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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sew It Yourself - Shoe Organizer

With four kids we have a ton of shoes.  This was my shoe organization system before. 

Just a basket that the shoes were supposed to be thrown in. The problem was that every time the kids looked for their shoes they would end up throwing them all out as they looked. And we have too many shoes to fit in the basket.  One day when I couldn't shut the closet door, because there were too many shoes in the way, I decided to try something new.  I made an over the door shoe organizer.

Want to make one?  Here's how:

Materials needed: (I made this specifically for children's shoes, my oldest two kids wear size 2)
1 piece fabric 3/4 yard for back
4 pieces fabric 1/4 yard each.
adhesive backed hooks ($2 at walmart)
dowel (optional) - I used 7/16 cuz that's what I had
sewing machine and supplies

Cut out your fabric to these sizes:
Back - 27" x 36"
4 strips for pockets - 9" x 36"
4 strips for hooks - 3" x 9"

Hem under three sides of your back (leaving one 27" side open for now)
The best way to hem it is to fold it over 1/4 inch and then iron flat.

Then fold again 1/4 inch and iron flat again.

Stitch. Repeat on three sides.

For the top side, you'll want to make a pocket for your dowel. So you will fold over 1/4 inch and iron, but then you will fold it over at least an inch. Stitch, leaving the ends open for the dowel to slide in.

For the hook straps, fold in half lengthwise with right sides together and stitch (left).
Then turn it right side out and iron flat (middle). Then top stitch close to edges. (right). Repeat for all strips.

Sew the hook straps to the top, along the existing stitching.  I attached the end two straps 1" from each end and then eyeballed the middle two straps.

 Hem under the long sides of your pocket fabric and fold over and iron 1/4 inch on one end.

Now it's time to add the pockets. I attached them two different ways.  I used pleats and I gathered the bottom.  I think the gathering was the easiest, so that's what I'll show you. (I'll be glad to share the pleating method if anyone is interested)

Using the longest stitch on your machine, sew along the bottom hem line.  Then pull on one of the threads to gather the material.  Place it on your backing and pin in place.  This will require some adjusting to get it to gather evenly. 

Fold under the edge and pin.

Stitch in place along both sides and bottom.

Then I measured every six inches and marked it with a pin along the top and bottom.  I stitched a vertical seam to form the pockets. 

Repeat with other pocket strips.  I measured two inches down for the placement of the top pocket. I did the bottom pocket just along the bottom. I just eyeballed the middle two pieces.

Insert your dowel and mark it. Then cut. Mine was 24".  I thought that I would need the dowel to help keep it flat on the door, but I found that with the four hooks it really isn't necessary.  I left mine in for now, but I may remove it if I need it for another project:)

Attach your hooks to the inside of door using your shoe organizer as a guide for correct spacing. Hang your organizer and fill with shoes. Measure from the top. Mine ended up a little bit off - but who cares! It's inside the door.

I was able to fit 16 pairs of shoes into the 12 pockets.  Each of my son's tennis shoes needed their own pocket, but most of the shoes I could fit one pair to a pocket or more. It was easy to stick two pairs of my little one's flip flops into one pocket.

Hope this helps you get a little more organized.  It sure helped me.

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