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an amazing fabric storage idea that I found…

perfect-fabric-storage-on-shelf

I don’t know about anyone else, but storing my fabric has always been a problem. I want it to be kept nice and neat, but I also want it to be easily accessible.

Even more than that, I want to be able to SEE all of it… like, all at once…. during those times I’m brainstorming an idea. If I can’t see it, I forget what I have (which I guess right there signals a major obsession that is in desperate need of an intervention).

A couple of years ago, I bought one of those big cube shelves from Ikea , and I do love it. I have had my fabric stacked up in each section, and I could see it all. Well, mostly. The problem is, most of the time, each shelf ended up looking like this:

fabric disaster

I try to keep it all nice (I really do). But when I’m in the middle of 37 things, the last thing I want to do is stop and straighten out the pile each time it gets messed up because I’ve grabbed something from the bottom of it. It gets messier and messier, until eventually I can’t stand it any longer, and I re-fold the entire stack. It was the best way I could think of, though.

Until I found this awesome blog post at The Little Green Bean. She came up with the idea to fold her fabric around squares of foam board and then line them up on her shelf, like little mini bolts, and the fabric looks so wonderful in her photos that I decided I HAD to do this too.

Except that I realized it was going to cost me about $400 bucks to get enough foam board for all of my fabric. After a hopeful check to see if my money tree had sprouted in the backyard yet, it was clear that this was simply not happening!

So although I wish I could have used the foam board, my slightly less exciting but cheaper substitution was to just cut up plain old cardboard. As I searched around on the internet for some sheets of cardboard in bulk, I came across THESE.

comic book backing board

Comic book backing boards…who’d have thunk it!? These were the perfect height for my Ikea shelf, and guess what it cost me to buy enough for ALL of my fabric? $25.50! And no cutting required! The foam board would have certainly been sturdier, and I also really liked the idea of pinning the loose ends right into the foam…but for $374.50 less, I really didn’t have much of a choice. Another upside to the comic book backings is that they are thinner than the foam so I can fit a lot more “bolts” on a shelf. And that is good, because I have a ridiculous amount of fabric.

I did have to fold them a little bit differently than she did over at The Little Green Bean. My cardboard pieces are slightly shorter, so I folded the tops and bottoms of my fabric pieces over the boards, instead of just around them. But they still turned out okay:

folding the fabric

What a huge difference!

neat stack of fabric

And on my big Ikea shelf:

Perfect fabric storage on shelf

It’s like a library of fabric. I could cry.

library of fabric

Yes, I realize that being so excited over something like this pretty much makes it clear how badly I need a life outside my craft room, but still… I am happy. Considering I spend the better part of my days knee deep in fabric and craft supplies, this idea has certainly made my life a whole lot easier.

Would you like to share this?

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Faye April 10, 2011, 10:45 pm

    What a fabulous idea!!! Finally a solution to going through boxes and crates of fabrics to find the “right” ones. Thank you so much! I’m doing it!

  • ornamentgirl April 11, 2011, 1:13 am

    awesome! it is SOO much better than the stacks and crates of fabric! and it looks really nice too :D

  • Darlene April 11, 2011, 2:59 am

    That’s a great idea! My stash is so out of control because I’m always digging thru the piles trying to find just the right color or pattern and then leaving it all in a worse mess. :) I’m going to try this! Thanks!

  • ornamentgirl April 11, 2011, 8:34 am

    awesome, Darlene! it has really helped me to keep it all organized. :)

  • Diana May 1, 2011, 10:04 pm

    You can find foam board at Dollar Tree and cut it down to any size you need.

  • Rachel September 2, 2011, 6:05 am

    “It’s like a library of fabric. I could cry.”

    If I have a sniffle too, does that make both of us slightly less sad?! What a tip!

  • Renee October 19, 2011, 1:13 am

    I truly understand you wanting to cry. It looks fabulous!!! What an awesome idea!!! I have been looking at ikea expedit for fabric storage and was pondering on whether to purchase the bin. I like this idea much better. Thanks for sharing.

