Introduction: DIY Fabric Bucket | Sew Your Own Yarn Storage Basket

About: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.

Probably the trickiest things to keep organised in my craft room are the balls of yarn...they roll off shelves, unravel, and generally look messy and get strewn all over the table if they aren't contained.

I keep the bulk of them in massive felt buckets I bought, but I need somewhere to keep the few yarns and scraps I'm currently using within reach, so the solution is a smaller fabric bucket.

Normally, these fabric storage buckets are made using the 'boxing out' method on the base - the same method usually used to make tote bags with a wider base - but I wanted a truly cylindrical bucket with a circular base.

The reason most people use the boxing out method is because it's easier due to only sewing in straight lines, rather than on a curve. But I obviously don't like my life to be easy, so we're going for circles only :)

I hope you enjoy this Instructable!


- Fabric; You will need both outer fabric and lining fabric. I also used a different fabric for the base, although that was mainly because I didn't quite have enough of the outer fabric..

For the outer fabric you should choose something with some 'body' (a bit of sturdiness), such as denim or canvas. I peronally chose denim ('Dogwood denim' from Spoonflower with my own design on it to be precise). If you can't use, or don't want to use, a sturdier fabric, you can instead iron interfacing onto the back of a lighter weight fabric.

The lining fabric should be a lighter weight woven fabric. I used a lightweight polkadot woven cotton fabric.

- Sewing machine & matching thread; although it would be possible to hand sew this instead if you don't have a machine. Just use backstitch.

- Ruler

- Scissors

- Disappearing/magic fabric pen

- Sewing pins

- Iron & ironing board

- Rotary cutter & cutting mat (optional)

- Compass & pencil; or some other way to draw (or print) a circle onto paper.

Step 1: Prepare Your Fabrics

It's unlikely you'll need to pre-wash your fabrics for this project, as it's unlikely you'll ever put the bucket in the washing machine, but feel free to do so if you wish!

What I would recommend, though, is ironing your fabrics to remove creases before you begin.

Step 2: Cut Out the Outer Fabrics

For my bucket, I cut out a circle measuring 7" in diameter, and a rectangle measuring 23" x 10.5".

The resulting bucket was approximately 7" across the base*, and 9.5" tall.

I measured the circle shape onto my calico using a pencil and compass, then cut it out.

And I measured the rectangle shape onto my yellow denim fabric using a ruler and a disappearing fabric pen, before cutting that out too.

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If you would like a different bucket to mine, you can work out what size pieces you need by following these steps:

1) Decide how wide you want the base of the bucket to be. E.g. 7"

2) Multiply this amount by π (pi). E.g. 7" x π = 22"

3) Add 1". E.g. 22" + 1" = 23"

4) Decide how tall you want your bucket to be, and add 1". E.g. 9.5" + 1" = 10.5"

These steps will give you all the measurements you need; the diameter of the circle to cut out (7"), and the size of the rectangle to cut out (23" x 10.5")

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This is based on using a seam allowance of 0.5" throughout.

* Note how the diameter of the base is the same as the original circle size, even after sewing? This is simply because the base 'smooshes outwards' (technical term) by about 1" when in use.

Step 3: Fold & Sew the Rectangle

Fold the rectangle in half (widthwise) so that the right sides are facing each other.

Line up the raw edges on the opposite side to where the fold is, and pin in place.

Sew along this edge using a 0.5" seam allowance.

I just used a 2.5mm straight stitch on my sewing machine.

Step 4: Make Marks for Lining Up the Pieces

Fold the circle piece in half and make a mark (using a 'magic' fabric pen) at each end of the fold.

Unfold, then fold the circle in half again, but this time do it so the 2 marks that you just drew line up with each other.

Then make a mark at each end of this fold.

You should now have a circle with 4 marks an equal distance apart around the edge.

Take your sewn rectangle and make a mark at each end of the current fold.

Then re-fold the rectangle so that this mark lines up with where the sewn ends of the rectangle meet. Mark each end of the 2 new folds that have been created.

You should now have 4 marks around each open end of the sewn rectangle.

Step 5: Pin & Sew the Circle

Now line up the 4 marks on the circle with the 4 marks on the rectangle, and pin the fabrics together at these points. Make sure the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other.

Then fill in the gaps with more pins so that the outside of the circle lines up with one end of the sewn tube of fabric.

Step 6: Sew Around the Base

This is the trickiest bit; sewing the circle!

Sew 0.5" from the edge all of the way around, making sure to remove pins as you go so you don't sew over them.

The fiddliest bit is keeping the edges lined up and stopping the fabrics from all bunching up.

As you sew, try and keep the rest of the fabric bucket rotating at the same rate as the base is rotating. You want the side of the bucket to be laid flat as you sew, so keep straightening the bucket as you go.

The reason for this is that if the base rotates as you sew but the rest of the bucket doesn't also rotate at the same rate, it twists. These twists make creases, which then get sewn over and you get tucks/pleats.

I got a few tiny tucks as I sewed, even being careful, so it's tricky to avoid completely. Don't worry too much though, any little tucks will mostly be hidden on the base of the bucket :)

Step 7: Repeat the Steps With the Lining

You then need to follow all of the previous steps but with the lining fabric this time.

So cut out the rectangle and circle shapes (the same sizes as before), pin and sew the ends of the rectangle together, add the pen marks, then pin & sew the circle onto one end.

Step 8: Sew the Lining In

Turn the lining fabric bucket right-sides-out and then put the lining inside the outer fabric bucket.

This will mean that the 2 buckets have the right sides of the fabric facing each other.

Line up the top edges of both buckets all the way around and pin in place.

Step 9: Sew Around the Top

Sew 0.5" from the edge around the top, except for a gap of about 3" you must leave on one side.

Backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitched line as always.

Turn the buckets right-sides-out through the gap you have left, then push the lining back inside the outer fabric bucket.

Step 10: Iron

The top edge will look a bit baggy at this point, so it's best to iron it to make it much neater and to make the fold much sharper.

Step 11: Topstitch

Where you have the gap in the top edge, fold the fabric edges inside and pin the opening shut.

Then add a few pins around the rest of the top edge too.

Topstitch around the top edge to finish. I did this using a straight stitch as normal, but 0.25" away from the edge this time.

If you want to display some of the lining fabric, you can then fold over the top of the bucket like shown.

Step 12: Finished!

And that's it, you now have a handy storage bucket!

I hope you enjoyed this project :D

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