The Etsy Blog

How-Tuesday: Organizational Fabruckets handmade and vintage goods

In this tutorial, the lovely Kim Grassie (a.k.a. kgeeme) and Corinne Pavlovic (a.k.a. iamcorinne) from Etsy’s Support Team detail how to sew fabric buckets to help you sort out your disarray, all while beautifying your home decor.

Are you crafty but a little unorganized? Do you have a playroom that has one thousand tiny toys everywhere? This is the project for you! We are going to make three DIY fabruckets (a.k.a. fabric buckets — you can thank Tim for coining the name of this project) for anything and everything that is lying around without a place to live. Fabruckets can be used in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or work area. They can hold a yarn project that you swear you’re going to finish one day, uncooked noodles, car keys or even Q-tips. All you need to know is how to use a sewing machine!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Plate, bowl and cup (or 3 different sized circles)
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • 2 yards of medium to heavy weight canvas
  • 2 yards lining fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler and measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Felt for making an appliqué (optional)


1. Grab a plate, bowl and a pint glass or mug. These are going to be the size of the base of each fabrucket. Turn the dish upside down and trace the circle onto the wrong side of the fabric. (The wrong side is only relevant if you have a fabric that has a pattern on the right side.) Cut each circle about 1/4” outside the line you drew, this is your seam allowance. Each fabrucket gets two circles: one canvas and one lining.

Tip: Cut your circles for each fabrucket close in size, and then you’ll have nesting fabruckets.

2. You need to measure the circumference of the circle. You can do this two ways:

  • By “walking the tape”: Make a mark where you start and “walk” the measuring tape around the circle you drew. When you get all the way around, you have your circumference.
  • Or by doing math: circumference = 3.14 x diameter.

3. Draw a rectangle that is the same length as the circumference of the base by whatever height you choose. 

Note: The smaller the base circle, the shorter the bucket should be. For the sample buckets above, the smallest bucket has a 10.5” circumference so the rectangle will be 10.5” wide and 5” tall. The medium bucket has a base that has a 19” circumference so the rectangle is 19” wide and 7” tall. Finally the largest has a base that is 33” around, so the rectangle will be 33” wide by 9” tall.

4. Add a 1/4” seam allowance around the outside of the line you drew. Each fabrucket gets two rectangles: one canvas and one lining. Cut the rectangles on the fold for faster cutting.


Optional step: To spruce up your fabrucket, cut some felt into a cute shape you like and make an appliqué on the right side of the outer rectangle. (Thanks to Nicole from Etsy Support for making such a sweet appliqué on the spot!) For appliqué inspiration, check out these tutorials.

5. Time to sew! Fold the rectangles in half and with the right sides together. (You will see your pencil drawing on the wrong side.) Sew a straight stitch.

6. With your right sides together, pin the circle to the now sewn rectangle. Take your time, it can be tricky.

7. Time to sew again. This step can be frustrating so take your time. Carefully sew the circle base to the rectangle. Do so for both the canvas and the lining separately. The smaller the circumference, the more careful you should be.

8. Now you have two identical shapes, one made from canvas and one made from the lining fabric you chose. Fold the tops of the canvas and the lining in about 1/4” inch and press with an iron.

9. Turn the canvas right side out and the lining will remain inside out. Place the lining inside the canvas, wrong sides together. Pin the tops together, making sure they fit perfectly. If they don’t, that’s okay — just take a seam in a little, that should help. Once they fit, sew around the top as close to the edge as you can.

10. You are done! Go put some stuff in that Fabrucket.

Thanks to Kim and Corinne for sharing this project with us! How do you organize your space? Share in the comments below.

Circle-Spiral Appliqué | Painted Furniture | More How-Tuesday Posts

  • RainyPenguinVintage

    RainyPenguinVintage says:

    Thanks so much! My place is actually a MESS right now, but unfortunatley I don't think all of my vintage Etsy items would fit in one of these adorable fabruckets. Have a good week, everyone! Jeanne RainyPenguinVintage

    5 years ago

  • funretro

    funretro says:

    this is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

    5 years ago

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns says:

    I love it - you can store them very small when not needed. Very cool!

    5 years ago

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio says:

    Great project. Thank you for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • allthepreciousthings

    allthepreciousthings says:

    What a great idea! Now I can use up some of my vintage fabric stash, and get organised at the same time!!

    5 years ago

  • clothscapes

    clothscapes says:

    I love that they stack, seems' like a great way to use up some of the fabric I have lying around in need of storage as well.

