Saturday, August 18, 2012

Organizing Fabric...Filing Update

Hi everyone! If you are a crafter or someone who loves to sew (notice I couldn't type "if you are a sewer"...funny how the word sewer has 2 meanings both on the opposite ends of the spectrum...Lol)

I digress...if you are a crafter or someone who loves to sew, we all have fabric. You may have a little bit of fabric or you may have rooms and rooms of fabric you are trying to store. I, myself, have a small stash. Nothing to brag about. My fabric stash has quilt shop fabric to Joanne's and Walmart fabric too...just depends on the project.

No matter the size, we all need to store it or organize it. I've had it a few ways over the years, but mostly folded on a shelf.

Earlier this year I did a post on Filing your HERE to see the "how to" on that. That post will show you how to fold the fabric over the file folder.

Storing it in a covered area protects it from light, dust and fading.

I had a small file cabinet in my sewing room that I used to organize greeting cards, but used it for some fabric instead.

Now I've upgraded to a big file cabinet thanks to a hand me down from my sister!! Fits perfectly under my cutting table.

Most file cabinets have hangers that can be hung either way for long folders or the short ones.

I have the shorter hangers on the sides and the longer hangers in the middle.

The middle folders in this picture remain intact, not cut in half like the others and then you can store scraps, strips, blocks or charm packs.

Most of my "good" fabric is stored in here.

I still needed an overflow filing system and here it is.

This is a post I did on Chalkboard Contact Paper for labeling. Click HERE for that post.

In that post, I had mentioned labeling the fabric boxes.

I had a few emails asking to show more about those boxes.

These cardboard boxes can be found in any store. I think they call them bankers boxes or filing boxes.

If you have the longer file folders, then these boxes can hold them going the length of the box.

If you have the shorter file folders, then hang them across the width of the box.

Now you know I love these boxes, but they don't come in this brown natural color.

I buy the from Staples Office Supply, Office Max, Walmart and they are given to me too. The bad part...they all look different. Different colors, writing and some have hand written notes on the side as to what was in the box.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make them all look the same.

Find the one seam on the side where the box was glued together.

Pull it apart or run a knife down the side. It will rip and not look so neat, but that's ok.

That one seam holds the whole box together. Just unfold and lay it out flat.

Now re-assemble the box with the brown natural color on the outside and re-match the seam that you ripped apart.

Add liberal amounts of hot glue up and down that seam. Press until glue is dry.

Now fold in the bottom and sides according to the boxes folding instructions.

Don't forget to turn the cover inside out too!!

All done...Matching labeled file boxes for all your fabric.

My sewing room is a dry area of our moisture or dampness. If you need to protect your fabric from moisture or little bugs, maybe you could use plastic file boxes. They sell them in larger stores or office supply stores. However, the cardboard works for me!!

Happy organizing,

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  1. Great tips! I love the fabric in the box idea...this will come in very handy for my fabric. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Clever idea getting the boxes to all look the same. Love that ! Great way to store the fabric too.

  3. How funny! Just last week I was brainstorming ideas for how to store my fabric and I thought of "filing" them.... I love seeing it in practice!

  4. That is a really clever idea, I do have those kinds of folders and hate them for my paper work.
    Also a good idea for putting the pattern to go with the fabrics, if it is a kit or future quilt and you want to keep it all together.


  5. LOL, I don't call that a small stash! love the way this is organized, never thought to do it like that.

  6. That is one hell of a stash! I wish I had that much fabric to need organising :)

  7. Pure genius! I would keep the drawers open just to look at all the pretty fabrics you have. I think I will share this on my studio organizing blog. I hope you don't mind.

  8. Great idea...I have way too much fabric for this is so easy to see what you have before you go out shopping. Thanks for sharing.

  9. What a great way to store your fabric stash!

  10. Hee, hee, for someone who doesn't have much of a stash, you sure have a big stash! Nice try! (Because my husband reads my blog I try not to ever refer to my stash in case one day he actually starts to take notice of it and asks me questions I don't want to answer!)

