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Sewing Studio {Spring Clean- Organize Thread}

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Hi everyone!  This month Spring is finally arriving and after a few long days in my sewing studio – The Sewing Cottage, I have decided that it would be a lot of fun to show some sewing room ideas – tips, tricks, hints and how to’s on Spring Cleaning your own Sewing Studio.  Now, whether you have a studio, or room, or nook, or a dining table there will be something for you to use.  I am sure that you have collected a few sewing notiongs, fabric, thread and maybe even sewing machines!  Everything about this hobby is addicting!

I am not the most organized person in the sewing community– far from it!  But I do try to keep my studio picked up and have some ideas or ways that I do things that might help you out.

Every Wednesday during April there will be a new post on Spring Cleaning your Sewing Studio.  I would love to see a few shots of your sewing studio and how you are cleaning up your space.

Even if you space looks like mine did at the beginning!  I sure wish I had a photo of everything spread out on the lawn…… you have to purge before you can fit them back in. Right?

sewing studio

I am thinking that by the responce on facebook page that everyone can relate to it!

How to Organize Thread in Your Sewing Studio

This week we will be working on THREAD!!! I am really quiet glad that thread comes in smaller packages than other notions and fabric.  I have a lot of it, and it does take up a bit of space around here.

Depending on what your collection is- dmc floss, sewing machine thread, or fancy thread- metalic, clear, fuzzy….. this will determine how you will store them.

Most recently I decided to use the things I had and hang my thread or display them, on the wall.  It sure it nice and keeps them out of the way.

sewing studio thread organizer patchwork posse

However, I still have a nice little over flow collection of thread in baskets.  These are threads that are multiples of ones I already have out really.  I hit a thrift store that had all of these for around 50 cents each.  Couldn’t pass them up, but couldn’t store them on the wall either. So, they hang out all together in a basket.

sewing studio thread patchwork posse

For the smaller machine threads hanging about I stuff them into drawers.  There is a mish mash of a collection in the sewing studio- size, color, style, thickness.  I even have some wood spools in there.  I can usually find something in there that matches what I need for a certain project.  I do find that a few of them don’t have much thread left on them…..not very useful anymore, but I just can’t seem to toss them.  You never know!

sewing studio thread patchwork posse

Sometimes the threads get out of control and seriously the only way to get them back, is to put them into a ziploc baggie.  Nothing in the world will touch them and tangle them more than they already are.  They just sit all stuffed together waiting for their time to be used.  Plus, the clear bag lets you see what you really have inside. oops- looks like there are a few that have escaped!

sewing studio thread patchwork posse

I am not that big into color organizing them.  I just kind of toss them up and out of the way.  I also have a collection of DMC thread that has been de-packaged and then wound on a thread keeper of some sort.

sewing studio thread patchwork posse

I obviosly need to sit down one night and wind a bunch of those ziploced threads and place them in the portable container.  There is space for them now!

Now, what about those bobbins! Do you curse these as much as I do?  I have this handy little case that I really do love, however…..see the thread tails?!  They seem to jump out when anything remotely comes close to them.  They are always tangling up amongst themselves.  I have a few that I use all the time hanging on the wall thread organizer…but their tails are constantly growing too!

sewing studio thread patchwork posse

How do you get these thread tails under control?!  Someone had mentioned bobbin tamers…..and I love them. I love them the most when I use them too.  The idea is to wrap a hair pony around the bobbin trapping the thread ends so they don’t grab onto everything they touch.

bobbin tamers

So– how do you keep your thread organized in your sewing studio?  Do you have a different method than me? Leave a note in the comment and tell me-


29 thoughts on “Sewing Studio {Spring Clean- Organize Thread}


    When I married in 1973, one of our wedding gifts was a spice rack with a door and 3 shelves that hung in my kitchen. It now hangs in my sewing room and holds thread! I love it and I can shut the door so I don’t have to look at the thread. I also have a thread rack that sits on my table that belonged to my mother. It too holds thread. I think you should have a contest and giveaway. Send in your sewing room pics and enter to win. I’m in the throws of organizing mine as well. What a mess.

  2. Maureen

    I’m going to enjoy reading about your organization tips :). I have racks like you do that are hung on my wall, but I either need about 4 more or think of a different method. For my bobbins, I’ve been trying out my toe dividers. Yep, go to the dollar store, and buy the rubbery toe separater’s that alot of nail salon’s use. Stick your bobbin in the slot and it holds perfectly.