    5 years ago

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry says:

    Julie, this is a wonderful idea! I love the fabruckets!

    5 years ago

  • designMatter

    designMatter says:

    Thank you very much!!! It was inspirational :-)

    5 years ago

  • joliefemme

    joliefemme says:

    Neat! I'll add it to my list of projects! LOL!

    5 years ago

  • candacejean

    candacejean says:

    "Fabruckets"?! haha.. clever, Tim! I love it. Thank you kindly for this tutorial!

    5 years ago

  • deetsy

    deetsy says:

    Thanks so much! I have some great scraps of kid jeans with all ok but the knees that will get a second life now!

    5 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    :)) Perfect ! Thanks so much !

    5 years ago

  • kissadesign

    kissadesign says:

    Organization, what's that? But anyway... I love the "fabruckets" too! Thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • akcArt

    akcArt says:

    Very cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • MaaPstudio

    MaaPstudio says:

    Great idea!I love the fabruckets!

    5 years ago

  • sweetpeatoadtots

    sweetpeatoadtots says:

    Thank you! This is an awesome idea. I do struggle to get organized all the time with all my yarns :)

    5 years ago

  • bennyandstash

    bennyandstash says:

    This is a great basic, I love the round shape. When I make some I think I will add a couple extra steps & put handles & some stiff interfacing in... my junk needs extra help standing up ;P

    5 years ago

  • LouisestArt

    LouisestArt says:

    Love the colors!

    5 years ago

  • VintageStarrBeads

    VintageStarrBeads says:

    Great and pretty Fabuckets but as far as spacially useful a rectangular see-through box uses every inch and can stack. works for me! Like the see-through boot or shoe size plastic boxes with tops!-Rachelle Starr

    5 years ago

  • valenstar

    valenstar says:

    Pretty nifty idea. Might have to pass this along to mom as I am sewing challenged.

    5 years ago

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio says:

    What a great tutorial!

    5 years ago

  • nisseworks

    nisseworks says:

    Perfect timing! I'm going to be organizing my daughter's room and play area soon and these would help control all her bits and bobs...might add tabs to some so they can hang up, too. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    5 years ago

  • MontanaSnowVintage

    MontanaSnowVintage says:

    i love it! quick and easy storage idea!

    5 years ago

  • amyflorence

    amyflorence says:

    These are fantastic!! Pretty and useful! What more could you ask for?!

    5 years ago

  • allthingswhite

    allthingswhite says:

    Who can't use a little help organizing! This is a great project, thank so much.

    5 years ago

  • metalissa

    metalissa says:

    cute! i have 20 bandannas left-over from a reception. maybe they'll become fabruckets!

    5 years ago

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers says:

    Love them!

    5 years ago

  • FromTheLoft

    FromTheLoft says:

    Erm, instead of scrunching up your tape measure as you try and 'walk' it round, you could just lay a piece of string round the circle then lift it and lay it along the length of the tape measure to get the length!!!! :D (So much easier!)

    5 years ago

  • CuddleBuggComforts

    CuddleBuggComforts says:

    I am going to make some of these for my kids rooms this week. I have some great fabric scraps from old projects I may quilt together...may use deco bond to give them more structure to hold their toys and things.

    5 years ago

  • CuddleBuggComforts

    CuddleBuggComforts says:

    Ok, I know. I am going to let my daughter pick her favorite fabric to make one and use it to get her ready for school in the morning (we start kindergarten in the fall). We can put everything in it the night before and hopefully it will help our morning go smoothly. We will see!

    5 years ago

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo says:

    I'm in dire need of organizational help......

    5 years ago

  • princessdoodlebeans

    princessdoodlebeans says:

    How Lovely these are!! Thanks for the info.

    5 years ago

  • Garden22DesignStudio
  • LaughingBaby

    LaughingBaby says:

    Great idea! Thnaks for sharing I will put this on my list of things to make!

    5 years ago

  • heartfeltwool

    heartfeltwool says:


    5 years ago

  • FiberContent

    FiberContent says:

    Very good idea. God knows I have the fabric to sew some...and to put inside when I am done. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie says:

    These are so cute... and handy! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • AbraCat

    AbraCat says:

    These look like lots of fun! I think I'll make a few for my daughter's room.

