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How-Tuesday: Organizational Fabruckets

Jul 6, 2010

by Dillinger 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.

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  • RainyPenguinVintage

    RainyPenguinVintage said 7 years ago

    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

  • funretro

    funretro said 7 years ago

    this is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 7 years ago

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

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 7 years ago

    Great project. Thank you for sharing.

  • allthepreciousthings

    allthepreciousthings said 7 years ago

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

  • clothscapes

    clothscapes said 7 years ago

    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.

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 7 years ago

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

  • designMatter

    designMatter said 7 years ago

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

  • joliefemme

    joliefemme said 7 years ago

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

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 7 years ago

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

  • deetsy

    deetsy said 7 years ago

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

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    :)) Perfect ! Thanks so much !

  • kissadesign

    kissadesign said 7 years ago

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

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 7 years ago

    Very cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • MaaPstudio

    MaaPstudio said 7 years ago

    Great idea!I love the fabruckets!

  • sweetpeatoadtots

    sweetpeatoadtots said 7 years ago

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

  • bennyandstash

    bennyandstash said 7 years ago

    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

  • LouisestArt

    LouisestArt said 7 years ago

    Love the colors!

  • VintageStarrBeads

    VintageStarrBeads said 7 years ago

    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

  • valenstar

    valenstar said 7 years ago

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

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio said 7 years ago

    What a great tutorial!

  • nisseworks

    nisseworks said 7 years ago

    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!

  • MontanaSnowVintage

    MontanaSnowVintage said 7 years ago

    i love it! quick and easy storage idea!

  • amyflorence

    amyflorence said 7 years ago

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

  • allthingswhite

    allthingswhite said 7 years ago

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

  • metalissa

    metalissa said 7 years ago

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

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 7 years ago

    Love them!

  • FromTheLoft

    FromTheLoft said 7 years ago

    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!)

  • CuddleBuggComforts

    CuddleBuggComforts said 7 years ago

    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.

  • CuddleBuggComforts

    CuddleBuggComforts said 7 years ago

    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!

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 7 years ago

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

  • princessdoodlebeans

    princessdoodlebeans said 7 years ago

    How Lovely these are!! Thanks for the info.

  • Garden22DesignStudio

    Garden22DesignStudio said 7 years ago

    Very cute!

  • LaughingBaby

    LaughingBaby said 7 years ago

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

  • heartfeltwool

    heartfeltwool said 7 years ago


  • FiberContent

    FiberContent said 7 years ago

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

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 7 years ago

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

  • AbraCat

    AbraCat said 7 years ago

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

  • ALittleWorld

    ALittleWorld said 7 years ago

    Great tutorial. Thanks!

  • shannonbatescreates

    shannonbatescreates said 7 years ago

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

  • smeeta

    smeeta said 7 years ago

    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

  • roobyart

    roobyart said 7 years ago

    What a great idea! Thanks!

  • mache23

    mache23 said 7 years ago

    very cute thanks for sharing how to make these!

  • KatysKnitKnacks

    KatysKnitKnacks said 7 years ago

    very cute!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 7 years ago


  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    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.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    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.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    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.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 7 years ago

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

  • MalindasBeadDesigns

    MalindasBeadDesigns said 7 years ago

    Good idea and so practical. Thanks.

  • DonkeeHouse

    DonkeeHouse said 7 years ago

    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 :)

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr said 7 years ago

    Very cool and the tutorial is great :)

  • trinityrocks

    trinityrocks said 7 years ago

    Great Idea.

  • ArtfullySew

    ArtfullySew said 7 years ago

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

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 7 years ago

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

  • LilianEveDesigns

    LilianEveDesigns said 7 years ago


  • moccasinsandmukluks

    moccasinsandmukluks said 7 years ago

    Nice! Clever idea.

  • pammyj50

    pammyj50 said 7 years ago

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

  • Enderby

    Enderby said 7 years ago

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

  • Mypolkadotpottery

    Mypolkadotpottery said 7 years ago

    Love it! Thank you!

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 7 years ago

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

  • billetsdoux

    billetsdoux said 7 years ago

    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! :)

  • Ohiocrochetlady

    Ohiocrochetlady said 7 years ago

    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.

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 7 years ago

    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 ;)!!

  • FromMyAttic

    FromMyAttic said 7 years ago

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

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 7 years ago

    Excellent idea!

  • KristaBDesigns

    KristaBDesigns said 7 years ago

    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.

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet said 7 years ago

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

  • BonTons

    BonTons said 7 years ago

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

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 7 years ago

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

  • elseseven

    elseseven said 7 years ago

    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.