  3. Linnea

    I have a messy sewing room, but not as bad as some. I recently rearranged my space. I should blog about it soon. Anyway, my cone threads are stored in plastic drawers under the tables where I have my machines. Sewing thread is stored in clear thread storage boxes of which I have three and they are not completely full. I am sure they would be if all of my threads were in them Then I keep the frequently used threads on a holder near my sewing machine. My bobbins are in this interesting gadget I bought at Hancock’s. Made by Clover I think. And my DMC threads are organized in numerical order in the plastic storage boxes like you have. Even though other stuff is a mess, my I know where my threads are. -Linnea

  4. Patricia

    I saw a display in a hardware store for steel tapes. The trays fit in my plastic drawers and can stack. I have 3 draws, 2 trays deep and 4 trays wide, with my threads kind of in color ranges. It is the best system I have found yet. As for the tails, I just give them a hair cut when they get in my way. Love your blog,

  5. Jeanne

    You have inspired me! I spent all day yesterday organizing one of my closets of fabric. I have all my thread on racks hung on the wall behind the door in my sewing room. Also I have these little plastic things that attach to the top of your spool of thread to hold the bobbins. They work great and have a place to put the thread ends.
    I saw on another site last week the floss wrapped around clothes pins [what else would you use those things for lol] . It took me three nights to do that and I have found a use for those things, I just have to find a place to put them.

  6. Pat Hathaway

    My main problem in my craft room is dust!!!! I can’t believe how it can pile up in no time. I don’t know if it is from the cut fabric edges that leave lint all over or if it is because there is always at least one furry baby following me around and laying at my feet, and sometimes three or four of them are exploring the room for a place to nap.

    Anyway I have to protect my thread from dust so I use a plastic box designed for scrapbook paper storage that is 12″x13″ and 3″ deep and has a hinged lid that snaps securely closed. Thread spools can sit on end or lay down however needed to get the most spools in the box. Bobbin boxes fit on top of spools that are on their side. I tried to sort them by color but they don’t stay where I put them so I “generally” try to keep similar colors in the same area. To match colors I can flip the spools on their sides and quickly scan over them choosing the ones I want to match to the fabric. Then I can flip the spools to stand them back up to get everything back in the box and the lid snapped shut when done. The box currently holds about 100 regular large spools of thread and two bobbin boxes for a total of 50 bobbins.

    My serger cones are also in a scrapbook paper tote box but it stands vertical and the cones are stacked one row with large end on bottom, then a row upside down so the cones fit in the spaces made by the row below. This box can hold 4 rows of cones and a few extra lying on their side on top.

    My other storage requirement is to be able to see through the sides of the storage container because with me, “Out of sight is out of mind” and I forget what I have and where I put it if I can’t see it. Too many times I have bought something only to later discover I already had one. Now I keep everything thing where I can see at least a tiny part of it.

    I can’t wait to see what other great ideas you have for cleaning and organizing a craft area. If only you could help me get rid of a few things–I save EVERYTHING!

  7. Sabrina

    I am also trying to wrestle with organization. Having my thread on the wall helps me a lot and I have so much thread that it cleared up a whole drawer!

  8. Wendy L

    I’ve just kept adding to my thread wall, one 40% off coupon at a time. 🙂 But I still have a stash of serger thread like yours from the thrift store. I have it in one of those zippered plastic bags that sheets/comforters come in. Lifetime supply!
    (you can see my thread wall here:

  9. Jeannie S

    My thread is about the only thing that is organized! I have the holders like you do, but mine are sitting on a dresser I use for storage and another with embroidery thread is sitting on the floor near that machine. I also have cones in a basket, and Madera embroidery thread in the plastic cases it came in. Besides those I have a huge Gutterman collection in the storage shelf it came in. I bought a Clover bobbin holder for my bobbins – I used to keep them in a small drawer, but I got tired of the tails getting all tied up with each other, too.

  10. Margaret R

    I bought some bobbin boxes that have Goan slots to put the bobbin in. It keeps them from moving and I don’t have that thread unwinding anymore. I love them. I wish they were bigger because I have to have three for all my bobbins. I think each one holds 20 bobbins.

  11. Margaret R

    Sorry, I hate this auto correction on my iPad. It should say “foam” slots.

  12. Lisa M

    My brother made me the sweetest thread curio out of scrap lumber. He took measurements from my larger spools of thread and went from there. He even put plexi-glass windows in the doors. I just have to put the hanging hardware on the back then it’s going up on my wall. Eventually, I want to crochet some pretty lacy edging to dress up the shelf edges. It’s awesome to have a big brother!! For my huge cones…they hide in a box under my sewing desk, my smaller spools live in those neat plastic stackables with 3 drawers each; they fit nicely on my sewing desk. I also have 3 drawer stackables for my machine/hand sewing needles and another for my beading needles and beading threads.

