Time to Spring Clean & Organize!

by Sherrie on April 1, 2010

Spring, is it here for you?  We had snow today but that is not going to dampen my spring spirit.  It time again for a good ole spring cleaning of the sewing/crafting space.  Take a look around your space and inventory what needs a  little help.  Start with the biggest project first….yep get it out of the way.  Everything else will seem easy after that.  Get creative with your storage, think outside the box.  Here a few ideas and tips to find just the right way to store your goodies.

CD Storage Bins:  They make a great storage area for fat quarters.

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Chip Clips: Pattern storage

Store your paper pattern pieces with chip clips.   Make it easy to find your pattern and store them.  These clips can be found at your local craft store, dollar store or large mart.  Find the kind that may have a hole in order to screw it into your wall.  I have mine place on a small wall area where they would not be in the way.  Place 3 or 4 in a row.

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Ribbon & Trims: Drawers, lot of drawers.

I have tried all sorts of containers for ribbons but found these drawers to work the best for the amount of ribbon I collect.  Find a container that fits your space and the amount of ribbon or trims you have.  Boxes, curtain rods & drawers tend to work the best.  What ideas have you used?

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Fabric Shelving:

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Organize your fabric according to color and type.  This will make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for.   Store seasonal fabric in clear containers to save space.  Make sure to put your favorite fabric in the open to inspire your next project.

Tip:  Look around for containers that are colorful and fun.  Think outside the box for storage that may not normally be used in a craft/sewing room.  Most of all, find storage that inspires you. :)

What ideas do you have for creative storage?

{ 33 comments }

1 Connie T 04.01.10 at 9:24 am

Hi Sherrie…so are you going to come over and do my sewing room next…lol…actually I have been in my work of progress for a while now…looks fantastic…and I want to share with you what I do for my patterns I am working with for the time…

I got a great magnetic framed board (actually 2) to hang on my wall…I call it my design wall..then I did purchase magnetic clips and hooks so I could hang my pattern instructions and my pattern pieces!! Works FANTASTIC…I also got those magnetic strips at IKEA and have the hooks on them to hang my scissors
etc..rulers…things like that!! Might have to send you a pic!! very in expensive….
my boards since I wanted them to look classy and framed out I got at like Office Max…a bit pricey for both but worth the style and effect I was going for in my space!!

2 Lauren P 04.03.10 at 5:36 pm

Thank you so much for this post. I’m trying to organize my sewing/craft room and needed some ideas!

3 Melissa F. 04.05.10 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the great ideas. My husband and I have just decided to turn the spare bedroom into a craft room, and these will work great. Sewing is my new passion!!!

4 Alisha 04.08.10 at 5:30 am

Thanks so much for this post! Lots of great ideas. I have been trying to reorganize my craft room but have limited money and space. Right now, all my fabrics, ribbons, patterns, ect are crammed on one bookshelf that is not only hideous to look at, but also falling apart! You’ve given me some great ideas to try and slowly work towards! Thanks!

5 Melissa 04.08.10 at 5:30 am

Thanks so much for being more organized that me…the pattern idea will be used TODAY!

6 Renee Candy Stick Lane 04.08.10 at 5:47 am

Thank you so much for the pattern storage idea! That is fantastic!!! XO

7 Eileen 04.08.10 at 6:16 am

can’t us this idea now due to lack of wall space in my “sewing room” which is a section off the kitchen, but i made shoe storage type wall hangings years ago and used them to put all sorts of things–spools of thread, scissors, patterns, notions, etc. now i have several roll-around plastic drawers that work pretty well, a metal storage shelf from costco that hold a bunch of both large and smaller plastic storage boxes with material in them.

8 Lois Richmond 04.08.10 at 6:40 am

One little trick that I have used in the past to hide my craft clutter is the following: partical board bookshelves are inexpensive and great for both books and fabrics but they can look messy. I use a curtain rod with the spring (constructed like a shower curtain rod only smaller) and make a curtain to drape over the front. Super time stitching and everything is tucked away inside! I like to paint the outsides to make them more attractive. Once I sponge painted them to match the walls and used coordinating fabric for the curtains and they almost disappeared giving the illusion of more space in the room. The sky is the limit.

9 Cindi Dier 04.08.10 at 6:50 am

I just revamped my fabric storage in my studio and used those storage cubes from Target … I got two small filing cabinets and spaced them apart on one wall, got an inexpensive plain door from Home Depot and painted it white, laid that horizontally over the two filing cabinets to make the desk top/work space, then put the storage cubes, also white (the ones that have 8 cubes each) on top of the desk top against the wall… my fabric is now in all of the cubes according to color family. It is very organized and very happy looking :)

For my fabric scraps, I put them together by color family in sandwich size ziploc baggies and line up the baggies in plastic shoe storage bins … whenever I need a scrap for an applique, I just pull out that baggie and pick out the fabric I need :)

10 Cindi Dier 04.08.10 at 6:58 am

Another quick and very inexpensive tip for curtains for your craft/sewing room is beach towels! I found long beach towels at Target that were the exact size I needed for my window and just got an inexpensive curtain rod and used those little spring clips to hang them… no sewing at all!!! I also took the louvered doors off my closet and hung the same beach towels on a shower curtain rod in the opening of the closet … for these, I just made a casing at the top of the beach towels… and when they need washing, I just toss them in the washing machine!

