6 Creative Fabric Storage Ideas to Organize Your Stash

When it comes to your fabric stash, part of the challenge is knowing what you have on hand and what fabrics you still need to purchase. Sorting your fabric by color, type and manufacturer may help to "tame the beast," but organization is the key to keeping your fabrics within reach and usable for your next project. To help you get your fabric collection in order, we've collected some creative fabric storage ideas!

Discover 6 affordable and achievable fabric storage solutions for a more organized space:

Fabric creatively sorted and stored on Craftsy.com
Photo via Maureen Cracknell

1. Sort with shelving.

How do you store your half-yard and one-yard cuts of fabric? Maureen shares a beautiful fabric shelving solution which holds the majority of her large fabric cuts. She picked up a 25-cubby bookshelf, enlisted her children to help sort fabrics by color and folded her stash into uniform stacks the width of her shelving. The decorative bowls on top of the shelf hold pins and other notions.

Fabric storage solution using a curtain rodPhoto via Craftaholics Anonymous

2. Use a curtain rod.

If you don't have room for a large storage cabinet, you might try this creative fabric storage idea from Linda. She used an IKEA curtain rod on the wall and strung curtain rings (with clips) to hang her fabric. The fabric is folded lengthwise into uniform panels and sorted in rainbow order. Linda warns that you should always hang the curtain rod into your wall studs, or else the weight of the fabric may cause it to fall. Need more incentive to hang your fabric? In addition to having fewer wrinkles than folded fabric, this storage solution serves as colorful wall art.

Using a filing cabinet to creatively organize fabric
Photo via The Thinking Closet

3. File it away.

Raise your hand if you have an old file cabinet in your house that is filled with years of no-longer-needed paperwork. Store fabric in a filing cabinet with this great tutorial from Lauren. It's easier than you might think! This low-cost storage solution is perfect for keeping your fabric organized and off the closet floor. Best of all, you won't have to worry about disturbing the whole stack of fabric by pulling one piece out.

Using a crib side rail for fabric storage!
Photo via Dwell Delightfully

4. Create repurposed racks.

Here's a great fabric storage idea from Lisa. When it's time for your baby to transition from the crib to a toddler bed, you can turn a crib side rail into fabric storage! If you choose to hold onto the extra crib side, you can lean it against the wall and hanging your fabric. Several cuts of fabric will fit on each rail. This is especially great for large cuts of fabric like vintage sheets and quilt backs.

Using an old cassette holder to creatively store scrap fabricPhoto via Create Celebrate Explore

5. Clean up quarters like cassettes.

Now that the larger cuts of fabric are organized, it's time to sort your fabric scraps and Fat Quarters. Tonya picked up an old cassette holder at a thrift store for $3, and found the perfect use for it! She now sorts and stores fabric scraps in the slots. Keep an eye out at antiques shops, thrift stores and garage sales for shelves and other boxes that can be used to store fabric.

Organizing fabric scraps by color
Photo via Craft Buds

6. Color code and seal away.

If all else fails, you can sort your small fabric scraps by color. Then store each group of colors in zipper-seal freezer bags. Learn more about how to sort and organize fabric scraps in under-bed storage boxes in the post from Craft Buds.

Creative Uses for Scrap Fabrics

quilting scraps guide

Have fun putting your extra fabric to use in beautiful projects.Get My FREE Guide »


Charolette Shepherd

i love the idea using the crib rails.Actually I love all the ideas.

Julianne Minnear

Off to garage sales and estate sales to see what I can find! These are fantastic ideas! Thanks for sharing!


Here in Australia I would never EVER leave fabric exposed to light on shelves.
I did that once in the early days of sewing- it’s so depressing unfolding a length of fabric with great anticipation and expectations of the garment to be made, only to find a section that is irreversibly faded!!
I wash, iron and fold all my new fabrics (sewing and craft), cut a small sample piece from one end and glue the sample into a purpose-made folder with all relevant details (width, length, composition, and possible pattern(s) to be used). THEN each length goes into a tighly covered, index-coded tub, and that information is noted beside the sample. I can ‘shop my stash’ easily, and have never had a faded piece again.
The ideas above are all very attractive, but for me, not practical.


