Thread Up: Six Fresh Ways to Organize Your Stash

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Some people get excited about organizing their office supplies, their paint stash, or simply tidying their sock drawer. For those of us who groove on spools, let's talk about how to organize them and some clever ways to keep your stash stashed.

How to organize different kinds of thread

First, separate thread by usage

You probably have machine sewing threads, hand sewing threads, hand quilting threads and embroidery threads. Sorting all that out is a good place to begin.

Next, 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 purposes. 

Then, separate by how the thread is wound

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

Finally, color

You can separate colors into two main groups: warm vs. cool. Or, arrange larger collections in rainbow formation, because who can resist a rainbow? (No one, that's who.) Pro tip: if you tend to choose your machine sewing threads by color, you probably want to keep like colors together regardless of fiber content to make it easier to pull what you need at a glance.

Storage ideas for thread

There are probably as many ways to store thread as there are ways to use it. Choose a method that suits the size of your collection.  

In a drawer

For a small spool and bobbin collection, a single drawer will do just fine. 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.

On a thread stand

A good ol' thread stand is a classic for a reason—it works and it looks good. The stands come in many sizes and will hold much more thread than your average-sized drawer. Place yours somewhere that's not in direct sunlight to protect thread from fading.

Wall-mounted rack

Like the thread stand, a wall mounted rack stores thread in a compact and highly visible style, where everything is right there at eye level. You can make your own wall-mounted rack and finish it with a pretty frame that suits your décor. Plus, you can store the bobbin for each spool right along with the spool, so long as the dowel or nail is long enough! Again, watch out for direct sunlight — a shady spot is best.

Bobbin keepers

Bobbins love to unwind and tangle.  Plus, their small size makes them extra tricky to keep track of.

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 — you'll thank yourself later.

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 bobin boxes or even regular ice cube trays.

In jars

This choice is great for embroidery floss, and does double-duty as decor if you organize your stash in pretty color groupings.

Embroidery floss is usually sold on unwieldy skeins so you should first wind skeins onto clothespins or traditional floss bobbins. Then place the bobbins in a jar to enjoy those yummy colors while protecting them from dust.

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Thread Up: Six Fresh Ways to Organize Your Stash