15 Minutes to Organize

by: Marie Zinno

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What to do with our multiplying supply of trims, ribbon and accessories we’ve accumulated for sewing and machine embroidery? Believe me; everyone has the same problem when it comes to storage in our sewing and embroidery studio. There are numerous storage solutions available for this situation such as plastic tubs, drawer towers and metal grid type units. But one of my most useful and economical go-to organizing devices is the over-the-door shoe holder.

A clear vinyl shoe holder is an absolutely perfect container for many things and useful in many rooms! I recall one of my little sisters (smarter than I and very practical) mentioned this little secret years ago.

The need for storage in my laundry room has changed over the years. Originally, the over-the-door organizer was used to hold my son’s remote controls for toy trucks and Match Box® cars, my daughter’s endless Barbie® dolls, bottles of bubbles and art supplies. As my children grew older, (sniff sniff) I continued to use the same unit (it is now 10 years old) for a variety of household items. Presently, it is corralling batteries, sun block, cellular phone chargers, sunglasses and whatever else does not have a permanent home.

Teenagers accumulate an extremely large amount of items in their bedrooms. I know the over-the-door organizer has helped my daughter keep her belts, scarves and hair accessories neatly in plain sight. And, by the way, it does hold approximately twelve pairs of shoes!

Most of the embroiderers I meet complain about storage issues. I know firsthand how frustrating it can be when you are in a time crunch and looking for a specific tool, specialty stabilizer or embellishment. Make your organized work area a lifestyle, not a chore. Work in small segments, take 15 minutes and get started. Unearth that tub of trims and sort it out. trims2

Finish your 15-minute organizing segment by stashing the trims in the over-the-door unit. trims4

The over-the-door holder can be purchased at most big box retailers and are generally found in the laundry aisle. I suggest selecting a clear vinyl holder even though it’s tempting to fall for the pretty print or solid color fabric. Clear storage containers are the answer to your organizing issues. If you can see it, you will use it or as my mother always said “out of sight, out of mind”.  In sewing terms that translates to “if you cannot see something, you will definitely buy more of the same thing you already have.”

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

What items in your home have you re-purposed for storing your embroidery supplies? Three comments will be chosen to receive a coupon code to EmbroideryArts.com worth $39.95 which can be redeemed for downloadable or mail-order monogram sets. The winners will receive their code by email, and can choose any products of their choice from 194 styles, inspired by designs from the renaissance to the present. Good luck!

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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us what project you would stitch first with a Hoop Guard. One lucky comment below will be chosen to receive their very own Hoop Guard!

The winner is… Sherrie S.  “Definitely on all kids shirts under 4T and on diaper cover panties! Three month size is not fun!” – Congratulations Sherrie!

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172 Comments on 15 Minutes to Organize

  1. Susan Davies
    March 19, 2014 at 11:01 am (6 years ago)

    The containers I get my lunch meat in (hillshire Farms) have clear plastic on the bottom and snap lid. Makes it real easy to store anything in. I also use my labelmaker to put on the outside what it is so I can go straight to it when I stack them. Ziploc quart size is definately my best friend.

    Reply
    • Martha Williams
      April 5, 2014 at 2:40 am (6 years ago)

      I use a fishing tackle box for storing all my hand embroidery skeins. It was a gift to my husband and he didn’t need it so I took it. It has several drawers to store the thread. I like using old hat boxes for lace. Although not clear,I label them .

      Reply
  2. Laura
    March 19, 2014 at 11:03 am (6 years ago)

    I’ve used extra bins from my daughters IKEA toy storage to keep all my stabilizers together on the shelf. And I keep all my scissors in one of those three tiered office desk pencil holder things. My fray checks and stitcher aid are in an old shallow cookie tin without the lid on.

    Reply
  3. Debra Fabre
    March 19, 2014 at 11:05 am (6 years ago)

    I use tissue paper tubes and cut a slit on each end and slip the trim in the slit and wrap around and secure the other end in the bottom slit. I also use in the same fashion, card board cut in the same size of each other with slits on each end for secure wrapping and store in a small box.

    Reply
  4. Marilyn Weiss
    March 19, 2014 at 11:08 am (6 years ago)

    A graduated clear acrylic holder from a card shop that was going out of business that was used to display small items. The slots are the perfect size for needle packs and are deep enough that I can store several packs together of often used sizes and types. At a quick glance I can grab exactly the needle that I need or immediately see when I need to replenish a type of needle. I also use two of the slots for fray check and silicone lubricant.

    Reply
  5. Shelly Christensen
    March 19, 2014 at 11:21 am (6 years ago)

    I buy my stabilizer in rolls and needed a better way to trim off the size for my hoop. I was setting the roll on a box and pulling the length out and when I went to cut it the roll falls off the box, so I am having my DH build me a stand like the paper towel holders so I can slip the roll over a dowel and pull it out like the paper towels in my kitchen. It has 3 dowels for my cutaway, tear away and water soluble stabilizer. I can’t wait until he finishes it today.

    Reply
  6. Cheryl
    March 19, 2014 at 11:24 am (6 years ago)

    I use an old 3-section crystal relish dish to hold straight pins … a different type in each section. It’s pretty and easy to carry from the cutting table to the area next to my machine.

    Reply
  7. Mitzi
    March 19, 2014 at 11:28 am (6 years ago)

    I use a metal wine rack to organize and store rolls of stabilizer. Each roll is wrapped with a piece of static-cling ‘wonder tape’ on which I’ve written the description of the stabilizer with a Sharpie permanent market

    Reply
  8. Cassandra Hammond
    March 19, 2014 at 11:30 am (6 years ago)

    The item I have re-purposed is a wardrobe that was given to my in-laws when they married. My husband converted it into pull out shelves to hold a sewing machine and serger. There is a place for hoops, extra storage in drawers and a pull out thread rack. When I am not sewing, I can close it up and I have a beautiful piece of furniture.

    Reply
  9. Mariana Cary
    March 19, 2014 at 11:35 am (6 years ago)

    I have plastic containers. Label them .Inside each container there is a sheet with the inventory what is inside and the approx yardage ( if it is the case for ribbons and lace ) .
    For stabilizer , each kind has a tote bag that has also a label ( as many times there are some left from proyects and odd pieces that cannot be roll again . For the stabilizers that are in roll ,I use a wine rack on my upper level of my closet on my studio .
    Threads are consolidated on bins according to colour and weight . As well as needles , separate from serger ones .

    Reply
  10. SANDRA CUNNINGHAM
    March 19, 2014 at 11:35 am (6 years ago)

    2723 Carmine Road/34293 All the wet wipes boxes which close tightly to keep them moist akk\\lso keeps this snug and dry and non-spill. The fenestrated opening on some would allow easy access to short rolls of stabilizer or other such things!
    Also an old well-used colander make a fascinating light shade.

    Reply
  11. SANDRA CUNNINGHAM
    March 19, 2014 at 11:40 am (6 years ago)

    Wet wipes boxes which close tightly to keep them moist& also keeps this snug and dry and non-spill. The fenestrated opening on some would allow easy access to short rolls of stabilizer or other such things!(Label & decorate)

    Also an old well-used colander make a fascinating light shade.

