Anna over at Noodlehead has a fantastic tutorial for making a fabric tray for storage that I’ve been meaning to try for ages. I tend to take papers and pattern pages that have been printed on one side and tear them in half to use as scrap paper–mostly for making lists of things to do the next day that I stick in my calendar so I’ll be able to check them off, thereby earning myself a nice gold star and a new Netflix for a reward. Ahem.
I needed a place to keep all the bits of paper I hadn’t used yet, though. And I’m not really sure what took me so long–I think I figured that I had other things to prioritize over making a storage basket. But I was reminded when I finally DID make it that there’s a rule at play: when a task takes time but saves you exponentially MORE time than it takes, you should invest the time and be done with it, in order to save more time later. I bet there’s a more direct way to state that rule, but I think you already knew the rule, so I won’t both re-stating something you already knew.
Including the cutting, this might have taken all of 25 minutes to put together. I had all the supplies on hand–two fabrics, a small piece of Peltex, thread. Nothing super unusual (especially since I think you could get away with using cardboard instead of the Peltex, in a pinch). Anna’s instructions are really well written, and I love that she gives you the dimensions and everything. I used the instructions for the largest size, which is just right for storing 8.5″ x 11″ pages torn in half, along with a pen and the little creme brulee dish I use to corral paper clips and push pins and binder clips and occasionally stray bobbins looking for a home.
I think my favorite part is the little corners, which are so cute and so easy to make that I wanted a whole stack of nesting baskets (kinda like my fabric buckets, but for on top of the desk). I held back–I don’t want to clutter the limited space I have, and I’m looking to simplify rather than expand at the moment.
But what a great addition to my desk life. I spend 25 minutes cutting and sewing, and now I DON’T have to spend 15 minutes every day hunting for a piece of scrap paper, plus I get to save all the pages that got tossed in recycling because I didn’t have any place to store them until I needed them–at which point I didn’t have any, and would end up using a new piece of paper rather than re-using a piece that was printed on one side but still totally good! Whew. Maybe this is a leftover effect of all my closet cleaning from the new year, but I’m so glad I finally buckled down and did it. Plus, now I get to see Melody Miller’s typewriters and just a dash of Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy every day–who knew those fabrics would look so fantastic together?
Yay for sewing organization! Somewhere around here, I’ve got some Neat as Ninepence posts, where I’ve been gradually adding in ideas and sewing that helps me to get organized and stay that way. This one totally gets added to the bunch–feel free to browse (or let me know if I’ve overlooked a fabulous idea that I totally need to add!).