Introduction: Closet Sewing Space

Picture of Closet Sewing Space

Usually,  I tackle a project by recognizing a need, and then go about problem solving. In this case, I had a want... and it took me a few minutes to realize it was also a perfect solution!

I fell in love with a small arts and crafts style desk at a local auction. But I couldn't really justify buying it, without having a use for it. Thankfully,right before the bidding began, I realized it would probably fit perfect in my closet in the art room upstairs. Sigh... I now had an idea, and a reason!

I won the desk (for a steal), and the sewing nook was born!

Step 1: Organizational Tools

Picture of Organizational Tools
A couple of organization tools really helped me with this space.
  • A small desk
  • The peg board !! (big time)
  • Plastic see through bins
  • Door hanging basket system. 

Small Desk
I lucked out, saw the desk first and it  fit  (we'll call it a good eye, and not mention the luck to my husband).... I would recommend measuring your closet, and checking out a goodwill, or your kiddo's room.

Peg board
I had never put up any peg board before, so that was an adventure, but it wasn't so hard.
You'll need:
  • peg board
  • 1x2 wood. ( 1 x 2  actually measures about 3/4" x 1 1/2")
  • Wood screws long enough to go through the 3/4" wood, and in to your studs behind the wall. (about 12 of them)
  • Shorter screws to screw the peg board to the wood. (again 9 - 12)
  • Circular saw for cutting.
  • Drill
How to:
  1. Measure up how big you want to the peg board to be.
  2. Buy pegboard, I got a 1/4 sheet at home depot, and cut off the extra at home with a circular saw.
  3. The peg board needs to sit away from the wall so the hooks can slide in. That's where the 1x2 comes in.
  4. I bought 8 feet of the 1x2, and cut it down to 3, 24"  pieces. The 24" was the height of my peg board.  And I cut 3, so I could put one on each side, and one on the stud in the middle. Change your measurements to suit your space,  adding 1x2 framing on every stud, as it gets wider.
  5. To screw the 1x2's in to the walls. I pre-drilled holes with a drill bit, just smaller than my screws. Then I screwed the wood to the wall.  Make sure you are screwing in to a stud, or use dry wall anchors (in that case I would be sure not to put heavy things on the peg board)
  6. Screw the peg board to the 1x2 framing. You could put a piece of 1x2 on top for extra stability. I don't put one on the bottom, because some how little things get trapped back there !?!
  7. Get hooks to suit your needs, and your off! 
Plastic Bins
I like the see though ones, so I don't have to open all the boxes to find what I'm looking for.

Door Rack
I got one of those "elfa" door rack systems you can get at the container store. It wasn't cheap, but it has now lasted me over 5 years, no scratches... no problems.

Step 2: Accessories

Picture of Accessories
There are also a few handy accessories in this space.
  • Bobbin Rack
  • mini shelf
  • portable / hang-able pin cushion
  • patterns on a string
Bobbin Rack
I made this by cutting up some of a bamboo cutting board.  I then nailed long nails in to the board, I eyeballed the spacing to accommodate the bobbins.  I also screwed an eye hook in to the top, so I could hang it on one of the peg board hooks.

Mini Shelf
Using remaining parts of the bamboo cutting board I cut it, so that it would sit well on some of the peg board hangers that stick right out.

Portable pin Cushion
This is my cat's favorite attraction.. he likes to steal the pins and then run for it! 
(I cannot tell you how many times I have had to chase my cat around the house yelling like a mad woman, trying to grab the cat, and snatch the pin from his mouth. I imagine, he's laughing the whole time!)

To help me put the pin cushion in a safe place, I added 2 eye screws to it, and some picture hanging wire. I can now hang it up off the table, easy for me to reach, and in my line of sight.

Patterns on a String
I create templates, when I make new designs.  The templates that I use most often all have a hole punched through them, so I can put them on a string, and hang them up. Easy for me to reach, and find.

Step 3: Lighting

Picture of Lighting

This is one of my least elegant solutions... but also one of my cheapest :-) 

A closet space can be pretty dim, making it hard to see thread colors, and black on black stitching.  This space needed some light!  Thankfully, this is a "Harry Potter" style closet, in that it is under the stairs.  I was able to place a lamp next to my desk. So now I can see what I'm doing. (OK, it's pretty gaudy... but for less than a buck, I can hardly complain, and no one else sees it ).

Behind the lamp I still have some storage for items I don't need frequent access to.