    Broken sewing needles make great wall hangars in stead of nails!

    Reply
  12. beth daniels
    March 19, 2014 at 11:43 am (6 years ago)

    I use wooden holders for cutley for putting in rotary cutters and awls, seam rippers and other supplies. These can be stacked on one another. I also use a wine rack for the rolls of my stabilizers.

    Reply
  13. judy wentz
    March 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm (6 years ago)

    I use two plastic carts with shallow drawers to store all of my thread. A different color in each drawer, reds, blues, greens, yellow, etc., each drawer labeled of course. I use an old television cabinet to store my stabilizer and projects. The opening the TV was in now has dowels attached horizontally for stabilizer and ribbon on rolls. I store my projects In plastic totes that are put on the shelves of the cabinet. I also use a letter opener (the kind with a blade) to cut my stabilizer.

    Reply
  14. Mary Haggenmaker
    March 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm (6 years ago)

    Have an old formica table (circa 1955) that has a bar going across from one leg to the other on each end. Put a shelf across the bars and I now have a shelf for my stabilizers that I have colored elastic on to indicate what they are. The elasic is 1 inch wide so I can also write on it.

    Reply
  15. Barbara KRatz
    March 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a silverware holder from a worn out dishwasher to hold my scissors, marking pens, seam ripper, tweezers and any other accessories that will fit.

    Reply
  16. Brenda Grern
    March 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a drawer to stire my threads and arrange by color.

    Reply
  17. Donna N.
    March 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the large clear containers spinach comes in for different projects. It holds fabric, trims, thread and patterns.

    Reply
  18. Linda Snow
    March 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm (6 years ago)

    I also use a wine rack for small rolls of stabilizer! On one wall, I have peg board for scissors and tools and it also holds two thin curtain rods (the cafe curtain type) to hold rolls of ribbon and tulle.

    Reply
  19. Angela Bright
    March 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the plastic bags that sheets/bedding come in to store my different unfinished projects.

    Reply
  20. Carole D
    March 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm (6 years ago)

    Needles of all different sizes fit nicely into empty pill bottles. If you have a large enough one, you can fit smaller scissors inside. I also store many things including rotary cutters in plastic pencil cases.

    Reply
  21. claudia hermansen (Create with Claudia)
    March 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm (6 years ago)

    When I could no longer run up and down stairs to my ‘studio’ upstairs, I brought down all my smaller machines and put them in what was originally a linen closet. I put my over the door ironing door inside one door and yes, the over the door shoe pockets on the inside of the other double door! I put my 6 needle embroidery machine in my master bedroom closet–it is huge and I had planned it for a small sewing center and ironing center so I had the electrical outlets and track lighting on the wall. I cleared out one clothing rack and hung organizer cloth boxes for books, and clear thread plastic containers. I put my stabilizers in another type of clothing rack hanging shoe organizers. It has 20 generous pockets for my stabilizers! I put a white peg board on the wall and that holds my hoops, scissors and clamps. I also have a cork board that holds my inportant papers, receipts, stabilizer chart, needle chart, color wheel, etc. I have a small sewing table that doubles as a hooping and cutting center and sometimes has a small sewing machine on it for mending. If I am using a small sewing embroidery machine, I use my kitchen island which is perfect for cutting and sewing standing up (use more calories and better for posture!). I get everything cleaned up before dinner and back in the old linen closet which is now the sewing closet holding also boxes of threads and fabric.

    Reply
  22. Verneta Werkmeister
    March 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm (6 years ago)

    I use ziplock bags and plastic tubs and dividers. In process of printing out samples of all my designs. Will organize them in binders by category of dogs, bears, hearts, marriage, fonts, etcetera. Will be a huge timesaver when I am finished. This will enable me to find a design quickly and to remind me so hopefully I will not buy another duplicate design! Thank you and God bless you!

    Reply
  23. Janis Easter
    March 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm (6 years ago)

    I have used the zipper cases that curtain panels come in. They usually have a pocket that stick a file card in with notes of what is in the bag.

    Reply
  24. Ann Barton
    March 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm (6 years ago)

    My hubby bought a wicker wine bottle holder at a garage sale, I have no idea why since we don’t drink. After a week or 2 I re-purposed it into holding my rolls of stablizers. Later I purchased (at an auction for a fantastic price) a large buffet style credenza with about 20 wine bottle holders. More space for the stablizer rolls and a cutting mat for the top, more sewing stuff stashed in the drawers

    Reply
  25. Kelly Campbell
    March 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm (6 years ago)

    When my big spools are almost empty I transfer the remaining thread to a bobbin and use a slip of paper and rubber band to mark the color and color code. It saves a lot of space. Several bobbins fit where one spool was.

    Reply
  26. Kelly Campbell
    March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the zipper plastic cases for sheets and pillow cases to store stabiliser. I have one from a quilt that I put all the others in and and rolls too long to fit in the others

    Reply
  27. Joyce Debter
    March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm (6 years ago)

    I have everything I own filled with specialty fabrics, threads, and trims. I use Ikea storage bins, plastic bins , chest of draws, ziplocks like I said—–everything.

    Reply
  28. Wanda Jones
    March 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

    I use an empty pill bottle to collect used needles and bent pins for recycling.

    Reply
  29. Pam Harris
    March 19, 2014 at 1:45 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a hanging jewellery hanger to store small items such as bobbins, embroidery feet for my machine and so forth

    Reply
  30. Rebecca Cochran
    March 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm (6 years ago)

    Not so much an embroidery supply but an embroidery enhancement. I use the small bottles candy sprinkles come in to store small loose beads and sequins. They are clear and have tight fitting lids and small enough that your not using excess space to hold a small amount of supplies.

    Reply
  31. Shanon Davis
    March 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm (6 years ago)

    I have gone vertical. I bought the horizontal wire racks that bolt to the wall when Linens N Things went out of business. I use pegs to hang notions, cones of serger thread, etc. (Looks like a Joanns or Hobby Lobby!) I have an Ikea bookcase for my fabric, but I too use the over the door shoe holder for my stabilizer. I would like to use more shoe holders except I would probably need at least 12 more doors in the small 8′ x 10′ room.

    Reply
  32. MoeWest
    March 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a small wine rack to hold rolls of stabilizers. The dollar store is a great place to get containers. I have a few desk organizers (they resemble cutlery trays only smaller) that are great to keep beside my machine for seam ripper, marking pens, needles etc.
    I have a 3M Command hook stuck on the right side of my machine to hang a pair of small scissors.

    Reply
  33. Susan J
    March 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm (6 years ago)

    I found a room divider with 8 baskets @ Costco. My husband put four together and set them against one wall of my studio and I organized my stash of fabric in the baskets by both color and type. When I need red fabric, I can just pull out the basket labeled “red” and there is all my red fabric to choose from. When I am starting a Christmas project, I pull out the three baskets labeled Christmas fabric and choose what I want. When I visit the fabric store, I can come home and deposit any purchases in the appropriate basket (unless they are for immediate use). I will also put design collections in the baskets as well. There are Christmas designs in the Christmas baskets, children’s designs in the Children’s basket, etc.

