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My Sewing Tool Basket

How I organize my sewing tools

This week I’m on vacation. While I’m gone I’m showing off my new super-tidy sewing room, and sharing my solutions to some common craft supply storage challenges.

This little sewing tool basket was the first thing I organized in my sewing room. I did it over a year ago and it was SO NICE having the tools I needed right at hand – and to know right where to put each one back – that it inspired me to really tackle my entire room and make everything as organized and tidy as this basket.

I keep this on a shelf right behind the spot I usually work at my work table.

How I organize my sewing tools

I just need to turn around to grab a tool or tidy up when I’m done working. For me – minimal effort is key to keeping things organized, so I try to keep things right where I need them, but not cluttering up my work surface.

How I organize my sewing tools

Here’s a view of the basket from above, so you can see everything. It’s a very sturdy basket, with soup cans in it to keep everything organized. Here’s what’s in each can from left to right across the top. . .

  • Weird scissors – pinking shears, scalloped shears, and a few pairs of old, awful scissors for cutting open rough packaging. There’s also a lighter in this can for lighting scented candles.
  • Regular scissors – fabric scissors, paper scissors and paper-fused-to-fabric scissors, plus tiny sharp scissors for clipping curves and cutting small shapes out of felt and a box knife for opening packages. (Here’s how I rotate my scissors.)
  • Random tools – hemostats, hem gauge, bone folder, snap setter, tube turners, compass, awl

There are two pencil cases to grab and go when I’m carrying work around with me. One is drawing stuff – pencils, eraser, black ink pens. The other is sewing stuff – needles, thread, itty bitty scissors, Thread Heaven, etc.

Here’s what’s in each can in the front row from left to right. . .

  • Rotary cutters – one for fabric and one for paper
  • Things to mark on fabric – iron-on transfer pens, chalk pencils, air erase pens, water erase pens, sharpie, etc.
  • Things to mark on cardboard boxes – mostly fat black markers
  • Things to mark on paper – pencils and black pens for inking

There are also a few clothespins clipped on the handle – handy for holding odd things when I need them.

And that’s it! Those are the tools I use most often and everything has a place in this basket.

Tomorrow – how I store embroidery thread!

That's me!





  1. Cherie SAYS...

    When I was looking at the picture of your basket with the cans, I was wondering where you got the cans. Soup cans? Awesome idea. Thank you for this fun series.

    • Soup cans are AWESOME for storage. I never throw one out!