  11. How great. I have so little room and the sewing machine in the corner of the gining room that storing fabric has to be kept at a real minimum. Boxes like that would work perfect in the dining room closet. Thanks for the tip.

  12. I have way too much fabric to store it like this too. I'm trying to use it up faster than people give it to me (I am the area coordinator for Binky Patrol) and have fabric in two rooms of the house, the garage and a shed. I've pretty much given up on organizing it and now focus on quick, easy patterns to get it out of the house faster :) Your fabric looks gorgeous though.

  13. It's really a shame your stash is so small ;-). Thanks for the organizing tips. I just bought comic book boards, and am well on my way with "my" small stash.

  14. Wonderful ideas always Karen!!! I like this plan better than the organizers I purchased. I'll have to find another use for those. :)
    I thought I would return the favor and share a post I saw on today. It is about how to make your own chalkboard paint.
    All the best,
    Christina in Cleveland

  15. I have a lateral file cabinet and the bottom drawer is full of junk ... most of the top drawer is too... I am gonna try this out to organize what little fabric I have and then I will know at a glance what I have... THANKS! And thanks for the tutorial on the boxes... I didn't know they came apart with only one seam! Great Tutorial on that :) Kathi

  16. Brilliant storage ideas! Now I just need to make myself do it ;)
    <3 Christina

  17. Great tips! I love the idea of the fabric on the 'hangers'. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Fabulous idea, they look so pretty. I fear if I filed my stash like this I would never want to sew with it again. LOLL

  19. If that is a small stash then mine is miniscule (laugh) though i think mine will fit quite nicely into a filing cabinet. Weirdly i like to SEE my fabrics so they are rolled and on shelves, like bookends in a library. This was an excellent page i look forward to reading more.. cecilia

  20. Oh my gosh! That's so wonderfully organized! If only mine would fit into a filing cabinet--something to shoot for, I guess! Of all the sewing rooms on all the blogs in blog-land, yours has always been my fav! Just when I think it can't get any more perfect...!

  21. What a fantastic idea! I have been trying to find a storage solution and this is PERFECT. Thanks heaps you are a genius and a gem!

  22. You can also buy those bankers boxes unassembled (usually at office supply stores) never thought about assembling them inside out. Brilliant! And if you get them unassembled, you should be able to skip the tearing and gluing steps.

  23. great idea thanks for sharing

  24. Ok, this is the first time I have seen your blog and I already immediately have fallen in love with you!!! INCREDIBLE BLOG! love love love it!

  25. What an inventive way to store fabric!

  26. Ikea sells the brown banker's boxes that have an attached hinged lid on one side. Love this idea though! I think my lateral filing cabinet is about to get a makeover!

  27. Ikea sells the brown banker's boxes that have an attached hinged lid on one side. Love this idea though! I think my lateral filing cabinet is about to get a makeover!

  28. How awesomely inspiring. I have my fabric divided by colour into big plastic bins which now weigh 50 or more pounds each. There is one I even pull down from slightly above my head. I have an alterations business and will dive into these on a regular basis to find a match for a customer's garment that needs repair. I have 3 with 2 colours apiece in them and a bag that a blanket came in just for blacks. Two bankers boxes, where one heavy, awkward bin now is. Looking forward to the week I close over Christmas. I am sew doing this!

  29. your sewing /craft room is AMAZING!!!! love to just look at all the ideas and prettiness you have in there,,how do u find time to do ANYTHING? id never leave the sewing room,your a crafty smart clever gal for sure,,love it

  30. I took this idea and bought Sterilite (tm) boxes at Walmart. One way they hold legal hanging files and the other way, they hold letter files. They come in a variety of colours and I have most of the colours that they have made over the last few years! I made tags and hung them from each side of the boxes, so I can easily find what I'm looking for. I want to thank you for this post because it is what got me into my stash and made me organize it! Hope you are well.

  31. how do you store fabric that is less than 1/2 yard. I assume that 1/2 yard or there about is the minimum amount you need for "filing"


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