The Art of Choosing: Fabric Stash Storage Ideas

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Art of Choosing is a series discussing fabric, color, and the fabric selection process. The purpose of this series is to arm you with the tools and knowledge to build your own color schemes for your sewing and quilting projects. You'll dive deep into your stash, organize it, and hopefully look at your fabrics in a new way.

Fabric Stash Storage Ideas
Time to discuss fabric stash storage options. I've been pouring over Flickr this past week looking for great examples. So, let's dive right in!

Open Fabric Storage
Many crafters choose to display their fabric stash out in the open on shelving. This allows you to see your fabrics all the time. You do need to be mindful if your sewing space gets a lot of direct sunlight, as this can be damaging to fabrics.

Cubby Fabric Storage
Cubby storage also allows you to see your stash all the time but is a little more protected than open storage. It also gives you the option of using bins to hide ongoing projects or scraps.

Drawer Fabric Storage
A chest of drawers is another great option. This allows you to tuck your fabrics out of sight. Especially useful if you don't have a dedicated room for your sewing space. This can be a bit more discreet than open or cubby storage.

Plastic Bin Fabric Storage
Plastic bin storage is handy for larger stashes since you can easily stack and store the bins. They're also relatively inexpensive. You could easily use cardboard boxes if you're on a budget.

Mini Bolt Fabric Storage
You can use comic book boards or cut foam core or cardboard "mini bolts" to fit your storage unit. Simply wrap the fabric around the bolt just like the bolts you'd find at your local quilt shop.

Hanging Fabric Storage
Depending on your craft space, you may have access to hanging space. These vertical hanging organizers (generally used for clothes) are a great way to store your stash.

Scrap Storage
Don't forget about those scraps. A few clever scrap storage options. I find it helpful to first organize scraps by fabric type and then by color.

How I Organize My Fabric Stash

Open Storage, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I do a little bit of everything for my stash! I like to keep some fabrics stored out in the open on top of a shelf. They're just so pretty I can't bear to put them away. I like to keep fabrics I use all the time here as well.

Plastic Bin Stash Storage, originally uploaded by jenib320.
The majority of my stash is stored in plastic bins. It's nice because they stack up discreetly under my sewing table and it's easy for me to see what's in them. In addition I also use a small plastic chest of drawers and a printer paper box.

Scrap Happy, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I like to keep my scraps in two drawers of a plastic storage unit. I have them separated by color in gallon ziploc bags.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind
*Store fabric stash out of direct sunlight. It can fade your fabrics over time.

*Get creative. Look around your home for storage materials before running out to the store. It's all about making-do. That way there is more money for fabric.

*However you choose to store your fabric, keeping it to one single layer is helpful so that you don't have to move or unpack fabrics to get to other fabrics.

The next post in this series is on Organizing Your Stash by Color


  1. If the genie popped out of the bottle and let me choose one person's fabric stash, it would be yours! (OK, I know it's that Park Slope stack that's making me see stars.) Thanks for the eye candy. I just love looking at stacks of fabric!

  2. I love your organized scrap storage. I'm doing that today.

  3. Great wrap-up! My scrap stash is still fairly small, so I keep it all in one bin, but I like the idea to color sepearate them. Thanks for sharing!

  4. These post are really great and informative! Thanks for sharing! Your banner is so pretty, perfect for February! =)

  5. What a great post! Lots of info...the pink cabinet is my fave!

  6. I love these guides..they are really great, thank you ♥

  7. Great post! I have been using plastic bins so far but my stash is growing faster than I anticipated. I certainly got some ideas from reading this, especially the Ziploc bags for scraps! Genius.

  8. I love this post! Thank you for sharing so many pictures and great ideas about how to store your stash. These guides are so helpful. At the moment mine are sitting on top of a large open shelf that I have above my sewing area in the corner of my living room. I'm thinking that some kind of better storage system will need to happen soon, as scraps are beginning to take over plastic bags. Hmm...

  9. Thank you for this post - I am currently trying to reorganise my stash and the ideas are really helpful. I have gone for the mini bolts as I have shelving and I find I tend to make a bit of a mess pulling out something from the bottom of a pile. I do have one silly little question though... do people always keep a clean edge on their stashed fabrics so they are always sqaure or rectangular (and cut off and put the left overs from cutting around patterns etc in their scraps section?)

  10. look way to young to have figured this all out. It took years of drowning in my fabric before I started getting it together..sort of.
    Great post..very informative.

  11. This post (plus a couple snow days) gave me the kick in the butt I needed to clean and organize! Thanks!

  12. This is a great post and loved it...

  13. This was really really helpful! I've only made two quilts so far, from kits where the whole project was planned out for me. I want to try coming up with something myself though and I'm lapping up your series here. I have quite a lot of fat quarters stashed away and in no kind of order, and it's quite overwhelming and makes me give up trying to figure out. Really great collection of ideas here- I especially like that clear-plastic shoe-storage for scraps.

  14. Thanks for posting this! It gave me that little extra push I needed to pull out all my fabric, iron it, re-fold it, & organize it all so I could be a bit more productive. I'm still not 100% satisfied with my options for storage but it's much better now than it was before!

  15. What a lovely and informative post.
    I redid my closet with the Rubbermaid Homefree closet organizer. I own my home and consider the money I put in the closet as an investment. Who doesn't love a closet with organization and options. I consider it a small selling feature...that's how I sold the idea to MR and it worked...and it's true. It is so eays to pull fabric for a quilt when it is organized. I just pull a color stack out, sort through it for what I want, and put the rest of the stack back on the shelf. When I've ironed and cut what I want from the pulled fabrics, I just put them back on the top of the stack. If I decide i need more variety in the quilt it is easy to figure out which fabrics have already been used.

  16. I came across your blog via the mug rug madness. I liked your post so much that I started to nose around. Stash is heavy (not in a bad way) on my mind and I was sorting scraps last night. I ended up putting them in gallon bags as a temporary solution but seeing your post here, I'm thinking it can be much more permanent.

  17. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing!

  18. what if you have purchased complete lines? do you still sort into colours? even if you know you want to use them together for a certain project? btw i am liking this series!, thank you.

  19. Of the numerous services I've used in the ten months, few have been as helpful as them. The manager goes out of his way to make sure customers understand what they're getting and get what they want.
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  20. I think it makes sense to store the scraps in see-through boxes as they look so pretty! Awesome tips.

  21. And here it is 2019 and I am reading your color series and enjoying your ideas on fabric folding and storage. I just bought a large antique armoire to put in my dining room because I’m doing my sewing there rather than in the chilly basement by myself. I am a new quilter but an experienced stashed, as I also knit. ;). Your color series is very helpful.


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