    Reply
  34. 2ne
    March 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm (6 years ago)

    I store my embroidery stach in plastic cases – sorted out in colours – and I have a lot of it……… Keep all my stach in my sewing room. Have made bags for sewing equipment as well – great for brining on sewing meetings 🙂

    Reply
  35. Amy Daniel
    March 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm (6 years ago)

    I like to use the containers gourmet international instant coffee comes in. They are perfect for small parts. The clear snap on lid is petfect for labeling and they stack nicely.Using tins add a nostalgic flair to my work area.

    Reply
  36. lawana whaley
    March 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a wine rack that my brother made me over 30 years ago to hold the rolls of stabilizers and interfacings

    Reply
  37. kbo
    March 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Using an empty sturdy saran wrap container to hold my thread selection for machine embroidery sewing. It can hold big and small spools and I can put the colors in order and it fits in easily front of my Janome 350E.

    Reply
  38. Odette
    March 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm (6 years ago)

    I use laundry sorting baskets for my fabric and silverware trays for bobbins and tools

    Reply
  39. Nancy Christensen
    March 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm (6 years ago)

    I used some old tubs and drawers I had for school supplies, that I put ribbons and other sewing supplies in

    Reply
  40. Lauree Scott
    March 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm (6 years ago)

    I take old machine needles and use them to pin up patterns on my wall in my sewing room so I can see what I wanted to make next. It helps me not only find them, but it reminds me of what I had intended to make.

    Reply
  41. Lynn
    March 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm (6 years ago)

    I like clear stackable boxes with flat lid as so I can see the color of my ribboneps.

    Reply
  42. Beth
    March 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm (6 years ago)

    I use Tupperware or any plastic containers with lids for storage. Some of the things I have in them are cut pieces of velcro to use like snaps, buttons stored by theme, D rings & O rings, and many other small supplies I have. I have my zippers in a plastic shoe box size plastic bin. I try to keep the plastic clear or at least kind of see through so that I know what is in there…..otherwise I would forget what is in them! I also save all my old sewing machine needles to hang things on the walls. Now I’m going to read every other post so that I can get some new/great ideas!

    Reply
  43. Genness Addenbrook
    March 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm (6 years ago)

    I needed a sturdy work table in my sewing room so I found a used wooden baby changing table at a consignment store & we put an old Formica countertop (saved when we remodeled our kitchen) on top of it fastening it down with “L” brackets. Perfect height & there are two doors underneath that open to 2 storage shelves so gained storage space too:)

    Reply
  44. Frances Powell
    March 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a old bookcase that we were going to throw away to store fabrics. I put it in the walk-in closet, so no one can see that it is old and ugly. I also use an old prescription bottle with a child resistant lid to store old needles and pins.

    Reply
  45. Terri Bradford
    March 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm (6 years ago)

    The plastic containers my dishwasher pods come in. I save them and use them to store and organize smaller sewing items. Sweater storage bags. I make a lot of different things for people and when they bring me something to do, or I start a project of my own, I gather everything and put it in a sweater storage bag to streamline the process. At my local dollar store, they are just a dollar for a pack of two! And lastly, I save the fabric pouches some linens come in to store my foot pedal and other accessories for my machine when I’m embroidery, etc. Keeps it dust free and safe!

    Reply
  46. Peg Schmidt
    March 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm (6 years ago)

    I recycled my husbands metal cabinet that has 20 small plastic drawers to store snaps, small sewing supplies, crystals, buttons, etc

    Reply
  47. Kathy Konegan
    March 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the plastic over the door shoe rack to hold my embroidery stabilizer. I also use the jars from Yankee candles to hold sewing machine needles, quilting clips and other sewing notions.

    Reply
  48. Alice Phillips
    March 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm (6 years ago)

    My hair dresser was going to discard a small cart with slide out trays that held rollers and permanent wave rods. I told her I would take care of getting it to the trash for her and it now holds my rolls of stabiliser, scissors,rotary cutters,and various other sewing notions.

    Reply
  49. jo shedd
    March 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm (6 years ago)

    My DH put shelves in a double glass door gun cabinet and installed on a countertop long cabinet. I love being able to see what’s behind the glass doors at a glance and the long drawers above doored shelveing units across the bottom cabinet which hold alot
    while closed off from dust.

    Reply
  50. Aggie O'Neil
    March 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a old Christmas Card box to store my sticks with designs on them. Also use my husbands tool bag for my sewing tools keeps things all together and I know where my things are.

    Reply
  51. Kathy
    March 19, 2014 at 6:36 pm (6 years ago)

    When we moved into our new house, my husband was moving a cabinet from the basement. I looked at it and said I need that in my sewing room to repurpose as an ironing center. I covered the top with a board that I covered with insulbright and batting. Just the right height and large.

    Reply
  52. Carolyn morgan
    March 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm (6 years ago)

    Of course I use the ovr-the-door shoe holder. My friend is a seamstress who specializes in formal and bridal wear. she uses a lot of bra cups inserts and she gives me the clear “booby” containers, as we call them. They are clear, strong plastic with hinged lids and are stackable.

    Reply
  53. Linda Foulks
    March 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm (6 years ago)

    I have an old coffee mug stand that I painted which now holds my different size scissors next to my embroidery machine. I bought a revolving necklace holder that holds all my rotary cutters. I got a small clear box for fishing jigs that holds my different size needles. A wine rack for my long rolls of stabilizers and a metal pants hanger for my short rolls. I have an old accordion style peg coat holder that I attached to the wall that holds my different size hoops. I bought a small wooden library card cabinet to hold extra rotary blades, glue sticks, and other small items.

    Reply
  54. Vonee
    March 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm (6 years ago)

    I re-purpose just about everything I can…however my favorite item is a large magnetic tray that mechanics use when they are working on cars. It has a very strong magnet so I have it vertical on the front of my 6-needle embroidery machine stand to hold my small sissors, my screw driver and all other tools needed to operate my embroidery machine. And best of it will never fall off even if I bump into it. I would be lost without it!

    Reply
  55. Shirley Clark
    March 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm (6 years ago)

    My daughter threw away a tray that makeup came in one year after Christmas. It is about 18 x 12 inches, and it had divided compartments in it. I grabbed it quickly, and took it to my sewing room.
    I put my most used colors of embroidery threads in it. I have a cubby hole under my desk that it fits in perfectly.
    I wish I could find some more of those!

    Reply
  56. Brenda Sutton
    March 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a round multi sectional utensil holder to put my scissors, rulers, and other small items in for ease of use. Also small items like Fray Check and needles have their own little sections.

    Reply
  57. Norma Jean McDarmont
    March 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm (6 years ago)

    In the past I used shoe boxes to divide projects in. Now I can purchase the clear project bins to store in. I also use the Rubbermaid very small containers for my small notions. They snap together and can stand very tall. I use Mason jars (canning jars) to store buttons and some trims in. I also use plastic baskets to store some of my fabrics in. I like the idea of storing in a wall hanging over your door. I believe the quote “out of site, out of mind.” It rings true to me when I go through my sewing “stuff” and attempt to organize it. It is like, “wow, forgot I had this from 5 years ago.” Thanks Eileen for all the tips and suggestions and free ideas you give us.

