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DIY Multi Compartment Tray Organizer

Absolutely everyone needs this DIY multi compartment tray organizer. Girls for their hair accessories, ladies for makeup, guys for their charger cables, USB sticks and other techie paraphernalia, and craftspeople always need organizers for all their bits and pieces.  What I love is that when the DIY multi compartment tray gets grimy you can just toss it in the wash, then give it a bit of spray-starch to make it firm up again, rather than having grimy boxes with corners you can’t get into to clean. And if the organizer is looking tired then toss it and make a new one from your stash of scraps. It’s far better than throwing away plastic!

multi compartment organizer in use -stacked with sewing supplies

These handmade multi-compartment trays are such fun to make and use. Stash make up to hair accessories, office bits and pieces, cotton, buttons and bobbins, and even those pesky charger cords and USB sticks that tend to lie around. I can’t wait to get out my festive fabrics and make some for Christmas and fill them with various wrapped chocolates and cookies closer to the time – the earlier you start the less stress around the holiday season. Easter is coming up soon and I can see these as great gifts filled with chocolate bunnies and eggs nestled into some straw. Follow our step by step tutorial how to make a DIY multi-compartment tray in around 20 to 30 minutes from start to finish.

finished multi compartment tray organizer

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a multi-compartment tray organizer

DIY multi-compartment organizer tray

Supplies and tools

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How To Sew multi-compartment tray organizer

Watch the diy organizer tray video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
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Multi-compartment tray organizer VIDEO TUTORIAL



For this project you will need 4 x 10-inch squares of fabric – two in a print and two in a plain color – although if you want to use only plain colors, or mix and match prints that is fine too – as long as you have the 4 squares. You will also need two pieces of iron-on interlining of the same size.



Cut two circles from your squares of interlining by placing a 9-inch plate over the interlining squares and tracing around the plate with a pencil or fabric marker pen, before proceeding to cut them out.

layering fabrics


Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the printed squares, and the other circle of interfacing to the wrong side of the plain fabric.


Place the interlined square of printed fabric with the right side facing the other printed square and pin or clip to hold the pieces together. Repeat with the two plain pieces of fabric.

apply interfacing


Turn the fabric so the interlining piece is uppermost, and stitch around the edge of the circle on the printed fabric square  3/8 inch (1cm) from the edge, making sure to back tack when you start and then to finish around 2 inches (5 cm) from where you started, again back tacking to create the gap through which you will pull the fabric to turn the circle the right way out. Repeat for the two plain pieces of fabric.

stitch line


Trim off the excess fabric from the squares so you have two circles. Leave about 1/4″ (6mm) from the seam, and a bit more at the gap.

trim the excess fabric

OPTIONAL: If you decide to leave a bit more fabric around the circles, make small nicks in the fabric at ½ inch intervals all the way around the two circles, that don’t quite reach the stitching – this is to ease the fabric so it lies flat when turned right way out.


Pull the printed fabric through the gap until it is the right way out. Flatten out the circle, then press with an iron, making sure the raw edges of the gap are turned in to make a smooth circle. Repeat with the plain circle

turn right side out


Top stitch all the way around the printed circle, back tacking at start and finish.

Repeat with the plain circle.



Fold the printed circle in half and mark at the edges of the fold with an erasable fabric pen, then open out the circle and place it flat on your worktop.

measure the half circle

Images shows this on the plan fabric so you can see it better

STEP 10:

Measure the distance carefully from the one mark to the other mark around the circumference of the circle. Record this measurement.

measure the half circle

Let’s say it was 15 inches – now divide by 3 – that means you will make marks at 5-inch (12.7cm) intervals around one half of the circle. Repeat for the other half so you will have a total of 6 marks. If your distance is an odd figure – like 14.6 inches then use a calculator to determine how far apart the marks should be – 14.6” divided by 3 = 4.86”

divide the distance by 3

STEP 10:

Place a ruler over the diameter of the printed circle, lining up the marks on opposite sides, then draw a line from the edge 2 inches (5cm) in towards the middle, and repeat on the other side. Repeat the procedure twice more lining up the marks, until you have 6 lines drawn, reaching in 2 inches from the edges.

