Sewing Blog

6 Fresh Ways to Organize Your Thread Stash

A bowl brimming with colorful thread is like candy to a maker! But storing thread in bowls is not the best way to keep it organized and accessible. Let’s talk about how to organize your threads and look at some lovely ways to store them!

How to organize different kinds of thread

organized sewing storage Organize Your Thread Stash

First, separate your threads by usage.

You probably have machine sewing threads, hand sewing threads, hand quilting threads and embroidery threads. It’s difficult to keep your threads tidy if they are all mixed together.

Within categories, you may want to further separate by fiber type.

This is especially true if you have a large collection of any one category. For example, you may have glossy cotton embroidery floss and matte wool floss collections. If you machine sew a lot, it’s a good idea to divide polyester thread and cotton thread, but only if you use these for different applications. 

Then, separate by how the thread is wound.

Try separating your threads into these categories: cones, spools, bobbins, balls and skeins.

Finally, let color help you get organized.

If you choose your machine sewing threads by color, keep them all together regardless of fiber content for efficient color selection. No matter how you store them, you’ll want to sort them into color groupings. You can separate colors into two main groups: warm vs. cool. Or, arrange larger collections in stunning rainbow order.

Storage ideas for thread

There are so many lovely ways to store your threads!  Choose a method that suits the size of your collection.  

In a drawer

For a small spool and bobbin collection, a drawer does the job nicely.  Threads are easily accessible but protected from fading and dust. In your drawer, lay spools on their sides to see colors at glance.  As your collection grows, stand spools up to save space. 

A simple tin or tray works well for bobbin storage. This modest sized collection is organized with warm colors below and cool colors above, the bobbins providing a natural point of division.

On a thread stand

table top thread rack Organize Your Thread Stash

A thread stand is a classic way to store your spools. Stands come in many sizes and will hold much more thread than your average-sized drawer. Place yours somewhere that does not receive direct sunlight to minimize thread fading.

Wall-mounted rack

wall mounted thread storage Organize Your Thread Stash

Like the thread stand, a wall mounted rack stores thread in a compact and highly visible style. These are growing in popularity with makers who enjoy a little DIY.

You can make your own wall-mounted rack and finish it with a pretty frame that suits your décor. Check out these tutorials for using a pegboard with dowels or simply nails. Either way, you can store the bobbin for each spool right along with the spool, so long as the dowel or nail is long enough!

On a shelf 

What about storing thread cones? These large threads stand up well on their own.  They don’t topple over at the first touch like regular spools. Line up thread cones on a shelf for a simple, but effective storage solution.  

Bobbin keepers

golf tees holding bobbins on thread Organize Your Thread Stash

Storing spools and cones is one thing, but what about bobbins? Bobbins love to unwind and tangle.  Plus, their small size makes for a challenging storage situation.

There are two basic approaches to storing bobbins: store them with the matching thread spool or store all bobbins together. Choose an approach and stick to it to keep things from getting complicated.

You can store bobbins with spools by joining them together with a rubber band, golf tee or a clever product like Bobbini Bobbin Holders. If you opt to keep bobbins separate from your spools, you could store them in little tins, these special-made ArtBins Bobbin Boxes or Bobbin Savers, or even regular ice cube trays.

In jars

In my opinion, any time you can store pretty colored objects in clear glass jars, you should! Spools and bobbins are not suited to this storage solution, but thread balls work nicely. These cotton balls have soft edges that allow them to fit compactly. Organized by color groupings, they make a lovely addition to any shelf!

Embroidery floss on clothespins Organize Your Thread Stash

You can also store embroidery floss in jars. Embroidery floss is usually sold on unwieldy skeins.  First, wind skeins onto clothespins or traditional floss bobbins. Then store the bobbins in a jar to enjoy those pretty colors while protecting them from dust. Or, if you have quite a large floss collection, consider making a wall-mounted framed board like those for storing thread spools.

Reorganizing your threads is a sure way to spark your creative juices. I hope you consider trying something new. Your space will feel so much fresher and more inspiring with newly organized thread!

7 Comments

Kerry Davidson

I find that very small fishing tackle boxes are perfect for bobbins. Pretty sure you can also get plastic storage containers this size at big hardware stores. I have one for regular thread, one for bobbin thread, and on for embroidery thread.

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Melinda Davis

Thanks. I got some new ideas now to re-organize now

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Marlene Darby

I store my thread in a barrister bookcase. The glass fronts protects from dust, but not from light. I use double decked lazy Susans which doubles the space andgives easy access to the back rows.

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Cath

Thread stands on the wall look handy and the colors are so visible, but isn’t it a dust problem? I would think it would gather dust on each spool. I don’t want dust on my threads and I don’t want to dust them. Am I missing something here?
I bought an inexpensive rolling set of drawers and put my cone threads in it, organized by thread type and then color. My embroidery and sewing threads are in ArtBin folding carry cases.

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Rachel Hauser

Yes, I do believe dust is a problem for exposed spools. If you use them quite frequently (like for a longarm service) perhaps not, though. I keep mine in a drawer.

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Kris Valle

I would think you would want to keep thread away from the light, but I don’t know that for sure. So, I would think keeping thread organized in a drawer would be the best for the thread, and it would help keep it from dust also. Maybe our modern threads don’t fade, or other such fates, when exposed to the light.

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