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Tall, Bold Storage Bins: Home Decor at Fabric Depot

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Spring is the traditional time for cleaning out the old and organizing the new, but in many ways, Fall seems like a better time to tidy up. As the days get shorter and the weather cooler, our “inner hibernating bear” comes out. It’s time to gather up our favorite things and settle in for winter days ahead. These cool round bins are the perfect way to store and stash your stuff. We shopped the Home Décor selection at Fabric Depot and found a striking graphic print in two coordinating colors to make a pair of matching bins. From fabric and yarn to books and magazines, this is a stylish storage solution for whatever clutter you need to corral. 

An inner lining of fusible foam stabilizes our bins to help keep their tall, round shape. But we do strongly recommend a heavier-weight home décor fabric as the exterior fabric for the very best overall structure. 

We love shopping the Fabric Depot Home Décor selection both online and in-store. They have bolt after beautiful bolt of fabulous options. Home Décor fabric is usually a heavier weight and often features designs that are bolder and more colorful than the options you may gravitate toward for quilting, apparel and craft projects. 

It’s always fun to cross boundaries and experiment with non-traditional uses for various fabric substrates, but for these bins, a true home décor fabric is best. By making both bins from the same fabric but in different colors, they work well together or separately.

Our thanks to Fabric Depot for providing all the elements to create this project. You can find the exact fabric we used online, in-stock and ready to ship. Or browse to find your own unique combination. 

A full length handle on each side is strong and functional, as well as being an attractive accent. We added a line of hand embroidery for even more interest and a bit of extra surface texture.

The bins are sturdy enough to simply to sit and stay or use the handles to tote them from room to room. They'd work well in the bedroom as very stylish clothes hampers.

We bound the top of each bin with a bit of thin faux leather. This adds a wonderfully smooth finish, but you could also use a self binding (the same fabric as the exterior), a faux suede, or even coordinating twill or denim. Fabric Depot carries it all!

As with any large project, wrangling the big sections of this basket through your machine can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Remember our top tips: 1) make sure you test your stitch length, needle type, and tension settings on scraps first to insure your machine is firing on all cylinders; 2) go slowly and stop as needed, with your needle in the down position, to adjust the fabric under the foot; and 3) if you're getting frustrated, take a break... even if you walk away with the project still in the machine. 

Of course, in true Sew4Home fashion, we show you a way to put on the handles and do the majority of the topstitching while the main panels are flat!

We’re lucky to have Fabric Depot right in our own backyard here in Portland, Oregon. But their full FabricDepot.com website is just as jam-packed with inspiration. If you’ve yet to shop online with FabricDepot.com, we invite you to visit today. They’re a local, family-owned fabric business, offering real, live customer service and an amazing selection both online as well as in their huge retail location in Portland, Oregon.

 

Our large bin finishes at approximately 18" high x 15" in diameter. Our small bin finishes at approximately 15” high x 12” in diameter.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

LARGE BIN (15” x 18”)

SMALL BIN (12” x 15”)

BOTH BINS

  • Base circle patterns; download from the link in the Getting Started section below
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • One skein of embroidery floss in a coordinating color for the strap accents; we used black
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins 
  • Clips for working with the faux leather binding around the top; we like Wonder Clips
  • Hand sewing needle with a large eye for the floss and a standard hand sewing needle for the final binding stitching

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out FOUR copies of each of the TWO pattern sheets. These have been bundled into one PDF file to make the download easier. There is one pattern sheet for the exterior base and a second pattern sheet for the lining base. On both patterns, cut along the outer black line for the large bin and along the inner red line for the small bin. 
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern sheet is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printouts are to scale.
  2. For each base circle, cut out all eight pattern pieces along the solid lines. Using the printed arrows as your guide, align each A piece with a corresponding B piece to create four quarter circle segments. Then match up the four quarter segments to create one full circle. For all matching, butt together and tape; do not overlap.
     
