Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Filing cabinet painted with black board paint = fun (fabric) storage


I have a confession to make. I have too much fabric! Yep, it’s an addiction. Some I’ve bought but a lot of it I’ve been given.

I have some less used stuff stored in the garage (you know, bulky quilt batting and the like); and until recently I had stored the stuff I had immediate plans for or used more regularly in that cane chest pictured above. But when inspiration struck I would dive head first into that chest, turfing it all out, looking for that 1 perfect piece which I thought was in there somewhere. 9 times out of 10 it would be at the bottom or AWOL and I would be left with a mess of fabric. But not anymore!

A few weeks back my step Dad asked me if I’d like an old filing cabinet. He volunteers at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they were getting rid of one. I said yes, and when he dropped it off I could see why they were getting rid of it. It was a bit beat up and pretty ugly to tell the truth. So I painted it with Resene black board paint. (I primed it first and then applied 2 coats of the black board paint.) It dried really quickly and the black board paint was a dream to use, so it made for an all round easy project.

I then bought some suspension files from our local stationary store (which proved to be a bit pricier than I thought) ; and I started ‘filing’ my fabric. To get more bang for my buck I worked out I could get 2 bits of fabric to a file (one on each side) and also file some in the middle if I wanted to. I’ve got all my knit fabric in the bottom draw and some of my favourite woven fabrics in the one above that, with more to file. (Can you tell that I’m a knit fiend?)

In the top drawer I’ve also used the cabinet in the more ‘traditional’ way – to file paper! With a couple of the files devoted to my patterns. Previously I’d kept my PDF patterns in clear leaves in a (bulging) ring binder, often with the pattern pieces cut on freezer paper – so these were pretty easy to transfer over to this new system (see below).


The other thing I love about this cabinet is that as well as being a giant black board it’s also magnetic so it’s great for sticking bits of sewing inspiration etc on the side. (Plus a ‘teamwork’ chart for the kids – still working on that!)

My sewing space is in a second living area we have and the other half of it contains a play area for the kids so they can play while I sew. It works really well.

(Some old pics stolen from this post.)

Where do you sew? Kitchen table, or a separate space? And how to do store your fabric?

Jen x

P.S. Make sure you enter this giveaway if you haven’t already. Open to Kiwis and Aussies


Leonie said...

It's awesome! I recently pinned filing fabric in a cabinet like this for "one day"! Currently it's all in colour coordinated piles in a large wheelie tub... a bit of a pain to sort through but it has to make do! I sew on the dining room table. Poor machine gets hauled out of a wardrobe to the table and back as the table is in high use! Your cabinet is a dream - well done you for such a great practical makeover!

Anonymous said...

The filing cabinet looks great. Excellent recycling. I think I would need at least 4 filing cabinets to house my fabric collection. Instead it fills my wardrobe, drawers, hall cupboard . . . .

Schulz Family said...

I think everyone has too much fabric!! But mine would not look so tidy in the filing cabinet as I scruffle things up. Well done, it looks amazing and must be easier to find what you need

Pam @Threading My Way said...

It's impossible to have too much fabric, Jen!!! I'm lucky enough to have a sewing room, which is overflowing with fabric stored on IKEA shelves, IKEA drawers and cane baskets. I love your blackboard filing cabinet, especially as a way to store patterns. For the moment mine are in boxes and A4 folders.

Nat @sewoutnumbered said...

We have a small shared study/sewing room which can get tricky as my hubby is studying part-time at the moment and there's only room for one at a time in there!! Love your filing cabinet idea. My fabric is in an old wooden bookcase which we painted white to match the other ikea furniture. My favourite thing is my gateleg table for cutting!

Ginx Craft said...

What a great idea. That is the trendiest filing cabinet I have ever seen.

Stef said...

This is great!! I need a better storage system for my patterns - a filing cabinet would be perfect! Especially one covered in chalkboard paint! I love your bright sewing space.

Scott Olpin said...

You did a really good job in painting that filing cabinet, Jen. You have great creativity stored in you. If filing cabinets came just like that, I'm sure a lot of people will buy them. Haha! Did those originally have golden handlebars? They mix so well with the black paint you used. Anyway, glad you're enjoying your new organizer. I hope you have a great day! :)

Scott Olpin

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