Palak has a love for sewing and shares her projects on her blog Make it Handmade. She also stops by here on occasion to give us a glimpse at her current projects and organizing solutions. She recently expanded her sewing hobby inventory with a new toy, a die cutting machine, and in doing so she found that she needed to come up with an inexpensive and space saving storage solution for all of the new pieces. She is stopping by today to share what she came up with, and even if you don't have one of these sewing tools, her tips can be used for most any organizing project.
I recently made a new investment for my sewing room-- a die cutting machine! Die cutting machines are fantastic tools for appliques and quilting. Basically, they can cut shapes (like letters) out of fabric, paper or other material quickly and accurately.
I've been pining for one for ages, and finally got my little mitts on one a few weeks ago.
Since then, I'm ashamed to say, half my dining room table has been covered with the machine and all it's accessories. Each shape comes with it's own die, and I had zero space to store everything. I finally decided to clear one cubby from our mudroom (which is across from my sewing space) and figure out a way to make the best use of that tiny 15"x15" inch space. Even if you don't plan on getting a die cutting machine, I hope you can use these tips to get the most out of storing items in small spaces. (Holiday decorations anyone?)
TIP #1: GET RID OF PACKAGING
The first order of business was getting rid of most of the bulky and odd sized packaging. For these small wafer thin alphabet dies, I placed each set on a magnetic sheet.
A tip for letter dies is to write the letter on each die, since it can sometimes be hard to tell the 'd's and 'p's apart.
After mounting each of the dies on a magnet, I attached a label with info I thought was most important from the packaging and then placed everything in a Ziploc bag.
This way the dies are easy to use, but take up much less space.
For the larger dies, I used a strip of magnetic tape on card stock instead of using an entire sheet.
TIP #2: MEASURE TO GET THE BEST USE OF YOUR SPACE
I took both sizes of dies and a tape measure to the store to make sure that my containers would fit in my bins and fit the dies. I was able to get within an inch of both with these stackable containers from the dollar store.
I labeled the top of the container with the name of each of the dies so I can see what I have.
TIP #3: CONSIDER COMPROMISING UTILITY FOR SPACE
In an ideal world, I would have like to have access to all the dies in one container without having to lift out the machine. However, since I'm working with such a small space, I decided to place these extra large quilting dies at the bottom of my bin all by themselves. I don't think I'll be using these as often as the others, and it makes use of the vertical space in my bin.
See how well everything fits?
And I was even able to put the entire machine inside as well. It looks like there might be extra room in there, in case I want to buy more.
"I'm Palak-- a slightly sleep deprived mom who has loved sewing, knitting and crochet for her whole life. When I’m not chasing after my two rambunctious kids, or sitting behind my sewing machine, I write about my DIY exploits at my blog, Make It Handmade. I also own Sewistry, a site dedicated to stretching our sewing dollars with money saving projects, product review and buying guides. Although organizing doesn’t come naturally to me, I’ve been inspired by Jen and her blog to find the joy in making my home beautiful and functional. I’m transforming my home one room at a time and using my sewing machine every chance I get! I’m simply elated to be able share sewing projects for your home as part of the IHeart team! "