    5 years ago

  • ALittleWorld

    ALittleWorld says:

    Great tutorial. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • shannonbatescreates

    shannonbatescreates says:

    I LOVE containers, and these are a great idea-- useful and able to be stored easily. Thanks for sharing! :)

    5 years ago

  • smeeta

    smeeta says:

    Great tutorial! Here's another thought on measuring - why not just measure around the original item? I think it would be easier to wrap the tape around a mug, bowl, or even the rim of a plate. Righto? :D

    5 years ago

  • roobyart

    roobyart says:

    What a great idea! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • mache23

    mache23 says:

    very cute thanks for sharing how to make these!

    5 years ago

  • KatysKnitKnacks

    KatysKnitKnacks says:

    very cute!

    5 years ago

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage says:


    5 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth says:

    Now this is the perfect way to organize your stuff! These fabruckets are soo cute :) Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Much love.

    5 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth says:

    Now this is the perfect way to organize your stuff! These fabruckets are soo cute :) Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Much love.

    5 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth says:

    Now this is the perfect way to organize your stuff! These fabruckets are soo cute :) Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Much love.

    5 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth says:

    oops... sorry for the triple posting...

    5 years ago

  • MalindasBeadDesigns

    MalindasBeadDesigns says:

    Good idea and so practical. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • DonkeeHouse

    DonkeeHouse says:

    I need a million of these to get organized, just imagine all the pretty fabrics and colors they can be! Thanks for posting this...sounds like a fun project :)

    5 years ago

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr says:

    Very cool and the tutorial is great :)

    5 years ago

  • trinityrocks

    trinityrocks says:

    Great Idea.

    5 years ago

  • ArtfullySew

    ArtfullySew says:

    Love this idea! I would like to try it with a patchwork design, of course!

    5 years ago

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns says:

    Cute buckets!! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • LilianEveDesigns

    LilianEveDesigns says:


    5 years ago

  • moccasinsandmukluks

    moccasinsandmukluks says:

    Nice! Clever idea.

    5 years ago

  • pammyj50

    pammyj50 says:

    Excited about using these cute,functional fabric bags in my after school program this coming year.

    5 years ago

  • Enderby

    Enderby says:

    So cute and a super-useful idea! (Super-useful is totally a word.)

    5 years ago

  • Mypolkadotpottery

    Mypolkadotpottery says:

    Love it! Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa says:

    So cute and useful! Way to go with this how-to!

    5 years ago

  • billetsdoux

    billetsdoux says:

    I have loved these fabruckets for a long time now, just wish I had the time to make myself of these days, then I can truly get organized! :)

    5 years ago

  • Ohiocrochetlady

    Ohiocrochetlady says:

    I really need this. My craft supplies are in plastic bags all around my chair. The rest is in totes in the basement. What a great idea.

    5 years ago

  • craftpile

    craftpile says:

    Thank you for sharing, Kim and Corinne! I really hope to make some of these :) I use vintage stuff to organize that I've collected over the years. Suitcases, wire locker baskets, enamel bowls, a picnick basket, a sewing basket, an old dresser spuced up with paint, a glass cabinet for ribbons...and a few ugly plastic containers I hide....which could now be replaced with cute fabruckets ;)!!

    5 years ago

  • FromMyAttic

    FromMyAttic says:

    Thank you!! now I could have those ready for X-mas, for all my friends and family

    5 years ago

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion says:

    Excellent idea!

    5 years ago

  • KristaBDesigns

    KristaBDesigns says:

    I agree with Kissadesign- Organization-what's that! Now having fabric and assorted stuff expanding into 4 rooms, I'm forever buying more without finishing the stuff from before, and forgetting what project the fabric was to be for. This is a great project to use up some of my juvenile prints! Thanks for the article.

    5 years ago

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet says:

    Beautiful! oh.. but I need shelves of these! ;D

    5 years ago

  • BonTons

    BonTons says:

    Nice, I see a stack of these lining my shelves soon, I hope

    5 years ago

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry says:

    Very cool--functional and chic! I need to make A LOT of these!

    5 years ago

  • elseseven

    elseseven says:

    Oh the perfect moving my craft/office space to a smaller room to make space for a nursery, so these will be great to hang from the shelves for fabric scraps, pencils etc. Excellent.

    5 years ago

  • blckpnthr13

    blckpnthr13 says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I've never made fabric buckets, but I have made pouches in the past. Someone wanted one for a reenactment, so I took a large bowl, drew a circle on the fabric, did two layers, cut out squares about an inch outside of the circumference of the circle, and used the circle markings to create the top of the pouch, and the place to put the drawstring. It worked out pretty well. Thank you for the article! Amy

    5 years ago

  • BranchandBirdie

    BranchandBirdie says:

    I love these!