  3. The gorgeous graphic alphabet fabric from Fabric Depot is a perfect choice for these bins. If you use this fabric, or any fabric with a strong directional motif, take care to insure your cuts are positioned so the motif will be oriented correctly. The American G Home Décor fabric we chose has a strong horizontal motif but it is printed so the letters are actually running parallel to the selvedge (vertically). This means your yardage must be figured to accommodate the width of your cut not the height. In other words, you are turning your rectangles and cutting what will be the width of the bin along the length of the fabric and what will height of the bin along the width of the fabric. This takes a minute to wrap your brain around, but is just a reminder to always pay attention when cutting directional fabric. 

LARGE BIN

  1. From the fabric for the exterior (American G Home Décor in Raven in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    TWO 24½" wide x 18½" high rectangles; as mentioned above – remember to confirm the direction of your motif
    Using the larger (black line) assembled exterior pattern, cut ONE circle for the base

    Using the pattern, clip into the base at the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 points of the circle. You’ll use these marks later on to align the base to the body of the bin. 
  2. From the fabric for the lining (natural poly/cotton in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 24" wide x 18¼“ high rectangles
    Using the larger assembled lining pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
  3. From the fusible foam, cut the following:
    TWO 23½" x 18" rectangles
    Trim the larger (black line) assembled exterior base pattern along the dotted seam allowance line and use this smaller pattern to cut ONE circle
  4. From the faux leather for the binding, cut ONE 50” x 3½” strip. 
  5. From the webbing, cut TWO 50” lengths.

SMALL BIN

  1. From the fabric for the exterior (American G Home Décor in Graphite in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    TWO 19¾“ wide x 15½" high rectangles; as mentioned above – remember to confirm the direction of your motif
    Using the smaller (red line) assembled exterior pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
    As above, using the pattern, clip into the base at the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 points of the circle. You’ll use these marks later on to align the base to the body of the bin.
  2. From the fabric for the lining (natural poly/cotton in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 19¼“ wide x 15¼“ high rectangles
    Using the assembled smaller lining pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
  3. From the fusible foam, cut the following:
    TWO 18¾“ wide x 15" high rectangles
    Trim the smaller (red line) assembled exterior base pattern along the dotted seam allowance line and use this smaller pattern to cut ONE circle
  4. From the faux leather for the binding, cut ONE 41” x 3½” strip.
  5. From the webbing, cut TWO 44” lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

NOTE: Our photos below show the smaller bin. The construction steps are exactly the same for either size. 

Fusing

  1. Find the exterior panels and the base panel along with the corresponding fusible foam panels. 
  2. Place the fusible side of the foam against the wrong side of the fabric panels. On the side panels, the foam will be flush along the top edges but along the sides and the bottom, there should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam. 
  3. On the base panel there should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam all around. 
  4. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 

Add the optional hand stitching to the handle straps

  1. Thread the hand sewing needle with two strands of floss. Knot the ends together so you will be sewing with four strands of floss.
  2. The hand stitches are meant to go straight down the center of the webbing. You can fold the webbing in half to find a center point, then draw in a guideline with a fabric pen or pencil. However, the webbing itself is woven in a way the provides a built-in guideline. 
  3. We determined our center point and then followed the weave of the webbing.
  4. Use a simple running stitch. Each stitch should be about ¼” in length. 

    NOTE: If you’re brand new to hand embroidery, we have a Guest Tutorial from our friends at Indygo Junction that shows some of the most popular stitches.