Aless, I so agree with you! My next sewing room is going to have a large, walk-in closet to hold fabric. I have experienced that fade/disappointment, and vowed ‘never again’.


Wow, I’m in awe of your diligence! I have about 15 bins full, sorted primarily by color and/or type like batiks or flannels. Unfortunately, I store them in a closet and have to pull them all out when in search of something. I should have read Mark Lipinski’s article 10 years ago about not buying so much and only for selected projects. I love your organization technique.

martha youstra

I agree. We have very bright sunny days and I am also concerned with dust and elements in the air that would dirty or damage fabric. I had a sofa that deterriated from age, not use and it was very expensive.

Mary M

I live in the desert. We have intense light & this would NOT work. Even my thread need protection when I hang it on wooden racks. Maybe if you have a basement that is climate controlled this would work. Looks nice tho.

Mary Bowen

I love all the ideas but for my space, I love the file cabinet use. I’m going to try it right now. The Crib slats is genius as well. Thank you for all the inspirations.

Robin Lancaster

Although adorable, another concern is fabric against wood. Wood has/releases an acid that eats away at fabric. If you are going to use up quickly and then rewash your quilt, ok. But I wouldn’t leave any fabric for any length of time directly against or even in a wooden container that wasn’t sealed. Visit the textile portion of a museum and then can show you the damage wood (and light … see the above comment) can do.


I agree with Aless re the fading which was one of my concerns. Also, any dust that may get onto fabric. My first thought when I saw these ideas was how I would cover the fabric so it would be ‘fresh’ when I used it. Really nice looking ideas though.

Angela Hall

i recently inherited fabric (lots of fabric) from my Grandma & Mom. Both sewed their whole lives & quilted the lost 25 yrs.
There’s so much, I’m overwhelmed! I’m considering taking up quilting as a tribute to 2 wonderful ladies, but I’ll never use it all! Any ideas on how to sell some of this?

martha youstra

check to see if you have a local quilting guild that makes charity quilts for hospitals and senior homes. They can use fabric and you might want to join just to learn as well. good luck.


These are all great ideas … for quilters. I’d love to see some more content on organizing and storage ideas for garment sewers. We have a wide array of fabric types, more yardage and widths to organize, even bolts, fabrics with special care/storage needs, etc. If I were a quilter using mostly cottons in smaller quantities these ideas would certainly help me to be more organized with my ever-growing stash! (Think small specialty fabric store – that’s about how much I’m stashing right now! I recently started collecting empty bolts from fabric stores but I’m not sure yet as to best way to store them once they’re all neatly on the bolts…shelf space is limited.).


I went to a restaurant supply outlet & purchased the heavy duty shelving/wire racks on wheels. I put an old thrift shop sheet over the racks & stack bolts of fabric, quilt backing and other heavy fabrics on the bottom. I have other fabrics stacked by color on the remaining shelves. The racks hold up to 150lbs & since they’re on wheels, I can roll them out of the way.


That’s a great idea. I can see trying something similar and then covering it with heavy canvas — keeping the fabric safe from light. Wheels! Fabulous.


For those who don’t like the open shelves, containers where fabric can be exposed to the elements, why can’t a pretty curtain of some sort be made and hung to shield it? Just a thought.

Punky Barb

This is what I have done , just using pvc pipe the length of the shelf and making the curtain top opening 2″ and 1″ above that makes the gathers above the casing. I put two screws at the top and rested the pvc pipe on them. Works fine.

Cindy S

I hang cut pieces of fabric that I’m not currently using on clothes hangers with clips attached to them in my sewing room closet. When I use them for paper pieced quilts it is easy to move the hanger to a rolling rack for easy access.


