04 September 2012

Organize Your Magazines With 9 Easy Lines of Stitching

What, didn't you know I was a spambot?

My sister's back in town, books and luggage (but mostly books) in tow, which means for the last while we've been re-organizing the home to fit everything. This is a good thing, since we're suddenly finding our place is sunnier than we thought, the walls smoother and emptier and whiter, and the furniture not nearly as plain.


But I have to admit that when it comes to moving things around in creative ways I don't always see the appeal, and unlike my sister I don't have any talent for it either (books, again; why can't we leave them stacked in a pile?). So my sister hit on a solution that would both make me feel useful and take some strain off the desk and bookshelf in our room, which was for me to sew a hanger for magazines, notebooks, and folders:

how to make a magazine holder
My old easel doubles as a modelling rack

It's a simple two-pocket design with a handle, but since it's completely lined, with each pocket a roomy 10.5" square, it can hold quite a bit of junk.

Plus, as I mentioned in the title, it's very easy to sew.


Note: The lengths given below are the lengths you'll need cut if you're buying the fabric specifically for this project, but the hanger won't actually use all of that fabric. I used leftover cloth pieces for this, which I think is best.

  • 3/4 meters (or about 2 1/2 feet) of a firm, closewoven fabric - quilter's cotton, chambray, twill, cordoruoy, etc. This will be the main fabric.
  • 3/8 meters (or about 1 1/2 feet) of a light fabric. This will be the lining fabric.
  • 1 bamboo stick or thin wooden dowel
  • thread


how to make a magazine holder1)  Cut two 11.75" squares out of the main fabric, and two out of the lining fabric. These will form the pockets. (Note: I've included a seam allowance of 5/8" in all the measurements, so you don't need to worry about that.)

Cut two 26.25"x11.75" rectangles out of the main fabric. These will form the body, which will be double layered.

Cut a 4.25"x20" rectangle out of the main fabric. This will be the handle. Set this piece aside.

2) On one of the 25"x10" rectangles, draw one horizontal line 14 1/8" from the top, and one line 5/8" from the bottom, on the wrong side of the fabric. This rectangle will be the front side of the main body.

3) Sew a lining square to a main fabric square along only one edge, with right sides together. This edge will be the top of the pocket. Repeat with the second pair of squares.

Press open seam, clip it, turn right side out, and press again. The resulting pocket piece should look like this:

how to make a magazine holder

4) Use two pins to mark the 5/8" seam line on the bottom edge of the two pockets. This is the open edge, opposite the seam.

how to make a magazine holder

5) Take the main body rectangle that was marked with horizontal lines and place it wrong side up on a flat surface.

Take a pocket square and place it main fabric side up on the ground, near the bottom of the main body rectangle. Rotate it so the pinned bottom edge faces the rectangle's bottom edge.

how to make a magazine holder

6) Slide the pocket under the rectangle so that they overlap and the pins on the square match up with the 5/8" line drawn near the bottom of the rectangle. Pin the rectangle and pocket together, and remove the two original pins that were used to mark the pocket. This will become the bottom pocket. Here's what it looks like in real life:

Now do the same thing with the second (upper) pocket. This time match the pins on the pocket up with the line that's halfway down the rectangle. When flipped over, the whole thing should look something like this:

how to make a magazine holder

7) Stitch along the two lines marked on the rectangle fabric. Press and clip the seams, then fold the pockets up and press again, like this:

how to make a magazine holder

8) Pin the second rectangle to this rectangle, right sides together. The pockets should be flat in the middle. Mark a little 3/8" space on the right side of the rectangle, just above the upper pocket. Sew the right, bottom, and left edges of the rectangles together, skipping the 3/8" marked area, and leaving the top open. Remember to use a smaller stitch at the corners.

how to make a magazine holder

9) Press, clip, and trim seams. Clip the two bottom corners. Turn right side out.

how to make a magazine holder

On the outside, the 3/8" space you've left unstitched will look like this:

how to make a magazine holder

10) Starting at the bottom edge of that opening, sew across the rectangle in a straight line. Keep the edge of the presser foot aligned with the top of the upper pocket as you sew, to keep a straight line.

how to make a magazine holder

Sew across in a straight line again, this time from the top edge of the opening.  This time, keep the edge of the presser foot parallel to the first stitching line.

11) Now it's time to go back to the handle. Sew the two long edges together, to make a tube. Turn the tube right side out and press.

12) Turn in the top edges of the main body of the rectangle.  Slide the ends of the handle into there. Stitch across in a straight line.
how to make a magazine holder

13) Clip the bamboo stick slightly shorter than 10.5" (this way it won't stick out when something's in the hanger) and slide in:

how to make a magazine holder

And you're done!

It's now ready and waiting for magazines, notebooks, pattern envelopes, you name it.

a magazine holder

Also, you might have noticed the blue lines sewn on the upper pocket:

It's something that can be added to totes, quilts, and even clothes, and it doesn't take very long or require too much matching. I'll be explaining how to create that effect in a post sometime next week.

This is a sort of trial run of a tutorial. I'm hoping to post more in the future. Please let me know how you found it, thanks!


  1. I found it through an email I received.

  2. Great tutorial. I will try to make one this weekend...

    I gave your blog the Leibster Award. Get details on my blog here...

    1. Hey, thanks a lot Nothy! I'll be sure to check it out properly when everything's a little less hectic (right now being the first week back at school and all). :)