Getting Organized {how to organize your sewing corner}

When I’m asked to describe myself, the first word that always comes to mind is ‘organized.’ I’m by far one of the most organized people I know. I get a little obsessive about it at times and yet I’ve never had the feeling that everything around me is organized. There’s always one more thing to color-coordinate or add labels to.

So thanks to my cleaning and organizing fetish, I have a new mini-tutorial on how to organize those really cumbersome sewing items.

I have a bucket of buttons, a basket of fabric scraps, and a Tupperware of fabric pencils and tape measures. Tidy. Organized. Beautiful. But when it came to my reels of ribbon, washi tape, bobbins and thread spools, I had one big messy drawer of the stuff. These items don’t really stack and when jumbled together in one big area, are hard to find and can really slow a project down.

My dad can look at just about anything and then go home and make it, so he made this handy dandy thread spool rack. Unfortunately, I was still feeling horribly unorganized over the drawer of washi tape, ribbon reels and impossible-to-find bobbins. 

So I went to the hardware store and began brainstorming. Which I just want to throw out, is actually a horribly dangerous thing to do. Kind of creates a “system overdrive” type of feeling.

The ribbon reels were easy: 7/16″ x 48″ wooden dowel & curtain rod brackets. Hang the brackets, string your ribbon reels onto the dowel, set the dowel on the brackets. Done and done.

Then came the bobbins which took a little more thought and this idea will only work for your metal bobbins since I’m working off the fact that they’re magnetic.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

(supplies) 

  • square aluminum tubing (1″ diameter x 3′ long)
  • metal brackets with screws (1/2″)
  • magnetic tape (1/2″ wide)
  • super glue (hot glue would also work)

(tools) 

  • drill
  • drill bit (3/8″)
  • tape measure
  • coping saw
  • purple mechanical pencil

Start out by measuring the space where you want your bobbins to go. I hung mine vertically but the great thing about this being a magnetic organizer is you can hang it however you wish, so play around with it. Give horizontal or even diagonal a try.

Once you’ve measured your space, you may need to trim some of the tubing. Use a coping saw for this and make sure you mark where you will be cutting. It takes some determination to stay on mark when cutting through tubing by hand, so make sure you draw a line where you’ll be cutting around the entire tube to ensure you stay on mark the whole way through. Oh, and use the purple pencil to do this. That’s essential.

You may want to use rough sandpaper to smooth out the cut edge once you’ve got the tubing the right size.

Now take a damp cloth and rub the entire tube down to remove any dust and debris.

Now you can add your adhesive magnet! Since the tube is 1″ in diameter and the magnet is 1/2″ inch, this is going to be a perfect fit – but only if you have the first strip of tape aligned perfectly with the edge of the tube. The trick is to do this without having to peel the magnet back up off the aluminum so as not to decrease the adhesiveness.

You will still likely have the ends of your magnet roll up, that’s just because it was wound in a circle in it’s packaging. No worries though, it’s nothing a dabble of super glue can’t fix.

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Then all that’s left is drilling holes in the side of the tubing where you want the brackets to go so you can anchor it to the wall, and voila!

The really exciting part of this project was the moment I realized that my little sewing scissors could also hang here. I may or may not have sung a little song about how there’s no stinkin’ way this worked out so well.

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