Attach the handles and seam the sides

  1. Find the two fused exterior panels and the two lengths of webbing. 
  2. Because these bins are quite large, the straps will be attached to either side of each panel prior to stitching the panels together. This allows you to add the handles against a flat panel rather than trying to muscle a very large tube under your presser foot! So clever these S4H folks.
  3. Along the right side edge of one panel, place the inner edge of the webbing 3” in from the raw edge of the panel. The bottom end of the webbing should be flush with the bottom raw edge of the panel. Pin the webbing in place.
  4. The pins should stop 2” from the top raw edge of the panel. This is the point where your edgestitching will stop. Mark with a horizontal pin or draw in a guideline to follow.
  5. Along the left side edge of the other panel, bring the unpinned end of the webbing down into place so its inner edge sits 3” in from raw edge of this panel.
  6. Again the bottom end of the webbing should be flush with the bottom raw edge of this second panel. Up above is an approximate 4” handle loop. Make sure there are no twists in your loop before you finish pinning. 
  7. You have two separate panels that are attached with a loop of webbing. 
  8. Thread the machine with thread to best match the webbing in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch.
  9. If possible, attach an Even Feed or Walking foot. We used the AcuFeed™ Flex Fabric Feeding System on our Janome Skyline S7 throughout the construction steps on this project.
  10. Edgestitch both ends of the webbing in place. Start at the bottom of one side of the webbing. Stitch up to the point you marked 2” from the top raw edge. Pivot at this point and stitch across the webbing. Stop at the opposite edge, with the needle in the down position, pivot again and continue stitching down to the bottom of this opposite side of the webbing. 
  11. Repeat to stitch the other side of the handle in place on the other panel. 
  12. Then, repeat to attach the remaining length of webbing to the opposite side edges of the panels. 
  13. With both handles stitched in place, put the exterior panels right sides together, sandwiching the handles between the layers. 
  14. Align the raw edges of the exterior panels and pin along both sides. 
  15. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior panels in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  16. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the first side seam.
  17. Press the seam allowance open to set a flat seam, then press together and to one side. 
  18. Lengthen the stitch.
  19. Topstitch along the length of the seam to secure the seam allowance and provide a pretty exterior detail to each side seam. 
  20. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  21. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the second side seam.
  22. Press the seam allowance open to set a flat seam, then press together and to one side. 
  23. You now have a full tube, so this final bit of topstitching does require a little bit of maneuvering. We recommend stitching with the tube wrong side out. You will need to fold the top of the bin a bit, but because the fabric, the foam, and the webbing are all soft, this isn’t too hard. 
  24. Lengthen the stitch and topstitch the length of the seam.

Insert the base into the exterior body

  1. Find the fused exterior base circle. As noted above, you should have clipped quadrant marks into this circle to indicate the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 points of the circle
  2. Repeat this process with the exterior body. First, bring together the two seams of the body; these are your 3:00 and 9:00 points. Then, fold the opposite direction to mark the 12:00 and 6:00 points. 
  3. Set the base into the tube so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the quadrant pins of the exterior body with the quadrant pins of the base circle. 
  4. Pin at the quadrant points first, then fill in around the circle. Don't be afraid to use a lot of pins in order to get the two pieces to lay flat against one another. 
  5. This technique is the same as any project where you are inserting a flat circle into a tube. If you are new to this process, check out our full, step-by-step tutorial. 
  6. The machine should still be threaded with thread to match the exterior fabric in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  7. Using a ½“ seam allowance, stitch all the way around the circle. Go slowly, holding the layers flat with your fingers if necessary to avoid any puckers.
  8. Turn the bin right side out.

Create the lining 

  1. Find the lining rectangles and base circle. They are assembled in the same manner as the exterior body but, of course, without the handles.
  2. First stitch the side seams, Remember to re-thread the machine with thread to best match the lining in the top and bobbin.
  3. Mark and insert the base into the tube. Mark and match up the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 points first. 
  4. Then fill in with pins all around and stitch the base in place with a ½” seam allowance.
  5. As mentioned above, if you are new to this technique, check out our full, step-by-step tutorial on inserting a flat circle into a tube.
  6. Find the exterior bin, it should be right side out. 
  7. Keep the lining bin wrong side out. 
  8. Slip the lining into the exterior so the two layers are now wrong sides together. Push the lining all the way down into the exterior so the bases sit flat against one another. Align the side seams. Pin together around the top through all the layers.

