I've got toys and stuffed animals a-plenty. I've got blankets and pillows galore. You want bouncy balls? I've got twenty! So I figured it's time to make more cute storage solutions for corralling all the loose stuff in our home. These fabric storage bins are the perfect storage solution for soft items that can be stuffed inside, like extra blankets or stuffed animals. And bonus—storage bins have become fashionable home accessories! It's the best thing to happen to interior design in…well, ever, if you ask me!
These reversible fabric totes are the perfect simple sewing project to productively fill an extra couple of hours in your day. It's a great project for a beginner or moderately skilled seamstress, though keep in mind that precise measuring is important for this project.
-stiff coordinating fabric—I used home decor fabric, but if you want to ensure washability, you could use a bottom-weight apparel fabric. Yardage depends on the size of your bins and also the width of the material you purchase.
-water soluble pen or pencil
Supplies Not Shown:
-iron and ironing board
-round object to trace (I used dishes with a 48" and 37" circumference.)
Step Two: Cut out the traced circle and measure its circumference. It's important to get a precise measurement here.
Step Three: Cut out the material for the walls of your bin. The width should be the circumference of your bottom plus 1" for a hem allowance if you plan to make a 1/2" hem. The height of the walls are up to you. The bin is sturdier the more times you fold down the top, so keep that in mind. The material I cut for the walls of my large bin was 49" wide x 28" tall.
Step Four: Fold the material you just cut out (for the walls) in half width-wise. Make a 1/2" hem to close it into a tube. This hem must be precise for connecting the bottom in the next step.
Step Five: Connect the bottom of the bin to the walls of the bin with straight pins. If you find that the tube you made for the walls of the bin is too wide to properly fit the circle, you will need to remove the pins, adjust the hem on your walls, and do it again. This is why measuring is important—they must perfectly match.
If you're the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-hastily-sewn-pants kind of seamstress, make sure you take care to really do a good job measuring so you won't have to do any adjustments after your first attempt at connecting the bottom to the walls.
Repeat Steps 1-5 for the interior of your bin. It's very helpful to cut the fabric for the exterior and interior at the same time so you know the pieces will be the exact same size.
Step Six: After you have sewn both the interior and exterior of your bin, flip the exterior piece (mine is the white fabric) right side out and keep the interior fabric (mine is the patterned fabric) inside out.
Step Seven: Place the interior fabric inside of the exterior fabric as shown above. Connect them with straight pins a couple of inches from the edge to make sure they don't shift during the next step.
Step Eight: Flip under the edge of both the interior and exterior fabrics and press with a hot iron. Pin the flipped edge in place, then stitch it together.
Fold down the tops of your bins once or twice to make the shape more rigid and less floppy. The bins will not hold their shape without filling them with things. If you'd like your bins to be more rigid and hold their shape without anything inside, you can easily put double-sided fusible interfacing between the interior and exterior during step 7. Ironing the final bin will cause the fusible webbing to adhere to the fabric and create a stiff shape.
I love the bold patterns and crisp white of these bins, and I'm also pretty excited about flipping them inside out to change up the look of my living room from time to time. If you need a little more storage in your home, why not make this your weekend project? Go ahead and see how many wonders one cavern can hold. –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.