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Life Hack: How to Organize Fabric

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Quilting has become a super fun hobby of mine over the last few years. The most fun part is all the different fabrics. The clearance table at Hancock Fabric is the BEST THING! I love stashing fabric almost as much (if not more) than actually quilting. Oh the possibilities!

how to organize fabric

How to Organize Fabric

The problem with any growing collection, however, is storage. I would organize everything by color and put them in bags, but then when I needed something, I would have to empty each bag to find it. It was super annoying and unproductive. To Pinterest!

I looked at a billion different organizing ideas and finally settled on what would work for me. And here it is…

A file cabinet!!!

Now, the ones I saw on Pinterest were painted, decorated, or modge-podged. I thought, “Great, I will do that!”

This is how it turned out…

old file cabinet

Beautiful, right? My favorite part is the bright yellow sticker I can’t get off. It really makes it look shabby chic.

Here’s the deal: I put off organizing my fabrics for 6 months because I wanted to decorate my file cabinet first. Then I realized I will never decorate this file cabinet. I will have great aspirations to do so but it will continue to sit in my garage, probably for the rest of my life.

SO, I just did it.* Ugly cabinet and all.

(*My husband swears he was the one who told me to just do it, but I don’t recall that conversation…)

And you can do it too!!! It is pretty simple and has glorious results.

First, purchase however many hanging file folders you will need and cut them in half at the crease in the middle. One folder makes two fabric hangers.

How to organize fabric using file folders

 file folder

Second, organize your fabrics by color. I did Roy G. Biv and followed those with my browns and neutrals. Start folding them to file folder size and drape over the top of the folder.

 fabric and file folder

As you fold and hang your fabrics, start adding them to the file drawer until you have a beautiful array of fabrics.

How to organize fabric with an old file cabinet and folders

How to organize fabric with an old file cabinet and file folders

As far as my scraps and smaller pieces go, that is another article for another day. Try to contain your excitement.

Happy Fabric Storage-ing!

Have your own brilliant ideas on how to organize fabric? Share your tips!

Originally published February 2, 2016

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Michelle James

Thursday 23rd of February 2017

I really need to do this. It looks so pretty and organized!

Krista Masci

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

This is brilliant! Space efficient, easy to use, and easy to replicate! I'm definitely going to do this once I have space for a sewing section in the house!

Anna Jane

Saturday 27th of February 2016

Thanks Krista! I'm sure happy with it. I have learned that I need to keep file folders at the ready though, otherwise I will just stack any new fabric I get next to the file cabinet, haha.

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