October 7, 2011

{OrganizedHome} Day 7: DIY pocket Organizer

[This is day 7 in a 31 day series called 31 days to an Organized Home. Enjoy!]


Originally this wasn't supposed to be a blog post all it's own. I was just going to buy a pocket organizer, cut it down to size, plunk it on the door of the sink cabinet and include it in my kitchen tour.  But...

Those things cost, like, 20 bucks!  For something I was going to cut up!? No way!

So there I was, standing in the hardware store with a cart full of children, saying to my husband "I could make this for way cheaper."

Now you need to know that this is soooo backwards. Because it is almost always him who says this. Every time I'm drooling over a piece of furniture, or decorative items, or pretty much anything made out of wood, metal or stone, my husband will scoff at the price tag and say something akin to I could make this for 3 bucks out of scrap lumber and pure testosterone...

And I tease him about it.  I say things like, Yeah?...with all that free time you have?

So when I stood there with a cart full of children and said that I could make this for cheap my husband raised an eyebrow and gave me a look and said it.

Yeah?  With all that free time you have?

I tell you this because I want you to know that this really is a simple project.  You can whip one of these up before the baby wakes up from her nap.  And you can do it with three bucks and pure estrogen...um, or not.

Start with a piece of sturdy fabric cut to the size you want.  I cut mine from a drop cloth.  Draw lines dividing it into equal columns and rows the size you want your pockets to be.


Cut some sort of plastic material into strips almost as high as your rows and about one and a half times as long. 

I used something my construction worker husband calls "poly" and I couldn't tell you what it's for if my life depended on it.  But you could use whatever you've got.  You could cut apart the bag your duvet came in, or you could use a mesh material or just some pretty fabric. Sew bias tape along the top edges.


(NOTE: after consulting my husband I discovered the stuff I used is also called 6 mil vapor barrier.  Still have no idea what it's really for....)

Now start pinning the  plastic to the fabric, leaving a little fold or two in each section so that the pocket won't lay so flat that you can't put things in it. (this is why the strip started out longer than the fabric) 



Once you have all your rows pinned in place, start sewing. Sew along the bottom of each row, and then the edges of the organizer and down the columns.  Use the lines you drew at the start as a guide.


And then zig-zag stitch around all the outside edges to help keep them from fraying.  I originally intended to sew bias tape all around the outside, but my helper was getting impatient and giving me a look...


Fold under the top of the organizer and sew a channel to hold a piece of dowel.


Add some loops and hang.



 
Thanks for stopping by The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Happy Organizing!



89 comments:

  1. Genius! Great idea!

    Becky B.
    www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

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  2. I looooove this idea. Very smart. I don't know if I will make one, or buy and cut (like your original plan).

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  3. I have also found these pocket organizers at dollar stores. I use them in my classroom for organizing things.

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    1. I also bought mine at a dollar store! Not the sturdiest thing in the world but it would definitely work!

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  4. Great Idea! I love the feeling when something like this works out so well!

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  5. Oh. my. word! This is brilliant! I've recently been giving my array of cleaning products dirty looks because they don't have a home, this would be PERFECT! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  6. I love this and thanks for the great tutorial. Thanks for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party. I featured this on my Facebook fan page today.

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  7. Awesome idea :) A cheap shower curtain from the dollar store could be used (fold it over for extra strength)!

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  8. I found some just that size at Dollar Tree...so I couldn't make it cheaper, but I do like your ingenuity!

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  9. Awesome! And my husband says the same thing when I want to buy stuff for our home too! Thanks for this excellent series.

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  10. This is pure GENIUS!!! Great job and inspiration!!

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  11. Awesome, I will try.

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  12. In case you were actually curious, vapor barrier is plastic that you put down under your house in homes that have crawlspaces underneath them. I think it helps prevent mold growth in the home. Cool project!

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  13. thanks for the idea and Dollar tree has these pocket organizers for a $1!!

