Monday, January 7, 2019

Quilting Stencil Storage

Disclosure:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I was having issues storing my quilting stencils.  I had them on two nails in the wall of my sewing room.  This really didn't work well.  It seemed every time I wanted a specific stencil, it was at the back!

After searching the internet and Pinterest (love me some Pins!), I saw where someone had used a lamp shade to hang their scrapbook embellishments.  They had basically made a stand with a lamp shade at the top so the whole thing looked like a floor lamp.  I don't have that much floor space but was still intrigued by the lamp shade part.

Thanks to hubby's brain and other help, I was able to achieve what I wanted.  Really, love my hubby!  He acquired the shade for me from a local junk shoppe - no charge (the owner's a friend).  I had given him the minimum dimensions that I needed:  6" (15.24cm) diameter at the top, at least 6" from the top ring to the bottom ring, at least 13" (33.02cm) diameter for the bottom ring.  These dimensions allowed enough room for the stencils to be hanging opposite each other on the shade without overlapping across the diameter.

I didn't take photos of the process, but I'll tell you what I did.
  • Removed all the fabric from the shade
  • Cleaned off all the glue on the rings with a Sheffield knife * (see below)
  • Did a light rubdown with steel wool
  • Did a cleaning pass with a rag and window cleaner
  • Spray painted the frame silver (actually, hubby did this - he's better at spray painting)
That's all it took to prep the shade!

Since I didn't want it to be a floor stand, I decided I wanted to hang it from the ceiling (I have a low 7' ceiling).  I didn't know how to achieve this, so hubby's brain helped.  We went to Home Depot and got a hanging bolt (about 4" long overall).  I knew what I had in mind, but would never have been able to explain it to anyone else.  For those, like me, who don't know what a hanging bolt is, it's a combination of a bolt and a screw.  One end is pointed like a screw and the other is threaded to take nuts.  It doesn't have a head on either end so it's perfect!

I'd never used one before, so hubby showed me what to do.  He took a nut and put it on the bolt end, high enough to get a second nut on it.  He then put the 2nd nut on until it made contact with the 1st one.  Basically, this "locks" the 2nd nut in place so that you can use it as a handle.  After that, I was on my own for installation.  This is fine because I do know my way around tools...just not hanging bolts.  :-)

For installation, I held the lamp shade frame where I wanted it, making sure to allow enough room all around for the stencils.  I used a pencil to mark the center of the frame on the ceiling.  Next, I took a drill fitted with a bit just a hair smaller than my hanging bolt and pre-drilled a hole for the bolt.  Using a ratcheting socket wrench, I fit the socket over the lower nut on the hanging bolt and screwed the bolt into the ceiling.  I did have to move both nuts a little further up the bolt so that only the lower nut (the "handle") was in the socket. 

My new contraption doesn't weigh much but I did make sure that I was screwing it into a stud, just to be safe.

I then removed the lower nut but left the upper one on.  I don't want my shade to rock back and forth so the upper one acts as a stop.  I then fit the shade onto the bolt and replaced the bottom nut.  There is a tiny bit of room between the nut/shade/nut so that the shade can spin but it doesn't rock.

I then hung the stencils from the shade using S hooks with clamps. * (see below)  Here's my completed stencil storage:

 ..and here's a close-up.  You can see the hanging bolt and nuts plus the hooks I used.

...and here are the affiliate links that I mentioned at the start:


Happy Stitching!


1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

Ooh, that's a very cool DIY idea! I don't know anything about quilting stencils (or hanging bolts, haha), but I do know a great storage solution when I see one.