Introduction: Unusual Fabric Storage for Craft and Sewing Rooms

I have been collecting fabric for over fifty years and it has been difficult for me to go through fabric for sewing projects because I had to lift plastic tubs in order to find what I needed. During my daughters recent visit, she helped me organize my fabric and sewing room!

This method of storing fabric has reduced the amount of plastic storage containers that were stacked up against the wall and made it a lot easier to view and retrieve the fabric as I work on projects. We organized the fabric by combining matching colors with fabric types, projects, and made use of all the shelf space available.

After she left I had several gifts to make and was amazed how easy it was to go into the sewing room and grab what I needed with very little effort and finish the projects and get them ready to ship.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

This is what you will need:

For this method of storing fabric you will need heavy duty shelves, we used free standing shelves.

Heavy cardboard boxes the sizes needed to completely fill the space available

Food storage bags with seal strips we used quart and gallon sizes

Shipping tape optional ( for taping labels to box and taping the bottom of the boxes

Box cutter

Craft scissors and sewing scissors

Permanent markers

Fabric

Iron and ironing board

Step 2: Boxes

We save a lot of boxes for storage and shipping. Most of them can be broken down to reduce the amount of space for storing them. I like to use them for shipping because we reverse the box when we tape them back together so there are no unwanted labels or text on the outside of the box ( this allows me to decorate the outside of the box). Sometimes I will cover the inside of the box with fabric, old wrapping paper, or brown paper when I mail packages for gifts.

To store the fabric bags we chose boxes all the same size so we used up all the shelf space.

We removed the lids with a box cutter and saved the pieces for inserts; in case we wanted to separate the fabric inside the box. We also saved all lids that would work for labels for boxes to be shipped or stored.

Step 3: Separating Fabric

Separating the fabric into fabric groups, coordinating colors and patterns, removing small strips, odd ends, strings and sewing projects was very time consuming but well worth the effort. It took several phases to get this done, because we separated plain colors and prints and then matched those groups. We also separated fabrics intended for quilts and special projects and put those into individual boxes with lids; so I could work on one project at a time until they were finished. I set aside fabric that I didn't have a purpose for and we decided to use it to cover recycled containers, I will be using to store craft supplies and for covering gift boxes.

When the fabric was sorted and folded we had a better idea what size of box or bag we needed for storing them.

Step 4: Pressing Packaging and Boxing the Fabric

I made templates for the plastic bags for when I was ironing the pieces, I could fold and iron to the size of box or bag that would be used.

I did not use plastic bags for the gift projects that were placed into a box with a lid closure. This served two purposes, one for storing everything together for the project and the box will be used to ship the homemade gift in.

After the fabric is pressed and folded it is placed into the bag, and then the air is squeezed out and the bag is closed, leaving a small opening to release the remaining air before sealing the bag.

Step 5: Storing the Fabric

We stored blankets behind the boxes because I use them for batting inside the quilts and it utilizes all the shelf space.

We stacked the bags of fabric with the bottom side up into the boxes and place them on the shelves in front of the blankets.

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

Organizing my fabric has been hard work for both of us but we also enjoyed seeing all the fabric I have saved all these years. This method has significantly increased the amount of fabric I can easily access on the shelves. My daughter picked out all the fabrics she liked and chose projects she would like me to make for her. She also separated fabric for my grandson and is making a pattern for me to make a quilt for him. I set aside projects I want to make for Christmas gifts and finish projects that were started by my mom.

Being organized has motivated me to complete 10-12 sewing projects and have already shipped many of them. I am currently working on 6 projects that should be finished by Tuesday and be packaged to ship.

Sometimes I re-use the plastic storage bags for the individual gifts; it is easier than wrapping them with gift wrap!

My favorite advantage is I get rid of this fabric, freeing up space and put a smile on someone's face, including mine! Thanks for stopping by and do have a safe and happy summer~

sunshiine~

Comments

author
sylviatsang4 (author)2017-08-01

I'd love to see a photo of the whole shelf unit(s) when it was finished!

author
threeoutside (author)2017-07-30

Great ideas, you two did a good job. It is wonderful when one finally gets a disorganized mess organized! I've done this twice with my sewing/craft room and it's a mess again so this is a great incentive. I have one question: when you say "We stacked the bags of fabric with the bottom side up", what do you mean, exactly?

author
sunshiine (author)threeoutside2017-07-30

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting~ If you look at the picture, the bag opening does not show, that is because we placed the sealed bags into the box with the bottom of the bag showing instead of the sealed part because it is easier to see the contents at a glance. I hope you give this a try as it sure does reduce the amount of space and is so convenient. Thanks again and do have a safe and happy summer!

sunshiine~

author
threeoutside (author)sunshiine2017-08-01

Aha! Yes, that makes sense! Thanks for the clarification. I'm going to have a lot of ziplock bags freed up to use as I've just bought a cedar chest to keep my yarn in, so it doesn't have to be squished into bags any more. So it works out pretty well.

Thanks again.

author
Veron61 (author)2017-07-31

This is great! I shall be starting to sort and store like this asap! It may take some time!!!!

author

This is a great idea! I need to do something like this with all my fabric and yarn!

author

Hi Danger! You will be glad you did! It is so nice to just pull out the fabric as I need it, without stacking boxes! It did take us a long time to accomplish this, but you only need to do it one time, if you continue to place new fabric into the bags and boxes. Thanks for stopping by and do have a great summer~

sunshiine~

author
mrsmerwin (author)2017-07-25

I understand that feeling of "getting rid of fabric". Even if it is beautiful fabric, it is best to use it up instead of keeping it.

I use those plastic bins that they give you at the hospital (for loose patient belongings) to sort small pieces as I get ready to start a quilt. I have a shelf with a stack of these bins--each one has a different size of pre-cut piece. That way I just have to take down the bin, find the number of scrap pieces I need, and start sewing--no stopping to do all the cutting for a scrap quilt.

author
sunshiine (author)mrsmerwin2017-07-25

Hi mrsmerwin~ that is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing and do have a great week~

sunshiine~

author
KVSBUNNY (author)2017-07-24

great job! I really ought to do this with my fabric collection ~ thanks!

author
sunshiine (author)KVSBUNNY2017-07-24

Hi KVSBUNNY,

Thanks for so much for stopping by and commenting! I was amazed how many plastic containers disappeared when I used this method. I have more space and the convenience and ease of not lifting tubs to get to the buried fabric is so nice. Now that I am older, I just don't have the strength to do much lifting.

Have a great week~

sunshiine~

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Bio: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I love the sunshine thus the reason ... More »
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