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  14. Can't beat the Dollar Tree price but if you don't have a Dollar Tree near you, they have the shoe racks for $6 at Walmart that you could cut and make a few for more cabinets! I SO love this idea!!!

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  15. very cute helper. love this idea!

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  16. LOVE LOVE IT! I was just about to break down and buy an organizer for my daughter's Barbies. this is fantastic! Thank you!!

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  17. I saw a shoe organizer at Big Lots for $6, I think I will pick one up and cut it ( :

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  18. This is awesome! SOOO many places I could use this... 1st thought was for my messy daughter's sink. Or pantry, or cleaning supplies... Thanks! (Visiting from Pinterest.)

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  19. Awesome idea, we have no real storage space in our bathroom except for under the sink so it gets pretty cluttered and hard to find anything under there. I will probably buy one and cut it though, I don't have a sewing machine!

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  20. Love this idea. I am going to make one. I chuckled at you saying "I can make it cheaper than that." I say that so much my children (they are adults) are going to put it on my headstone!!!! gelswood@aol.com

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  21. This is a great idea! I will have to keep an eye out for something like this I can use in my bathroom :)

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  22. I have been trying to buy some of these!! but your right! they are too expensive and all too big!They wont even trim down evenly for my cabinet size anyways! urgh! What would it cost for you to make me two of them? :) I dont have a sewing machine nor would i have any idea how to use it if i did. lol Let me know! Im getting desperate for under the counter space in my bathroom!

    Candise

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  23. WOW! Now I know what to do with that fabulous shower curtain the dog ripped a hole in. I just couldn't toss it out. Now it will have a home in the bathroom again. Thank you so much for this idea!! U Rock!

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  24. This would be a perfect idea (if you have girls) to organize hair stuff (pins, bows, elastics, clips, headbands, sprays, gels, etc...) for the girl's bathroom!

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  25. This is great! I'm going to make one for my laundry room and put socks in it that seem to have gone through the wash solo. Then later when the partner finally shows up I'll be able to find the match right away

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  26. Just found this idea on pinterest. I LOVE it!! I really need to get things off my bathroom counter. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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    1. another Idea for saving counter space. My mother always cleans my house when she visits. This time she brought a little plastic basket with a handle and three different slots in it. She filled it with razors and shampoos and soaps and even a few rolled up wash cloths. It was really cute and such a space saver.

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  27. I bought an over-the-door shoe holder and cut off the top 6 compartments and the hanger hooks and hung them on a tension rod on the wall portion of my shower...and I cut off some of the other pockets to hang in the inside of my sink cabinet...worked perfect...and only costed about 5 dollars at Dollar General :)

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  28. Haha that's similar to the look my helper gives me and by the way I had that same high chair until we moved and ...well....I no longer had chairs to attach it to!

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  30. Thanks for sharing this clever DIY project, I love it!

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  31. Does it get dirty quickly when you use to hold sponges and scrub brushes and other cleaning items?

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  32. Thanks for the directions, have been organizing my husband's shop and wanted a plastic organizer for some of the electrical testers, but the ones for sale are too wide for the locker door, planned on making one the right width so now no excuse...Did buy one to store my gardening tools, sprinklers, etc. in; makes it very handy to grab a tool I need.

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  33. Very Great Idea! I save the bags my duvets & pillow come in, but usually don't have a real use for them other than using them to help me pack clothes & blankets for trips. Now I'll cut a few up & make pockets to put inside my craft & sewing cabinets to store all those little things that clutter & take up space on the shelves. I aslo thought using mesh would be great for putting inside the closet door for my son's socks, slippers, swimwear & other small stuff would help with keeping things organized also. The possibilities seem endless on making customized pocket organizers for just about every door in the house...that's a lot of unused space.

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  34. Can I just say that you are turning my cluttered, (not dirty, mind you, but absolutely cluttered!) a-bomb-just-went-off home into a beautiful organized dream house?!! Thank you so very much!!

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  35. Precious baby! (Oh, and great organizing bag too.)