Don’t have a stash yet, I just started quilting and the lady became sick and shutdown her shop. Then I had two strokes. Couldn’t return to my senior cost accountant job. I was right handed but I can’t use most of my right side and it’s been over one year. I want return to quilting and starting my own stash. Any suggestions will greatly be accepted. Can’t wait!

Punky Barb

I have a large stash. Got most at rummage sales and at quilt club ladies bringing in some of there stash they don’t want

Mary Ann

I just organize my fabric stash using magazine board that I purchased from Amazon for $9.98 for 100 count. I folded the fabric from selvage to fold and wrap around the board. I used magazine holders from IKEA and placed the fabric in the magazine holders like a magazine. The smaller pieces I used the cardboard from my fat quarters and folded the fabric around the cardboard and placed in one of my Longaberger Baskets. The smaller pieces I placed in plastic containers from the Dollar Store by color. Feeling accomplished!


I utilize a closet organizer. I hang my fabrics on hangers, large thick fabrics get placed on the shelves, small fabric stashes get placed in large plastic freezer bags, cut projects also get placed in large freezer bags with pattern instructions inside. My pattern envelopes have been put in a 3 ring binder in numerical order and corresponding patterns have been put in large envelopes placed in filing cabinet. The filing cabinet also stores threads and miscellaneous things in small plastic boxes. My various sewing machines are stored in a freestanding mirrored closet where I have various shelves above to store sewing books, and a variety of shoe boxes that store buttons, zippers etc etc, below the sewing machines I have a large sealed tub of fabrics that don’t fit in the closet. My sewing room consists of a large desk that I use for cutting, the freestanding closet, file cabinet, a small ironing board, 2 large bookcases, a smaller bookcase where I have a tv, and an antique chair. The small room has a lot of stuff but it is well organized, its bright and cheerful.


I love all of these ideas. I currently have a few totes full of ziplocks. The curtain rod idea as wall art is wonderful! It would be so pretty in a sewing room. The crib side idea is great too, I wish I had not recently given my old crib away…

Sue Meub

an alternative to the store bought hooks I used coordinating gros grain ribbon , cut uniform lengths , then threaded it the the openings origibally intended for hooks and tied them in bows .. So pretty .. I actually saw this idea many years ago in Martha Stewart Living so cannot claim to have been original idea .. But it’s one that I have used frequently !


I have a old armoire in my sewing room, that I got my husband to make shelves to put inside. My fabric stash is folded lengthwise & color cordinated into rows on each shelf. Bigger pieces are on bottom shelf, smaller scraps are sorted into plastic shoe boxes on another shelf. Easy access to all fabric stashes makes it a breeze! Enjoyed your post on different ways to store & organize fabric stashes. Thanks!


I love the idea of using a filing cabinet. I’m going to try this tonight

Lee Ann

I cleaned out one of my bookcases and two shelves of another to store fabric like someone already said. I purchased a card catalog and my notions are divided with the drawers and labels for easy location.


i have one of those canvas shoe/sweater hanging organizers in my craft closet. The type that you can get optional fabric “drawers” for. It’s not too hard to fold fabric to the size to fit in the organizer, and one slot has one of the drawers for keeping smaller remnants, It holds a surprisingly large amount of fabric, and I am generally good at not buying more fabric until I either have a specific plan, or room to out it away in the organizer.

martha youstra

I purchased a tee shirt folder and intend to use that with my fabric when i create my sewing room from a guest room. Oh yes I’m over run and need the space. Thanks for all the fabulous ideas.


I have been using the filing cabinets for years. I file by color mostly; but I have my novelty fabric and batiks sorted separately and in a separate drawer. It’s always wrinkle free (mostly), and so easy to select.
I may try the curtain rod idea for small pieces of fabric. I think it would be pretty – and you can never have too much color!


P.S. I forgot to mention that when I started “filing” my fabric, I had 12 file drawers stuffed with fabric. Now that I can see it and reach it, I am down to a little over 8! Time to buy fabric!!!


“When it’s time for your baby to transition from the crib to a toddler bed, you can turn a crib side rail into fabric storage!”

Why would you assume that the readers all have small children?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *