How to Make Over-the-Door Organizers

Written by kathryn hatashita-lee
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How to Make Over-the-Door Organizers
An over-the-door organiser can keep supplies accessible and reduce clutter. (sewing image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

An over-the-door organiser provides plenty of pockets for small items and frees valuable floor and table space. Items such as shoes, toiletries and office and craft supplies can stay separate, yet accessible on a fabric panel. Clear vinyl pockets allow visibility, while fabric pockets give a more uniform look. Individual pockets cut to different sizes can accommodate your storage needs. Another pocket style includes one long pocket panel that extends from side to side on each row. Vertical lines of stitching along the row separate each pocket. An over-the-door organiser made from durable and washable fabric can launder easily.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • Cord
  • Dowel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark on a large piece of paper the desired height and width of the finished fabric panel using a pencil and ruler. Add a 5/8-inch seam allowance for the two sides and bottom edge. Add a seam allowance at the top of the panel to form a dowel pocket large enough to hold a dowel. This paper pattern works as a template for the fabric.

  2. 2

    Cut out this paper pattern with scissors or a rotary cutter. Tape this paper pattern to the door to see if this panel has the right dimensions. Testing the paper pattern now will let you adjust the pattern before cutting the fabric.

  3. 3

    Cut pocket templates from the paper. These pockets can look square, rectangular or any shape, as long as the shape can be sewn easily on the fabric panel.

  4. 4

    Place the pre-shrunk fabric on a large, flat surface. Pin the paper pattern pieces on top of the fabric.

  5. 5

    Cut the fabric according to the pattern's outline. Remove the paper and pins from the fabric pieces prior to sewing.

  1. 1

    Place the fabric panel wrong side up on the ironing board. Fold and press under 5/8 inch on all four sides. Fold and press again the raw edge to encase the raw edge in the fold. This narrow hem will look approximately 3/8 inch wide. Use straight pins to hold the hem in place, if necessary.

  2. 2

    Place the fabric wrong side up at the sewing machine's needle plate. Select a straight stitch on the machine's pattern selector.

  3. 3

    Lower the machine's needle on the hem area. Edge stitch the hem on all four sides. Remove every pin as the fabric feeds along the needle plate. Back-stitch the last few stitches to reinforce at the end. Trim the threads.

  4. 4

    Fold the top edge of the panel, wrong sides together, to form the dowel pocket. This pocket must be large enough to accommodate the dowel. Edge-stitch this top hem. Back-stitch the last few stitches to reinforce. Trim the threads.

  1. 1

    Place pocket fabric wrong side up on the ironing board. Press under 5/8 inch on all four sides.

  2. 2

    Machine stitch a narrow hem on the top side of the pocket.

  3. 3

    Place the wrong side of the pocket on the right side of the fabric panel. The top of the pocket hem should lay parallel with the top of the fabric panel.

  4. 4

    Top-stitch the pocket on the side, bottom and remaining side, close to the pocket's three folded edges. Keep the top edge open to form the pocket opening. Repeat these sewing steps for the remaining pockets.

  1. 1

    Place the long pocket panel wrong side up on an ironing board. Press under 5/8 inch on all four sides.

  2. 2

    Top-stitch the top side of the pocket to form a narrow hem.

  3. 3

    Place the wrong side of the pocket panel on the right side of the fabric panel. Pin the pocket in place.Top stitch the pocket's side, bottom edge and remaining side. Remove each pin as the fabric feeds along the needle plate. Keep the top side open.

  4. 4

    Top-stitch vertical lines on the pocket panel. These sewing lines will create individual pockets side by side along the row. You can make the pockets wide or narrow depending on the placement of the vertical stitching lines.

  5. 5

    Repeat these steps for the next rows of pocket panels.

  1. 1

    Attach a small length of cord in a loop to the back of the dowel pocket.

  2. 2

    Insert the dowel into the dowel pocket.

  3. 3

    Hang the over-the-door organiser on a peg or hook.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose fabric that will keep its shape. Do not choose knits or delicate fabrics that could sag or tear.
  • Create a wider pocket for bulky items such as shoes.
  • For a decorative look, sew bias tape to encase the raw edges without the need for pressing and hemming.
  • If sewing is not practical, try stapling the pockets to the fabric panel.

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