My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.




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Fabric Organization for My Craft Room

My fabric stash in my craft room had gotten completely out of control so I decided that I needed to do something about it. Because my plan is to someday build myself a fabric armoire I didn't want to spend much on this project since it isn't a long term solution for me. I already had this white Billy bookcase with a CD insert from IKEA that I had purchased nearly ten years ago for almost nothing in the As-Is section. By moving the CD insert to the top shelf and removing the bottom shelf I thought I could turn the bookcase into some functional fabric storage.

To organize my fabric that is at least 1/2 yard I made my own fabric bolts out of foam board. I decided to make the bolts 6-1/2" x 23" for a few reasons. 23" height allows for easy storage of 45" fabric folded in half plus it was short enough to just fit under the CD insert on the bookshelf. 6-1/2"depth fit nicely on the shelf and worked out well for maximizing the number of bolts (seven) that I would get out of a piece of 30" x 40" foam board. 

To start making the bolts I adjusted my foam board cutter's cutting depth so it was just longer than the depth of my foam board. When I cut foam board I do it in top of an old ratty rug that I don't mind getting torn up a bit from the cutter. I actually keep the rug solely for the purpose of cutting things on it. 

Using my quilting ruler as a guide I cut my bolts out of 30" x 40" foam board per the diagram I drew out. I made a 23" cut across the board lengthwise and then cut the piece into 6-1/2" strips. The leftover top piece was enough to cut one more 6-1/2" x 23" bolt. After cutting my bolts I wrapped my fabric around them and secured the edge with a T pin. 

After getting my larger pieces of fabric wrapped onto my foam board bolts it was time to start organizing the rest of my fabric. The CD insert was the perfect place for storing my fat quarters and I put small fabric scraps sorted by warm and cool hues in some glass jars that I already owned. Larger, bulky fabric scraps (like the fleece left over from my DIY laptop sleeve and the fleece monogrammed scarves I made) got organized into a wire basket that I had. I put my bolts of fabric in the bottom of the bookshelf and since I had a little room left over I also squeezed in an old soda Coca-Cola crate that I bought in Japan. The crate was the perfect size for organizing my thread and on top for fun I put an antique children's sewing that I picked up in Notting Hill in London.

I'm really happy that I was able to make some sort of sense out of my fabric stash and now that I can see everything easily I'll be more likely to use what I have on hand. I'm also glad that apart from spending about $25 for foam board I already had everything else making this an inexpensive organization project. 

How do you keep your fabric stash under control? Do you have a good organization method?

Reader Comments (10)

Love this! Going to pin it for future reference--I will be tackling my craft room hopefully in the next year.

Kristen- Thank you! This system has worked pretty well for me so far...

January 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterLisa

Where did you get the foam core from?

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Amy- I bought the foam core from Office Depot

May 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterLisa

Great organization. I love the shelf, so nice! btw: Found you through the Thinking Closet blog.I also just posted my Sewing Room Tour part 1 on my youtube channel: http://youtu.be/88fe-mKeM4g
also, new follower here! Feel free to pass by my new sewing blog: www.MySewingHabit.blogspot.com


What great ideas! I especially love your foam board storage idea. I de-construct already completed pieces of clothing from estate sales, thrift shops, yard sales. I'm intrigued with how clothing is made. If the item is pure wool, silk, linen, cotton, polyester, rayon (my least favorite) I take it apart seam by seam, saving the buttons, zippers, hooks and eyes and even longer strands of thread, and keep even the designer label. I'm looking for ways to save these pieces all together as a unit. I don't work with knits at all (yet).

It is time consuming yet I learn a lot about the various decades of design. Working my way into an old garment is threading back in time. If some of my pieces are very very nice I photograph them 10 different ways and then sell them which allows me to continue my search. My original idea was to re-use the fabric to construct new designs but as yet have only made my puppy a few stunning coats for winter! I don't know what I will do with all these de-constructed items, the stash is growing...I'm sure there is income in all this somewhere.

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNona

I am ecstatic with this post. Thank you so much for sharing. I have threatened to give my much loved fabric stash to donation center's over the last couple of months. Because of lack of storage space. I have an unassembled bookcase just crying for this post. 😁😁😁

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAdra E Harris

I have little organization, except for those great lidded totes! My fabrics and supplies are throughout 3 huge rooms. I've collected fabric since the 70's. Then, five years ago my sister who has been sewing since 1930s gave me everything she didn't want, which was her Singer little black carry along machine, 95% of her stash...ribbons from WWII through 2005, buttons, wonderful old pure cottons, silks, wools, voiles, velvets, flour sack, thread, hundreds of vintage laces, 1800s through 1940s doll fabrics, pizza boxes galore of quilted squares. I'm just sorry that I can't find any old patterns among the windfall. I took as much as my SUV would hold. My own fabric is here and there. I have a real problem organizing all this. Now that I have time to pull things together it's overwhelming. I need to figure what to keep and it's difficult because everything is fantastic.
I decided to start sewing really simple items....padded resting pads using my least favorite fabrics (for dog rescue homes) which can be washed a lot and discarded when no longer useful. Sewing straight lines and making corners is my beginning!
Any ideas, anyone? Please be kind, I'm swamped with ideas and supplies!!

April 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

Great idea for re-purposing a book shelf and really love the foam board idea! Fabulous.

October 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlma-Marie G.

Great idea! What thickness of foam board have you found is stiff enough for storing the bolted fabric vertically? I notice that some are acid free. Is this necessary to prevent the fabric from getting stained?

May 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarge

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