How To Store Printed PDF Sewing Patterns

Printing off PDF patterns is easy, putting them together isn’t as easy and knowing how to store them can be a pain! With paper been so thick and hard to fold it is near impossible without giving up or trashing the whole thing.

I decided to put together this post to help you know how to store printed PDF patterns.

The hardest part about storing PDF patterns is that they don’t come prepacked and in an envelope. So you have to try and fold them without tearing them, try and work out where to store them and remembering to label each one so you don’ forget.

What Are PDF Sewing Patterns?

PDF sewing patterns are patterns that companies and individuals have created which are sold online.

It is a document with all the pattern pieces, instructions and size charts together which you print and cut at home.

For example, you can buy a PDF sewing pattern on Etsy and download it to your computer. You open the file and print it within your own home, you piece together the sheets to create a large sheet and then you cut out the pattern pieces.

Check out my FREE Printable to create cute and useful cover pages for your PDF sewing patterns.

How To Store Printed PDF Patterns

There are a number of solutions on how to store PDF patterns, each one is different and will work differently for each person.

I would recommend looking at what storage space you have so you can determine what is going to work best for you.

Folded Up

One of the more common ways to store printed PDF patterns would be to fold them.

Tip: Fold each piece with the main information, pattern piece and number facing out. This way you can quickly find the pieces you need for your project.

You can do this in an easier fashion by using the edge of a quilting ruler to create a neat fold or something with a straight edge.

Folded pattern pieces - how to store Printed PDF patterns.

You can also use your iron to help create the folds and condense the size of the pieces.

Hung Up

Another great way or storing PDF patterns is hung up. This can be on the back of a door or on a rail, whatever works for you and your space.

This is a great way of recycling hangers from the wardrobe, alternatively, you can use hooks and punch a hole in the pattern pieces.

This can get a little messy and some people prefer to have them stored away in a box or packet to save them from getting damaged.

If you use a block pattern and use that often to create your own this is a great way of keeping the shape, save it from damage and have easy access to it.

To keep extra organized with your hangers create a temple to note the garment, patterns number and any other additional information you need to hook on the hanger neck.

Ring Binder & Plastic Sleeves

A great way to stay organized and how to store printed PDF patterns is by using a binder. Binders are a great way of keeping PDF patterns neat and tidy along with separated and organized.

Using plastic sleeves within binders helps keep the patterns contained and organised. You can keep a piece in each sleeve or a pattern in each sleeve.

Top Tip: Create a paper front piece with all the details on or a sticky note on the front with the information. This will help you see and find the pattern quickly and easily.

If you don’t want to use a ring binder you can look at buying a concertina binder with pockets already put in. Usually found in the stationary section and used for filing receipts, bills etc they make for great PDF pattern storage.


A very common way to store printed PDF patterns is in envelopes. These can be any size that suits you but more commonly anything from A5 to A4.

You can find a number of different envelopes to use such as bubble padded envelopes, cardboard backed and normal paper envelopes.

These are also very easy to store longterm and in a box or filing cabinet. This is probably my go-to and favourite way on my list of how to store printed PDF patterns.


I love using boxes for everything in my home. They are super easy to use and can keep things organized and tidy.

This can be the same as PDF patterns, boxes are easy to store and stack away.

Tip: You can store your PDF patterns rolled upheld by an elastic band, in envelopes or held together by a paper clip with this method.

I keep my sewing patterns in a 9 litre really useful box, they are a great fit in an Ikea Kallax. This is a great way to store PDF patterns as it keeps it covered, protected and dry.

You can find a number of different sized boxes that are useful and can fit in a number of places within the home or sewing room.

Rolled Up

If you are looking to store your printed PDF patterns in a different way completely this may be the one for you.

I personally haven’t used this method because I find it too fiddly to get in and out of a tube but it works for some people.

You can use hard cardboard shipping tubes or save your kitchen roll tubes.

Tip: Don’t forget to write a label on each one so you can find your pattern quickly and easily.

Collect your pieces together putting the largest at the back and roll tightly with the smaller pieces in the middle. Simply slot them into the tube and you have storage.

When it comes to using the pattern simply use your iron on low with no water to straighten out the pieces. If like me you like to be quick then just use pattern weights to hold down the edges.

That is all my handy tips and tricks on how to store printed PDF patterns. If you have a unique way of storing your patterns I would love to know in the comments. Alternatively, if you have tried any of these methods I would love to know what you think.

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