    Norma Jean McDarmont
    803 Standish Court
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

    Reply
  58. Peggy T
    March 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm (6 years ago)

    I have trims stored in zipper bags, then put all of the like color bags in plastic drawer units. I labeled the drawers with the colors that go in them.
    I also use an old spice jar with holes in the top for my broken pins and needles.
    Other items for my craft room are stored in an old metal cabinet that I covered with contact paper in a pretty design. The shelves inside hold plastic boxes from the dollar store that each have a label for what is inside. The doors of the cabinet have narrow shelves that are just right for various glues, markers, one of a kind items, etc.
    Finally, I have fabrics stored by color in plastic lawn bags that fit onto the shelf units I have. I picked up the bags on clearance, so I only paid a quarter for each.

    Reply
  59. Sandra Sanders
    March 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm (6 years ago)

    I bought a three-drawer plastic storage unit for my embroidery thread. I put the thread in each of the drawers, but you can guess each time I opened and closed each drawer, the spools went awry. I don’t like the plastic thread boxes with spindles. I just like the drawers-they’re easy to access. I cut up a little over one sheet of poster board to make dividers for each drawer. It took some time, but I’m thrilled how neat the thread spools look! They stay in place now.

    Reply
  60. Vicky Haynes
    March 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a wall mounted mug rack to hang my hoops on.

    Reply
  61. Nancy De Pas
    March 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm (6 years ago)

    Wine rack for my rolls of stabalizers.

    Reply
  62. Vicki Becker
    March 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a lot of ziplock bags to store folded stabilizers with their instructions folded on top so I can see the number and name.

    Reply
  63. Kathie Olson
    March 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm (6 years ago)

    I have an old shower curtain rod that I have put on the brackets holding a storage shelf in my sewing room. On this rod I keep all unfinished projects which I have stored in the clear plastic bags with zippers that curtains, drapes, etc come in…..I punch holes in the tops of the bags, then hang on the rod with shower curtain hooks…easy to take a project off the rod regardless of where it’s located without removing all the projects on either end….on another rod below another shelf I use pant hangers to hang projects like pillow panels, mural panels, childrens books panels, etc….it’s easy to find a project to whip up in a hurry for a childs gift or any ones special day….

    Reply
  64. Rosemary Miller
    March 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm (6 years ago)

    I have a small room for sewing/embroidery/quilting. I have to use every inch of space. I took off the double doors of the closet and fit my computer desk inside, added shelves, got some jars with covers at the dollar store and screwed the covers to the bottom of the lowest shelf. They are clear glass so I can see what is stored inside. I got 3 countertops on freecycle.org that I put in an L shape along two walls to use for sewing. I have a used tv cabinet (wood) that I put on top of the end of one counter. I have the tv on top of it, and it has two doors on it and two shelves inside. I keep a lot of my embroidery supplies inside the cabinet. My hoops for my machine are hung on the wall beside the cabinet. I have clear plastic drawers in different sizes around the room all labled with my labler so I know where everything is. Underneath the counters are 3 sets of brand new kitchen drawers that I got from a lumber liquidator place very cheap, all wood, just don’t match. I got a small wooden bureau (from a yard sale), has three drawers in it, that I used under the counter for fabric–also labled.

    Reply
  65. Mary
    March 19, 2014 at 9:20 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the Hillshire meat containers and baby wipe containers for storing sewing and quilting items. Our old kitchen Formica table is used for cutting out patterns and holding the serger.

    Reply
  66. Sheila Wagner
    March 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm (6 years ago)

    A fabric shop was closing and I got a really nice thread display for most of my threads. I use an over the door shoe bag for all of my stabilizers. At a flea market I got a nice white cabinet with a tile top that I use for my longarm supplies and books. I use shoe boxes for my sorted scraps by size. I also use three sweater fabric racks for items to be embroidered such as towels, pillowcases, etc. I use
    fabric cardboards that I have gotten from many stores and rewind my fabric on and mark the sizes.

    Reply
  67. Beth R
    March 19, 2014 at 9:32 pm (6 years ago)

    I bought a hard plastic pencil case to put my smaller scissors, duck-billed scissors, tweezers, and a small craft knife in. Helps to keep the items together, and I can easily carry the tools to class when I need to.

    Reply
  68. Stella Penalver
    March 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm (6 years ago)

    I store my 1100 yd spools of embroidery thread in Match Box Car clear cases I have bought at Walmart in the toy department. It holds 24 spools on each side and are priced very reasonable.

    Reply
  69. Angeline Brady
    March 19, 2014 at 9:34 pm (6 years ago)

    I have recycled the silverware holders from three dishwashers to hold my large assortment of scissors. They dishwasher silverware holders are sturdy (and were free) and just a quick glance finds just the exact scissor I was looking for.

    Reply
  70. JACQUELINE CURTIS
    March 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm (6 years ago)

    I have a cup holder that I use 3″ rings to hold zippers and button cards. I also found a cabinet that has about 10 shelves that slide in and out and they are about 3″ apart. I put hoops and cut stabilizers in it and then I can use the top to hoop my projects since it is tall and so am I. I cut my rolls of stabilizers with the razor letter opener, since it is so fast and easy. I hang my sewing rulers above my cutting board with the used sewing needles, so they are handy to reach. I display many of my projects that I have finished using the old sewing needles. They don’t leave big holes in the walls nor the projects.

    Reply
  71. Darlene
    March 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm (6 years ago)

    I took two wood-grain file cabinets from one room and put them into my embroidery/sewing room. I put them back to back and they make the perfect work table for hooping fabric, sewing etc. In the file cabinet drawers, I put fabric over file folders in one drawer, another drawer is filled with patterns, another drawer holds embroidery supplies that are frequently used. I put command hooks on the side to hold the embroidery hoops. It is perfect and has really helped me organize and use my embroidery room efficiently.

    Reply
  72. Gail Beam
    March 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm (6 years ago)

    I found several fishing boxes on clearance and use those for storing snaps, buttons, hooks and eyes and other small sewing items.

    Reply
  73. Linda Kirsch
    March 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm (6 years ago)

    Right now am using assorted plastic bins on casters, with several drawers to arrange my embroidery supplies. Just getting started in machine embroidery, so loved all your ideas and suggestions.

    Reply
  74. Lola Gerhard
    March 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm (6 years ago)

    I use makeup caddies to store the items I sew with frequently. I also use metal bandaid cans to hold my snipped threads, small pieces of snipped fabric, etc. when I am at quilt group. I store my fabric in an Ikea wall unit with cubicles by color. I too use an over the door clear shoe holder to store zippers, velcro, and misc. items I use only on occasion. The plastic containers that Crystal Light comes in makes great storage for small items.

    Reply
  75. Karen Poole
    March 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the pantry storage units that are made for storing the boxes of Saran Wrap, aluminum foil and such, each unit is divided into 3 sections and is for hanging on the pantry door for easy access to your rolls of goodies, I have repurposed these in my sewing room for my rolls of embroidery stabilizers and my Golden Spools tracing paper and my Swedish pattern tracing paper!! It works for anything on a roll, I have hung them side by side in my sewing room wall at eye level and they are easy to see and grab as I need them. I have a label for each type of item taped at the bottom of each compartment so there is no guessing! I also have an over the door baseball cap holder that does store some baseball hats in the upper half but the ready has other supplies that I use often, such as my thumb drives for my embroidery machine!

