Fabric Storage Cubbies

10:50 PM

 I've always loved Pottery Barn's cubbies.  

I've planned on making some rustic ones for a while, but really never had a specific place for them in mind.  I had a bunch of 3/4" MDF that I had cut in 6" strips to build the closet door organizers.  So I decided to use these extra strips to make some cubbies I'd have to paint, rather than real wood I could stain.

Ana White has a plan on her blog to make the Pottery Barn 5 cubbies x 5 cubby design.  
I decided since this would be out of MDF and would need paint, to use it in my craft room to store fabric.  So I changed the dimensions from the plan to fit the hole in the wall where I would hang it (mine's a little wider), and the 5" squares seemed small.  So I made staggered rows to be wider and to make it easier to build.
Because the rows are staggered, so the vertical boards aren't meant to look like continuous pieces, I could nail each divider from the top and bottom.  I also didn't put a back on it knowing it would be full of fabric and you couldn't see it anyway.

So once it was built, I just painted 2 coats of satin latex paint I had from my entry bench, I didn't prime it.

  Before and After
This is the corner of our craft room/ office before.  I just had a wire shelf with the majority of my fabric and TV.  It was pretty bulky and crowded even on the rare occasions when the fabric was nicely organized.
So I took the shelf apart, keeping the bottom half.  In the space above I hung my cubbies.  Being only 6" deep rather than the 18" deep shelf makes the whole room seem more open and accessible.

The main reason I chose to make cubbies for my fabric was to help me use and find smaller fabric pieces.  I just organized my fabric in folded stacks, and you can imagine certain folds were small enough I could loose them in a big stack.

So the cubbies are only for fabric one yard or less.  I organized them by color for the most part and I hope this will make things more organized and help me use the remnants easily.
I love being able to see everything rather than digging through stacks.

I had a few cotton prints that were 2-4 yards that I folded wide to sit on the shelf on top.
On the wire shelving below, the top shelf is fabric that I have specific projects planned.  The rest of the fabric in the shelves below are just stash sorted by fabric type.  

It's always a big chore to go through and reorganize all your fabric, but it's good for me because I find fabric I had totally forgot about, so all night projects and ideas were popping in my head as I was folding and organizing.

I think the cubbies not only help with function, but it looks cool with the colors on the wall.

Here's the whole side of this room, basically my craft side, leaving the opposite corner the little "office" space. You can see the crate of patterns on the top shelf and the owl pattern case to the left of my sewing machine both used the same blue paint.
Sorry about the pile of junk on my cutting table I still need to organize and put away.

So for me, this cubby system cost around $20.  The MDF was half of a 4x8 sheet I had cut in long 8 foot strips 6" wide, so the "wood" was around $15.00
Then it was around $2.50 for D-ring hangers to screw into the cubby (I used 3)
Then a few dollars for the plastic sheetrock anchors.  I bought the self screwing kind and each had max weight of 96 lb,  I used three because this was pretty heavy even without anything in it.

It's pretty easy to build, I do have a miter saw to make all the cuts, and it was nice to have tons of little 12" clamps while I was making it.  My husband also got an air compressor for his birthday, and it came with a nail gun!!  I was excited for that.  Made the whole thing a lot faster, I usually have to countersink screws for every joint and that takes forever, where I loved using the nail gun.  
I thought about adding the labels beneath like Pottery Barn, but for now she's just plain.  I thought it might be too much with all the colors, textures, and prints already mashed together from the fabric.  Also, my style in here is also pretty minimalistic as far as decorating goes.  Everything has a function and purpose, no useless pretty accessories to look nice.  Just don't have room for merely decorative stuff.  So maybe the lack of labels matches everything else better.   Not a big deal, but what do you think?  To label or not to label?

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  1. Jess, the shelf is wonderful! I love how cozy and functional your crafty space is. All the happy colors together look wonderful.

  2. This. Looks. Amazing. I LOVE how it turned out. If I ever have a spare wall in my craft room again I am so making one of these! LOVE it!

  3. That is such a good idea. I looks great. I'm glad to see you can still get some projects done with the new baby around :)

  4. I love it!
    Makes me wish I had less fabric :-)

    And I think it would look great with or without the labels!

  5. everything you do just amazes me! so jealous that you have a sewing room like that :)

  6. the shelf looks great! its functional and makes that corner just pop! great job!!

  7. this is fantastic! functional and pretty! i like it just how it is-- no labels. that way the focus is on the fabric and the great colors.

  8. looks great--stick with no labels = )

  9. You're certainly a multi-talented gal!

  10. That is such a pretty way to store fabric, and it looks fabulous with your thread on the shelf.

    I wouldn't bother with the labels, but then, I'm a bit a lazy on finishing touches!

  11. I vote NO to the lables. We can all see whats there without trying to read a lable. Then if you change to something else, no lable change. Love the cubbies.

  12. Great job with the cubbies! I wish I had that much fabric. I agree with most of the others, skip the labels.

  13. It looks terrific. I would leave it as is too. What an inspiring sewing space. "You go girl."

  14. I love it! One day I'll have a sewing room and be able to make one of those for myself! It looks fantastic!

  15. This is wonderful! I also like how it looks like a piece of artwork on the wall. I'm surprised you didn't decide to do that entire wall with a shelf like that for all your fabric.

  16. this turned out great! i have saved for my inspiration files. for when i hopefully someday have a craft/sewing room - i can dream (i am very jealous of yours!)

  17. Absolutely wonderful! LOVE this, hoping to have hubby take a look and get inspired to make one for me :-)

  18. What an interesting post! Really outstanding. Hope you provide such updated information time to time.

  19. You did such a fabulous job-I love how it turned out! I don't think it needs labels, it's perfect just as it is. :)

  20. Me gusta mucho el trabajo, práctico y muy útil! Felicitaciones!!!
    Me harán falta un par, ja, ja, ja!


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