Organization Tips

Storing Cross Stitch Patterns, WIPs, and Materials with a Filing Cabinet

Today I just wanted to give you a peek into how I organize some of my stash. I use this box of hanging folders for storing a lot of things, from WIPS to extra materials.

There are a lot of different filing cabinets / boxes out there. Because I use mine for storing WIPs and finished pieces, I bought one that latches closed to keep it free of any dust. There’s a lot prettier ones if you want some hanging folders for your desk. But for long term storage, I recommend keeping this in mind.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using one of these links, I earn a small commission. However, there is no extra cost to you. Thanks for understanding! Learn more in my Disclosures & Privacy Policy.

Overhead view of my filing system


I got my box from Office Depot, but it looks like it’s available via Amazon as well. It’s nice because it seals closed, but also has a compartment on the lid for extra stuff. Mine gets used for extra labels and a pencil. However, it’s good for storing small craft supplies as well. It could hold fabric pens, needle threaders, etc.

Realizing I was going to be fitting thicker items like fabric and kits into these things, I went with some Poly File Folders. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about them tearing under the weight. You could also opt for the thicker bottom ones.

Lastly, I invested in some sheet protectors for the patterns I had printed out already. I mostly work straight off my PC now, but I used to print them out and still have several HAED wips this way.


Being the nerd that I am, I color coded my folders by category. I was planning to keep a lot of different things in here, so I wanted to easily be able to find what I was looking for

Blue – WIPS

WIP Linda Ravenscroft's Rainforest Fairy

The blue folders at the front all contain WIPs. There’s two HAED’s in there. Linda Ravenscroft’s Rainforest Fairy, and Selina Fenech’s Motherhood. The patterns are all printed out and sleeved. No thread is with it, as it’s all on bobbins or stored with the rest of my stash.

WIP Dimensions Gold Collection Mighty Samurai.

I also have a couple of kits in here. The kit thread is stored with the WIP. Here you see my Dimensions Gold Collection Mighty Samurai. The one not pictured is Dimensions Gold Collection Angelic Melody, if you’re curious.

All four of these have been UFO’d for years. I have no idea if/when I’ll ever get back to them. But they’re there if I decide to pull them out sometime.

Yellow – Storing Patterns

Most of my patterns are stored on the computer. And a backup hard drive. And a backup, backup hard drive. Mainly because most of them are my own design. Or purchased off other Etsy sellers. But I do have a few physical patterns.

One folder is for printed designs, typically for making kits. The kits are stored in an accordion folder. But there’s extra instruction sheets and full color prints in this box.

Two Mirabilia Patterns

There’s a folder here for patterns I’ve bought, though. like these Mirabilia designs, and a Disney cross stitch book you can see peeking out of the corner.

A small stack of Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine

Lastly, there’s two folders for Magazines. One folder holds the issues of “Cross Stitch Crazy” I was featured in. (and the extras that came with them.) Jan, July, and August 2017.

The other folder mostly has a few copies of XStitch Magazine. Another magazine I’ve been published in! (First issue!)

The rest of my cross stitch magazine collection is all digital, though.

Red – Finished Stitches and Art

My red folders house some finished pieces I haven’t gotten around to framing or otherwise fully finishing yet. They’re stitched, but they’re not done. Like this Lavender and Lace Angel of Summer.

Lavender and Lace Angel of Summer

This is also the section I use for storing extra art prints I haven’t hung up. Like every post card Zin has ever sent for her Patreon members. The ones that aren’t up on the fridge, anyway.

Green – Stored Materials

Finally the last category of folders is materials. This is where I store my 14 count Plastic Canvas sheets, as I tend to buy in bulk.

You’ll also see a tab for Kits. These are ones I haven’t yet opened and moved into the WIP area. Mainly these were given to me as gifts. I rarely buy kits for myself, and have given most of my old ones away.

Perforated Paper and Soluble Canvas

This is also a good place to keep things like Perforated Paper and Soluble Canvas, as pictured here. This way you don’t have to worry about them getting bent.

The last tab at the back labeled ‘Other Crafts’ has things like Shrinky Dink sheets, and Iron-On transfer paper.

Other Ideas

That’s all I keep in my box, but what could you use this method for besides storing your tax paperwork?

I’ve seen people store their fabrics in hanging folders like this, by draping the fabric over the edge of the folders. I keep my fabric out in the open so I can see it and be inspired by it, though.

You could also cut off the bottoms of the folder and use rings to hang your thread skeins. If you’re a scrapbooker you could be storing paper scraps, stickers, etc. There’s all sorts of possibilities!

Hopefully this has inspired some ideas for your own stash!


Since writing this article, I’ve upgraded from that plastic bin to an actual filing cabinet. Sort of. It’s a printer stand that I use for my Cricuts and to store my printer and sticker paper.