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  36. Pinned! Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing!

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  37. This is such a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  38. Love this idea!!! THANKS FOR SHARING!!

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  39. I found this great idea on pinterest. I LOVE it and your blog. I am now following you. If you are looking for some great recipe ideas come check me out at www.questfordelish.blogspot.com

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  40. Is your hubby a spray foam installation guy? Mine is and vapo barrier and poly sound very familiar in our house lol

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  41. Is your hubby a spray foam installation guy? Mine is and vapo barrier and poly sound very familiar in our house lol

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  42. Love this idea....I have a full length one hanging inside my pantry door for seldom used utensils, sauce packets, etc. Gonna check out Dollar Tree for a small one to use in my bathroom for deoderant, hairbrushes, things I don't have extra drawer space for!

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    1. I did the same with my kitchen utensils. It freed up a whole drawer so now I don't have them on my counter anymore.

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  43. This is pure GENIUS!!! Great job and inspiration!!

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  44. Love the idea, but I am not much of a sewer. I am, however, a great garage saler and I am betting I can find one of those shoe organizers at a garage sale. For a buck or two, I won't feel too bad about cutting it up!

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  45. This is fantastic! I have most of these materials on hand and can't wait to make a few!

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  46. This is fantastic! I have most of these materials on hand and can't wait to make a few!

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  47. Great idea! You could use a clear shower curtain liner. Thanks for the project!

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  48. I did this for my kids on the back of the front seats in my car to organize crayons leapsters and other car necessities! :) love the idea for the cabinets.

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  49. I bought an over the door shoe rack, cut it down to size and sewed an opening for a dowel rod. I have one inside my bathroom cabinet for my hairdryer, flat iron and hair products and one in my kitchen for cleaning products.

    I also but another dowel rod at the bottom and 2 more hooks to keep them banging around when the doors are being opened and closed. LOVE IT!

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  50. You can also buy the pocket organizer at the Dollar Tree. I don't know how sturdy it would be, but I can't sew and that would be my best bet!

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  51. these make awesome yarn organizers, just make strap at top with velcro to put on a hanger

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  52. OMG! That is amazing! I am so doing this once I figure out where to put my sewing machine. I might make them for all my family LOL

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  53. Instead of using a rod, you could use a hanger so you could move it anywhere. I use one and hang it in my closet for buttons and pins and accessories. Also you can take just about anything with you, because you can just hang it in your car where you would your dry cleaning. I hang one on the back side of my bedroom door so I can keep little things I don't want to forget such as a work badge, or camara, or a bill to pay. Yay! Love it!

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  54. These organizers are $6 at walmart. There are more expensive canvas ones but I just bought one for $6 last night after seeing this post!

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  55. What are the loops hanging on? I LOVE this idea! We just moved into a new house and the only storage in the bathroom my 3 girls share is under the sink. This is perfect for brushes, hair sprays, and accessories.

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  56. Sounds like a great idea! However, it is definitely WAY above my level to make myself (I am not that crafty).

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  57. Bought organizer, cut it down in size to fit door. Nailed it to the door. I love it, use it every day. :)

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  58. your one and a half times as long confused me... it should be as wide(side to side) long is up and down. cool idea but I am with the time thing and would buy the pocket thing at the store but probably the dollar store. although I have a pocket thing we haven't used in years got it for vacation at disney when the kids were little and put all their little things in the pockets rolled it up and packed it in the suit case then hung it on the door of our room. kids aren't little anymore.

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  59. This is such a fantastic idea I used it not only in tje bathroom but also in my kitchen on the door of the cabinet where I keep my baking dishes and stored all of my cookie cutters in there, so much more functional than having them scattered in a drawer. Also used one on my pantry door and used it to store sippy cups and freed up a whole shelf in my cabinet. Thanks so much for the idea! Endless uses :)

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  60. They are 7.99 at Target

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  61. What kind of seat is your kiddo sitting in?

