Organising fabric and craft supplies – updated post


Fabric and craft supplies are a great example of something we are all tempted to keep; particularly us creative types. So before I give you some organisational ideas, I want you to think about …

Decluttering your craft room or sewing room

Have you been keeping fabric and supplies for years?! Often it’s clutter. It’s not adding value. Unless it’s stunning retro, desperately sentimental (and I’m talking really special – don’t confuse special with something you have a relationship with simply because you’ve hung onto it for a long time) or limited-edition Smurf-printed velvet… MOVE IT ON!  Fabrics we keep are often leftovers. The problem with leftovers is that they’re rarely exactly what you’d like or need for a project. You’ve already made something with the bulk of fabric and scraps aren’t that good for much (trust me, I’ve dragged fabrics around too!). An obvious use for scraps is quilting… but sometimes, by the time you’ve cut the pieces of fabric, you’ll find you have enough for seventeen quilts, not one! So I truly think- it’s time to go: FABRICS AND EXCESS CRAFT SUPPLIES!  Anyway, I can’t think of anything more liberating or exciting than shopping for new fabrics. If there’s something you’d like to make, you’ll have the freedom of choice of brand new fabrics… and you’ll purchase only the amount you need. How nice.  A local charity, school or community craft centre would probably welcome some new “old” fabrics or craft supplies.  Be brave and you’ll be rewarded with some space in your cupboards for something new. Yay!

Organising ideas for your craft room or sewing room:

Perhaps you make a living sewing and have a stockpile of great fabrics to use. To manage your fabrics, consider these suggestions:

  1. Create a swatch file.  Staple or stick your swatches to a piece of cardboard that’s either A5 or A6.  Depending on the number of fabrics you have, and the size of your swatches, you can then put them either put them on a pattern hook – maybe blocked by colour, or use an index card box or folder.  The advantage of this system is that you won’t have to dig through your fabrics and/or can store them in a out of the way place and still see what you’ve got nice and easily.
  2. I recently worked with a mother and daughter sorting their sewing room, and the super smart daughter had devised a system to store and access the many offcuts they had (see image above).  A simple snip of fabric on a piece of card at the front of the container told them what lived in side.  No colour blocking.  Nothing sorted by genre or type.  Very organic.  Very nice!
  3. If you’re a neat freak, you might like this system, it’s kinda old fashioned, but really lovely.

www.thefabricorganizer.com

Happy crafting!

4 responses to “Organising fabric and craft supplies – updated post

  1. I started lots of knitting projects and had wool, pattern books, and knitting needles, all over the place. I finished what was close to done, and bundled up the rest, wool, patterns and all, finished or not, and gave it to charity. I havent touched a pair of knitting needles since.
    One day I might go back to it, but the bitsa nature of it eventually drove me nuts.
    I do like the knitting bags you can buy, where you store everything, can carry it around, and can knit anywhere straight out of one bag. It keeps one project together and is tidy.
    Apart from that I have never been one for other crafts for many years. But the same principles apply to any items you store for projects.

  2. I’m having a constant battle at the moment to keep on top of my fabric, I never seem to have any time to actually make anything, I use my spare time just trying to find something I know I’ve got, or worse, buying something I forgot I already have.
    I’ve blogged about it (http://handmadebyclairebear.com/2011/04/24/this-week-i-have-been-mostly/) but motivation by public humiliation doesn’t seem to have worked very well. At least it’s better organised than it was and now most of my fabric is in see-through tubs which are also labelled., so I’ve a much better chance of finding things.

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