Fabric File-To Go

Have you ever been at a great mall, maybe while on vacation and come across a magnificent accent pillow and wondered if it would work with the fabric in your bedroom? Maybe you are at a yard sale and you find a mind numbingly beautiful fabric covered ottoman for a steal, but you aren’t sure if the pattern would coordinate with your mistreatments. Do you buy it and hope it works or try to hide the ottoman behind the old toilet the people are selling {I think there is a toilet for sale at every yard sale I find} and hope it’s there when you return.

Here’s my solution. I gather up little scraps of all my main fabrics and hot glue them to a small sheet of paper. I include the pom pom fringe, paint colors and any fabric that I think I might need to look at while I’m out and about. This is the living room/family room/dining roomish side.

And here is the bedroomish side. And it is VITAL to have your name with the fabric somewhere. One time I left this fabric in a store and I was lucky that I was able to go back and find it. But you don’t want to lose and never find it again. Now I stick my business card in with it and hope that if I lose it some kind person will email me.

I even included the exterior paint color and piece of copper from the roof just for a feel of the exterior, you know, just in case.

Oh, and lastly, I store it all in this falling apart plastic binder. It’s a little smaller than a half of a sheet of paper and the fabrics that are glued to the paper just slide right in. Since it’s clear I don’t even have to remove them to see the colors. I really need a new one of these. You don’t have to have something this large–I have big purses so it works for me. The point of this story is, it’s helpful to have your fabric with you at all times. And, you want your name on it.

Do you carry your fabric samples around with you? Have a better idea for me to access them? Help!

cuff: Lisa Leonard Designs

I’d also like to address yesterday’s post and apologize to any 50 year olds or women of any age if I offended you. I am so sorry. I edited the post to include poshiness of all ages. Please know the purpose of the post was not to imply that all 50 year olds are poshy. They are NOT. Really, I meant to call out any person who’s purpose for decorating is perfection. My point was supposed to be that if you are going to a fabric store and you tell them you are gonna mistreat your windows with hot glue, expect the fabric store person to argue with you.

My decorating ways are unacceptable to people in the design world. I know that. I take short cuts, I abuse fabric, and then I teach you how to do it as well. Fabric people are not comfortable with that and I’m sure they have good reason not to be. But I’m happy with it. Our budget is happy and our home looks beautiful to me. Go fabric shopping with confidence, but if you tell the fabriteer what you are gonna do with the fabric, be prepared to defend yourself.


  1. Oh my gosh. This is pretty much THE smartest idea I’ve ever read. Amazing. I’m totally doing this. THANK YOU!

  2. I love this idea too! I already have a binder ring of paint samples of all my wall colors. It is very handy and I bet I could hole punch fabric samples and add them to it. Thanks for the idea!!

  3. So smart!! I’m IN LOVE with your duvet fabric and master bedroom window treatment fabric. Would you be so kind to tell me the name and make of the fabric? I think it would do wonders to my living room windows. Thanks again for the great idea:)

  4. I am in love with your red plaid curtains. Do you have any info on them like their name or manufacturer?

  5. Hi,

    I have a question. What if the fabrics that you have in your home (couch, rugs, chairs, drapes, etc) are pre-bought? If that’s the case, you can’t really cut up part of your couch or chairs to take with you. I LOVE this idea but wondered if you have any suggestions for people like me, who don’t have fabric samples from my interior decor since it’s all pre-bought. Thank you!

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