DIY Fabric Storage

LADIES!  Look what i did!  I’m beyond excited to share this with you!  While I figured out how to store fabric scraps awhile back, I really wanted a solution for storing/displaying the mounds of beautiful designs I’ve been collecting.  When Jacinda came to visit a few months ago she suggested using the wall of my converted garage/workshop, so yesterday I headed out to the hardware store and poked around for a simple, low-cost solution.
BEFORE:

AFTER:

You will not believe how easy this was.  Now I can see my fabrics AND I have more drawer space for all my yarn and other goodies.  Seeing the beautiful designs on the wall is inspirational and gives a whole new vibe to my workroom.  If I ironed them i think this would look awesome in my living room, hallway, or on the wall behind the dining table! Get thee to the hardware store and get to hanging!

Full details after the jump…

DIY Easy Fabric Storage Solution

The idea here was to create something similar to the racks that display fancy wrapping papers in a stationary store, but bigger and attached to the wall.  What I found worked SO WELL and was really simple.

Materials
2 pieces of Slot Angle.  I’m not really sure what the actual purpose of this is, but it’s in the metal section of the hardware store.  i think it hangs air conditioning units from the ceiling and stuff like that, but it works really well for our purposes.  I used two pieces 5 feet tall, but you could go shorter or taller.  Here is a link to a 6′ piece of slot angle on amazon, they run $7.57 each: Slotted Steel Angle – 11115 1-1/4X1-1/4X6ft. Slot Angle


Dowels. I ended up using 8 dowels, 5/16″ in diameter and 4 feet long. Here is an amazon link to the same dowel. You want to be sure that your dowels fit inside the holes on your slot angle. These were the biggest I could use and still fit. Because I placed my slot angle “brackets” so far apart, the dowels did bend slightly in the middle with the weight of the heavier fabrics, but i think it looks nice. You can always hammer a nail into the wall centered between your two slot angles to support the dowel. 5/16″ x 48″ Wooden Birch Dowel Made in the USA

And four drywall screws, two with anchors to attach the slot angle to the wall.

ASSEMBLY

1. Hang your slot angle. Take one piece of slot angle and hold it up to the wall where you want it. Use a pencil to mark the hole your screw will go through. Put the slot angle down, and go ahead and screw your drywall anchor in place. Then hold the slot angle back up and screw it on. Then use a level to make sure the slot angle is straight up and down. When you have it straight, use another screw to attach the bottom. Measure up from the bottom of the wall to your top screw. Move however many feet to the right (for me about 3 3/4′) and measure that same distance up from the floor, screw your drywall anchor in and then screw your slot angle into place. You want to be sure you measure correctly because you really don’t want this to hang crooked. Then repeat the leveling process and screw the bottom of the second slot angle in place.
2.  Now take all of your fabrics and divide them into piles based on color (for someone who claims to dislike pink, I realized that I have an inordinate amount of pink fabric):
3.  Slide your dowels through the holes in the slot angle and begin to hang your fabrics.  I started with the heaviest (upholstery and drapery) fabrics on the bottom row.  I put a nail in the middle to support the weight of the fabrics on the dowel:
Then work up from there in reverse-rainbow order:
AHHH!  I love this so much I can’t even tell you!  My fabric stash used to look like this:

And now like this!

You could get even fancier and spray paint your slot angle and your dowels but seriously I don’t have that kind of time and LA is being hit by a crazy flood right now so it’s not like I can go outside and spray paint.  If you decide to do this, PLEASE send me a picture and let us know if you have any improvements to this DIY or other fabric storage ideas to share!

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30 Comments

Julie

Very cool. I "inherited" a TON of fabric from my grandma a while back…this might be something I can use at some point when I have a wall to hang it on.

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marie

genius! I just went a little crazy at the fabric store today and was dreading what was about to happen to my sewing space. Am going to do this so very soon!

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Jaime

Lori – i think for an apartment just get shorter dowels and longer slot angle and make it more vertical! maybe on the back of a closet door! i was also thinking a cute ladder might be a fun way to display fabrics!

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Vone

Love it. What a great idea to store and display great fabrics. I love looking at my fabrics to get inspired.

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Judy

this is fantastic! I was struggling with space so I hung yarn on my walls and used some laundry drying clips to hang my fabrics. This seems more effecient though…hehe.

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Sarah

This is seriously EXACTLY what I've been looking for. No more fabric piles! And it DOES make for a lively, colorful wall! Thanks!!

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Rachel

Great idea!! I am just starting to sew and haven't collected much fabric, but I'm going to remember this. Perfect!

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Zimms Zoo

I was thinking the same thing as Jaime. Or you could make something similar with leftover lumber and use bigger dowels. This is a fabulous idea though! And would require less work than drilling holes for the dowel.

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marian

love this storage idea! so easy to see what you have:) I will definitely be doing this when we move into our new house.

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bev

I love this idea, dowling is expensive in uk so I will substitute it with curtain wire and thread kitchen roll tubes onto it to make a smooth larger curve for the fabric to hang over

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gail

This is a great idea! Thanks for all the details. I’m thinking I could mount this on the wall in the back of a closet. I would like it out of sight, and also, the fabric would not be so apt to fade. (I’ve had a problem with that.) I’m trying to think of a way to be able to flip through hanging layers of fabric. Maybe one of those 3 rod towel racks would work–a line of them going down the side of the closet. Thanks so much for sharing. (Most of my spending money goes toward fabric! I guess I’m in good company!)

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Cathy

I think that is a great idea for showcasing a special collection or fabrics that you are focusing on at the moment or auditioning for a current project. Something like a design wall to see at a glance how all the fabrics play off each other. It sure won’t hold a lot though, for the serious collectors or quilters who have a much more gigantic fabric supply. I’d like to see it built onto the door of a cabinet that had tons of room inside for more fabric!

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Virginia

Great idea! However, be careful-if you leave fabric in contact with unfinished wood for very long the acid in the wood will damage the fabric! Either varnish the dowels or wrap in foil.

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Joyce

Just setting up my sewing area…looks like a great idea, even 3 years later!

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Sara

I like the compactness of the design. I wonder if instead of wood dowels, bungee cords strung through the slots would work instead? Great potential for holding numerous bolts-worth of fabric in a vertical column. A really neat idea!

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Connie C

I was thinking of going just a little bit more frugal than Sara suggested with her bungee cords, and thinking of using clothesline cord. Just tie a knot at the top, thread it across, down, across, down, acr- well, you get the idea.

This is somewhat similar to something I designed for tabletop use a couple of years ago, but a lot less expensive, and certainly a lot less difficult to move.

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Brenda

To “solve” middle dip in the dowels just add another piece of angled slot! Truly a great original idea!

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Willie in GA

Instead of a nail to keep the dowel from sagging,,use a large Command hook..I found some really large ones to use outside, to hang wreaths.

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