How to Organize Bobbins and Thread Spools
One of the things I love most about my craft room is just how colorful it is. There are fabrics and threads that add bright colors to the otherwise neutral room. I’m not suggesting that you should use your craft supplies as décor, but they definitely do brighten up a space.
Portable, Desktop, and Wall-Mount Storage Options
How you choose to organize your bobbins and thread spools will ultimately depend on the space you have and how you use your threads and bobbins. When I first started with machine embroidery, I opened a little shop downtown.
I moved my big Brother embroidery machine to the store, but kept the smaller Kenmore machine at home because it doubles as my sewing machine. That meant sharing thread between the two places.
At that point in my crafting life, portable thread and bobbin storage was the solution. I used clear acrylic embroidery spool storage boxes like these by Brothread. They are stackable and fit nicely down into my tote bag. I dropped a few bobbins in between the spools to keep bobbins and threads together.
But once I closed the store and decided to craft just for myself (and friends and family, of course), I had more options. I kept the clear box system for a while, but discovered that I spent a lot of time moving them from one place to another. I wanted a more permanent storage solution for my threads and bobbins. I experimented with both desktop and wall-mount storage solutions, and here is what I discovered.
It seemed to me that the best embroidery thread/bobbin storage solution would be a desktop organizer that would keep threads within arm’s reach. I really love the look of the wooden thread racks and discovered there were even options among those. For instance, this Brothred wooden rack holds 60 spools of thread.
I actually found a deal online to get 2 for less than $30. The handy thing about these wooden thread racks is that they convert from desktop to wall mount. I started out with one on my sewing table, but the vibration from my sewing machine made me worry that it would fall off. So, I switched to wall mount.
I like them so much that when I updated my sewing room recently, I switched to a black metal wall mount version. For about the same price, I got two metal racks that each hold 54 spools.
If wall mount organizers are not your cup of tea, but desktop space is at a premium, you can try this rotating thread rack.It holds up to 84 spools of thread and takes up less space than the desk/wall mount rack. The dowels are narrow enough to also hold your bobbins.
DIY Storage Ideas For Spools and Bobbins
If you are feeling extra crafty, or if you are trying to save some money, you can make your own embroidery thread/bobbin organizer. Crafter Jenny Prado uses some dollar store finds to make her own thread and bobbin organizer for less than $2. She cuts and glues wooden skewers into a plastic basket to hold the threads in place. By cutting the skewers long, you can leave room on top to also store matching bobbins.
U Create Crafts also has a DIY embroidery thread/bobbin holder that is made out of an embroidery hoop used for hand embroidery. You use the hoop to hold the dowels in place, then you can store the spools and bobbins on them. They can sit on a desktop or hang on a wall hook.
Sugar Bee Crafts demonstrates how to make a larger thread storage option from peg board and dowel rods. The trick is to use glue to secure the rods in place. Cut the rods long enough to hold your thread and a matching bobbin.
There’s also some extra accessories that can help store your threads and bobbins without a lot of loose threads poking through. Thread and bobbin clamps are wraps that encompass the spool to hold the thread in place. Your spools will not unwind and tangle with other loose ends stored nearby. For spools, check out these wraps. They wrap around and hold the thread in place, but still allow you to see the color of each spool above and below the wrap. They work with a variety of spool sizes, too.
Bobbin clips are sized just right to hold loose ends in place during storage. Peavy Tailor bobbin clips come in a pack of 56.
Common Household Items
You can also use some common household items to keep your thread ends tidy during storage. You can cut pieces of elastic to make bands to hold the thread ends in place. Be sure to make them snug enough to hold the ends securely. You could also use ponytail holders to wrap around the spools.
My favorite method of holding loose thread ends in place is to use narrow blue painter’s tape. I always have painter’s tape on hand because we are remodeling an old home, and something is always getting painted.
Tips for Thread and Bobbin Storage
- No matter which method of storage you choose for your threads and bobbins, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t store threads in direct sunlight. Not only can the sun bleach your colors, they can also damage the structure of the thread fibers over a prolonged period of time.
- If you opt for desktop storage and worry about the rack sliding off the tabletop, Use silicone suction cups to keep it from slipping. If you don’t have any suction cups a couple of small Command hooks placed on the table can hold the rack in place.
- If you choose to mount your thread rack on a wall, don’t overlook it when you dust other fixtures in the room. Thread gets dusty, too.
- If you choose to use tape to hold the end of your threads in place, pull the end up to the top or down to the bottom and tape it there to keep any residue that might remain mostly on the spool itself.