Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System

July 30, 2021
Published 

In my quest for improving the organisation in my sewing space, top on my agenda has been safely storing and effectively accessing my fabric stash.

At the beginning of the year, I invested in some new cupboards, Ikea Billys to be exact.

They are the perfect budget friendly solution, and they just Look. So. Good.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System- precarious stacks

You can see what happened next however.

My piles of fabric simply got transferred to the shelves, in great towers that were neither attractive nor made good use of the space.

Depth wise there is a lot of wasted space.

So next I set about designing some made to measure storage that would make everything easier, and even sew a bit of my stash in the process.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System- Modular Fabric Box

The Modular Fabric Box was born…

Two sizes to hold Fat Quarters

These boxes come in two sizes that stack depth wise, and hold a large amount of FQs each.

A huge amount in fact.

I can get 42 FQs in the large rectangular box.

This uses the full depth of the cupboard, and you can see that by moving the shelves closer together, you can fit a lot more fabric in.

I’m a huge fan of maximising the useable space available,and shelves really don’t do that very well.

Deep shelves are a waste of space, as reaching stuff at the back is always a challenge, and anything super tall just claims way more than its fair share.

Which is why so many kitchens now make use of drawers to better use the space available.

I’m releasing this currently in two sizes, 5" x 5"x 10" (12.5cm x 12.5cm x 25cm) and 5" x 5" x 5" (12.5cm x12.5cm x 12.5cm).

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System- cute cube with label

These boxes perfectly fit the Ikea Billy bookcases and effectively turn your shelves into removable drawers that store way more fabric.

Simply remove what you need, and then slide it right back into place.

With the total depth utilised, you still get to access it easily, and fit way more in.

And now when I open the cupboard I get that thrill of seeing neatly organised fabric.

And they just Look. So. Good.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System-maximize efficiency

Ahem.

And you thought you didn’t need any more fabric….

Each size uses two FQs, and the interfacing offcuts from the larger size are used to make the smaller square box…winner!

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System-store and label a fabric pull

If you have a bunch of fabric sitting around that you’re not sure what to do with, use it up on some of these. This is a great way to not feel guilty about that purchase that you don’t love anymore.

Conversely, if you have a favourite fabric that you absolutely adore, use it for the exterior to house your special collections inside.

Pair a matching lining for the inside, and these are a stunning set for display.

They also look super elegant in simple linen with a lining that really pops!

Watch me make these boxes from start to finish...they're totally something you can make!

Each size uses two FQs, and the interfacing off cuts from the larger size are used to make the smaller square box…winner!

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System-line 'em up labels

If you have a bunch of fabric sitting around that you’re not sure what to do with, use it up on some of these. This is a great way to not feel guilty about that purchase that you don’t love anymore.

Conversely, if you have a favourite fabric that you absolutely adore, use it for the exterior to house your special collections inside. Pair a matching lining for the inside, and these are a stunning set for display.

But moving on from how and where, we get to the labelling part!

I’ve added a vinyl pocket to the front of these, with a choice of printable labels…so you can now sort, catalogue, and store your stash your own way!

Whatever method you prefer, dividing by colour, designer,fabric house, collection, or completely scrappy…you get to choose. I designed this first range because I do a bit of all of these, so go right ahead, and do it your own way.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love a cool stampy style label. I love to sew them on my creations, and I’ll use them any chance I get.

But what about a stampy to label your stash??

These are a standard printable size page for the home printer, and have the best effect when printed on cardstock, but you can get a similar effect by just gluing two layers together.

Just cut out with a craft knife and steel ruler for a straight edge, and you're all set.

I've designed four different labels for starters, but already I have ideas for plenty more!

Need to change the contents of what’s inside? No problem, just print out another one.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System-cool leather pull handle

The catalogue labels sit inside a cute vinyl pocket that you sew on the front of the box.

Don’t be intimidated by hearing the words ‘vinyl’ and ‘sewing’in the same sentence.

It really isn’t that hard to do at all. I have two methods I show in the video to attach vinyl easily, and even a super quick hack to turn any regular machine foot into a non-stick version.

I love leather, or a leather look, and the trendy leather pulls that you see around at the moment on baskets, planters are something I’ve enjoyed forever.

The texture and edgy modern look is a great way to add that super up-to-date flavour.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System-showing off Janome M7

Whether you’ve got vinyl or real leather, the effect is essentially the same.

Sew Your Own Storage -The Ikea Billy Bookcase Storage System- cool leather pull handle

I’ve secured these with a rivet for extra texture, and guess what…

I don’t have a rivet press! This is just using a basic scrapbooking rivet setter and a hammer, so if you’re not all in for a serious press, than this works just as well.

So I have more sizes coming for these boxes and more labels,so I hope you’ll stick around for that!

The best part is that you’ll receive lifetime updates when you purchase the pattern, so any update will be just another download away.

Happy stashing!