Pegboard Fabric




Introduction: Pegboard Fabric

About: My work combines conductive materials and craft techniques to develop new styles of building electronics that emphasize materiality and process. I create working prototypes to demonstrate the kinds of electron…

Take your workspace with you wherever you go. This fabric version of the traditional hardwood pegboard is a re-configurable textile material that can be sewn with thick strong thread to create wearable and portable storage opportunities for all kinds of tools. Hopefully this system will make it easier for us to take our practices out into the "wild" to explore making in new environments.

And, now is a perfect time for makers to become mobile with our practices. CNC tools, computers and electronic parts are becoming smaller, more compact and portable. Laptops liberated programmers from working in stationary setups. As makers of physical artifacts, lets aim for a similar freedom of mobility. Hacker spaces, FabLabs and Co-working spaces offer temporary work spaces all over the world.

What is Pegboard?

A common way of storing and organizing tools in a workshop is to install vertically hanging pegboard. This is usually a perforated hardboard that comes with per-drilled evenly spaced holes. Metal fastenings such as hooks and rods can be inserted into these holes to hold tools. Read more:


Related Work

Many of the examples in this Instructable are part of a project called "A Wearable Studio Practice".

Project page >>

Photo album >>

This Instructable

This Instructable aims to introduce the Pegboard Fabric concept by showing how to make your own, and describing some examples of how it can be sewing together and combined with numerous other materials to create a huge variety of designs. This work is an ongoing process of designing and building my own mobile studio and I would love to receive input, feedback and ideas for this work.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


There are many materials used in this project and I will try to list them all bellow. But as a general description, materials that don't fray and maintain their shape when cut, perforated and sewn work wonderfully.

- vinyl coated tarp

- fake leather

- leather

- kapton film

- neoprene

- felt

- velcro

- zippers

- plastics

- elastics

- powermesh

- thick cotton thread or other sturdy sewing materials


There are different methods for making holes depending on the materials you are working with, as well as the tools you have access to. Here is a list of all the different kinds of tools I can think of that would be useful.

- hole punches and hammer on cutting mat or sacrificial material

- handheld hole punch (can't enter far into the material from the edge)

- vinylcutter

- lasercutter

- waterjet cutter

- cnc mill

- stamp press

- industrial methods?


- permanent markers

- non-permanent markers

- textile pens

- cutting mat

- cutter knife

- metal ruler

- round-nose sewing needle with large hole

- make yourself a stencil (see next step)

Step 2: Mark Holes

This project involves making lots of holes! If you are making these by hand, you'll find it extremely useful to have a hole grid stencil. I chose to create my grid as a 1cm x 1cm grid, and mostly make 2mm diameter holes. To make my stencil I created a cut file in Illustrator (see attached SVG) and vinylcut it out of a thick kapton film (just because it was the only sturdy material I had at hand). I can then draw a line over a row of holes and the maker will leave dots only where the holes are.

You can of course also use a ruler to mark out the distance between your holes directly on the material.

Step 3: Make Holes


For almost all of my holes I used a hole cutter with a rubber hammer (so that it was not so loud) and a sacrificial cutting mat underneath.

For some holes along the edges of material I could also use a handheld hole maker, but this gets strenuous on your hand muscles after some time.

There is something meditative about making so many holes, and you should
enjoy the process and not see it simply as a means to an end.


So far I've only used a vinylcutter to cut the hole stencil. But I hope to experiment with more machine hole making processes in the near future.

Step 4: Sew Holes

The system so far uses a thick cotton thread to assemble the pegboard fabric into various pockets, pouches and holders. Other materials like velcro, elastic, zippers, tape, plastics, metals and wood and can be perforated and combined to make endless options.

To sew things together using this stitching method I begin sewing at one point, sew all the way to one end and then sew over the first round of sewing but alternate the stitches so that the finished result looks like a continuous line of thread on both sides (as opposed to a dashed line). For many purposes a single pass of sewing will work just fine. The benefits of doubling help make the seam more sturdy, and also have a different visual effect.

Step 5: Example: Pegboard Fabric Pockets and Pouches

Sew the corners and perforate the edges to make simple pockets and pouches. These examples are made from fake leather and vinyl coated tarp. See attached SVG file.

Step 6: Example: Pegboard Fabric Tool Organizer

Perforated strips of neoprene are stitched to create loops for holding long skinny tools.

Step 7: Example: Pegboard Fabric Photo Album

Even sew photos.

Step 8: Example: Pegboard Fabric Backpack

The previous examples were all part of a backpack tool organizer. The backpack doesn't work so well as a backpack, but opened up and hung it works great for tools.

Step 9: Example: Pegboard Fabric Pencil Holder

A short piece of perforated material sewn in a loop makes for a pencil or pen holder. Neoprene and felt work best as they have smooth surfaces and are slightly stretchy.

Step 10: Example: Pegboard Fabric Velcro Patch

Perforate velcro and sew it on to create a patch of velcro.

Step 11: Example: Pegboard Fabric Pincushion

Create a pincushion by sandwiching a pillow between a perforated ring. The holes in the ring match the 1cm grid of holes.

Step 12: Example: Pegboard Fabric Camera Mount

This is a first attempt at trying to make a vest-mounted camera holder that would allow me to take photos of my work as I'm making it. A sheet of stiff plastic with holes punched along the sides is used to keep the pouch rigid.

Step 13: Example: Pegboard Fabric Solder Surface

Want to be able to solder on your knee? This construction of neoprene and kapton film allows you to do it. The thermal insulating properties of the neoprene and the heat-resistant properties of the kapton combined to protect your body from the temperatures and the neoprene from the hot tip of the soldering iron.

Step 14: Example: Pegboard Fabric Tool Vest

The last few examples were all part of my attempt to strap my tools and work surfaces to my body in order to make my practice even more mobile and have tools with me in convenient and unusual moments.

Step 15: Example: Pegboard Wristband With Magnet

This last example is of a wristband made of pegboard fabric so that many of the elements I just described could be attached to your wrist. This particular example shows a magnet enveloped in some vinyl coated tarp sewn to the wristband turning it into a great tool for storing pins or other light-weight magnetic things.

Hack Your Day Contest

Participated in the
Hack Your Day Contest

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Make it Glow Contest

    Make it Glow Contest
  • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

    Game Design: Student Design Challenge
  • Cold Challenge

    Cold Challenge



6 years ago

Re: wristband with magnet. Way cooler than one of those new fangled e-watches!


6 years ago

Nice Information in the post

The Science Brony
The Science Brony

6 years ago

I will modify this design for a cool little project I have in mind. I will provide the link to your instructable so we will both benefit; good job! you've earned a like!


6 years ago

Oh, just a could try using a leather hole punch die & hammer (with a small wooden block underneath) to make all those thousands of holes. Saves your hand from fatigue--those punch pliers are tiring, aren't they?


Reply 6 years ago

she does use a punch and hammer!


6 years ago

Ohhh yeah! this rules :)

I got to try it myself! works great!


6 years ago

Wow! Transform yourself into a totally mobile workshop! Brilliant concept & so very versatile for any sort of handwork technique (even ones that require use of stationary machinery). Great job!


6 years ago

ha this would be a fantastic idea for a nursing uniform!


6 years ago

Your tutorial nicely explores the possibility of fusing pegboards with fabric. Great ideas!