Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tool Time Tuesday...File Your Fabric

Happy Tuesday! You all know Tool Time ideas and supplies come from all sorts of places...hardware stores, automotive stores, paint stores, the recycle bin etc. Well, today it's from the office supply...actually the file cabinet in my sewing room, but you can find it in the office supply.

You know they say..."necessity is the mother of all inventions." My necessity is...I needed a new place to store my fabric, because it was getting too much sunlight. However, you know I don't like to spend money!!

Here's what I came up with in desperation to keep my fabric neat, ironed and out of the sun.

Isn't it so pretty? Not finished filing it all yet, but want to share the idea with you.








This is where I keep my fabric now...right out there in the bright light. Click here for a link to the rest of my sewing room ideas





I loved this method too...easy access, fabric is pretty, I can see what I need or have. The only bad part is...if I want that bottom piece, things get a little wonky.





Not to mention that whole wall of windows on the right side of the room streaming in the fabric fading light!


Here's what I came up with.

I have this file cabinet next to my sewing table. On top is set up for a cup of tea when crafting.


Inside it stores all my greeting cards by holiday.


Not for long...this is just the start of my new fabric filing system!!!


The fabric hangs on a Pendaflex Hanging Folder...
  • easy to see
  • keeps it ironed and wrinkle free
  • file by color, designer etc
  • out of the sunlight!!


Buy the pendaflex folders by the box.


and get your fabric ready!!


Since it's a folder, there are 2 sides...


Open up the folder...


and cut it in half


This is a half yard cut of fabric folded in half, selvage edge on the bottom...


fold in half again...


Place on file folder...


and fold the fabric over. The selvage edge will be draping down next to the sides of the folder


Hang in your file cabinet


For longer yardage of fabric, do the same thing by folding it in half and then half again (fold goes to the selvage edge). Your yardage (1,2,3 yards) lays out left to right.


Now just wrap the fabric over the file folder.


If there is a lot of yardage, you may not want to cut the folder in half...having the 2 parts will add strength for the weight of the fabric.


All wrapped up and ready to hang.


Ahhh...so pretty and neat...and safe from the sun. Maybe I should move my tea station though


Now I just need to get my butt in gear and sew something...I think my hobby really is organizing my supplies and not doing anything with them!!! LOL

I also need to be on the hunt for yard sale or thrift store file cabinets!

UPDATE...Click HERE for another post I did on file your fabric.

fabric filing

fabric filing


EDIT...there have been a few comments about the acid in the paper of the folder or the color bleeding. I'm not sure about the color, but the Pendaflex file website has a big ACID FREE sign on the page about the Pendaflex files. Click here to visit their site.

If you are worried about the color of the file, they do sell manila or no color folders or you could just place a piece of tissue or acid free paper between the fabric and folder.

Have a great day and have fun playing with your fabric.
~Karen~

110 comments:

  1. Absolutely clever! I love the colors and the file cabinets will save them most definitely. Good luck finding great bargains for more cabinets. ;) BTW you have a beautiful sewing area for yourself. LOL I will live vicariously through you so I will not feel envious. XD

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  2. What a fabulous idea.
    Love, love, love your sewing area. It is gorgeous!

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  3. What a nifty idea! I wasn't sure it'd hold the larger cuts of fabric but you proved it did! Love it! may have to 'borrow' another one of your great ideas!!

    Tanya

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  4. És fantàstic !!!
    Una abraçada,

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  5. That is very cool! Thanks for sharing it!

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  6. Love the idea, but what are you going to put on your shelves where your fabric use to be?

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  7. That is an amazing idea...I am so heading to Ikea at the first opportunity to get me a filing cabinet! I wonder if you have any ideas for organizing fabric that are fat quarters or less! Brilliant woman that you are!

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  9. I fell in love with this beautiful little invention.

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  10. This is the best Idea I have seen, thanks for sharing it is great!Anne

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  11. Qué bien ordenadas tienes todas las telas!!!!. Es una idea genial. Un beso

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  12. What a great idea and it looks so pretty too!

