Fabric Bolts – Making Your Own

*Updated 2/10/2015*

Ok, as some of you may have read in my prior post of Fabric – A kind gesture by a quilting stranger; I expressed my fortune of meeting a lady and came into quite a bundle of fabric to let my creative mind go wild.

Who else swoons every time you walk into a room or store with the fabric all neatly displayed with fabric bolts? I know I do! Again, I am really trying to free up my new found space and make it all complete so that I don’t still find myself sewing at the coffee table in the living room. I had too much fabric and had no idea what to do with it or how to store it. I knew I did not want it put in a drawer where I cannot see it or be inspired by it and I also did not want it stacked; however stacking seemed to be the best way to go for the moment.

Once again I searched online for good ideas on fabric bolts, even looking at prices for actual wholesale fabric bolts. There were and are some pretty creative ways you can make bolts for fabric. I didn’t think the comic book inserts were the right choice for my OCD of organization; I felt too much fabric hung off the sides and i personally like having a little bit of bolt showing on the top and bottom. I had finally read somewhere for bargainers, to go to the dollar store and use their project board and cut to size. Next thing I knew, the light bulb went off in my head, keys were in my hand and my feet were walking to the car. Well, ok it didn’t quite happen that way nor did I get them as quick as that. That is how quick my mind was thinking though.

Project Board
Rotary Cutter  
Cutting Matt

*Update: When I am at the fabric store (Joanns, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and they have empty fabric bolts (they generally do), I do ask them if I can take them as they are typically more than happy for you to (they throw them away usually otherwise, I asked). I use these for ones where I do buy more than 5 yards of fabric, it allows me to have the large bolts available! I even snag the ‘rolls’ for the heavier weight fabric or vinyl that they hang, and I use that for my vinyl and other prints I get from there to help it stay secure and not get the ‘fold’ that you naturally would with such a large and long cut.

I did end up going to the dollar store and bought a total of 15 project boards. I forgot about them having black ones now, and most of my furniture is black; so I thought it would work perfect. You can cut these a variety of ways and it all depends on your need. You could even cut them in half and have large ones, but I don’t recommend that as they are not as sturdy for holding that large amount of fabric and they would bend easily on the edges.

*Update: These are more appropriate for fabric yardage anywhere from 1/2 yard to 4-5 yards, I really wouldn’t do more than that.

*Update: For updated pictures of the fabric bolts and how they are displayed in my sewing ‘space’, then be sure to stop by and see these posts:

*Notice the larger bolts?*
*UPDATE: See how I have the larger bolts? I do have more now since I revamped the space. I store all of the extras in a closet until I use them! 

You can cut them almost however you’d like – I cut mine in the following for what I needed and still have full ones left over for my ever growing fabric stash:

(4) Four – 10” x 12”
(2) Two – 10” x 10”
(6) Six – 10” x 10”
(6) Six – 8” x 10”

I did also make a few 5” x 10” for some of those smaller pieces that I still didn’t think were small enough to go in a pile for scraps.

*UPDATE: I use the 8” x 10” for my 1/2 yard cuts from the Color Inspiration Club by Pink Castle Fabrics. I love how you can make these any size that accommodates your own space!

*Sidetrack: For the future and any bolts of fabric I make for large quantities, I would buy project board from somewhere else such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. It is much sturdier and would hold larger amounts of fabric while also lasting. It is slightly more expensive by $2/per board, but worth the longevity in the end as well as your own creation.

*Update: I have been using the same ones from the dollar store since and they have held up very well, I have also purchased more from the dollar store and they are doing great. Now that I get the larger bolts from the fabric stores themselves, I will continue only using the dollar store ones for pricing and they have held up longer and more than expected! Win win!

*Update: I don’t have any pictures; however it is pretty easily explained as to how you would go about wrapping the fabric around the bolt.
– Basically fold your fabric in the best manner to where it is long and ‘skinny’ so-to-speak, you want to make sure your newly cut ‘fabric bolt’ hangs off at least 1/4” on each side but more is ok too.
– Lay it flat on the table or wherever you are wrapping your bolts and place a bolt near the edge of the fabric, leaving about 2-3 inches of the fabric available.
– Wrap the 2-3 inches of fabric over the bolt and hold the fabric and bolt in place, while at the same time begin to ‘wrap’ the fabric around, holding the fabric taunt (not tight) while wrapping so that it is secure but not stretching or straining the fabric or the make-shift fabric bolt.
– Once you reach the end, politely fold the end of the fabric inward and lay it flat against the wrapped fabric, grab a pin and pin the fabric in place so it doesn’t unfold!

I continued to swoon over how good the fabric looks on bolts

I wrapped the fabric on the bolts as I made them, I wanted to ensure I was cutting the sizes I needed for the fabric I had. I do highly recommend this, unless you know all of the fabric you currently want to do is the same size cut. Again, step back and bask in the glory of what you have created and how great it looks! I have absolutely LOVED the way you can make these in any dimension you ultimately want or need. Bargain and convenience, what a steal!

This is the majority of the fabric I had received, I love the way the colors and designs pop out when displayed in bolts. I am excited I have discovered the use for project board re-purposing (Megan Lingo)

I believe that the look, the feel and satisfaction of creating your own fabric bolts is Sew Stitching Cute!


2 comments on “Fabric Bolts – Making Your Own

  1. Thanks Rebecca! They truly are actually kind of fun to make and more so wrapping the fabric around it… the amount of satisfaction you feel when you have your own “little store of fabric” in your own home… is SEW WONDERFUL! ;o)


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