    5 years ago

  • OrangeistheSun

    OrangeistheSun says:

    Thank-you so much for this tute. I just put up shelves for my shop supplies, so these will come in soooo handy!

    5 years ago

  • SplendidThread

    SplendidThread says:

    Sweet! Thanks for the tutorial!

    5 years ago

  • MutantAngel

    MutantAngel says:

    Great idea! I love the beautiful applique.

    5 years ago

  • CharlieErnestNErise

    CharlieErnestNErise says:

    Wow I was just thinking about making some fabric containers to list in my shop and I could REALLY use a few on my shelves, also.

    5 years ago

  • CaribooButterfly

    CaribooButterfly says:

    Wow, I thought I was the only one with a cluttered craft room, and a messy home!! I feel better that I am not alone! Thanks for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • TStyles

    TStyles says:

    great project

    5 years ago

  • MeAndBoo

    MeAndBoo says:

    I love these things, might get a sewing type person to make me up a couple.

    5 years ago

  • sewingmomma

    sewingmomma says:

    If you would like some upcycled bins/buckets or organic please visit mine.

    5 years ago

  • TheGreenGrassGrows

    TheGreenGrassGrows says:

    This was great. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • marbled

    marbled says:


    5 years ago

  • monkeynorman

    monkeynorman says:

    I was sat here reading your fabruckets tutorial, smug in the knowledge that I'm very tidy and in no way need storage....then the nurse came in to tell me it was time for my tablets...I'm just about to start making a couple of dozen of them

    5 years ago

  • motleyme

    motleyme says:

    Thanks for sharing, it's really usefull. I think I make some today or tomorrow.

    5 years ago

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique says:

    love these so cute for storing odd bits and bobs x

    5 years ago

  • bernolli

    bernolli says:

    great idea! useful! thanks for sharing

    5 years ago

  • FabricFascination
  • rexandpoppy

    rexandpoppy says:

    i am on it

    5 years ago

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop says:

    Love it!!!

    5 years ago

  • kathydawson

    kathydawson says:

    What a great idea! I need something economical for storage and this sounds super. Has anyone tried making these with children? I can see them at least able to decorate with the felt if not sew some of it.

    5 years ago

  • FernHollowFinds

    FernHollowFinds says:

    Clever, clever, one can never have enough vessels to put things in. Great use of scraps too!

    5 years ago

  • CatzillaCrafts

    CatzillaCrafts says:

    This is great, thanks! I can always use more storage to stuff yarn inside!

    5 years ago

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna says:

    Oh wow! These are adorable, I love the style *and* I totally think that even a sewing challenged crafter like me could maybe make this...far out!

    5 years ago

  • TheWoodShoppe

    TheWoodShoppe says:

    Fantastic way to store craft items! I love the Fabruckets!

    5 years ago

  • QuietStorytellers

    QuietStorytellers says:

    Thanks for the simple tutorial and the fabulous picks! Thanks also to FromTheLoft for the smart string idea. And of course dinnerware often has the size stamped on it so math may be the simplest solution after all. :o) But no matter what--great buckets!

    5 years ago

  • EYESview

    EYESview says:

    Cute idea! To make these sturdier you can slide a piece of Peltex between the outside fabric an liner or you can cut it about 1/4 inch (seam allowance) from the top and bottom and fuse it to the outter fabric with some fusable webbing, then it will be smoother looking as well. These look like they would be all saggy and slouchy.

    5 years ago

  • librarianship

    librarianship says:


    5 years ago

  • TeresasPrimTreasures

    TeresasPrimTreasures says:

    Love these!!! Need to give them a try!

    5 years ago

  • sodalightCreations

    sodalightCreations says:

    Cool! definitely need to give these a go. Thanks for the tute.

    5 years ago

  • jillmccp

    jillmccp says:

    lovely items. thanks!

    5 years ago

  • VariedVintage

    VariedVintage says:

    These are just great!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    5 years ago

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty says:

    Love it!! Thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • stitchuation

    stitchuation says:

    Quite nice--thank you!

    5 years ago

  • LisasLittleCreations

    LisasLittleCreations says:

    cool ideas! thanks for the tips. :)

    5 years ago

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry says:

    LOVE these, how crafty!!!! I love being organized so this is right up my alley!!! Best of luck to you!!!!

    5 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Great items for organizing!