  13. Terri C

    I’m really excited to see the rest of your posts. Seems like I clean my room then if I even sart a project it’s a mess again! Sometime when I’m piecing I put on those spools that only have a little left on them. It uses them up and only takes a minute to put on another . Feels good to use them 🙂

  14. whosies

    you go terri! great idea for using little bits of thread. you could even have a little basket next to the machine that allows you to quickly grab and sew!

  15. whosies

    good to know that I am not alone in the thread in a drawer! I do loooooove my spool holder I hang from the wall. Don’t know why it took me so long to get it up there! I have two that I strapped together {if you didn’t notice already}. The lower one is a shorter peg, so only small spools can go there. I do use it for my bigger bobbins for the quilting machine. and washi tape. lol

  16. Tania

    For my regular spools of thread, I use a silverware box that I took the dividers out of. It works great when I remember to put the thread back in the box. My bobbins were my nemesis with all those thread tails. I saw something on pinterest that inspired me. I got some magnetic tape and cut it into strips and glued down (the sticky on the tape was not strong enough) to a piece of foam core cut to fit a picture frame. I covered the foam core with a pretty piece of fabric and inserted into the frame (without the glass) and it hangs on the wall above my sewing area. Great for partial bobbins and empty ones too. There are even a few needles there as well.

  17. Sew Create It - Jane

    I love to use toe separators (you know the ones that you use to separate your toes when you paint your toe nails with nail polish) to hold loaded bobbins. I load 8 bobbins up and start with a fresh needle in my machine…when I’ve used all 8 I know it is time to change my needle and load up a new bunch of bobbins :o)

  18. Erin

    That is a LOT of thread. I don’t have nearly that much. My grandpa made me a spool holder years ago that I currently use to store all of the spools when I’m not leaving them around the house – it’s pretty empty right now, sadly. I have fewer spools than I do DMC threads – I used to be a cross stitcher. So I have that little fishing tackle box with the cardboard doodads that the threads are wound around. Actually I have 3 of those. Sorted in number order. PLUS a tin that’s about 5″ x 8″ and 3″ deep that’s stuffed full of duplicates and some hand dyed threads I bought a few years (ok, like a decade) ago.

  19. Jennifer D

    I hang my thread on the wall, on a rack similar to yours, only bigger. My husband made it for me and I organize it in rainbow order (although now it’s mostly Essential Threads from Connecting Threads there. I’m slowly weeding out the Coats & Clarks thread). You can see a picture of the rack here: My sewing set up has changed a little bit, but I’m still in the same corner of our dinning room. It works for me!

  20. Renee

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet, but this is what I do to keep my bobbins in line: It is very cheap, easy and I have a ton left over to give to friends!

  21. whosies

    Renee- that’s a great idea! thanks for sharing it

  22. whosies

    what a fun way to store them and to keep track when to change your needle too! thanks for sharing it.

  23. Tricia T-B

    I was lucky enough to buy an old thread display wall rack when one of our shops closed down. It holds tons of thread. I think its a Guterman’s rack, cause those fit in there perfectly.
    I love my threads organized.

  24. Ethel

    I use wide mouth glass jars ( that restaurants use for large amounts of pickles,mayonnaise etc.) for my thread, ribbon, pieces of lace, beads you use as fillers in fabric projects, buttons. You can pick them up at garage sales. It’s easy to see, organize in your sewing room and stays dust free. Looks good too.

  25. Becky

    such a cute idea! plus, the jars are cute all lined together with fun stuff inside.

  26. Julia Stansel

    I use the plastic shoe hanger bag thing that hang on a door back for the serger size cones. Each pocket holds 5 new cones. I try to keep all the same color in a pocket. They are around $5 at Walmart.and hold ALOT of thread. Normal size threads on peg racks, mini spools go in those clear plastic boxes those hazel nut chocolates wrapped in gold foil come in (cant remember the name) thrift stores sell those boxes for 10 cents each here. I have those same bobbin boxes. Your thread ends are coming undone because of static. A spray bottle with water and downy will fix that. Spray on your hands, run your fingers through it and then wipe on the bobbin spool once you wind it up. Problem should be solved, plus the whole box will smell nice. Or wipe a dryer sheet on the thread between the bobbin ends.

  27. Linda

    Again plastic storage boxes with dividers. I can put in either airfil or isacord on their sides and drop the botton in the same divider with the spool.

  28. Denise

    I keep a tape dispenser on my table and use a tiny piece of CLEAR tape to keep the tail in place. Sticks well enough, but not so well that it’s hard to remove.

  29. Debbie

    Thread organization

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