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  13. BRILLIANT!!!!! I love this!!! You have got my wheels a turnin'. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Oh my goodness! I LOVE this idea, and I was just organizing some of my fabric yesterday (I cleaned out a closet and found all types of goodies!) Now I just need to find one of those cute filing cabinets. Thanks for the awesome idea!

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  15. I think that's your best idea yet!!!!

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  16. Yet another wonderful idea that I will be passing along to my sewing friends. Thanks for sharing the photos of your studio;it looks fabulous but still functional. Too often they are one or the other.

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  17. I LOVE this fabric filing idea. I posted a link to this post on my blog so others can find it...it's too good not to share! :)

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  18. Genial tu idea en realidad tienes cientos de idea tratare de copiarlo en cuanto pueda y lo mostrare en my blog para que lo vean por supuesto a tu nombre gracias saludos...

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  19. I t was a great craft. Fabric organizers I think it is not easy to break than plastic. And we can choose the color we like.

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  20. Such a great idea. I have to do this!

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  21. That's a great idea but are you concerned about the color from the folder leeching onto the fabric? Folders are not very color stable and they fade easily. I would think that there would be a high risk of the folder staining your fabric.

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  22. You are just tooo clever for words....

    How are you doing? Your girls?

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  23. Great idea, if you could get one of those wide file cabinets that would be cool. My stash would take too many cabinets, lol.

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  24. Great idea! Yesterday I spent the day moving my fabric stash to a bookcase but I think it is going to be temporary-must remember this idea.

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  25. You always have the greatest ideas and timely too! Thanks again for some great advice.

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  26. Karen that is a great idea. I would have never thought of that one. I like the fact that it doesn't get wrinkled.

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  27. I've got mine stored really similarly. Except mine is on comic book boards and put in the fabric cubes you can get at Target/Home Depot. Then I labeled the cubes by type of fabric (gaberdines, utility, pretty cottons).

    I feel like they are little mini bolts!

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  28. Love it!!! If you left the folder intact you could put any left over scraps in it - maybe in a ziploc bag?

    tfs!
    Doris

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  29. Karen, this is a fabulous idea to keep the fabric neat and easy to see and out of the sun! I have always loved organizing stuff in the office or sewing room, and this is the best of both worlds!

    Moving the tea station is a great idea too ;)

    MGM

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  30. I was just going to post on my blog about my next project...building my craftroom. I am definately going to try this idea and see how I can fit it into my plans. Thanks so much! Hope you don't mind that we use your idea.
    Your craftroom is lovely!!
    Judy

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  31. Great idea I was just in a thrift store yesterday and seen a big file cabinet for 15.00 it was huge .You come up with the greatest idea's thank you .

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  32. It looks like a really good idea but aren't you worried about the color or acid from the folders making marks on the fabric? I only ask because I've had problems with that.

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  33. You always have such great ideas. I love my car cup holder/iphone car keeper for my handsewing station while traveling with DH. I have a file cabinet that is currently unused that I must put to work. Thanks
    gauen at mbc dot edu

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  34. As usual your cleverness and creativity are astounding. Really, This is my constant "issue" I want my fabric out or at least some where I can see it when I want to do a project, but I have lots of windows in my room too. Need to get some file cabinets...GREAT IDEA!!!!!!
    Thanks...

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  35. Great idea but one of the reasons that I am a fabric collector is that I like to see all that beautiful fabric. BUT since my current storage is overflowing, I may have to implement this for the overflow. Thanks for the great idea.

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  36. Good idea, but I would have to agree with Vicki on the color bleed issues. But, if you had access to older file folders, you could take off the cardstock, wrap the metal bar with leftover batting, tie that down with thread and then hang up the fabric.

    Since you already have a sewing station of file cabinets, you could just set up a second station for a friend to sew. And your tea station could stay on that section of the table.

    At office supply stores, there are decorative file holders which are cloth. You could do the same concept but be able to put those back on your shelves.They could be organized by theme such as holidays.

    For FQ storage, I've seen pictures of using CD storage towers as well as old library card catalog drawers. The person had enough that they were the base for a window seating area. Very cute.

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  37. This is the perfect idea!!! I love organizing too. I do think I do more of that than crafting. Perhaps, I just haven't organized properly yet!

