Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stationery organiser tutorial

Ok, so, here is the tute for the stationery organiser that I made for myself a few weeks ago in the quest to tidy my desk (see previous post for the story). Is your desk flooded with bits of paper, envelopes, stickers and other madness? Maybe you need one of these!

Step 1: Buy yourself a case of Australian wine (believe me, Australian wine works much better ; ) ). Drink the wine and recycle the wine bottles. Hold onto the box.

Step 2: Get your wine box and hack it apart with a stanley knife. Be careful cutting towards you (I know you're thinking "yes mum!", but maybe this small reminder will make you think about it for a moment longer and thus save yourself a nasty cut). Cut the box into three neat panels, the two big main ones and a smaller side one.

Step 3: Stanley knives don't make for perfect edges, so I taped packing tape around the cut edges to neaten them out (I would have used masking tape but do you think I could find it under all the rubble on my desk?).

Step 4: Measure up your fabric against your cardboard. You'll need enough fabric to cover the front and back of the cardboard pieces (when they are laid side by side - with gaps so that when your organiser is sewn up there is enough room for it to fold neatly) and another piece to lay across, which will be the actual stationery pocket. I made my pocket about half the height of the cardboard pieces.

Step 5: Take your pocket piece and hem the top of it with a straight stitch. Add a second line of stitching if you think your fabric might fray.

Step 6: Sandwich your pocket piece in between your two outer pieces, with outer pieces right rides together. Stitch the bottom and two sides of your organiser.

Step 7: Trim off any excess fabric at the edges and then turn your organiser inside out. Hey! Looking pretty good! Push those pesky corners out with a pen or the point of your scissors.

Step 8: Insert your cardboard pieces. Find the 'gaps' between the cardboard and pin down the line. This will help you to hold your cardboard in place. With your organiser pinned, check to see that it folds properly. If it's a bit squishy in there - don't worry! - just trim your cardboard down a bit. When it's looking right, take the cardboard out and stitch your pinned gap lines.

Step 9: Nearly there. Slot your cardboard back in. At the top of the organiser, cut a line *almost* to the top of the cardboard. Fold the top bit of fabric in and pin in place. Now, stop right there. Think about the way that you're pinning. When you put it front of your sewing machine, can you pull the pins out the right way? Coz there's no way you're gonna get the cardboard side into the arch of your sewing machine. I am speaking from experience here people. Once it's all pinned and good, stitch it!

Step 10: Brilliant! Hopefully it looks and functions like a stationery organiser. Pop some paper, envelopes, stickers, whatever in it!

Step 11: Find your preferred way to fasten it. Ribbons, leftover bits of fabric, twine etc look good. If you want to get technical, you could have sewn a press-study bit into one of the side seams. Do what suits you.

Step 12: Enjoy a neat desk. Ahh : )


  1. This is a very cute project, thank you for sharing with us!

  2. I was just wondering about how I could justify drinking a case of Australian wine... :-)

    Great project and a fabulous excuse for a party!!

  3. Awesome organizer!! Your supplies look so organized in that folio!

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  4. Ciao
    il tuo tutorial è davvero molto bello.
    Domani metterò un articolo sul mio blog su di lui.

  5. Thanks everyone for the kind words. Thanks (and grazie) to Anne and Moni for the links!


  6. How awesome! I love organisational things - thanks so much for this tutorial, I'll let you know if I make one. Which I really hope to!

  7. Great Tutorial, thanks for sharing it

  8. Great project, thanks for sharing! I'm one of those whose table is always a mess... :D

  9. Been thinking of how to do this for a long time. Thank you very much for the inspiration and the tutorial.


  10. Fabbo tutorial. I've pinned it on my Pinterest board becuase it's such a goodie.

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