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:
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 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:
What a huge difference!
And on my big Ikea shelf:
It’s like a library of fabric. I could cry.
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.1