Step 4: Ta Daa!

Picture of Ta Daa!

The nice thing about this space is that I created  a little over 2 years ago, and it is still working for me now. It is a pleasure to sit down, and know my supplies are at my fingertips, or  within arms reach.  It has also been fairly easy to maintain.  Aside from keeping out the cats, being able to close the door has also meant that I can leave a project sitting out, and it's waiting for me when I come back... undisturbed!!

This little closet is hands down one of my favorite places to sit and work. And I hope sharing it helps inspire you to carve out a space for yourself. :-)


Jtoohill (author)2016-11-17

well done looks great thanks

ZombieWorkshop (author)2016-01-07

Very practical good job

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-06

Great design, you literally thought of everything! How long did it take to plan?

Have a great day! :-)

fliegflieg (author)2016-01-05

Heaven does exist

kylegilbert (author)2016-01-05

That's a great setup for sewing. Thanks for sharing this!

erik.nottleson (author)2016-01-04

Clever, practical, and simple. This is a great example to help others figure out their own solutions. Thanks for sharing.

babybayrs (author)2016-01-04

How do you hang the ribbons? A spring rod?

SherylinRM (author)2016-01-03

Nice. I am hoping to make my own sewing area in February and these are great ideas.

Two questions though please.

One, what do you make your templates out of?

Two, what is an "elfa" door rack system and what or how did you use it?

Thank you :)

KristinM5 (author)2016-01-03

I also am a "closet crafter", although mine is "my" half of a walk-in closet, so I have a bit more space to work with.
One suggestion, what about a hinged ring for your templates, instead of a string?
Otherwise, an excellent 'ible.

XaeFaul (author)2016-01-03

This is wonderful. What a great way to start the new year with a new idea for organization.

acook20 (author)2016-01-03

Oh my goodness! This is brilliant! Why didn't I think of this!

London Lady (author)2016-01-03

This is wonderful! I just got a sewing machine as a late Christmas present and I'm super excited to use it. Now if only my parents would let me do some closet converting...

Yonatan24 (author)2016-01-03

This is really nice, My grandma can definitely benifit from something like this

grannyjones (author)2015-01-28

A closet door can prevent kitty "help". Brilliant!

ShaunF1 (author)2014-12-15


scluck55 (author)2013-06-19

Bravo! Even though my sewing space is much larger, I have incorporated many space saving ideas. I had not thought of the bobbin idea but "necessity is the mother..." I love seeing that someone else does the same thing! Hey, storage space is for the fabric, right?!

AuntyGoogol (author)2013-04-02

I like small spaces, and this seems an ideal use of space for a useful activity. It could be done in a similar way to cater for many other crafts.

dana-dxb (author)2012-01-09

u wouldn't beleave this i was just last night looking 4 some thing like this !!!!!!!!!!
so this is diffidently coming my home

Tezcumpapa (author)2011-02-14

As a quilter and crochet fiend, I can certainly see a version of this puppy in my future! With a few mods, I can once more walk into my studio without high stepping it over bags of yarn.

ChrysN (author)2011-02-14

What a great space to work in!

skyisblu (author)2011-02-12

Fantastic set up - I love the idea that all you have to do is close the door on a project and it will be waiting for your return, untouched. One seamstress to another, I can totally appreciate that!

antibromide (author)2011-02-11

I love this idea! It would be amazing to have all your supplies so close and be able to put everything away when you are done by simply closing the door. :)

arobbins (author)2011-02-10

You ROCK!!! This is a VERY clever idea, especially when you live in a place where having enough 'space' is always a big issue (like living in San Francisco).
And, if you are looking for free 'clear' storage containers ideas. Look no farther than your cupboards. A lot of our food items come in clear plastic containers that can be cleaned out and reused.

AlpineButterfly (author)arobbins2011-02-10

I like that idea... I usually keep all my sauce jars, and use them all over the place.

Carleyy (author)2011-02-10

Wow this is such a great and compact work space. I'm working on getting my craft space together, I'll definitely use some of these ideas!

RCMadMatt (author)2011-02-09

This is a GREAT idea!! I love it and this 'ible!!!

AngryRedhead (author)2011-02-09

Efficiency at its best!  It would be awesome if you had an extender table to pull the sewing machine out a bit for larger projects, but that depends on how you can work and what all you sew.  The mini peg board shelves are very smart!  I'm sure Martha Stewart would approve.  :)

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