    • ornamentgirl October 27, 2011, 4:51 am

      So glad you like idea! I had to share, because I felt the exact same way when I first found it. :D

  • Queen Patricia November 7, 2011, 11:12 pm

    I love this idea. I don’t think there is any such thing as “a ridiculous amount of fabric.” I am 62 YO and am always thrilled when I see young people into crafting and sewing. I have just started my Etsy shop and have yet to build upon it, but you are inspiring. I love all your pics. I have a storage idea that I came up with that I thought was absolutely “genius.” I was looking for organized storage for my fat quarters, for which I have “a ridiculous amount.” Initially thought of CD storage racks but they were too expensive. I was looking for wall art one day when I came across wall shelving like shadow boxes, with different openings, well the depth was perfect for a folded fat quarter. Voila, I bought four of these and glued them end to end “tall” and it sits on my floor with a block of wood underneath it to keep the dust bunnies from collecting on the fabric. Actually used caulking gun because it would be more long lasting I figured. Then caulked on some black poster board onto the back so the FQ wouldn’t fall behind. It makes great storage and I can readily see them, plus they look pretty. My investment was 60 for the shelving and 5 for the caulking. My crafting room has a pretty almost lime green wall and the black shelving looks nice against it. Oops! Didn’t mean to get so much chatter in here. I do need storage for odd sized fabric and your idea is great. Need to order some. Keep on crafting. I used to think it was cheaper than therapy, but now I question that. Sincerely, Queen Patricia from Portland Maine

    • ornamentgirl November 9, 2011, 10:08 pm

      Thank you so much! You are right…I am not sure that crafting is any cheaper than therapy, but it’s certainly much better! :D

      Your fat quarter storage idea sounds fabulous, and I bet all the different fabrics look beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your idea! And good luck with your new etsy shop!

    • Terri L. Scott January 24, 2012, 6:18 am

      I’m not able to picture the shelving you’re talking about…can you maybe give a link to a picture of one? Thanks so much!

  • sher December 1, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing. I also have discovered that I don’t have much of a life outside my craft room at times.

  • Markee January 29, 2012, 1:21 am

    Wow! I actually gasped when I saw your pics of your beautifully organized and folded fabric. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fabric. (What is wrong with me?) I love matching colors and prints and designs. I almost love putting different fabrics together MORE than I love creating something with them because I know I will be using my stash up (see, there IS something very, very wrong with me). But, look on the bright side. That only frees up space to buy more fabric. Your designs and crafts are beautiful. Thanks for the tutorials, beautiful pictures and creative ideas. You are a very talented young woman.

  • Jesse Tracy July 27, 2012, 11:20 pm

    And your right it looks so nice and neat..So until now you still have them?

    Jesse Tracy

  • Garry Valenzuela July 31, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Hi Staci,

    How tall is this ‘library of fabric’? I would like to have one.

    Garry Valenzuela

  • Nancy Sciple May 26, 2013, 9:47 am

    I was looking through your site and was astonished to find your wonderful “passed on” idea about storing fabric. I guess we all have the same problem — being able to see all of our fabric and still having it stay neat. I do have one suggestion for those of us who have limited budgets — ask your fabric store if they throw away their cardboard bolts. If they do, ask if you could have them and then, using a craft knife, cut them to fit your shelves.

  • Cynthia Nordlie October 24, 2013, 11:41 pm

    I love all the ideas everyone has. I live in a small apartment and have hoards of fabric everywhere. Don’t have any place to put it. I am a crafter and do lots of it. Keep up the good work everyone. Keep them coming.

    Cindy

  • Cookie Pieczonka January 21, 2014, 11:46 pm

    I only go to the comic store to get boards if my son is with me. The guy who runs the shop always gives me this “This is a COMIC store, lady” look so I don’t go alone. At least my son gets some comics out of it when we go.

  • Megan B February 6, 2014, 12:13 pm

    I did this with my stash after seeing this post. Made such a difference and now I can find everything that I need! Thanks for the idea!

    Check out my FB page for the chance to win free fabric!
    –> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Woven-Treasures-Fabric-Shop/207278242810312?ref=hl

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