6 marks

STEP 10:

Place the plain circle underneath the printed circle and pin together, but not where the lines are.

STEP 10:

Back tacking at the start and finish sew along the two-inch lines until all six are done.

STEP 10:

Lay the joined circles down on your worktop and measure 1 inch (2.5cm) from each stitched line, to the left and right, making a small mark.

make marks 1 inch down from seams

STEP 10:

Once all the marks are made, take a needle and thread and pinch up the fabric of the top printed layer until the marks you made one inch from the seam line up on either side of the seam. Catch into place by stitching over the top of the edges around three times then tying of the cotton securely and snipping it off close to the edge. Repeat with the other marks, lining them up until you have created 6 compartments.

finished multi compartment tray organizer

That’s it your handmade multicompartment tray organizer is ready!

All that remains to be done is to put your DIY multi compartment tray to use, or package and give to a friend. I can see these being perfect gifts made in Christmas fabric and filled with a variety of wrapped chocolates in each compartment, with maybe wrapped festive cookies in the main compartment. They would make great double use presents for birthdays and housewarming filled with edible goodies then used to store all sorts of odds and ends.

Have fun making these easy DIY multi compartment organisers. If you enjoyed this project then please subscribe to have more fun step-by-step tutorials delivered to your inbox so you never miss out.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 17 comments
Yvonne - April 14, 2022

Wow Helen how sweet is this little catch all! This is so quick and easy to make I shall be sewing a few of this for little “just for you” gifts! I am going to stitch in a little pearl bead stitching the gathers together!
Thank you so much for this sweet little oragaanizer.

Evelyn - April 25, 2022

This looks great to make will be giving it a try. Thank you

Michele Morin - May 9, 2022

This is so cute and so practical!

Tina - May 11, 2022

I love this organizer and it’s so cute!

Joy - May 12, 2022

Great idea! This reminds me of the old bread basket insert from the 50s. The reasoning was each section kept the roll warmer longer. Nope, didn’t work.

Create With Joy - May 15, 2022

Love this Helen – I am always in need of a trinket catcher!
Congrats for being featured at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy!

Julie - May 15, 2022

This is fabulous Helen, it’ll be a feature at Handmade Monday this week 🙂

Chickenruby - May 15, 2022

Such a clever idea, handy to use when I’m sewing with multiple threads to keep everything together for each project. Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

Grandma's House DIY - May 16, 2022

I’m featuring you when the next party starts! Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma’s house we go link party – happy spring!

Rhondda Mol - May 17, 2022

This DIY multi compartment tray organizer turned out wonderfully! Thank you for linking up at our weekly Link Party! You are being featured at our Wednesday Party #451 this week. Here’s the direct link to the post in case you’d like to share your feature:

Hope to see you again next week! Rhondda

    Helen - May 19, 2022

    Thank you so much,Rhondda!

Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife - May 19, 2022

This is adorable! Thanks for sharing on Crafty Creators. I’ll be featuring your post on tomorrow’s party! You can grab your “I was featured” button when the party opens. If you let me know if you’re following me on FB or IG, I’ll also feature your post across my social media. Thanks again for sharing!

    Helen - May 19, 2022

    Thank you Nicki, I’ll follow you there!

Carol - May 19, 2022

Fabulous idea and great tutorial. Can we ever have enough storage for all the little things? Featuring when my party opens.

Karren Haller - May 21, 2022

This is the cutest organizer, I bet I could use some of my mask making materials, of which I have a huge tote of. Great gift too.
If you haven’t already I would to have you share on Wonderful Wednesday #omhgww.
I hope you have a great weekend!

    Helen - May 23, 2022

    Hi Karren, Thank you so much for the kind words. I’ve shared this organizer in your WW 310

Dorothy J Spicka - March 16, 2024

Love this! I turned it into an easter basket for my kids and grandkids. Plastic eggs fit perfectly in the outer slots and a mixture of jelly beans and peeps are in the middle. I did some machine embroidery in the middle section before attaching it to the bottom. So they can use it all year long. Very cute – Thanks!!


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