Updated: Feb 7, 2020
Looking for a good system to organise your sewing space? Here's how the IKEA SKÅDIS pegboard system works for my sewing supplies and tools.
Disclaimer: Personal opinions. Not advertisement.
Before I bought my first sewing machine, there really wasn't a "sewing area". I simply hand-sewn anywhere in the house where I felt comfortable. At the time, my sewing supplies (fabrics included) were able to fit in just a box that was originally a packaging of some foodstuff (mooncakes, to be exact).
Then one box became two boxes, two boxes became three plus a couple of crumply plastic bags, and by the time I got my first sewing machine (a mini sewing machine), my sewing supplies had dominated a particular corner in the study (that corner is now one part of my current sewing area).
Finally, after months of toleration, I got myself a SKÅDIS system from IKEA, which is essentially a pegboard system. Now where I come from, IKEA isn't necessary affordable. So this system was quite an investment, small as it is.
This is how the system looks like in my sewing area now:
What's on the Pegboard
The SKÅDIS system includes accessories like shelves, containers (with and without lids), letter holders, hooks, clips and roll holders, among others.
But I did not limit myself to just the SKÅDIS accessories.
I badly needed a more organised way to store my threads and have been eyeing this wooden thread rack for some time. I like that it is neat, accessible, and displays my threads beautifully. I bought it online and used a pair of SKÅDIS hooks to mount it on the pegboard.
I also needed jars. I wanted something light and not fragile (lest they drop from the shelves and break). I also really wanted them to be clear so I could store AND display beautiful materials. I found the perfect plastic jars from a local home appliance and hardware shop, and they fit in the SKÅDIS shelves very nicely!
There were also these black tinted tealight holders lying around in the house, which I used to store smaller notions, and some retro wooden containers which I thought could add a bit more of interest to the pegboard.
There were a few options for scissors. I could hang them individually on short hooks, hang them in series on a long hook, or lay them flat on the shelf accessory. I chose the first option.
When I am done organising my tools, supplies, and notions, I found myself having a little space left on the pegboard and some SKÅDIS clips which turned out to be not as useful as I thought. I used the space to display some items close to heart - a casual painting I painted some years back, a Mother's Day card my son "made" for me, some vintage photographs of people sewing, and a baby kimono I made for my son when he was an infant. I consider this space to be a "reserve" for if my sewing needs increase.
Despite the "reserve" space, I still needed to store some sewing notions in boxes on the cabinet, because the elevation of the "reserve" space makes it a little too difficult to reach. I also didn't want the pegboard to appear congested (although I think it already does!). If I had more wall real estate, I would definitely install more pegboards.
Other notions that didn't make it to the pegboard are stored in boxes such as this one:
A Good-Looking Pegboard
The SKÅDIS system is inherently aesthetically pleasing. But if you're planning to get one or any similar pegboard system for your sewing space, here are several tips to help make your pegboard look good:
Tip 1: Strive to store your pretty and colourful items either exposed or in clear containers. Not-so-pretty and unruly items, especially if they are not frequently used, like your plain tapes and elastics, Velcros, spare parts, hardware etc. should be stored in concealed containers or not on the pegboard at all. In fact, I still have a lot of other sewing stuff in the cabinet adjacent to my pegboard.
Tip 2: Imagine there are grid lines on your pegboard. Then loosely align your items to those imaginary grid lines. This will make your pegboard look really neat.
Tip 3: Stick to the same colour for the pegboard and accessories. I have chosen white SKÅDIS pegboard with mostly white accessories. They form something of a blank canvas to be "painted" with my colourful sewing items.
Tip 4: I don't follow this tip, because I don't have the space, but if you do, avoid congesting your pegboard with too many items.
Tip 5: This tip should override all the above 4 tips. If YOU like how your pegboard is, then forget what others say and stick to it, because in the end, YOU are the one looking at and using it.
Having said all that, it is very important to consider pragmatism while trying to achieve aesthetics. For me, I strive to score high on both but if all else fails, pragmatism should come first.
There are plenty of reviews out there describing all the pros and cons of the IKEA SKÅDIS system. Personally, I think the biggest advantages are the clean design and that it is really easy to install compared to regular pegboards, and the biggest disadvantage is that it being not the regular pegboard, some standard pegboard accessories will not be mountable on it.
I think the above is about as fancy a sewing space I can get in my current humble setting. It is my dream to one day have a dedicated sewing room with lots of natural lighting, a large cutting island, lots of storage that allow me to display beautiful fabrics and other materials, and equipped with upscale sewing tools and appliances.
One can dream.