    5 years ago

  • Zipper8Design

    Zipper8Design says:

    Those are so much fun! I can see that they would be really helpful for less rigid items, I'm personally thinking about extension cords, tools, and other things like that. I use a lot of plastic bins so I can stack them on shelves or in cupboards. One thing I would add to the wonderful Fabruckets are a little piece of hard plastic, with a little felt frame around it. Then, you could label your buckets with a dry erase marker, and if you ever had to switch items around you could just erase the label and write a new one. Otherwise they are perfect!

    5 years ago

  • kathydawson

    kathydawson says:

    I told my math teacher daughter about these, and she pointed out that making these is a concrete way to show children how the increase in circumference affects the area and volume. Great idea for home-schoolers if you use a grafting paper to draw your circles. Okay, so this may be geeky, but that's just the teacher in me. Nothing beats learning through doing.

    5 years ago

  • karmadi

    karmadi says:

    Thank you! This is my first How to Tuesday, but I've been on etsy for a while now! I'm excited to get started on these and maybe make a few changes to add my own uniqueness! :)

    5 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    omg, this is adorable....I will do this asap...thanks 4 sharing!!

    5 years ago

  • MysticHillsNgaroma

    MysticHillsNgaroma says:

    Oh!! nice...I hate to throw away anything JUST in case I can use it for one of my creations....NOW I will try this and use up all the bits of fabric about the place.Thank you for a great project!

    5 years ago

  • HanCrafted

    HanCrafted says:

    Suprisingly simple idea to get easily organised! Thank you

    5 years ago

  • AnitaFreeman

    AnitaFreeman says:

    Thank you for great ideas.

    5 years ago

  • evolwife

    evolwife says:

    Very inspirational. I'm sure I could make one, but I bought mine from Roseknits (an Etsy shop). Hers are more substantial, the contrasting borders and lining is really pretty plus gives the basket more heft, and they are I might try to make a doorstop, but I'll leave my project bags to Roseknits. In fact, I think I see a Roseknits stashbasket in one of your photos, right? ;)

    5 years ago

  • Tuuni

    Tuuni says:

    Great project, thank's for sharing! I've been using fabruckets (great name :)) for sewing yarns and trims in my workspace. These are also great for gift baskets!

    5 years ago

  • jandem

    jandem says:

    Thanks for sharing. Wonderful handmade totes seem to make craft areas even more lovely.

    5 years ago

  • etsyorganic

    etsyorganic says:

    great article, i've seen a lot of organic bags on which is pretty cool too

    5 years ago

  • takofibers

    takofibers says:

    These are super cute, I love the applique!

    5 years ago

  • kidmarket

    kidmarket says:

    So cute, great idea.

    5 years ago

  • SundayTreasures

    SundayTreasures says:

    clever......fabruckets would make a fab organizer for the picnic table!!!!!!

    5 years ago

  • HeartShadows

    HeartShadows says:

    sitting here in the middle of fabric, paint, papers... thanks for the instructions... I see these in my future...

    5 years ago

  • 32NorthSupplies

    32NorthSupplies says:

    What a wonderful way to use up some of my extra fabric! I'll surely be making these as Christmas gifts for my girlfriends with babies -- perfect toy organization. Great project!

    5 years ago

  • AlikiBags

    AlikiBags says:

    Absolutely brilliant! My mind is already spinning with ideas, including nagging my partner Alison to make another of her frill edged bucket tote bags ..... THANKS!

    5 years ago

  • NeatNat

    NeatNat says:

    Such a lovely tutorial...I do have a little problems with round shapes though...but these fabruckets are FAB!!

    5 years ago

  • LuBluDesigns

    LuBluDesigns says:

    What a wonderful idea Thanks for the tutorial.

    5 years ago

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere says:

    Wonderful! Thank you

    5 years ago

  • tumblebumbletots

    tumblebumbletots says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    5 years ago

  • SewHappybyJennie

    SewHappybyJennie says:

    Awesome. Thanks so much for dummying the instructions...I am a visual learner and very new to sewing so this was a perfect tutorial. Can't wait to go home and make a bunch.

    5 years ago

  • sandandstarfish

    sandandstarfish says:

    Thank you so much for this! I made several this morning and added some handles... So suer cute that I'm definitely making more!! I linked to this on my blog, thanks again!

    5 years ago

  • IttybitDelights

    IttybitDelights says:

    What a great idea! It's nice having the pictures and the step by step instructions to go along with it. I will have to make a few for my craft room.

    5 years ago

  • FreshRetroGallery