    Reply
  76. Joyce
    March 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm (6 years ago)

    An 18 egg carton holds my threads in the proper order for my design ready for my project. When the color is to be used more than once I leave an empty space and put it in its place after the first use and any following uses if necessary. Also, a closet organizer for panty hose makes a great way to store my hoops. It hangs on my pegboard and the hoops are in plain sight and handy.

    Reply
  77. Robin welsh
    March 19, 2014 at 11:31 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a shoe organizer that hangs from the closet rod to put my stabilizers in. I use an old spice jar to put broken needles in. I have robe hooks on the back of the door to hang my hoops. I love all these ideas because “organized” is something I always wanted to be when I grow up. I am running out of fabric space though. Looks like the serger table might have to go. Lol.

    Reply
  78. Yolanda
    March 19, 2014 at 11:32 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the Clear hard plastic containers for pencils and use them for scissors, buttons, zippers etc. and make sure to label the outside for easy identification. When I embroider, I use a baby bottle drainer that has 2 tiers and can spin, I place my threads on each spindle in order and have everything I need all together in one small area.

    Reply
  79. Casie Williams
    March 20, 2014 at 12:17 am (6 years ago)

    I keep my sewing machine feet in a small tackle box with a clear plastic lid. I’m also a real fan of zip lock bags — have my embroidery thread in them, sorted by number. I use the thread chart to pick the color I want and then look in the bag that contains that number. Much easier than trying to compare four shades of red! I also have all my small scraps sorted by color in zip lock bags. Makes finding the piece I need for machine embroidered applique much easier!

    Reply
  80. Tobey
    March 20, 2014 at 1:39 am (6 years ago)

    I clean the glass spice jar when I am finished and then I store buttons in them.

    Reply
  81. Jeannie Garcia
    March 20, 2014 at 2:29 am (6 years ago)

    I am new to embroidery, but have been quilting/sewing for a few years. I could never find a thread/bobbin holder I truly liked until one day when I was in the pharmacy. They were redoing a display so the top rack was simply a row of pegs. Underneath it was a display of “by the day” pill holders. They are the perfect size for holding a bobbin. So, with a little help from my husband, I know have a wooden rack that has pegs on top and mounted underneath a “by the day” pill box. I put the spool of thread on the peg and the corresponding bobbin in the box below. My pill boxes are clear so I can see what color is in the box. I also put a small sticker on each compartment with the “color number” of the thread in case I use the thread, but not the bobbin so I can easily return them to their proper place.

    Reply
  82. lefloch
    March 20, 2014 at 4:03 am (6 years ago)

    Cool idea i’ll definetely try. Thanks

    Reply
  83. Nancy Grove
    March 20, 2014 at 5:03 am (6 years ago)

    My sewing room has lots of second-life items, office binder clips to hold fabric that hangs from pegboard hooks, office desk organizer for buttons, elastic, sewing gadgets, etc. but my favorite “re-purposed” storage is 2 lower kitchen cabinets that measure the same width as my cutting table rotary cutter mat. They are positioned back to back with a 14″ gap between. I bought a piece of melamine and a roll of iron-on trim, had the top cut to size, finished the edges and have a lovely, sturdy cutting table that no longer wobbles plus bonus easy access storage with drawers for stabilizers, and other easily accessible items. The space between the cabinets is the perfect width for a clear plastic stacking organizer drawers with wheels on one side and I slide my larger square quilt grid rulers between the other side.

    Reply
  84. Julie Green
    March 20, 2014 at 5:18 am (6 years ago)

    When they updated the anesthesia carts at the hospital where my husband works, they gave the anesthetists first dibs on the old ones. He brought one home (no easy task – they are big and heavy) thinking he was going to put it in the garage and use it for his tools. Ha! It is now the centerpiece of my sewing room and holds all of my threads, stabilizers, notions, ribbons, etc., and quite a conversation piece!

    Reply
  85. Joan Davidson
    March 20, 2014 at 5:27 am (6 years ago)

    I reuse the plastic bags that your sheet some in – they have a zippered top and are handy to store projects in and/or scraps for poverty quilts, etc. Everything is tucked inside and the zipper ensures that whatever you have in there, stays in there. My friends save theirs for me as well.

    Reply
  86. Sharon Rogers
    March 20, 2014 at 5:41 am (6 years ago)

    I use plastic zippered pillowcase bags for patterns.
    Antique bureau for quilt and fashion fabric, plastic stackable
    Drawers for stabilizer.

    Reply
  87. Dottie
    March 20, 2014 at 5:47 am (6 years ago)

    Bought a jewelry organizer with hanger hook and pockets on both sides. It sure organizes the machine feet, scissors, 6″ ruler, markers, snips, bobbins, tweezers, red and green clips, seam ripper, brush for cleaning, point turner, needle packages, pins, USB stick, etc. I did “unsew” a couple to make more room. LOL

    Reply
  88. Veronica Morrison
    March 20, 2014 at 6:01 am (6 years ago)

    I have a chifforobe that belonged to my mother and her mother before her. It is at least 90 years old. My husband put shelves in it to hold my embroidery hoops, sewing books, and other supplies. Since my grandmother and mother loved to sew, I feel it is being put to good use. Plus, it is a beautiful piece of furniture.

    Reply
  89. Nancy N
    March 20, 2014 at 6:21 am (6 years ago)

    I use wrapping paper roll bands to keep my stabilizers in control. I got the slap band like keepers at The Container Store and they are much less than the same style embroidered with the stabilizer type that never describes what I use it for. When I run out of projects I will digitize slipcovers that can removed for this bands.

    Reply
  90. Orvalee Roe
    March 20, 2014 at 6:28 am (6 years ago)

    I keep my pins in a 35mm film canister. Now that cameras are digital those are a thing of the past.

    Reply
  91. Vici Fallin
    March 20, 2014 at 6:35 am (6 years ago)

    I use plastic snap lock containers from Dollar General to hold Floriani thread which is taller. the 11″ x 14″ approximately will hold 34 thread spools upright.I made a hall tree type storage to hold tote bags full of projects. Got them off the floor, but I am always surprised to find another UFO.Smaller fabric uder 3 yds is on Comic book storage from Amazon. Like tiny bolts. little pieces are in labeled plastic bins. Quilt projects are in plastic covered bins.I use small three hol binders( you can buy by the dozen) to put instructions for projects or lessons. I am constantly trying to improve, but always nee help.

    Reply
  92. Patty
    March 20, 2014 at 6:52 am (6 years ago)

    I use a shoe organizer to hold all of my stabilizer rolls. It hangs on the back of a closet door in my sewing room.

    Reply
  93. Ruth Thompson
    March 20, 2014 at 7:16 am (6 years ago)

    I use a large wicker basket to house my stabilizers. I stand them up in it so I can see each one. I also use a large transparent plastic bin to hold items that are waiting to be embroidered. I also store fabric and unopened stabilizers under the stairs in my basement.