    Andre

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  38. That's a very brilliant idea! I know what you mean about organizing. Yesterday I was re-arranging my yarn by colors. HA!

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  39. You mentioned trying to get fabric out from the bottom of a stack without making everything wonky... Here's my tip for that!

    If you have trouble pulling out the bottom fabric from a stack of folded fabrics, use the heavy, opaque, heat-resistant plastic template material sold in the quilt notions area of JoAnn's. (The HEAVY white stuff, not the stuff that looks like frosted glass.) Cut two pieces of plastic the width & length of your folded fabrics. Round the edges so you don't poke yourself or the fabric.

    When you need to slide one fabric out of a stack, put a piece of the template plastic above & below that fabric in the stack. Pull all three things (plastic, fabric, plastic) out together as a unit. The fabric will slide out perfectly without disturbing the rest of the stack. Essentially, the plastic pieces act as "shoehorns" in the stack.

    You can also use this method to slip fabric INTO the middle of an existing stack. Just put the fabric between the 2 pieces of plastic, with the leading edges of the plastic touching together, to act as a wedge in the stack. Slide everything into place as a "sandwich" (plastic, fabric, plastic), then slide the two plastic pieces out again, leaving your fabric in place.

    I've been moving fabric around in my stacks for years with this method. Try it - it REALLY works! It stops the cottons from grabbing onto each other & messing up the stack. It also keeps you from having to move all the other fabrics in a stack just to get to a certain one. Fabric going in or out, the plastic does the job, and does it quickly.

    Just don't forget to remove the plastic when you're done using it, & to put it somewhere where you can find it again. If you accidentally leave it stuck in a stack, good luck remembering where you left it! :)

    A Tool Time Tuesday idea someday, with pictures?

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  40. I am so totally in love with this tip! I have a 4 drawer file cabinet...I'll have to toss some stuff but it probably needs to be tossed anyway...but I will definitely be doing this! blessings, marlene

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  41. It is definitely a good idea, for someone who has a few fabrics at a time.... but I have 5 tubs full to the brim and some other smaller boxes full... not practical for me. I couldn't afford enough file cabinets, and then we're out of space, too.

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  42. Great idea! I always worry about keeping them out of the sun.

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  43. Brilliant. I've used a few systems. Plastic drawers worked well in terms of separating colour - but finding the fabric I wanted wasn't always easy! We have an old filing cabinet not being used for business purposes - DH has it in his shed. Must get him to look for it. Excellent idea. Thanks heaps! Cheers

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  44. I have just one thing to say - BRILLIANT!!!

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  45. I love this idea. It is amazing how much you can get in one drawer too!. No I need to find an equally unique idea for storing lace! Any ideas?

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  46. Great idea, wish file cabinets weren't so scarce and/or expensive. I like your readers comment about the stiff plastic "sandwiches" too for a stacking storage. Mine is all in cardboard boxes stacked on edge so I don't have to pull them out, but it is soooo tedious, unattractive and cumbersome. Thanks for the ideas girls.

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  47. Great idea, wish file cabinets weren't so scarce and/or expensive. I like your readers comment about the stiff plastic "sandwiches" too for a stacking storage. Mine is all in cardboard boxes stacked on edge so I don't have to pull them out, but it is soooo tedious, unattractive and cumbersome. Thanks for the ideas girls.

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  48. Sometimes universities have excess filing cabinets to dispose of...

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  49. That is such a creative idea! :)

    I'll be adding it to my 'creative organizing' pinterest collection.

    Cheers!
    ~H

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  50. Oh my! I was just thinking of using a couple of file cabinets with a piece of lamenent for a sewing table for my winter home. Now I know what to use the cabinets for. Thank you so much.

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  51. It's cute and it looks pretty, but my stash is huge and it would take a giant room full of file cabinets and more work than I ever could do to use this system. Another problem is that fabric can be damaged by the acid in the paper of the file folders.

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  52. Great idea. I like being able to pick some fabric out without the pile falling. I am blessed with keeping my yardage in a closet with doors. I really enjoy your ideas. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  53. He descubierto tu blog y me ha encantado. Desde hoy te sigo si lo deseas te invito a conocer mi blog y si es de tu agrado, me gustaría tenerte como seguidora en mi blog y así poder seguir en contacto. Un saludo muy cordial.
    Manoli.

