Organizing Your Sewing Area

Today, my husband finally mounted my spool rack on the wall that I made last month (see older post).  It’s funny how simple things like this make me happy.  I had spools in Wawak boxes, Ziplock bags and wicker baskets, so determining if I had the right shade and weight thread for each project was somewhat of a pain in the butt.   Although I have more serger thread than my 24″x36″ DIY spool rack allows, this is perfect.  The basic colors (beige, black, white) are now the only colors stored in my sewing table and those used less often are on the rack.

Spool Rack

Having dedicated space to sew is so important to me.   What’s more important is knowing prior to assembling a quilt or article of clothing what I have on hand and where it is.  Today, everything that I need has its proper place, including my new DIY pressing board that I constructed last Sunday.  I no longer need to run to the mud room to press seams as I sew, run upstairs, sew and repeat until I am finished (or drag the iron ironing board upstairs)   Making a pressing board is simple, inexpensive and very convenient.  I made one larger than the norm but what IS normal about me?   The instructions are below if you are interested , in creating one  I apologize that I didn’t take a video   I was bored and it was after 9pm and the husband was away on business… I do crazy things when left unattended.

Pressing Pad

DIY Pressing Board

A DIY pressing board is comprised of a few simple materials:

  •  One OSB Board (from Lowes, Home Depot, 84 Lumber, etc) — I suggest sanding the corners which gives it a better look and is less likely to wear through the fabric over time.  OSB is softer than pine or walnut)
  •  100% Cotton Batting
  •  100% Cotton Canvas
  • Fusible felt
  • Upholstery stapler
  • Iron
  • Water in a spray bottle


  1. Cut the canvas 2″ larger than the OSB board so that it overlaps on the underside of the board but not too much that it prevents the board from laying flat.  (Cut the excess fabric after Step 7)
  2. Cut the batting 1″ larger than the OSB board so that it does not exceed the canvas.  I wanted my pressing board, firm yet well padded, so I added two layers.  This is merely a suggestion.
  3. Using your iron, press the canvas lightly and lay it on a flat surface, then place the batting in the center of it.  Smooth out both layers of fabric with your hands ensuring that it lays flat.
  4. Lay the OSB board in the center of both layers ensuring that both the batting and canvas will wrap evenly around the edges.
  5. Take one corner of the canvas and batting and wrap it over, holding firmly so that it is taut, then staple the corner down.  Don’t go staple gun crazy.  Two will do LOL.
  6. Repeat Step 5 for the remaining three corners ensuring that you are pulling each corner as taut as possible and there are no wrinkles.
  7. Fold the remaining sides holding the fabric taught and staple down.
  8. Cut the fusible felt so that it covers the stapled areas and press with the iron.  The purpose of fusible felt in this step is to prevent the staples from scratching any surface that you may place your board on as well as cover the back.
  9. Turn your new pressing board over and spritz with water and leave it to dry.  This action will slightly shrink the canvas tightening it just a bit more and voia!

Now when I turn off the light in my sewing room as I did this evening, I smile.  It’s my lab, my favorite place in the house .  During the day, the sun whispers hello and brightens my day.

Sewing Room

Whenever you sew, make your work area as comfortable, organized and clutter free as possible. It decreases the spit everywhere you are mumbling profanities under your breath because you can’t find something. And you’ll appreciate it!

Repurposing USPS Boxes Revisited

As you can see, I painted my “lab” a bright bicycle yellow on Mother’s Day. As I was putting things back in order, I realized that I have an abundance of notions (zippers, buttons, bias tape, etc.) that should have been better organized. All week, I checked Pier 1, Target, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx for decorative boxes to store them in. Nothing popped. I saw simply ordinary, blah yet heavy boxes. Early this morning, the light bulb came on. Why pay anyone $15-29 for something that I can do myself. Think, Tracy, think!!!! I measured the sides and bottom of my USPS boxes and used leftover fabric to cover the boxes myself. Now I have colorful fabric covered boxes to match my damask print valance in my brightly colored sewing room.

This chick is a happy camper!

Repurpose your USPS Boxes!

As many seasoned Mary Kay consultants do, I have a rather large quantity of USPS shipping boxes. Recently, I found a neat way to repurpose boxes. Using a craft knife,I cut them on the fold and use them as “backing”. I then fold the fabric inside out and fold it along the board which allows me to place them on book shelves. What an efficient way to catalog my fabric stash on shelves so that I can quickly feel the texture, see the color, etc. instead of opening containers, bags or boxes or better yet, buy what I already have at home because I can’t locate it.

I filled one shelf and began pulling fabric out of bags so that I can catalog the rest tomorrow and complete my shelves.

My Custom Made Spool Rack


I am definitely the handiest chick out of all of my girlfriends hands down! This is a 24″ x 36″ spool rack with a shelf for my sewing rulers,  I made to store all of my sewing and serger thread spools. It was less than $35 in lumber purchased @HomeDepot but required precision and patience.  With a coat of white paint after I repainted my sewing room, will I finally be able to discard the Ziplock baggies and wicker baskets that hold my thread.

I cannot stop looking at it. I am truly a proud woman!