    Reply
  94. Kendra Mullen
    March 20, 2014 at 7:39 am (6 years ago)

    With four grown kids, my collection of “beautiful handmade gifts” is vast. I have repurposed these little gems to hold clips, pins, etc. Every time I use one it brings a smile to my face and reminds me of when they were little and how proud they were of their latest project! It makes the kids laugh when they see their “artwork” on display and brings back great memories!

    Reply
  95. Dale Fedor
    March 20, 2014 at 8:09 am (6 years ago)

    Two things I have found very handy are empty egg cartons & I think it is an over the door shoe holder or maybe a purse holder. I use the egg cartons to put the thread I am going to use for the design in order needed next to the machine. I use the shoe holder to store all my stabilizers.

    Reply
  96. Bonnie Gray
    March 20, 2014 at 8:36 am (6 years ago)

    I use large Ziplock bags and put all the supplies, pattern, etc. in for a project and store them in one drawer under my bed close to my sewing table. Then when I have some time I can pull out the bag and work on the next step and have everything handy. Saves a lot of time. I also bought a scrapbooking lazy susan at Michaels on sale that was used for markers and pens and I have my scissors, rotary cutters, marking pens etc. handy right by my machine.

    Reply
  97. dawn g
    March 20, 2014 at 8:38 am (6 years ago)

    Once my swiffer floor sheets are used I re~purpose the container! Once I remove the labels (by the way…they just peel off), it is a rectangular clear “tub” with a lid! I store my scissors, small rulers, sewing machine feet, chalk, pens/pencils, bobbins, etc! It is my Go~To container.

    Reply
  98. Rosalyn
    March 20, 2014 at 8:50 am (6 years ago)

    Wow! What great ideas. I’m going to use some of these in my own sewing room. Thanks for sharing. I use an old filing cabinet to hold all of my patterns and different instructions. This keeps them always organized. It fits under the fold down part of my machine cabinet. I also use old desk drawer organizers to keep all the little bits organized in my drawers. My embroidery machine is on an old sturdy desk and love all of the drawers on the side.

    Reply
  99. maria elena blecha
    March 20, 2014 at 9:02 am (6 years ago)

    I bought a rolling cart at IKEA, my husband made a divided for the top one and that is where I store all my embroidery threads, I have 12 compartments, they are big enough for a number of thread spools, so I have color coordinated them. I can roll the cart so it is next to me when I sew or embroidery, it is great!!! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

    Reply
  100. CarolKE
    March 20, 2014 at 9:42 am (6 years ago)

    Peg board and baskets.

    Reply
  101. Carol Seavitt
    March 20, 2014 at 10:12 am (6 years ago)

    Cigar boxes from my dad! They are perfect for my extra embroidery thread … You know the ones that are just too tall for the regular storage case. And I LOVE your new organizing book. Just wonderful.

    Reply
  102. Vicky Isliefson
    March 20, 2014 at 10:49 am (6 years ago)

    Plastic drawers and clear adjustable compartment plastic boxes for trims, needles and feet. A 4 ft. x 4 ft. peg board on the wall. All from a home improvement store (cheaper than from sewing/craft store.) I put broken needles and pins in a container that pepper corns came in. I am NOT saving them, but I think it is safer than throwing them in the trash one at a time!

    Reply
  103. Audrey
    March 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm (6 years ago)

    The best thing that I’ve used for organizing ribbons, bias tapes and all the like are… paper towel holders. If there is a round shape with a centre to the notion, I would add it to the holder. The ones that go on the wall are the best and I organize them by application (ribbons on one, tapes on another, etc). They are very inexpensive at the dollar store but so useful!

    Reply
  104. Barbara
    March 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the clear plastic shoe holders for my stabilizers. They come with hangers and hold lots of rolls.Also keeps them from unrolling. When I remove the wrapper I stick it inside the roll so I always know which one is which.

    Reply
  105. Terry Senko
    March 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm (6 years ago)

    Zip-style plastic baggies in all sizes help me corral all kinds of things from sewing supplies to dog leashes all over my house, garage, and garden shed. Specifically for embroidery, I’m using a dollar store round trash can to hold all my stabilizer rolls upright.

    Reply
  106. Kathy Schmidt
    March 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm (6 years ago)

    I always keep the zipper bags sheets & bedding sets come in (much to my husband’s dismay) they make great dust free containers for fabrics…..easy to see when put on shelves. I love reusing items normally thrown away for totally new purposes, especially when it helps me be better organized in my sewing/embroidery “shop”.

    Reply
  107. Debby Parke
    March 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm (6 years ago)

    Any of my Tupperware or Ziplock containers that have either lost lids or broken lids become great storage containers for my needles, empty bobbins, trims, fabric markers, etc in my sewing drawers! Can grab the entire container to keep closely by you wherever you need and stack the containers to take a few in another sewing area.

    Reply
  108. janet kirby
    March 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm (6 years ago)

    I use tissue paper rolls or wrapping paper tubes to keep any leftover binding strips to use on a future quilt. I simply wind the binding around the tube and it stays neatly.

    Reply
  109. Mary Ann Genre
    March 20, 2014 at 7:13 pm (6 years ago)

    I’ve used wine racks to hold rolls of stabilizer – it works great!

    Reply
  110. Kathie Olson
    March 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm (6 years ago)

    probably my favorite re-use of household items is using bed risers on the legs of my cutting table so I don’t have to bend over to cut patterns or quilt blocks, etc…..took them to church when we had quilting for missions and the ladies all loved them so much they went out and purchased sets for their own homes!!….these are definitely back savers!!

    Reply
  111. Tamra Botkin
    March 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm (6 years ago)

    I don’t have much room in my sewing area so I use a dresser in our guest roon to store my fabric. I fold the fabric so I can see each piece. I divide by single colors, multi colors, wool, felt…and I can go right where I need and see it all and protect if from dirt. I always wash and iron before tucking any fabrics away.

    Reply
  112. Christine Ward
    March 21, 2014 at 12:15 am (6 years ago)

    The most useful storage facility is the handyman’s trolley [4’x5′]on wheels with lots of assorted size plastic containers on the metal wire shelves. No longer does this unit belong in the man’s workshed!

    Reply
  113. Jodie Taylor Hickman
    March 21, 2014 at 11:39 am (6 years ago)

    I bought a towel holder that I use to hold my open stabilizer. I use a large tub to store my unopened and less used stabilizers. I also bought some bins that stack from the Dollar store that I store my scraps in for appliqué, dividing them into colors and patterns. They stack 10 high and only take up six inch width. I like color so they are all red!

    Reply
  114. Saundra Romanus
    March 21, 2014 at 11:53 am (6 years ago)

    My Grandkids had a plastic drawer storage unit at my house that they kept markers, crayons, paper, play dough and all sort of craft supplies to play with at Mimi’s house. Now that they are 11 and 13 they rarely use it. I made them go through all the drawers and take home what they wanted to keep. Now I use it for a lot of my embroidery supplies! It was a great re-use of something that was sitting in the closet!

    Reply
  115. deb
    March 21, 2014 at 11:58 am (6 years ago)

    Mine is actually something my husband, a heavy duty mechanic, got for me. It is a Wurth parts cabinet & it is great for large emb thread spools & also has drawer liners that have all sorts of compartments to sort buttons, ribbons, sewing machine accessories & lots more. It is 4 1/2 ft tall so holds lots.