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  54. Karen -- All I can say is BRILLIANT!!!!!! Love it, going to see what I can do about it in my sewing room.

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  55. West elm sells some great file boxes that would be great for this.

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  56. OMG! Every time I visit your blog I get wonderful, great and most importantly USABLE ideas!!!!!!! You are sooooo creative. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. It has solved several problems for me, also. THANKS!!!!!

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  57. Love your sewing room...neat and tidy and well organised. The idea of filing new fabric, I love that too...thank you very much for sharing!!

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  58. Love this idea. I'm going to use it for my own fabrics
    Thanx a lot

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  59. If you have small scraps of the same fabric, you could just hang a folder behind that color and place the pieces in it to keep it all together. Good idea. I'd need several 4 drawer filing cabinets for my stash.

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  60. That is a very cleaver idea but between sew much fabric and very little space that won't work for me. I have my fabric in fabric baskets I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond. Hope to share a picture soon on my blog of my sewing/office area at the new house.
    Thanks for sharing your cool and cleaver ideas.

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  61. Great idea! Now I know what to do with all my file cabinets since I have been working on scanning & shredding all my volume of old documents. I am attempting to go paperless! I also like that the cabinets are more likely to keep everything out of my fabric from dust to bugs & light. Win win win!

    I also have solid-sided "crates" from office supply that have rails to hold hanging file folders on an inside ridge...and these could be put on shelves for the overflow or if you didn't have a file cabinet. Some have covers too.
    By the way, a "legal sized" filing cabinet is the wider version, & would be better then letter width for those with a lot of fabric. Here you could hang your cut strips over the top & maybe put the cut squares inside an original (uncut)file folder ; for a project in the planning stages.
    Love it!

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  63. Some fantastic ideas here, and so simple which makes them even more ingenious. It is so important to have a functional, practical and homely place to work. Brilliant ideas, well done for thinking of these ideas that everyone can follow.

    Best, Fleur

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  64. great idea! Lovely room. What are the dimensions of your room?

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  65. great idea! Lovely room. What are the dimensions of your room?

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  66. Karen, your sewing studio is one of the best I've ever seen! I'm also interested in finding out what size your room is. My "sewing dungeon" is our old family room in the basement of a split entry house. I have a window at the rear and one in the front of the room. I don't get a lot of light in there, so I really don't have to worry about sun fading my fabrics. All that said, I envy you having all that light! You have utilized the room very well. Please let us know the dimensions of the room. I hope you don't mind that I "borrow" some of these ideas.
    Mona from Minnesota

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  67. Brilliant ideas. I love your blog!

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  68. HA! you answered my question about bigger yardage... I still feel like there will be some yardage limits to the system, but this would be perfect for my quilting stash for SURE. I love it.

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  69. AWESOME!!! I love this! I am going to clean out my cabinet that has been sitting in a corner for years! My sewing room always looks so cluttered with my stash piled up! Thank you for this!

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  70. Ditto on "I think my hobby really is organizing my supplies and not doing anything with them!" Great Idea! Thank!

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  71. That's a BRILL idea! love it! I am so gona try it
    btw, ur studio is GORGEOUS :D xx

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  72. I love this blogspot! This is such a great idea! I'm definitely going to do this. Thank you!

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  73. I love this blogspot! This is such a great idea! I'm definitely going to do this. Thank you!

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  75. This is how I store Magazine I want to keep as well - Just slide the bar up the middle & file - then you can see the spine & know what Magazine & issue it is.

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  76. this is brilliant! i am going to give this a shot!

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  77. I just love your blog! All of your great ideas make me want to clean out my basement and make a decent sewing room!!!

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  78. I completely love this!!! I have tons and tons of fabric in those rolling plastic drawers...but the same thing with that is when trying to get to the one on the bottom! And I agree...my hobby is definitely organizing my supplies. I haven't scrapbooked in YEARS (he's 11 and I stopped on "first bath"), but all the supplies are so beautifully organized. :)
    thank you for all your ideas!

