How To Store Your Stash

The best way to store fabric! Use cardboard bolts to store your fabric stash!

Well, as you know, my basement remodel is in full force…my office has flooring and due to some *ahem* unexpected budget busters, we’ll be saving up (again) for the ceiling and baseboards. BUT that does not mean that I can’t start moving into my new studio! I’ve chosen to layout my office so that my sewing machine and serger live quietly in the closet, which means that my fabric stash has to find a new home, no more hiding in the closet!

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I considered taking over the guest room closet…after all, how many guests actually use the closet?! But on second thought, it might be nice to always have access to my fabrics with no intrusions necessary. I knew I wanted to use some large shelves in the studio, but the thought of keeping fabrics neatly folded was laughable! So, I called up my favorite quilt store Mom and asked if they had any empty bolts on hand at her store…maybe about 20?

Sure enough, she was more than happy to unload a pile of bolts and off I went! Here’s how I made mini fabric bolts to store my whole fabric collection beautifully!

What You’ll Need:

Let’s Get Started!

To start, you’ll want to measure your empty bolt. Typically, they are about 23″ long, so measure 11–1/2″ in to the center and mark with a pen or sharpie. I like to mark them on both sides.

How to Cut a Bolt

Take your T-square and line up the edge of the bolt with the mark that you made, then carefully score the line with a utility knife. Repeat until it feels like you are halfway through (this may take a little bit of sawing). Flip the bolt over and repeat!

Cutting Fabric Bolts

Now that your bolt is cut, find a big open area to lay out your fabric. Fold it in half lengthwise so that it is an even width with the freshly cut bolt.

How to use bolts to store fabric

Fold the fabric over the bolt about halfway. Arrange so that it lines up evenly with the edge and pin into the cardboard.

Storing Fabric

Fold the bolt over itself until you reach the end.

Fabric Storage Ideas

Fold down one corner to make a triangle, then finish folding the bolt over itself and pin into the fabric and the bolt.

How to fold a bolt

Keeping Fabric Straight

That’s all there is to it! Keep on folding and be sure to arrange your fabrics by color! I’d love to see your stash all arranged and lovely—be sure to show me in the comments below!

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  1. Thank you so much this is a wonderful idea I plan to use!

  2. Thanks! I’ve used these bolts for large pieces of fabric, but, never thought of cutting them in half, or, maybe fourths for smaller lengths of fabric! You are very good at sharing your ideas with us! Again, thanks a heap!

  3. Great idea Rachel. I’d just like to add one suggestion. I have had some of my stash for more than ten years so I fold all my fabrics inside out so that fading is not a problem.

  4. I have seen many sewing rooms with the fabric all out on display on open shelves. It certainly looks beautiful!! It is easy to see what you have. I chose to fold my fabric and store it neatly by colour in 3 dressers in my sewing room. I was afraid that my fabric would get dusty if stored on open shelves. .

    • I’ve always been a little worried about dust as well, but haven’t noticed any issues with it. I’m trying to think about how long I’ve stored it this way…maybe for about 5-7 years now, and so far, so good!

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