14 Fun & Pretty Fabric Storage Ideas

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Get organized with lots of fun and pretty fabric storage ideas.

Quilters with a fabric obsession have a few things in common: we buy a lot of fabric, we need to store a lot of spare fabrics, and we are almost always looking for different ways to store fabric in the sewing room or craft room.

fabric storage ideas

We never seem to have enough space!

I have been re-arranging my sewing room (yes, again!) and looking for the best way to store my fabric to make it easier to keep it neat.

I want to make sure I have easy access to find what I want, and storage that is nice to look at.

Of course, we aren’t all working with the same types of space, so as well as explaining how I am storing my fabric, in this post, I will also showcase great fabric storage ideas from other crafty quilters.

These great fabric storage ideas came from quilters who know that organization is key. They’ve turned some everyday items into fabric storage ideas that are useful and creative.

fabric storage ideas

My New Fabric Storage System – Folding & Rolling!

As part of my Sewing Room Sort Out Series, I did a massive re-organization of my sewing room.

A great way to do this is to take EVERYTHING off the shelves and out of the drawers and bins in order to decide what to keep, what to destash and sell, and….crucially…put the fabric stash back on the shelves in a way that makes it work better.

I have a YouTube video all about this organizing phase of my sort-out which you can watch below or read on if you want the written version!

Storing Large Pieces of Fabric

I have an Ikea Billy Bookcase, which is the storage area for most of my fabric.

ikea billy bookcase - fabric storage
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I know a lot of sewers who store fabric on a bookshelf, purchase comic book boards, and fold and pin their fabric around those.

Still, realistically I don’t see myself refolding fabric around comic book boards every time I take it down so that solution wasn’t going to work for me.

Instead, I thought about how I tend to use my fabric.

I am a scrappy quilter, so I reach for the small pieces of fabric more often and the larger pieces less frequently.

So in order to store my fabric in a way that won’t cause a big mess down the line when I pull things out to use, I chose to treat my larger and smaller pieces of fabric differently.

For my larger pieces of fabric, half yard (half metre) or more, I thought it would be a good idea to fold these fabrics to fit my shelves (see below for what I did with the smaller scraps).

To fold these larger pieces – anything up to 3 or 4 yards, I cut a piece of cardboard the size of my shelves.

This means the cardboard was the same width and depth as where I wanted the fabric to go.

folding fabric
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I then folded the fabric with raw edges in until it was the same width as the cardboard and then rolled the fabric around the cardboard until it formed a rectangle the size of my shelf (see video above if you can’t picture this!).

folding fabric with cardboard
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I then removed the cardboard by pulling it gently out of the side of the fabric and placed these larger pieces in a stack on the shelf.

I also organize my fabric collection by color, so I have a stack for blue, purple, pink, low volume (white, neutrals), etc.

blue fabric folded
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If I left the cardboard inside, it would make this stack bulkier, but it might make it easier to keep neat if I pinned it (similar to the comic book boards). However, I am happy with this solution since I know I don’t pull this fabric out as often.

If you have lots of yardage, or you access larger pieces more often, you might want to leave the cardboard in place and treat them like mini bolts of fabric with a bulldog clip or something similar to keep the ends in place.

Smaller Pieces of Fabric

For my smaller pieces of fabric, anything from just under a half yard to fat quarters, a fat eighth, or even smaller, I found a great option was to roll my fabric and store it in color-separated baskets.

Sometimes I put super tiny pieces in these baskets but read below for how I store my fabric strips and fabric crumbs too.

rolled fabric for storage
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

To roll my fabric, I basically estimated the height of my baskets – I used wire baskets bought from eBay and Amazon – and folded my fabric to roughly that height and then rolled it reasonably tightly and used a small clear hair elastic to secure it.

fabric storage - rolled fabric
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Putting the rolls in these baskets means I can see inside for inspiration, I can lift a single basket off the shelf and nose around in it, and I can pretty quickly see everything I have from above as I have stood my rolls up vertically inside the baskets.

Organizing fabrics in colors is really handy when it comes to making one color blocks.

fabric storage ideas - rolliing fabric
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The other plus of this setup is that if I grab one or two rolls out to audition them for my project without upsetting all the other fabrics, nothing gets unrolled or unfolded, so keeping neat is much easier.

