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Summer Efficiency Series: Part V

How many of you hate cutting ribbon? We know the feeling. It's tedious and takes a lot of time. Fortunately, we've found a way of doing this that really speeds up the process. Just recently, we had to inflate 350 latex balloons for a customer. That required us to cut 350 strands of curling ribbon. We had one person assigned to this task. That's because it can be done so fast that one person is all it takes. In fact, we put a timer to it and it took all of 11 minutes and 5 seconds. That's right. In hardly no time at all, 350 ribbons were cut - all the same length. Oh and those 350 ribbons consisted of three different colors, so that also includes the time it takes to change out the spools.

In our last installment of our five part efficiency series, we'd like to share this method with you all. It's a twist on the ribbon holder method of simply pulling on the ribbon from a stationary point, cutting at the length you need and repeating this step multiple times. Instead of taking time out to cut each strand individually, we're simply measuring all the ribbon at one time. Read on to learn how it's done.

Step 1: Set up your work station. You'll need to create two stationary "points". Find two chairs, or a table and a chair, or a bookcase and chair - basically anything that has a rod or beam of sorts to wrap the ribbon around. Make sure whatever you use is not too low for you though as it may kill your back (you'll be walking back and forth between these two points several times). We find that bar stools and step stools work best because they're at a fair height, accessible and portable. However, in our illustration, we'll use a common folding chair with a step stool.

Step 2: Measure. Once you've selected your stationary points, space them apart so that the distance is equal to your desired ribbon length. If you're working with high ceilings and need 6 foot ribbons, space the stationary points 6 feet apart.

Step 3: Attach the ribbon. Use a small piece of tape to secure the end of the ribbon to one of the objects.

Step 4: Get rolling. Here's the fun part. Just walk back and forth between the two objects, passing the ribbon spool around each end. Just keep count in your head. Once you reach the appropriate amount, cut the ribbons where they have wrapped around each "point" (the red arrows indicate this area). If you need to change colors in between, then simply start again at Step 3 using the new color.

That's it! It's pretty simple. The great part is it requires common objects that you likely have in your home or place of business. And you'll develop a better eye for what items you can use as there are no limitations on this.

Follow this method and you'll have ribbons cut in no time at all!

Read the Series!

Part I - Disposable Helium Tanks
Part II - Pull-String Bows
Part III - Balloon Filler Valves
Part IV - Balloon Tie Discs

Written by: Miriam E. Medellin


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