    Reply
  116. Colleen
    March 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm (6 years ago)

    I re-use the plastic bags with zippers that you get when you purchase bed linens. I use these to store together all of the materials I have for a particular project.

    Reply
  117. RUTH HAMPSON
    March 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm (6 years ago)

    I have not read the other comments yet, but my all-time favorite re-purposed item is an empty tissue box. Leave it as is for stuffing your bits of thread and fabrics, especially when at a class so as not to make a mess on the floor.
    I also use them for sundry other things by cutting diagonally from the opening to each 4 corners, bending the cardboard inside the box and then stapling the cardboard down.

    Reply
  118. janet schmell
    March 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm (6 years ago)

    My parents moved into the nursing home now so I use they’re bureaus for my fabrics & scraps along with those 3 drawer plastic bins on wheels. I have a cork board for my current projects on the wall and plastic bins for my future projects with their patterns. The notebooks are for patterns I might like to do one day. I use plastic segmented totes for all my threads to keep the dust off & are portable to classes. I use several 2 tier lazy susans for scissors, pens, rulers & markers, and a picture frame with wire backing for ‘my store’ items such as stitch markers, scissors & earings and one of those tall, thin, fake Christmas trees also for selling items & storage. It’s pretty to look at too.

    Reply
  119. Audre Gaer
    March 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a metal 18 drawer parts cabinet for machine feet, bobbins, needles, measuring tape and thimbles, snaps, safety pins, etc. I sorted all of my several hundreds of loose buttons by color and store them in snack size Ziploc bags. They are stored side by side in one 3″ high by 6″ wide drawer of a plastic organizer. It is easy to grab a bag and dump it out on my ironing board to see if I have enough of one style for a garment and then sweep them back into the bag.

    Reply
  120. Kim H
    March 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm (6 years ago)

    I am always grabbing plastic containers from the kitchen for my sewing studio. I take all sizes and shapes and use them for organizing things, containing like items, and dying/painting on fabric.

    Reply
  121. Karen
    March 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm (6 years ago)

    I use empty glass jars and also clear nut and peanut butter containers. They work well on shelves and book cases. I do not have a full door so over the door things don’t work.

    Reply
  122. becky3580
    March 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm (6 years ago)

    How about using a cardboard dividers like the ones found in boxes that contained wine or glasses – they are like a grid and work great to keep things separated in drawers or boxes. There is also a sock drawer divider that keeps things tidy. Velcro strips hold together stablizer rolls, excess sewing machine cords and even hold stacks of fabric together. A cleaned out clorox bottle with a slit in it is a great place for used needles and used rotary blades. A single metal notebook ring holds templates together so they can be stored on a peg board. A couple of inexpensive cookie sheets with magnets on each corner is a good place to store templates or other flat items to keep separated. Inexpensive eyeglass cases store and protect rotary cutters. A couple shelf shoe rack on top of a cabinet stores short and small items.

    Reply
  123. Grandma E.
    March 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm (6 years ago)

    I am in the process of turning the bedroom we used for guests into a sewing-crafting/guest room. My grandson (age 14) covered an old bulletin board with cream colored felt. Fixed it to hang vertical
    over a narrow metal computer desk (discarded)where I put my new sewing/embroidery machine. The pull out shelf holds a few books and a binder with instructions for the machine. Instead of push pins I have used discarded machine needles on the bulletin board.
    Two hold up my 4″x4″ hoop and two more hold my larger hoop. I will use another one for some of the other light weight items I need for my Embroidery Machine. Two plastic boxes that once held shower items hold my CD designs. Just behind my Sewing machine where I can easily reach them. A small makeup holder from a thrift store holds the seam ripper, wooden iron, tweezers, small rulers,etc. upright where lipsticks or brushes went. My son put an adjustable metal shelving unit just under the clothes closet rod in the closet. Four large clear storage boxes with locking tops on the bottom two shelves hold, Quilting, Sewing, Crochet/Knit materials, Christmas projects to make with supplies. All are labeled on the outside. The next shelf up has two smaller storage boxes with lids holding assorted stabilizers in one and my glue guns and sticks in the other. They stack perfectly on top of each other. Some clear shoe boxes with lids hold Quilting 1/4 yard pieces for a project and they stack on top of each other. After 50+ years of sewing and crafting I am trying to sort out, give away, use up lots of “stuff” since I can no longer do the amount I used to do. All these hints have been wonderful. Thank you to all my sisters out there for your ideas.

    Reply
  124. kc
    March 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm (6 years ago)

    I’ve been using an over-the-door shoe holder (with horizontal pouches, open on both ends) for stabilizer for years! Love it! And love that it’s out of sight until I need it.

    I also use the clear plastic, stackable, tightly lidded boxes that salad greens come in for storing cut squares and keeping projects together. The little plastic trays that frozen bbq comes in are just perfect for holding 5 cones of serger thread, behind my serger…I can keep cream in the machine and black at my fingertips, or vice versa. And my little divided lunch tray from the dollar store is perfect beside my sewing machine, holding my pin cushion, seam ripper, screw driver, spare bobbins, walking foot, etc.

    Reply
  125. Irma Clements
    March 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm (6 years ago)

    I use a cutlery insert draw to hold all my embroidery scissors ,pencils ,small ruler,screwdriver, and usb sticks etc.You can buy them in various sizes.

    Reply
  126. claudia hermansen (Create with Claudia)
    March 22, 2014 at 7:37 am (6 years ago)

    after reading all of these comments, I think Eileen shuld write a book with them all!

    Reply
  127. Connie Jordan
    March 22, 2014 at 8:47 am (6 years ago)

    I use an old (but very pretty) floral porcelain bathroom set-soapdish and cup for storage. I keep my sewing gauges, marking pens and seam rippers in the cup. The soapdish holds misc. stuff like safety pins. I also store my extra sewing machine feet in the plastic divided box we used to use for DMC floss storage. Each hole has a foot and the instructions that go with it.

    Reply
  128. Joann
    March 22, 2014 at 11:04 am (6 years ago)

    I have been using a toothbrush holder which has sections for several toothbrushes to hold my scissors on my sewing table next to my machine.

    Reply
  129. Doreen
    March 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm (6 years ago)

    I use the shoe boxes from a shoe purchase to store my embroidery thread

    Reply
  130. Rosemary Miller
    March 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm (6 years ago)

    So many great ideas–some I have used and forgotten about and so many ideas to try. This would be great in a book. Love reading all the comments.

    Reply
  131. mOm
    March 23, 2014 at 6:39 am (6 years ago)

    Wow, Wow, Wow!!! What great ideas from all you great sewing sisters! Hats off to Claudia for just the effort of moving all that sewing stuff from second floor to first floor! Wow!
    In my sewing room I use a lot of old repurposed items for storage of Threads, fabric and sewing/embroidery supplies. My favorite is an old ice box that my brother gave to me for Christmas a few years back. Yeah, what a great gift that was! I use it to store all my embroidery equipment/supplies. Keep samples and small items in the top Flip open section. It is great!
    And yes, I too, have the over-the-door organizer, repurposed from a niece who no longer wanted it. Mine is not clear, but I think the clear one would be a great item to have…just need another door! Good luck to all!!