Bind the top to finish

  1. Find the faux leather strip. Bring the two ends of the together to form a loop, placing the ends right sides together at a right angle. 
  2. Draw a diagonal line across the ends.
  3. Stitch along the drawn line. 
  4. Trim back the seam allowance to ⅛”. You now have a full circle. 
  5. Slip the circle over the top of the bin so it is right sides together with the exterior of the bin. It should be a snug fit as the faux leather stretches a bit when sewn. Align the raw edge of the binding with the top raw edges of the bin. Align the binding's seam with one of the exterior side seams. Clip in place all around.
  6. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match exterior fabric in the top and bobbin. 
  7. Using a ¾” seam allowance (we want a ¾” reveal so YES that is a ¾” seam allowance), stitch all the way around the top of the bin. 
  8. We recommend stitching with the lining facing up and the faux leather against the feed dogs. In most instances when stitching mixed substrates, it’s best to put the trickiest of the layers against the bottom feed dogs to provide the most control. 
  9. Pull the binding up along the seam line. 
  10. Fold down the remaining raw edge so it just touches the upper raw edge of the exterior bin.
  11. Then bring this folded edge down into place against the lining. The folded edge should just cover the original seam line. Adjust the fold as necessary to cover the seam all around. Clip in place.
  12. Thread a hand sewing needle with thread to best match the binding and carefully hand stitch in place. We used a traditional slip stitch. You want your stitching to be small and even with just a tiny vertical stitch showing.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guilde

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Comments (11)

Joney said:
Joney's picture

Just made the small for my daughter's toys. Finished it up with fat quarters on hand and pellon. Took me a couple of hours from prep to finish. I am so happy with the end result! Thank you for sharing.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Joney - Thanks so much for letting us know about your project success! If you're on Facebook (sew4home), Pinterest (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy) - post a picture so we can all be inspired 

Kimmy said:
Kimmy's picture

I love your tutorials - so inspiring!  I would like to make these for blanket storage - thanks for the idea!  My printer is not working, however.  Is it possible for you to tell me the sizes of the circles?  I can use an old fashioned compass to get the circle at the right dimension.  
I love Fabric Depot!  I would always make time to go there when I visited my son.  He's moved away now.  :(   I didn't realize that they had online shopping, though!  Thanks for that info too!  :)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Kimmy - Thanks so much - and yes! we love Fabric Depot and feel so lucky to live nearby, but their site is excellent. As mentioned above, one of our bins finishes at 15" in diameter and the other is 12" - so, for the exterior, you need a circle that is 1" larger in each case to account for the 1/2" seam allowance all around. ( As shown on our own diagram, we recommend drawing in that seam allowance so you can cut your fabric at the full size and the interfacing smaller as described. Our lining pattern is slightly smaller so it sits as flat as possible inside the bins. Each lining circle diameter is 1/2" smaller than the exterior.

Kimmy said:
Kimmy's picture

Thank you very much for taking time to respond to me.  I really appreciate it.  Now, time to get to work!  :)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@rosaE - Thanks! We hope you'll give the project a try.

Rosemary ♥️♥️ said:
Rosemary ♥️♥️'s picture

I love these bins. Wowie, I think they could be useful for so many things, including one for my grandbaby to put her toys in at my house

I read all of your projects, Liz. I need to look at Fabric Depot!

Thank you for all of the inspiration and enthusiasm

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Rosemary - Thanks so much! All the links are included above to find the fabric at Fabric Depot -- you'll have a blast browsing!

Mardell said:
Mardell's picture

I love this project!  I have seen totes for sale similar to this style but this is so much nicer and can be coordinated with my decor.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Mardell - Thanks! So glad to hear it. Fabric Depot has such a great selection of home dec fabrics. It was hard to choose but we do lover this graphic print. 

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