11 Amy 04.08.10 at 7:27 am

I always have several sizes of elastic on hand. I use 1 lb. coffee cans with the plastic lids. Cover the cans with adhesive backed shelf liner {such as Con-tact paper}. Cut a slice in the plastic lid big enough for the elastic to slide through. {Just cut a slice, not a hole. This keeps the elastic from falling back into the can.} Then I place a different width of elastic in each can and slip it through the slice in the lid. With a marker write the size of the elastic on the outside of the can. I can see at a glance the width I need and the cans stack neatly on a shelf without tipping over. Not to mention that the elastic stays contained in the can without getting tangled. Works perfectly!

12 Nikki McDonald 04.08.10 at 7:33 am

I learned this from a gal in my quilt guild..

She uses a 6″ by 24″ ruler and rolls her fabric on it. Slips the ruler out folds the roll in half. I think any ruler close to that size would work….. but like the 24″ ruler anyway….

Lay your fabric out on the table, folded in half as it comes from the store…
Place the ruler on the end and roll away. All fabric is the same width, some of the stacks are bigger. I have been working at my stash, sortd by colors or whatever it really works great….

13 Karen 04.08.10 at 7:40 am

I wish I could see everyone’s pictures!

14 April 04.08.10 at 8:12 am

I made a large cutting table with tons of storage using three 9-cube bookshelves topped with a solid core wood door from the hardware store. On the shelves I use the plastic shoeboxes for storing ribbon by the color, tools/hardware and often-used patterns. I also stack in fabric, books, and paper files. Everything I need is in easy reach and organized (or hidden behind a spring-rod curtain). The table top is the perfect counter height for cutting out patterns or working while standing, no more aching back from bending over the kitchen table to cut them out!

15 Diane C. 04.08.10 at 8:14 am

I organized my sewing room last year. I bought the closet storage components with drawers, cubbies, shelves, etc. to fit what I needed and did a wall with these. My fabrics fit in the cubbies and I labeled each with the type of fabric and the drawers also. My machine accessories and hoops go on roll out shelves for easy access. On the opposite wall I used matching components to put all my notebooks with patterns, etc.

I love the idea about the ribbons and also the one about elastic in cans.

16 LouAnn 04.08.10 at 8:33 am

A few weeks ago I went to a thrift store & bought a great solid oak entertainment center. Each compartment is lined with cool fabric so it looks very chic/shabby. It fit perfectly on the only available wall in my bedroom & now all the fabric & such that’s been sitting around in boxes stacked on the floor is neatly organized in my new (to me) piece of furniture. I’ve also stack my clear plastic storage boxes (with serger thread, ribbon, buttons & all kinds of notions) on top to utilize all available space. A real God-send!

17 gail 04.08.10 at 9:24 am

re: ribbon spool storage….I have an old slacks hanger (the type where the bar “hooks” in place..it would have held 4 pairs (hence 4 rods)..the spools slide onto the rods ..the rod hooks to lock it on and VOILA…all your spools in one place and visible

18 Nancy 04.08.10 at 1:26 pm

I am planning on using/recycling heavy duty cat litter boxes. I find the square ones are fantastic for ‘cubes’ which can be stacked etc. some can even have the open covers left on and laid on the their side. Put a little button on each little door and you can put and elastic of ribbon or whatever to hold them closed. Also each box can be covered with fabric or contact paper or whatever or even nothing. They can be held together with ‘duct tape’ and just sit there with a table cover or such on top. Many ways, many uses…

I try to think of at least 3 different ways to use ‘whatever’ as far as recycling goes. Plus I llllloooovvveeee making crafts. So I ‘NEED’ to have plenty of STUFF around. Be it fabric, wood, tree limbs etc. etc. etc.
Later, Nancy

19 Kris 04.08.10 at 10:51 pm

Sherrie, you are absolute GENIOUS my friend! I am in LOVE with your sewing room and you’ve shared some really great ideas!

20 Jennifer Fraunfelder 04.10.10 at 10:04 am

Great ideas. I just told hubby that I so wanted to have my fabrics out where I can see them. Currently i have storage box upon storage box and have to go diving through each one to find stuff. ahha. thanks for the tips.

21 Cloth Diaper Mom 04.10.10 at 12:11 pm

I love all these ideas. My fave in my own sewing area is my pattern “closet.” We had an extra vinyl covered clothes rack on wheels – just the cheap kind you can get in many organizer areas in stores. I develop all my own patterns for my products and I keep old versions with dates to show that I really did develop a pattern over time. That allows me to look at previous versions and also proves they are original if I ever need to do that. Since most of my patterns are on template plastic, they don’t fold well. I finally got smart and purchased two sets of pattern hangers from a sewing supply place. I just cut a slit in each pattern and hang like patterns together. Now, my patterns are neatly organized and easy to find. You could do the same thing with pants hangers that have the pinch clasps.

