Organizing the Workroom: How To Create Fabric Storage with Industrial Shelving

Steal fabric shelving for the slipcover workroom.

Cheers everyone!  I hope 2015 is off to a great start for you.  I’m diving into January with a few reorg projects for my slipcover workroom.  First up: create more storage for my fabric samples.

Fabric has a way of quickly taking over my space no matter how often I declutter.  It makes me crazy if I don’t keep it organized.  Finding just the right storage solution for heavy piles of fabric is always a challenge.  What is my criteria?  Well, it has to support a lot of weight, have deep shelves, fit into my small live-work space and work within my budget.  And, of course, it has to look good!

After considering an amoire, a vintage dresser, an old china cabinet and a few other decorative furniture pieces I opted for this heavy duty steel shelving from Lowes.

Fabric covered shelving for the slipcover workroom.

To be honest, this piece wasn’t my favorite at first.  It reminded me of the old, wobbly industrial shelving in my parent’s basement, which as long as I can remember was always rusted, dented and had bowed shelves.  Eeek, not the look I’m going for!

And, then it dawned on me — I can give this utility shelving a makeover!  After all it offers almost everything I need for storing my large cuts of folded fabric.  All I have to do is change out the two things that bug me the most:  the boring brown particle board shelves and the towering 72″ height.  Here’s how I did it:

  • Covered the shelves with natural canvas.  A simple wrap and staple did the trick.  Now the shelves are light in color and soften the industrial look a bit.
  • Built it with only 3 of the 5 shelves.  By keeping the top shelf waste height I created an extra work surface with plenty of room for smaller storage containers on top.
Lowes shelving for fabric storage.

I might also create a flap for the front to protect the fabric from fading.  The bright sunlight in my work room reeks havoc on cloth.  For now, I’m just happy the fabric is no longer under foot! It’s organized and out of the way.  What do l like best about my fabric storage system?

  • Super strong and sturdy
  • Deep shelves hold a lot of fabric
  • Module, movable and versatile
  • Priced well under $100

Next up:  create storage for my library of fabric swatch books.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear about what creative storage solutions you use in your creative space.  Happy organizing!


  1. That looks great – I love the covered shelves! And did I spy a basket with covered welt cording in it? I thought I might be the only one who saved leftover lengths, just in case…

  2. Where did you get those little drawers? I have a bunch of plastic drawers for my small sewing stuff right now, but those wooden drawers would look nicer!

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