Friday, March 15, 2013

New Fabric Storage...A Tutorial

Quote for the Day:
"Always desire to learn something useful"

It may have been 2:00 AM this morning...but Erin & I finally finished going through all my fabric stash.  PIECE. BY. PIECE.  

While going through the stash, we evaluated each piece for quality, usefulness, and likability.  If it didn't meet all of those qualities, it was repurposed.  Erin is taking some of it home with her and I am donating some of it to my friend who, along with the ladies at her church, makes quilts for local shelters and missionaries.

Still, with all I'm giving away, I still had space issues.  I was hoping to get all my fabric stored together on the Ikea Billy bookshelves.  However, I had to move the flannels, the seasonal fabric, and the fabric panels to another shelving unit.  Luckily, because we had gone through every item in the sewing room, I had been able to get rid of and consolidate other items, so there was one shelving unit that was 1/2 empty...just what I needed for the flannels, et al.  

After seeing pictures of other people's fabric storage, I decided that I wanted to utilize the foam core boards that I had seen others use.  I was able to get the 20" X 30" foam core boards from various stores.  

At Dollar General they are $1.00 each, but they had very limited quantities.  From Dollar General, I went to Walmart where I was able to get them for $1.40/board.  Again, limited quantities.  We finally ended up at Staples where they wanted $5.99/board.  YIKES!  Erin asked them if they would price match.  They said they would if we had the ad.  Since it wasn't a "sale" item in an ad, we asked if they would price match from a receipt.  They agreed, and we got all they had for $1.40 each!  Okay...let's do the math on that Staples transaction:  37 boards at $5.99 each = $221.63 + tax - $169.83 discount for price matching = $51.80 - $35.50 Staples Rewards I had = $16.22 out of pocket!!!  That's 41¢ each!!!  WOW!!  Now that's some serious savings!  :)

Anyway, if your eyes aren't glazed over at this point, Erin & I thought we'd do a tutorial for you on how to fold and store your fabric using foam core boards!  :)

These are the boards...

Using a utility knife, we cut them into into these sizes: 4- 10" X 8" and 2- 10" X 7".  (I guess we could have made them all 10" X 7.5"...but that's one of those "hit yourself upside the head and say 'doh' after you are all done" kind of things!  LOL

 You end up with 8 boards from each of the large boards.

If you have folded your fabric differently, fold it back the way it comes off the bolt...selvage to selvage with the folded edge away from you.

Now, fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, again so the folded edge and the selvage edge meet.

Place the board a few inches from the end of the fabric and fold the fabric over the board to get it started.

Now, holding the fabric and the board, flip the board and fabric over and over, wrapping the fabric around the board until you get to the end of the fabric.

We took the raw ends and tucked them inside to keep it looking neat.

Using PLASTIC COATED paperclips, we then clipped the end to the rest of the fabric roll to hold it together.

You can then store them upright on your shelf, just like a book.  I was able to easily get as much as 10 yards on one board.

This is what my fabric stash looks like now...

right side, doors closed

right side, doors opened

left side, doors closed

left side, doors opened

I will have a complete reveal of the new sewing room after we finish straightening up and move the sewing table in!  :)  I know you will be waiting with bated breath for that!  LOL

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!



  1. It was a long day (and week!) of going through and folding ALL of your fabric. But the end result was WELL worth the effort! And we even got to put the new fabric storage to use, before we were even finished, when we picked out the backing for that quilt!

  2. That is so jawdroppingly awesome! So much want!!! I think I want to live in your sewing room...

  3. I love, love, love it! I want my sewing room to look like that, I may just change how my fabric is stored. It won't take me nearly as long tho.... I don't have THAT much fabric.

  4. Enviable! What a great looking stash! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

  5. Good Girl! Now you know there are about 80 of us that will be begging for help in storing our stash:)
    I have decided that most of mine are scraps, so I am going for 6.5 inch squares. This is going to take a while;)

  6. you totally rock.. I need to do this. Every time I attempt it, I get side tracked with other

  7. how did you cut thru all the layers? I cut mine & they came out all jagged because the rotary cutter (thick 45mm) did not cut thru all the layers & my boards were only 3/16 thick...suggestions? Pls...

    1. We used a craft/utility knife to cut the boards. Our boards were 3/16", too. Hope this helps!

    2. The easiest way to get a clean cut is using a straight edge for your guide. When I first started using foam core boards for model building (for interior design classes), it took awhile to get the hang of it. But make sure you use enough pressure when you're holding down your straight edge or else it will move while cutting. Make sure your blade is out slightly farther than the thickness of the board or it will be harder to cut through. But don't have it out too far or it could snap if you're using one of the small utility knives. When cutting, make sure to keep your cutting hand and the blade straight so that your lines come out straight. Don't try to cut all the way through it on the first cut. Most of the boards I had to cut 2-3x's. On the first cut I was usually able to get through the top paper layer and 1/2-3/4 of the way through the foam. The 2nd cut I was able to get through the other paper side. Those are the best tips I can give. I wish my teachers had given better instructions for cutting core board. Maybe then my models would have looked better! lol

    3. tks sew 1st try was a mess

    4. I had the same issue of nasty, jagged edges when using both the exacto knife and my olfa rotary cutter. Yesterday i went and purchased a 3 dollar cheap box cutter in the hardware section at walmart, and gave it another try. This time my edges were clean. I was so excited cause my diy projects were put on hold until i could get clean edges. So, try the box cutter available for cheap where the drills, saws, etc. are located. It works!