Room Tidy

Help the children to keep their rooms tidy with this handy organizer.

There are pockets in different sizes to store pens, books or cuddly toys.

It is best made in strong, stiff fabric such as denim, cotton canvas or calico and can be colour coordinated with the rest of the décor.

The finished size in the instructions below are for a room tidy of 23" long by 15" wide (59 by 32.5 cms) but this can be adjusted for your own preference.

Image refers to colour code for diagrams


  • Strong stiff fabric in a colour of your choice for main panels.
  • Contrasting colour for the pockets.
  • 2 wooden dowels 13.5" (34.5 cms) long by 0.5" (12 mm) diameter.
  • 6" (15 cms) of strong cord.
  • 1.5 metres of elastic 0.5" (12 mm) wide.
  • Matching threads.

Making the Children’s Room Tidy:

  1. Cut 2 main panels each measuring 24" long by 15" wide (61 by 37.5 cms).
  2. Lay 1 piece on a flat surface, right side up, and using a fabric marker, draw horizontal lines 7.5" (19 cms), 14.5" (37 cms) and 22.5" (57 cms) down from the top edge.
  3. Mark the centre of the top line and draw a vertical line 4" (10 cms) up from it. Mark a 4" (10 cms) vertical line 3.5" (9 cms) either side of this line.
  4. On the centre line draw lines 5" (12.5 cms) up at 5" (12.5 cms) and 10" (25 cms) intervals from the left side.
  5. Mark the centre of the bottom line and draw a 6" (15 cms) vertical line at this point.
  6. For the pockets, cut 3 pieces of contrasting fabric each measuring 15" (37.5 cms) wide. Cut 1 piece 6" (15 cms) long. Cut the second piece 7" (17.5 cms) long and the third 8" (20 cms) long.
  7. Turn down a double 0.75" (18 mm) hem at the top of each one and stitch close to the bottom fold.
  8. Thread a 16" (40 cms) length of elastic through each top hem and stitch at each side edge. Do not gather the fabric with the elastic as it is to strengthen the tops of the pockets.
  9. Turn up a single 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the bottom of each piece and press.
  10. Image refers to steps 10 to 13 of making a room tidyLay the marked panel on a flat surface, right side up, and pin the pockets in place by lining up the bottom fold with the marked horizontal lines. Place the smallest pocket at the top and the largest at the bottom.
  11. Stitch across the bottom folds of the pockets through all thicknesses. Work 2 rows of stitches, one on top of the other for strength.
  12. Pin and stitch the pocket dividing lines at the marked points. Stitch through all thicknesses, including the elastic, starting at the bottom edges to avoid puckering.
  13. Position the ends of a 6" (15 cms) piece of cord centrally at the top edge 3.5" (9 cms) apart. Stitch across both ends close to the top raw edge to secure.
  14. Place the pocketed panel on a flat surface, right side up, and place the back panel on top, right side down, matching the raw edges.
  15. Stitch the top, bottom and 1 side edge together 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edges. Strengthen the seam across the cord by working 2 or 3 rows of stitches on top of one another.
  16. Turn right side out, fold in 0.5" (12 mm) seam allowance on the open side and press.
  17. Work 1 row of stitches across the width 0.75" (18 mm) down from the top fold and another 0.75" (18 mm) up from the bottom fold to make channels for the wooden dowels.
  18. Slide the dowels into the channels.
  19. Slipstitch down the open side taking all the layers of fabric into the stitches.
  20. To strengthen the side seams work a row of top stitching down each side 0.25" (6 mm) in from the folds.

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