Fabric Basket for the Desk

melody miller typewriter fabric basket

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.

fabric basket to hold papers and pens

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.

close up stitching fabric basket from noodlehead

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.

denyse schmidt flea market fancy fabric basket

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.

fabric basket desk organizer

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?

ninepence buttonYay 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!).

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  • Truly Myrtle
    February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Love the carefully positioned typewriter 🙂 Doesn’t it look super smart? Much cooler than my pile of junk… Isn’t it funny how it takes ages to get around to quickest projects that end up being the most useful?!

    • Deborah
      February 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Oh, it’s so ridiculous, really. Took all of 20 minutes–at least as long choosing fabric as sewing–and I love it. Has totally tidied up my work area!

  • Katy
    February 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    There was me thinking I was the only one that used former desert dishes for paper weights/stationery organisation ;o)

    • Deborah
      February 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Isn’t it the perfect size? 🙂

  • Janet Davis
    February 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Your “basket” is cute! We keep a stack of the same kind of scrap paper on our desk – for the same purpose! I made a similar, but smaller, basket to hold keys and coins for gifts a couple of years ago. I used large snaps to join the corners – that way I could mail them flat. Perhaps I need to go larger now! I agree these are very quick to make!

  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    February 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    What a great fabric combo!

  • Updating a Vintage Metal Find | Whipstitch
    February 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    […] top shelf still holds, even in my new set-up, my Denyse Schmidt/Melody Miller fabric tray for holding recycled paper (every sheet of paper that comes through this house printed only on one […]