I tend to collect fabric. Sometimes I get fabric from someone getting rid of it. Sometimes I buy a cute fabric when it’s on sale with an idea of what I want to make. Sometimes I save sheets and table clothes just for the fabric. So, I have a lot of fabric that I need to store.How to make mini bolts of fabric and other sewing storage | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

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A while ago a saw the post Mini Fabric Bolts and Some Studio Organization by Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots, and I thought it was brilliant. I had tried stacks of fabric and boxes of fabric and shelves of fabric, but it all ended up an unorganized mess. I loved the idea of making my own mini-bolts of fabric especially since I have two shelves up in my sewing closet where I can store/display them.

My fabric bolts aren’t quite as cute as Maggie’s, but I love them anyway. It’s like my own personal mini-fabric store now. Here’s how I made them:

Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

Measure the shelf

My fabric bolts need to fit on the shelves in my sewing closet, which is 11 inches deep and 11 inches high. It doesn’t matter how long the shelf is because I will just stack the bolts until I run out of space.

Cut the cardboard

We happened to have a lot of diaper boxes when I started this project, so I cut those up to make the cardboard inserts for the bolts. Any cardboard will work.Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.comThe fabric wraps around the cardboard making the bolts wider and wider, depending on how thick the fabric is. So, I cut my cardboard 3 inches narrower than my shelf, 8 inches, so that even the really thick fabric will still fit on the shelf. I made the cardboard 1 inch shorter than the height of the shelf just to make it easier to put the bolts in.

Fold the fabric around the bolt

Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

Secure the fabric

I folded each piece of fabric until it was 10 inches tall, the height of the cardboard, but left it the full length. Then I folded the fabric around the cardboard. I pinned the end of the fabric onto the bolt to make it secure. This also helps when I’m pulling bolts off the shelf so that I don’t accidentally unfold all the bolts around the one I want.
Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

My scrap fabric box

I have a few scraps of fabric that were too small to make into bolts, so they are stored in the box at the end of the shelf. It’s pretty easy to rummage around in such a flat box and find the scrap I want.
Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

Top shelf storage

sewing-closet-top-shelfI had to get rid of a lot of fabric when we moved, so I only have enough bolts to fill one shelf right now. I’m sure I’ll have filled both up in a few years. Right now, the top shelf holds stuffing, gift wrap supplies, jewelry-making parts, a crate of old clothes to up-cycle, and a throw pillow I need to recover.


My last sewing storage solution is for my ribbons. Like my fabric, it helps to see exactly what ribbons I have. I wound them around the rod that was used for hanging clothes. It’s nice to be able to see what ribbons match whatever project I’m working on. I use paper clips to keep some of them from un winding.
Mini Bolts of Fabric | SimplePracticalBeautiful.com

My mini fabric bolts and my ribbon rod make me feel like I have my own personal fabric store in my sewing closet. Please, share any ideas you have about fabric storage in the comments below! I’m always looking for new ideas to make sewing easier.

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