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Tool Bucket

Using a bucket and some fabric, you can make yourself a tool bucket, to help keep your tools in an organised and visible fashion.

For almost any given project, organization goes a long way towards making things go more smoothly. A tool bucket helps with that organization. It not only keeps your tools in an ordered, visible manner, it is also portable, so you can take it to wherever you are working.

Materials & Tools
toolbucket-materials
Materials

A Five Gallon Bucket

3′ x 5′ heavy Fabric, like Canvas or Denim

40” 1” or 2” Elastic

3 x 8” Straps (you can use excess fabric if you want)

3 x Snap Buttons

Thread

Tools

Scissors

Needle

Pins

Tape Measure

Heavy duty Sewing Machine preferable

 

Step 1: Preparation

It helps to have an idea of what kind of tools you want to store in your bucket. Have a mental list before you start, so that you can customize this design to meet your own needs. Adjust the size of the pockets according to what you want to store in them. For heavy, large objects you will want to make the pockets as tall as possible, and you will need to increase the depth of the pocket.
As an idea, here is a photo of the tools this design can accommodate.

 

Step 2: Main panels

When we say “hem”, we mean fold over the edge of the fabric 1” and sew the folded piece to the main piece of fabric. This helps prevent fraying and makes the edges a little stiffer.

It often helps to pin where you will be sewing first. This keeps the fabric in place as you sew, and helps you think about what it is you will be doing.

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric, each 23” x 22”.
  2. Hem the 22” sides of both pieces. These are the top (and bottom) of your panels.
  3. Hem the 23” sides up until 9 ½” from the top. Leave the 9 ½” unstitched – this will be the last thing you do to the bucket.
  4. Cut a third piece of fabric 5 ½” x 13”. Hem it on all sides – it will now be 3 ½” x 11”.
  5. Cut a fourth piece of fabric 6 ½” x 28”. Hem it on all sides – it will now be 4 ½” x 26”.
  6. Cut a fifth piece of fabric 8” x 19”. Hem it on all sides – it will now be 6” x 17”.

 

Step 3: Pockets

First Panel of Pockets

  1. Take one of the large panels and lay it on a flat surface, with the unstitched sides at the top.
  2. With a pen or pin, going from left to right, put a mark on the bottom edge at 2”, 4”, 7”, 13”, 17” (there should be 3” remaining to the right-hand edge).
  3. Take the 4 ½” x 26” piece and place it on a flat surface.
  4. With a pen or pin, going from left to right, put a mark on the bottom edge at 3”, 6”, 10”, 17”, 22” (there should be 4” remaining to the right-hand edge).
  5. Place the 4 ½” piece on top of the panel, lining up the left-hand and bottom edges.
  6. Pin the two together along the left-hand edge.
  7. Match up the first mark on the large panel with the first mark of the 4 ½” piece and pin it vertically (parallel to the left-hand edge).
  8. Do the same for the next five marks, ending with the right-hand edge.
  9. Sew along your 7 pinned lines.
  10. Sew the two pieces together along the bottom edge. Because of the depth of the pockets, there will be excess fabric. Try and bunch this up evenly along the whole pocket, or into the corners of each pocket.

Second Panel of Pockets

  1. Take the other large panel and lay it on a flat surface, with the unstitched sides at the top.
  2. With a pen or pin, going from left to right, put a mark on the bottom edge at 6”, 8”, 11 ½”, 13”, 17” (there should be 3” remaining to the right-hand edge).
  3. Take the 6” x 17” piece and place it on a flat surface.
  4. With a pen or pin, going from left to right, put a mark on the bottom edge at 9”, 12 ½” (there should be 4 ½” remaining to the right-hand edge).
  5. Place the 6” piece on top of the panel, lining up the left-hand and bottom edges.
  6. Pin the two together along the left-hand edge.
  7. Match up the first mark on the large panel with the first mark of the 6” piece and pin it vertically (parallel to the left-hand edge).
  8. Do the same for the next two marks, ending with the right-hand edge.
  9. Sew along your 4 pinned lines.
  10. Sew the two pieces together along the bottom edge. Because of the depth of the pockets, there will be excess fabric. Try and bunch this up evenly along the whole pocket, or into the corners of each pocket.
  11. Take the 3 ½” x 11” piece and place it on a flat surface.
  12. With a pen or pin, going from left to right, put a mark on the bottom edge at 7” (there should be 4” remaining to the right-hand edge).
  13. Place the 3 ½” piece on top of the panel, lining up the left-hand of the small piece with the mark 1 ½” to the right of where the 6” piece ends.
  14. Pin the left-hand edge of the 3 ½” piece to the mark 1 ½” from the 6” piece.
  15. Pin the remaining mark, ending with the right-hand edge.
  16. Sew along the three pinned lines.
  17. Sew the bottom edges together.

 

Step 4: Elastic
  1. Cut two pieces of elastic, 20” in length. You can use 1” or 2” elastic, or one of each.
  2. Line up one piece of elastic horizontally on one of the panels, 3 ½” from the top.
  3. Mark lines vertically on the elastic. The distance between the mark depends on what you will want to hang. ¾” apart for screwdrivers, 1 ½” apart for pliers, 3” apart for scissors, and so on.
  4. Sew along these lines.
  5. Do the same for the other piece of elastic on the other panel.

 

Step 5: Buttons & straps

These are to attach rolls of electrical or duct tape, Teflon, or any other roll.

  1. Sew one part of each snap button to each of the straps.
  2. Place the other end of the each strap on the panel (above the 3 ½” or 4 1/2” pockets) 10 ½” from the top. Make sure you give a few inches in between each strap. Also be sure to put the strap with the button that is sewn to the other end facing outwards.
  3. Sew the other part of the snap button to the panel, going through the straps.

 

Step 6: Assembly
  1. Cut a slit in the fabric, 1” deep, where the stitched and unstitched part of the sides meet.
  2. Place one panel on top of the other, so that the pockets and elastic are facing in towards each other.
  3. Pin the two left edges of unstitched sides together..
  4. Do the same for the right-hand edge.
  5. Sew the two lines.
  6. Turn the fabric inside out, so that the pockets are on the outside. It should resemble a tube.

 

Step 7: Put on Bucket
  1. Line up the two joins of the panels with where the handle comes out of the bucket.
  2. Place the fabric over the bucket, and feed one side through the handle.
  3. Fold the elastic part of the panels down into the bucket.
  4. Place your tools in their new bucket home.
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