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    1. http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=3913290

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  62. I've made two of these now (one for pantry seasoning packets). They don't look nearly as pretty/nice as yours, but they get the job done! Thank you!!!

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  63. This is really amazing! You just did an incredible job on this. It sure looks like it was bought from the store. Thank you for sharing these steps. I do not actually know if I will do it on my or just end up buying the organizer but I really appreciate that you just showed us that not everything should always be bought. Thank you again.

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  64. This is such a great idea! I just found your blog yesterday and am reading through this series. I do sew and am pretty sure my hubby has a roll of vapo barrier around here somewhere. :)

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  65. This is such a great idea. I initially thought you bought the shoe organizer from the store until I read further. Unfortunately, I don't know how to sew so I'll probably end up buying one, but I really appreciate you sharing step-by-step tips. Can you tell me how you hooked the organizer onto your sink cabinet? I can't really see what it's hooked to and if you made a hole on the organizer.

    Thanks.

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    1. I hung it on some 3M command hooks. I used the loops created in the last step to hang it on the hooks.

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  66. Go to your local fabric store and ask for clear vinyl. It comes in different weights so pick the one you feel you can sew through and not rip down when you put your first item in. It should be cheaper and stronger than vapor barrier (which houses are wrapped in after they are insulated and before they put the siding on).

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  67. I think I would make this compleatly out of fabric so I can just throw it in the washer when I need to.

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  68. Oh my gosh! What a great idea! I've never seen one this size. I have a tendency to scan over a lot of reading and miss the most important points. I read something about a dropcloth..which would be plastic, right? You're going to use your sewing machine to stitch over plastic? Won't that ruin your machine? Why couldn't you use other type of fabric instead of plastic for those pockets? I would think any type strong fabric would work. Hey, it's inside the cabinet, it doesn't have to pass a beauty contest! Smart idea using Command hooks, no drilling holes in the cabinet door. What do you do when you don't own a sewing machine anymore? Do they sell the shoe organizers with less pockets?

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  69. This is awesome! Very easy instructions & you are incredibly funny to boot!!! Thank you so much for this (and the giggles too)!!!

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  70. Such a great idea and so glad "Clean & Scentsible" posted it on FB! I think it's also funny that you and I both chose the exact same 31 Days title! Not sure that my home is completely organized (and boy that was a crazy 31 days!!) but we did our best! 3 months later (with three boys) it might be time to organize again! ;) Thanks again and going to make sure to follow on FB and Twitter now! Have a great week!
    Claire

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  71. 6 mil vapor barrier... get it at home depot with the pergo -- it is used underneath composite (fake wood) flooring.

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  72. I used a very cheap over the door shoe organizer with clear pocket on the inside door of my coat closet. I live in Colorado and we keep our gloves, hats, etc in these see through pockets.

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  73. The cheap pocket organizer I bought for my boys' action figures ripped yesterday, and I was just figuring out how I could sew one or repair the one they have when I found your post. I am going to use the extra clear shower curtain I have for the plastic part. Thanks for the help!

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  74. brillant! I think I am going to use an old towel for the backing, and some clothes we were going to give away, for the material. Unless it needs to be see-thru, then like you said any fabric could work so long as it's reinforced at the top and sides.

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  75. I got mine at Walmart for $6. Cut in half it made two 6-pocket organizers. I love to sew, but that is too time consuming. Great idea, though. Thank you for sharing it. :-)

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  76. I was thinking of making some out of old pillowcases and some cardboard to make it sturdy. . .

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  77. Thank you! Awesome idea! I love you selfless bloggers willing to share talent and ideas.

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  78. I'm going to use this idea to make some shoe holders for my little girls. Thank you so much!!!

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  79. I love how simply you organize. This project you made will really help get things under control in my sewing room. Thanks for such a good tutorial!

    Val
    artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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  80. Personally I like the picture of the cooperative baby, lol.

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  81. That looks like perfect storage for the bathroom, and lovely that you were able to get it done on your own too! There's nothing like a great home-fix for easy storage solutions at home!

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