in the livers of polar bears!

It should be avoided at all cost...unfortunately just like everything else that comes in an arerosol can.

I wonder if a little rubber cement or strips of double sided tape would work. Or better yet, if you use a natural fabric like cotton, a thin coat of wood glue would be perfect!  Almost twenty years ago I used Elmer's wood glue to stick canvas to paperboard and it worked really well, and it is still stuck!

Thanks for the fabulous idea!


ModHomeEcTeacher on Dec 03, 2008:

My spray adhesive (from an upholstery supplier in Cincinnati) has no bad fumes I can detect. I'll check it out to see what it is.  I agree on spray paint-a nightmare any way you look at it.

DIY Maven on Dec 03, 2008:

Clever!! Mmm, spray glue... Kidding. That stuff makes me want to hurl. When I use it--always outside--I make sure the wind will carry it away and I still hold my breath! And don't even get me started on spray paint....

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