  • blckpnthr13

    blckpnthr13 said 7 years ago

    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

  • BranchandBirdie

    BranchandBirdie said 7 years ago

    I love these!

  • OrangeistheSun

    OrangeistheSun said 7 years ago

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

  • SplendidThread

    SplendidThread said 7 years ago

    Sweet! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • MutantAngel

    MutantAngel said 7 years ago

    Great idea! I love the beautiful applique.

  • CharlieErnestNErise

    CharlieErnestNErise said 7 years ago

    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.

  • CaribooButterfly

    CaribooButterfly said 7 years ago

    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.

  • TStyles

    TStyles said 7 years ago

    great project

  • MeAndBoo

    MeAndBoo said 7 years ago

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

  • sewingmomma

    sewingmomma said 7 years ago

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

  • TheGreenGrassGrows

    TheGreenGrassGrows said 7 years ago

    This was great. Thanks.

  • marbled

    marbled said 7 years ago


  • monkeynorman

    monkeynorman said 7 years ago

    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

  • motleyme

    motleyme said 7 years ago

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

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique said 7 years ago

    love these so cute for storing odd bits and bobs x

  • bernolli

    bernolli said 7 years ago

    great idea! useful! thanks for sharing

  • FabricFascination

    FabricFascination said 7 years ago

    Love it!

  • rexandpoppy

    rexandpoppy said 7 years ago

    i am on it

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop said 7 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • kathydawson

    kathydawson said 7 years ago

    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.

  • FernHollowFinds

    FernHollowFinds said 7 years ago

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

  • CatzillaCrafts

    CatzillaCrafts said 7 years ago

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

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 7 years ago

    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!

  • TheWoodShoppe

    TheWoodShoppe said 7 years ago

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

  • QuietStorytellers

    QuietStorytellers said 7 years ago

    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!

  • EYESview

    EYESview said 7 years ago

    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.

  • librarianship

    librarianship said 7 years ago


  • TeresasPrimTreasures

    TeresasPrimTreasures said 7 years ago

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

  • sodalightCreations

    sodalightCreations said 7 years ago

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

  • jillmccp

    jillmccp said 7 years ago

    lovely items. thanks!

  • VariedVintage

    VariedVintage said 7 years ago

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

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty said 7 years ago

    Love it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • stitchuation

    stitchuation said 7 years ago

    Quite nice--thank you!

  • LisasLittleCreations

    LisasLittleCreations said 7 years ago

    cool ideas! thanks for the tips. :)

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 7 years ago

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

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Great items for organizing!

  • Zipper8Design

    Zipper8Design said 7 years ago

    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!

  • kathydawson

    kathydawson said 7 years ago

    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.

  • karmadi

    karmadi said 7 years ago

    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! :)

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 7 years ago

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

  • MysticHillsNgaroma

    MysticHillsNgaroma said 7 years ago

    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!

  • HanCrafted

    HanCrafted said 7 years ago

    Suprisingly simple idea to get easily organised! Thank you

  • AnitaFreeman

    AnitaFreeman said 7 years ago

    Thank you for great ideas.

  • evolwife

    evolwife said 7 years ago

    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? ;)

  • Tuuni

    Tuuni said 7 years ago

    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!

  • jandem

    jandem said 7 years ago

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

  • etsyorganic

    etsyorganic said 7 years ago

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

  • takofibers

    takofibers said 7 years ago

    These are super cute, I love the applique!

  • kidmarket

    kidmarket said 7 years ago

    So cute, great idea.

  • SundayTreasures

    SundayTreasures said 7 years ago

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

  • HeartShadows

    HeartShadows said 7 years ago

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

  • 32NorthSupplies

    32NorthSupplies said 7 years ago

    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!

  • AlikiBags

    AlikiBags said 7 years ago

    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!

  • NeatNat

    NeatNat said 7 years ago

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

  • LuBluDesigns

    LuBluDesigns said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful idea Thanks for the tutorial.

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere said 7 years ago

    Wonderful! Thank you

  • tumblebumbletots

    tumblebumbletots said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  • SewHappybyJennie

    SewHappybyJennie said 7 years ago

    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.

  • sandandstarfish

    sandandstarfish said 6 years ago

    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!

  • IttybitDelights

    IttybitDelights said 6 years ago

    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.

  • FreshRetroGallery

    FreshRetroGallery said 6 years ago


  • afsarpati

    Amsaro from ABCGems1 said 341 days ago

    I like it..

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