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  79. Great idea! I'm like some of the others in that I have tons of fabrics. I'm currently trying to organize all of my sewing and crafting supplies so I'll keep this one in mind. I'm planning on keeping some of my bulkier fabrics in the bins but for smaller cuts I've thought of using smaller plastic boxes and for even smaller cuts, smaller boxes. So much to organize! I'm going to browse you blog for more ideas!

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  80. I really love this idea. Its a grand idea. Even using the folders in a dark room will be great. Thank You

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  81. I am teaching myself quilting from all the wonderful people out there who share their knowledge.
    I cut some strips from really thin fabric i had with me and found it hard to manage; so i clipped them together (including the squares I had made from them), put them in a ziplock bag and stored them away until I was more proficient.
    I thought I would share this with you, maybe it isnt 'original' but I thought it up ...so there!...:)
    xeejah@gmail.com

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  82. I am so ready to purge those old files anyway! Now that I am armed with a plan... I am motivated to organize all my fabrics! I love your blog... I have referred to it often... I sew wanna be organized, thanks for the motivation!

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  83. Oh I am so doing this! Right now all my fabric is just folded up on top of each other in a rubbermaid box. But I think i will keep the folders in one piece and tape them shut with a piece of cardboard inside to make them super sturdy.

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  84. What a perfect idea! I searched today for a way to repurpose some very good file cabinets that I no longer need for filing. How excited I was to find your idea that solved two of my organizing problems. Now I have a good use for the filing cabinets and the hanging file folders, and more importantly, a beautiful way to store my fabric. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  85. Go through each drawer one at a time, making a brief list of the contents. If you already have files set up, write down the names of the files and their contents.

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  86. Hanging files also fit in tomato boxes. If you are really nice, the produce department at a grocery store will save them for you. The boxes are very sturdy and free!

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  87. Awesome ideas!! You've given me a lot of ideas to work on organizing my craft room.. Thank YOU!!

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  88. I am sooo totally in love with ALL your ideas!! I have been stalking your site all day, and plan to incorporate as much as I can in my own sewing room. Thank you!

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  89. I would have to have a room full of filing cabinets....cute idea though!

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  90. I am going from a 12x12 craft room to 2 reach in closets. Thanks for sharing all your ideas, I am sure they will come in very handy.

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  92. Another idea is to make "shades" for your shelves of fabric. Keep them down when you are not in there and then you just pull them up when you are working. I use this idea for so many things. I put full covers with a front "shade" in my laundry room where I store cooking pots/pans that I rarely use. That way, they are kept dust free, but I can see everything when I pull the shade up.

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  93. Great Idea! Thanks for sharing!!

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  95. I am definitely going to do this but, instead of putting the fabric in a file cabinet, I have some portable files I am going to use. They are clear plastic and they cost around $5. (At Walmarts). They stack and they hold quite a lot of fabric. The brand name is Sterilite.

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  97. You should know that you MAJORLY inspired me with the filing fabric idea...in fact, I did it! And wrote a post about it. Feel free to stop by and check it out, Karen. Thanks for being so awesome (as always).

    Filing Fabric & A Fabric Organization Round-Up

    Hugs,
    Lauren

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  98. I found my file cabinets - the 5 drawer size - at our local Habitat for Humanity store. They were $20 each.

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  99. You made my day!! I am in the middle of re doing my sewing room,,, I have tons of cabinet space ..for filing and was going to throw them out... Thank you so much for blogging your site.

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  100. Wow! What an awesome idea! I've been stressing about my fabric storage for a while...but not any more! Thank you so much

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  101. Love your organizing ideas! I also have thought for awhile that what I enjoy most is organizing fabric, etc., or anything else for that matter, including furniture, instead of doing much else with it.

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  102. Just stopping by to let you know I included this post in my favorite craft projects for February. These were the most popular posts on my Facebook page during February as well, so thank you for such a great project! You can see the round up here http://craftsbyamanda.com/2014/03/great-craft-ideas-february-2014.html :)

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  103. One of my favorite activities is crafting. I love to be at the fabric stores and make something original. There are so many different designs that you can do with fabric.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

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