Did you ever think you’d amass enough sewing thread spools to warrant considering storage solutions for them?
Neither did I!!
But if you’re reading this, then you probably find yourself in need of corralling and taming your ever-growing thread collection.
And that’s what today’s post is all about – finding clever, practical, and pretty ways of storing your sewing and quilting threads so they’re easy to access when you’re in need of them.
I’ve shared before that I don’t have a full-on sewing room and space of my own. Living in the city means space is at a premium and I don’t have the luxury of having a full dedicated space for my sewing stuff.
When I first started sewing and quilting, I was able to keep my ‘sewing stash’ to a box. Then a shelf. And before I knew it, I had to invest in a full cabinet to store my fabric and sewing notions.
As my creative outlet also became a business venture, the amount of ‘stuff’ I started to accumulate was getting a little overwhelming. And that’s even with my approach of ‘less is more’ when it comes to all the quilty notions I could be stocking in the studio.
But one notion that I do love having on hand is thread.
It’s an essential part of any sewing or quilting journey and, over the years, I’ve found it to be a very inspiring part of the designing process. Since I love switching up the fabrics I work with, that also means I love having matching or coordinating colours on hand to pick from.
So, what’s a quilter to do with all those spools? Here are some nifty ways to keep them organized and accessible.
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Since I stitch at the dining table and also film all my videos from there, I thought it would be fun and practical to hang my *thread rack up on the wall next to my design wall (click here for a DIY tutorial to make your own design wall). Not only do I find it super pretty, but I love how easy it is for me to grab a spool and load her in my sewing machine. This is especially true when I’m working on a project that features more than one thread colour.
Here’s a couple examples of quilts featuring different thread colours:
You can always opt to paint the wooden thread rack, or, if metal is more your thing, I found this *black metal version that looks nice and sturdy.
DRAWER WITH RACK
Whenever I’m lucky to get my own sewing room, one thing I plan on incorporating is a drawer lined with a thread rack. This just looks so easy to maintain and access, which are key features I look for in a storage solution.
My friend Ali from Arabesque Scissors (catch her interview in What’s in Your Sewing Bag Arabesque Scissors) has one in her sewing room, and it just looks so functional! Plus, she’s sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how to hack one for your own sewing space!
There is no shortage of storage boxes out there for you to choose from. I’m sharing just a couple here with you, but I encourage you to check-out your local craft, dollar, or thrift store to see what you can find.
You could pick-up some plastic cases that are specifically made for thread storage.
There’s this *double decker one.
There’s also this one specifically designed for *embroidery thread.
I don’t have either of these, so here’s what I’ve been using.
I got my first official *Aurifil Thread case when I was an Aurifil Artisan for the first time in 2019. I’ve since gone on to acquire 2 more with each subsequent year that I’ve been an artisan. These are great for storing your larger Aurifil spools. I’ve also used one for storing my cut-up *Kona Cotton Color Card, which has been super handy.
The other storage boxes that I rely on are my empty *Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes! Yes, repurposing old containers is a great option for thread storage! I pick these up annually at Costco leading up to the Christmas holidays. It’s my go-to treat that time of year, which I shared with you in this Canadian Virtual Trunk Show episode.
These *clear acrylic storage drawers would be perfect for embroidery thread or smaller thread spools.
What I love about them is that you can get so many small and large thread spools tucked inside. The lids mean they’re stackable and they fit nicely on my Ikea Billy bookcase shelf!
I’ve also used cookie tins, make-up tins, essentially if it’s a tin and the right size for my sewing notions I consider them fair game! 😉
Clothespins might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to thread storage, but if you like working with embroidery floss, then this might just be the ticket. My quilty friend Cheri from @tinkerellen , was inspired by Kari Lockhart of @ohmyheartembroidery to create the most gorgeous handmade board of embroidery floss.
You can find Cheri’s adorable embroidery patterns in her Etsy shop.
What is it about baskets that they always seem to be so handy for corralling odd bits and bobs?
I have an older wicker basket that I believe a gift came in that I repurposed for storing all my pearl cotton thread in. I’m actually running out of space and will need to invest in larger ones as my collection keeps expanding 😉
Here are a few that I found that would do the trick:
- *Rope basket with leather handles
- *Black metal wire basket
- Round glass jar with wood lid
- Seagrass with fabric lining
- Woven basket with jade lid
- *Woven basket with wooden handles
- *This one divided into 3 compartments could be fun for sorting by warm and cool colours.
- *This nesting bundle with handles woven into the design could be functional.
The one downside of baskets is that dust can accumulate.
This isn’t a problem for me as I keep mine stored in my cabinet, but something to keep in mind if you plan on leaving your basket out on display.
If you want to have your pretty thread on display but want to keep the dust from settling in all those fibers, you can take a cue from Anna Maria Horner and store them in glass jars with lids. I’m also inspired by her embroidery thread hooks that she DIYed herself. Read more inspiration in her Color and the Keeping of It blog post.
For storing my Aurifil Thread cones, I like to keep those on a shelf in my cabinet. I haven’t picked up a *cone thread rack, so for the time being I’ve been storing my Aurifil Thread cones on a shelf in my fabric cabinet. It’s on the same shelf as some books and my old Singer sewing machine.
This keeps them stored out of sunlight, but still easily accessible.
You could always opt to have them displayed on an open shelf in your sewing room too!
There’s lots of ways to make storage solutions work for you and I bet you have a ton of options already sitting in a cupboard somewhere. Repurposing old containers is a great way to save our landfills and also keep your pretty threads neatly organized 😊
For more thread inspiration, check out:
- Why I love Aurifil
- Ultimate Thread Shopping Guide
- Big Stitch Hand Quilting Thread – List of 20+ Resources for Pearl Cotton
- Favourite Thread Weight
- Quilty Texture Through Thread Weight
In need of some help organizing your fabric scraps. Take the FREE 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge and tame your scraps!
What’s your favourite way to store your thread?