For many years, I have rolled my clothes for packing in suitcases to go on holiday (because it takes up less space!), but for some reason, before now, it never occurred to me to use this organization tip in the sewing room.

I much prefer this rolled fabric setup. So far, I am finding it is a brilliant way to keep my fabric tidy, and I think it looks pretty, too.

fabric storage ideas
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Storing Fabric Scraps

So, as I said above, some of the rolled fabric is probably of a size that many quilters would call ‘scraps,’ but for me, the ‘scraps’ that I feel need to be stored differently from my other fabric are crumbs and fabric strips.

Storing Fabric Crumbs

storing fabric crumbs
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Crumbs, for me, are small pieces left over after cutting out units for quilt blocks or other projects. They usually have odd angles and aren’t perfect squares or rectangles.

Sometimes they can be larger than a mini charm pack square (2.5″) and sometimes smaller.

fabric storage idea
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I store these by color as well. I have been using packaging boxes from my monthly coffee subscription. It comes in a cardboard box with magnetic closure, and I add a new color of crumbs each month.

For the colors that don’t have a box yet, I store the crumbs in a Ziploc bag tucked in beside that color’s basket of rolled fabric.

Eventually, I won’t have any more bags, and they will all be in easy-to-access boxes.

Storing Fabric Strips

I store fabric strips in a few ways.

binding strips
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If the strips are of a good length – half WOF (width of fabric) roughly or more – and they are in one of the two widths I use for quilt binding strips (2.5″ and 1.75″) they go in their own small storage container on the ‘binding strips’ shelf.

fabric strips storage
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If they are a different width or they aren’t very long, then they get separated by color (again!) and stored in a Ziploc bag. I have two plastic boxes full of these fabric strip bags on one shelf of my bookcase.

Storing Other Fabric Types

In my sewing space, I use lots of different types of fabric.

The majority of what I need to store is quilting cotton fabrics, but I also have a stash of men’s shirts and material cut from old jeans that I like to upcycle into quilts.

I also have fabric samples, second-hand duvet covers that I use for quilt backs, linen and some thicker upholstery weight fabric that I use for bag making.

plastic bins for fabric storage
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I store the denim material in separate storage containers. I use plastic bins decorated with wallpaper for some of the other items that don’t clearly fit on the shelves with my cotton fabric.

They go on top of my bookshelves.

Storing Other Items

I have two other posts on previous craft room makeovers, which I will link to below, but in brief, here are some of the other ways I store non-fabric items:

thread storage
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
  • Thread is stored in a repurposed cutlery drawer insert that fits on my shelf and allows me to pull them in and out to keep everything neat.
  • I use jars for buttons.
  • I have separate plastic tubs for different types of supplies like bag handles, elastic, zippers, etc.
  • I have project bins for WIPs (works in progress).
  • I store batting and large pieces of backing fabric in a storage bench.

Another great tip is that I’ll sometimes destash and sell some of my fabrics if I don’t have enough space.

More Fabric Storage Ideas

Below are some more creative DIY fabric storage ideas from other quilters.

Because we all have different spaces and different resources!

Scrap Baskets

Small Storage Boxes

Perfectly sized for small scrap pieces, this set of small storage baskets can be placed anywhere in your crafting room.

Large Storage Bins

Clothes Storage Bins

Maybe not your typical way of storing fabric, but it can definitely work. These large storage bins can be used for large heavy pieces of fabric.

Plastic Stack and Carry Boxes

Plastic Boxes

You can’t go wrong with plastic storage boxes.

They will keep your fabric safe and secure no matter where you place them. These containers stack so that you can make room for plenty of other supplies.

I use some of these and I make them prettier by covering the fronts with wallpaper offcuts and then put a simple computer-printed label on them so I know what is inside!

Yarn Storage Organizer

Yarn Storage Bag

Even though we aren’t storing yarn, this storage bag could certainly work for fabric and it is portable. Plus, you can also store a few of your cutting supplies too.

I hope this post has given you some ideas for great organization in your own sewing space and remember there is always a solution even if you are working with a small space.

If you can’t fit a dedicated bookshelf or plastic tubs you can always use a closet and hang fabric from a curtain rod with pants hangers or use a small filing cabinet and put your fabric in paper folders.

Get creative and hopefully, you’ll find a solution that fits the way you sew!

Video Version – My Epic Summer Sewing Room Sort Out

Other Posts you Might Enjoy: