Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crafter's Tool Bucket Organizer

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I'm working very hard to get my craft room organized and supplies moved from the basement into it.  I have not only all of my supplies but most of my mother's and grandmother's supplies.  Do you know how man boxes of pins and packages of needles three generations of sewers can have?  I do, it's a lot!  The plastic shelves I did are loaded with various home decor fabric.  I bought a canvas shoe organizer at a garage sale and loaded it with broadcloth fabric and all of that didn't fit.  Then there is the various knitting needles, crochet hooks, paint brushes, well you get the picture that all need homes.  It's a mad house!

I started saving metal coffee cans last year.  I knew I could do something with them.  I have also been looking at a way to have all my tools out on my table but still organized.  Then it hit me, I need a tool bucket like my husband has.  It's a really cool thing, it fits in a 5 gallon bucket and is loaded with pockets.  They are fairly cheap at the hardware store the down side is I don't have room for a 5 gallon bucket on my craft table.  So I designed my own to fit my stash of coffee cans.  They are fairly easy to make, if you can sew a straight line and measure you've got this!  So let's make one together.


  • Fabric - 1 kind for the pocket and another for the liner - this is a great scrap buster
  • Tape Measure - paper and pencil to write those measurements down!
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Can of your choice.

Step 1:  Measure your can.  You need to go around the can (circumference) add 1 inch to this number, the height of the can, and then from the bottom of the can on the inside all the way around the can to the bottom on the outside add 2 inches to this measurement.

Step 2: We are going to start with the pocket.  So you need your first two measurements circumference of the can and height of the can.  My can is 6 1/2 inches tall and 21 inches around.  So I needed to cut a piece that size.

Step 3: Fold top edge of fabric down 3/4 of an inch and press.

Step 4: Then open up, bring raw edge to the press line and stitch down.

Step 5:  Now we need to cut the lining fabric.  This time we are going to use the first measurement, the circumference, and the last measurement, the height, the lip, and the inside of the can.  My circumference was 21 inches and the wrap was 17.5 inches.  I rounded that up to 18 inches and just used a fat quarter.

Step 6: The only tricky part of the whole thing and it's not that tricky.  Lay your lining right side down.  Lay your pocket right side down on top of your lining.  Line up raw edges.  Stitch using 5/8 inch seam.

Step 7: Press the seam towards the lining.

Step 8:  Flip the pocket so right side of both the lining and the pocket is facing your.  Press the bottom again.

Step 9:  Sew your pockets.  I forgot to take a picture of this.  You have to decided how big your pockets will be and how wide.  In the original picture I did four pockets.  On the yellow one I did three.

Step 10: Fold your piece in half right sides together.  Stitch along the raw edged long side and across the raw edge short side.

Step 10: Place the short seam inside the can.

Step 11:  Unfold your organizer over your can.  The pockets should be right side up and at the bottom of your can.

The nice thing about this pattern is that it can be adapted to fit any size of can you have.  You could even do it for that 5 gallon bucket if you have room or if you want to make it prettier than the ones they sell at the hardware store.
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