22 princessbunnyrooroo 04.10.10 at 5:01 pm

Oh my you all are so clever – thanks to all – great ideas!
Here’s 3 of mine —-
I’m always looking for the cheaper way to go…. So I bought an eleven drawer “garage tool box” style thing from HF for $150 on sale, reg $300. Ohhhhh the shallow drawers are so perfect for all my cutting, layout, pattern alteration supplies etc, and it’s on wheels, so it can move from cutting area, to pressing area & on to sewing table. They sell a bunch of magnetic add-ons that I attached to the back of the “rig”, one holds my water mister & can of sizing.
As for the magnetic board idea – you can get a sheet of steel at a home improvement store & inexpensive magnets from HF – I got some rare earth type that are tiny, but supper strong, and fimo’d them into knob shapes for easy on & off & hanging stuff with loops of yarn/elastic etc.
A seriously smart place to shop for many crafting & hobby supplies that relate to sewing is a place called Widget Supply. Good values.
Last tip – gotta share – just learned this one – for those slick as snot fabrics – satins, silks, trico, try using a cutting surface (with your scissors, not the roller blades) covered with cork. Buy it in rolls in the shelf liner section, or squares in the bulletin board section of stores.

23 Corylie Suarez- 04.11.10 at 9:40 am

I’ve bought a bookshelf at Ikea which serves wonders to store my fabrics. I also bought baskets to fill in the caddy holes and that is where i store my spools, ribbons etc. It is a wonderful way to keep your room looking ordered and fashuionable. My sewing room is also used as my guest room so I try to keep is as ordered as possible by hiding the supplies away in baskets. The bookshelf with the baskets and all came out to $75. Unbeatable for fashion and practicality.

24 kathy 04.11.10 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for all the great ideas. I am trying to get more organized in the new sewing area. Seems like ribbons and acessories are big problems–I use the photo boxes found at craft stores –sometimes 2/$3,put a wood dowel lengthwise by making two holes in box, one at each end, slide on the spools of robbon. You can even cut slits in the front long side for each spool like the elastic idea. Those clips are great to hold your pattern guide sheet as you are sewing.

25 KAREN 04.13.10 at 8:11 am

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IS RIGHT UP MY ALLEY, A TEA CART IS BEING USED AS A ROOL OUT CRAFT TABLE FROM THE BEDROOM AND I HAVE MADE A MAT TO USE AS AN IRONING BOARD, SO I CAN USE IT WHILE I AM SEWING. I HAVE VERY LIMITED SPACE. ITS A CHALLENGE .

26 Chyrle 04.14.10 at 4:51 am

I love to be organized and tidy, but as my monogramming business grows, I find I’m constantly trying to make new room for blanks or materials.

My new motto is “Go up!” I’ve added shelves up near the ceiling line for items I need to be able to see and locate, but don’t need daily. Now I keep a step stool handy to reach up higher.

I have to add that I LOVE this group of websites, blogs and tutorials. One of the things I sell the most of is a personalized tooth fairy pillow made with a little four-sided pillow I saw on SWAK’s “You Can Make This” a while ago. You guys inspire me every day!

27 American Quilter's Society 04.19.10 at 2:35 pm

We just found your blog and we love it, thank you for sharing! Check out our blog at: http://www.aqsquiltnews.blogspot.com/

Keep up the beautiful quilting!

28 EvaBabeDesigns 04.22.10 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for all the great ideas! I’ve been collecting ideas. So far, I decided my husband will need to build me a new room off our main house. If I have a seperate craft studio then the inside design can be my own.

29 Cindy B. 05.14.10 at 8:55 pm

I use plastic boxes from the dollar store. I believe the intended purpose is for storing shoes. I store like fabrics together, or complete projects, or my scrap saver system. I bought shelving from Target … it is meant to organize a closet … you assemble each section. I use the ones designed for storing shoes because the boxes fit just right. DUH!

30 Tammy/ StitchnStudio 06.15.10 at 9:22 pm

What a great way to organize fabric. I will be borrowing this idea.

31 Kari 06.24.10 at 8:13 pm

I LOVED this post! It has given me so many ideas! My one idea for someone just starting out {I am using this now, but am needing to upgrade!} I use baby wipes cases {the bigger ones, not travel cases} for ribbons! It is such a neat little thing! I can pull the ribbon through the slit and tape it down! They are the perfect size for the ribbon spools. But, I have 4 brimming over, and I need an upgrade!! ha! But, it is great for someone just starting out, or for special occasion ribbon.

32 Lori 06.26.10 at 8:44 pm

Love your blog and wish we could see some pictures of these craft rooms.

33 Christina 07.01.10 at 1:39 am

I use these hanging Christmas wrapping paper organizers that I bought at Walmart one year. I have five of them and they are perfect for storing my ribbon. I just hang them back in my closet when I’m done. I can even store my supplies in them.

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