My fabric rulers had no place to go in my craft room. I’d lean them against a table, or slide them between the wall and the back of a shelf, or stick them in the closet, but I’d often forget where I put them last. I’ve been wanting to make an organizer for them for a loooong time, and finally, it’s done! I made it to hang on the back of the door, and it holds several different sizes of rulers, so you can make one exactly like mine if you also have a variety of rulers, or you can customize yours to fit what you have.
Before I got started with this project, I laid out all of my rulers to figure out the size of my pockets. I also measured my door, accounting for the doorknob, to see how wide my organizer could be. Conveniently, my organizer would be the width of my self-healing mat, and the length of my table. So the finished size of my organizer is 50 inches tall by 23 inches wide.
I made three pockets for my organizer. Even though my rulers are different lengths, I kept each pocket the same height to make things less complicated. The bottom one is the tallest and accommodates my long and skinny rulers. My shortest ruler is 4x17 inches, and the middle one is 6x24 inches. My longest ruler (35 inches) is too tall for this pocket as it is, so see the next picture describing the middle pocket to see how I handled this.
The middle pocket is for smaller rulers. This one is 6x6 inches, and I have an empty pocket in the middle for more smaller rulers that are still packed away. The right side of the middle pocket is open at the bottom. This accommodates the tallest ruler in the bottom pocket to keep it from flopping over.
Then the top pocket holds my big square ruler (16x16 inches). So the top pocket has one large pocket for this ruler, and a skinnier pocket to the right for skinnier rulers.
- Front: Home décor weight fabric, 51x24 inches
- Back: Cotton fabric, 51x24 inches
- Bottom pocket: Home décor weight fabric, 24x16 inches
- Lining for Bottom pocket: Cotton fabric, 24x16 inches
- Middle pocket: Home décor weight fabric, 24x7 inches
- Lining for Middle pocket: Cotton fabric, 24x7 inches
- Top pocket: Home décor weight fabric, 24x13 inches
- Lining for Top pocket: Cotton fabric, 24x13 inches
- Note: I used canvas for the front, thick cotton napkins from Target for the pockets, and a vintage sheet for the back and pocket linings.
Medium-weight fusible interfacing cut 1/2 inch shorter all around than coordinating fabric piece:
- Front/back: 50x23 inches
- Bottom pocket: 23x15 inches
- Middle pocket: 23x6 inches
- Top pocket: 23x12 inches
You’ll also need:
- Rotary cutter
- Fabric rulers (of course!)
- Self-healing mat
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine
- Iron/Ironing board
- Washable pen
- Grommets and Grommet Pliers
- Over the door hangers (make sure they fit through the grommets!)
Step 1. Cut out all of your fabrics, linings, and interfacing pieces. Fuse the interfacing pieces to coordinating lining piece. The interfacing pieces are cut smaller so there’s a 1/2 inch border around it when you fuse them centered to the lining, so when you sew, there’s less bulk in the seams.
Step 2. Pin bottom pocket piece to coordinating lining piece, right sides together. Sew at a 1/4-inch seam allowance along the top and bottom edges (i.e. the long edges).
Step 3. Turn the pocket right side out and press the seams flat.
Step 4. Top stitch along one seam that you just sewed with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. This will be the top of the pocket.
Step 5. Fold over and press the other seam. This will be where you attach the pocket at the bottom. You will sew on the fold and the clean seam will be inside the pocket.
Repeat steps 1-5 with the middle and top pockets.
Step 6. Now we will attach the pockets to the canvas panel. From the bottom, measure 2 inches. Turn your bottom pocket upside down and right side facing the canvas. Place the fold of the bottom pocket (that you just pressed in step 5), along this 2-inch mark, open the fold, and pin.
Step 7. Sew along the fold, attaching the bottom of the pocket to the canvas.
Step 8. Measure 20 inches from the bottom of the bottom pocket. Turn the middle pocket upside down and right side facing the canvas. Place the fold of the bottom pocket along the 20-inch mark and pin.
Instead of sewing all the way across, we are going to make part of the middle pocket a strap so part of the pocket will be open at the bottom.
Step 9. Sew from the left side to 7.5 inches from the right side. Stop sewing there and be sure to back stitch.
Step 10. Fold the canvas that is underneath the strap away so that only the strap is resting on the sewing machine. Sew the pressed edge to finish the bottom of the strap.
Step 11. Attach top pocket: Measure 30 inches from the bottom of the bottom pocket. Repeat steps 6-7: Turn the top pocket upside down and right side facing the canvas. Place the fold of the top pocket along this 30-inch mark. Sew all the way across as you did with the bottom pocket.
Step 12. Flip all of the pockets back up so the pocket openings is up top and the right side of the fabric is showing.
Step 13. Now we’re going to section off each row of pockets. The width of the pockets should accommodate the width of the rulers with some wiggle room. For the bottom pocket: measure 7.5 inches from both sides and draw a vertical line from top to bottom with washable pen. This will give you a 9-inch pocket in the middle and, in the end, two 6.5-7 inch pockets on either side. (Sorry about the weird angle of the pic below. The fabric was upside down.)
Step 14. Sew along the lines you drew to form the pockets. Be sure to back stitch a few times.
Step 15. For the middle pocket: Draw a vertical line 7.5 inches from the right edge i.e. where you stopped sewing down the pocket to form the strap. Sew along this line and be sure to back stitch a few times.
Step 16. Draw a vertical line 8.5 inches from the 7.5 inch line you just sewed. Sew along that line to form two more pockets. The middle pocket is 8 inches wide, and the left pocket, in the end, will be 7 inches wide.
Step 17. For the top pocket: Draw a vertical line at 5.5 inches from the right. Sew along that line to form one big pocket and one small pocket. The big pocket will be 17.5 inches in the end. The small pocket will be 5 inches in the end.
Step 18. Top stitch the bottom edge of all of the pockets. Note: Only top stitch the pocket part of the middle pocket, not the strap part.
Step 18. Now we’re going to attach the back panel, which will also serve to finish the raw edges along the sides and top and bottom edges. As you sew, you will also catch the raw edges of the pocket sides. First, place the back panel (with interfacing fused on the wrong side), right side facing the right side of the front i.e. the side with the pockets. Pin all around.
Step 19. Sew just the sides and the top, leaving the bottom edge open like a pillow case.
Step 20. Turn right side out and press the seams flat.
Step 21. Fold the bottom seam inward 1/2 an inch and press. Top Stitch the opening closed. Also top stitch the top edge if you like. You can also top stitch the sides too, but I didn’t.
Step 22. Measure 1x1 inches in from the top corner and mark where the grommets should go.
Cut a small opening for the grommets, and apply grommets to the top corners according to the directions.
Step 23. Wail loudly when your over the door hooks are too big to fit through the grommets. Tie on lame ribbon instead until next trip to fabric store to get larger grommets.
All done, aside from the tragic woe in step 23.
I love the fabric (wish I had bought more of those napkins!). They go nicely with my painted spice racks that I use for my paints.
I’m glad the strap for my tall ruler worked! And I’m glad my rulers now have a home.
As with all of my tutorials, hope this one inspires you to make something for yourself!