Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lined Tool Bucket Organizer

Hey all! I hope that you had a stellar holiday season.  I caught up on a lot of sleep, got to hang out with some pretty cool people, and ate waaaay too much good food!  

But, back to business!  About a week before Christmas, I was about one gift short for my dad. My dad is awesome, but he is so (!) hard to find gifts for!  If he sees something he wants badly enough, he just goes out and buys it.  Whatever he doesn't buy for himself is compiled onto a very detailed and comprehensive "wish" list.  This means that it's super hard to surprise the guy--he can usually guess exactly what's in the box just by looking at it (and sometimes even the exact color! umm yeah, I have no idea how that works either).

So while I was brainstorming for a final gift, it occurred to me that he although he does have just about every tool, he doesn't have a handy way to carry them around while he's completing projects around the house.  The result was this sharp-looking tool bucket organizer that fits inside of a 5 gallon bucket.  I do not consider myself to be a natural sewer-person (is that a word?), but I was very impressed with myself on how this turned out!  To top it off, my husband usually doesn't bat his pretty little eyes at my projects, but this one made him hint that he might like one in the future!  That's what we like to call #winning.  

To make this bucket organizer, I used one five gallon bucket from a home improvement store, 1.5 yards of 54" decorators fabric, and a package (3 yards) of quilt binding.  I also used a couple of buttons and small piece of elastic to keep both pocket flaps secured around the bottom of the bucket.  

To start off, I cut a circle out of the fabric for the bottom of the liner.  The diameter of my bucket was 12", so I cut the circle to be about 13" across.   Then, I took the rest of my fabric, and sewed it around the edge of the circle.  Once I got all the way around the circle, I trimmed the edge of the fabric and then sewed up the sides a bit (maybe halfway?) to connect them.  The result, was an open-ended fabric cylinder of sorts.  I also cut a slit along the fabric directly across from the open edge.  I know it's kinda hard to visualize from my crazy ramblings, so this is what I had once I was done with this part:  

I took the flaps of fabric and pinned them up to form pockets.   The bottom folded edges were about even with the floor.  

Then I sewed around the outside edge of pinned area to form the actual pockets.  

I had some extra fabric left over, so I also added another row of shorter pockets to one of the two sides, as well as some inside the bucket part.  I also sewed some straight lines up the pocketed areas to divide the massive single pockets into smaller usable areas.  

Now, as you can see in the pictures above, I've got raw fabric edges floating all over the place.  To cover them up, I used quilt binding.  One package was enough for me.  

I also added some buttons and elastic along the bottom edges to keep the pockets close to the bucket.  Here you can also see how I handled the corners of the pockets with the quilt binding.  

Overall, it was a nice little sewing project that I polished off in a few hours, and I think that Dad will actually find it useful around the house!  Let me know if you end up making one :)