    Reply
  132. joanne roth
    March 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi! My favorite repurposed storage item in my sewing room is the shiny red metal tool chest I “borrowed” from my husband’s tool room. It is wonderful- the drawers hold my stabilizers, patterns, notions, and machine attachments. I even have 2 drawers left over to hold toys to occupy my kids while I am sewing. It is really the best; one day I may even paint it pink…

    Thanks for your contest.

    Reply
  133. Wanda Keller
    March 24, 2014 at 5:30 am (6 years ago)

    I recycle mayonnaise jars to store my buttons, bits of lace, and ribbons. I store them in a rack that is hanging on the inside of my closet door.

    Reply
  134. Tara Dittmann
    March 24, 2014 at 6:22 am (6 years ago)

    When I moved 10 years ago I brought from my old house the multi level towel rack that hung over the bathroom door. I am able to thread my stabilizers that are on a roll through the bars and what ever I need rolls off easily. It hangs over my closet door in my sewing room. I tied a pair of paper cutting sissors with a pretty ribbbon to the side and my sissors are always ready to cut. I have a 3 tired rotating utensil holder from the kitchen next to my machines. It holds sissors markers small rulers hem rulers seam rippers etc.

    Reply
  135. Paule-Marie
    March 24, 2014 at 9:27 am (6 years ago)

    I use the empty jars from my favorite jam for buttons and other small stuff. I like the shape and the lid is a red and white check and the jam is great. I also have a table that my father-in-law made for my mother-in-law that was a solid core door. Heavy, doesn’t shift and is just the right height.

    Reply
  136. Audrey P.
    March 25, 2014 at 8:58 am (6 years ago)

    My sewing table (8 feet long)is always cluttered. To try to organize it, I took an organizer that fits inside a large purse—has large space in the middle, and many pockets inside and all around the outside. Scissors, rulers, etc. can stand up in it and be easily visible. Wonderful!

    Reply
  137. Peggy Aull
    March 25, 2014 at 10:39 am (6 years ago)

    I use a set of 4 drawers on wheels, about 12 inches wide that sits on the floor beside my sewing machine. I keep my bobbin boxes in the top drawer along with black and white thread. Second drawer holds my various sizes elastic, Third drawer holds various machine accessories, etc. Fourth drawer holds various machine instruction books. I usually have sitting on the top the project instructions etc.

    I also picked up a pretty 2 compartment container with a handle, usually used for flowers and keep on my desk with my machines and put in scissors, etc, and usually hang my tweezers for serger etc on the side for easy access.

    Reply
  138. Fran
    March 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm (6 years ago)

    I got tired of searching for my rulers and measuring tape. So I used my Seal a Meal machine and a large (Seal a Meal) bag – sealed long narrow pockets to insert my rulers and tape. I now hang it on the inside of a cabinet. It is clear and I can see what is in it. For shorter pockets I used an iron to separate one long pocket and put a slit at the top. I guess you could use this for ribbons, and other small items too, just make the pockets wider.

    Reply
  139. Sharon Davenport
    March 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm (6 years ago)

    I use an old hair dresser trolley for embroidery thread and a old curling iron stand for my scissors and snips

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  140. Debrah Goble
    March 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm (6 years ago)

    I use boxes Christmas Cards come in when they have lids to store items for specific machines. I decorate the lids and use scrapbook lettering to write what I keep in the box. I also use Altoid tins after decorating them for sewing needles, and other small items that can get lost in my sewing kit. I also do a lot of sewing with groups and have to travel so I converted ny husbands fishing tackle box- after cleaning, of course, to a sewing tackle box. It holds everything I need. Paper towel tubes can be cut to whatever length you want, cut a cardboard circle to cover one end, decorate with scrapbookong paper and use to hold smaller scissors, seam ripper etc. I use old woven placemats and sew pockets oh the long side to hold sewing supplies and use it to protect the table by setting my sewing amchine on it. Mason jars are used to hold buttons, pins, glue sticks, beads, and other small items neatly on the shelf. I covered a plastic half gallon icecream container with fabric and use it to hold cutting scraps on my cutting table.

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  141. Nancy Athearn
    March 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm (6 years ago)

    I found a small wooden three-drawer cabinet on skinny legs at a yard sale several years ago. I had an ah-ha thought, so immediately bought it. My husband sawed the legs off, leaving the approximately 12″ cute drawer unit. I took the drawer knobs off and screwed old bobbins on as drawer pulls. I keep this cabinet on the counter in my sewing room, between the embroidery machine and sewing machine. I keep my pre-wound bobbins, embroidery scissors, and various other items I use for embroidery in the drawers.

    I also found (at another yard sale) a hanging holder for men’s neck ties – it is meant to hang in the closet, and has a bar with about a dozen hooks on it. I took the hanging hook off of it (and discarded it), then mounted the hook unit on the pegboard behind my sewing machine. It holds several pairs of scissors.

    I have a spice rack mounted on the pegboard also, with about 10 glass jars in it, each holding different colors of buttons. Very pretty!

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  142. Doreen
    March 27, 2014 at 5:20 am (6 years ago)

    I use plastic baby food containers for storing pins, needles, bobbins, buttons, binder clips and various other small sewing and embroidery items. I use a lot of office supply items in my sewing area. I use metal binder clips to hold the excess material out of the way when I am embroidering. I use a wheeled tool box from the hardware store to carry my embroidery things to classes. I also use the plastic caddy’s that are supposed to hold pens, pencils, paper clips etc. to hold scissors, seam rippers, rulers and measuring tapes I have one at each of my machines. I use old pill containers for broken needles.

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  143. Linda Ward
    March 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm (6 years ago)

    I have a rollup tool organizer that I got at a home show for my father. It has small compartment for screws, nuts, bolts, etc. and it rolls up so that they don’t fall out. I use it now for organizing my large collection of buttons.

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  144. Christine Warren
    April 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm (6 years ago)

    I use Canister sets and label them. I first starting using them when I got my mothers when she passed. I put buttons thread my snap materials. It looks pretty cool in my sewing room.

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  145. Bernice Keller
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    I use many of the ideas already mentioned. I reuse all the clear zippered bags that sheet sets and even comforters come in to keep fabric and pillow forms, etc. in. I put used needles in the containers that my husband’s diabetic test strips come in. I use a behind the sink shelf for the back of my sewing table to give me an elevated space with space also underneath. It has a place underneath where I can put a roll of stabilizer instead of paper towels, and a cutting mat instead of a cutting board. I love to repurpose so reading all of these ideas is great.

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    The crux of your writing while appearing reasonable originally, did not really sit very well with me after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I still have got a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one would do well to help fill in all those breaks. When you can accomplish that, I will undoubtedly be impressed.

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  150. Charlotte Ann EllingSon
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    I was a school librarian for over twenty years at the same school. When we automated the library I bought the old card catalog from the district. Now it the keeper of all that is that is sewing or not that end up in my sewing room. Some of the draws are labeled some are not. This is my way of protecting my supplies especially my scissors. My son-in*law is a librarian and wants to use my catalog when I am no longer using it.

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