7 Sewing & Machine Embroidery Thread Storage Ideas

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I’m constantly reorganizing my sewing and embroidery threads to accommodate my hoarding. There’s just something reassuring about being surrounded by threads of every color imaginable in the rare event my project requires a very specific shade of salmon, for instance.

I have around 400-500 spools of sewing, embroidery, and serger thread right now. Keeping those threads organized is so important if I want to be able to access the right color of thread for every project.

And while I know threads should ideally be stored in a cool, dark environment away from light, I can’t stand being unable to see the majority of my threads to know what I have. And, I love the crafty inspiration that being surrounded by a rainbow of threads inspires. So, my thread spool storage options are almost all wall-based.

If you’re looking for some thread storage ideas, let me give you a quick tour of the DIY thread organizers in my craft room!

how to organize sewing threads

Sewing Thread Storage Ideas for Organization

While I have some overlap in storage areas with the three types of thread I use (sewing, embroidery, and serger/coverstitch), my preference is to keep them separated by function. I’m a perfectionist and eternal organizer to a fault.

Let’s talk about how I organize my sewing threads first!

Pegboard Thread Storage

cute thread spool organization idea

I got this really cute sewing machine wire thread spool storage from Hobby Lobby a few years ago. It was only $6 when on a 50% off sale! It holds 30 spools, and I like to keep some of my more popular sewing thread colors on this for easy storage. To make things even better, it hangs perfectly on the pegboard on the wall of my sewing room, and I love the aesthetic quality it adds!

VERY Large Sewing Thread Wall Organizer Behind the Door

the most awesome thread holder organization idea!

When I absolutely ran out of all space in my sewing corner on the visible wall and floor, it was time to start thinking of creative ways for sewing thread organization. Since the area behind our door was just empty space, this was perfect for the taking!

I used 2 of the June Tailor 120 spool thread organizers to make this monster rack. (For the record, the quality of wooden spool holders these days is NOT what they used to be!) I spray painted the thread racks white to match the decor of the rest of my room and hung them with large picture hanging strips on the wall.

Then, I was able to organize 240 of my sewing thread spools on these holders! I liked the idea of organizing by color for easy comparison when it came time for a project. However, I’ve found this is exceedingly difficult to keep up with. I’m constantly finishing spools of thread or adding new ones and anxiously trying to reorganize the entire thing to keep up with the color progression. Oh, the life of a perfectionist.

behind the door thread organizer

Serger Thread Storage Ideas

Right around the time I organized my sewing threads on these wall racks, Wawak put all their serger threads for sale for $1.99 a cone. Since I recently added a coverstitch machine to my collection, I splurged on 3-4 cones of my favorite serger threads in the most blendable colors to have a second set. As such, I outgrew the serger thread storage space in my drawers and needed a location for these new cones.

diy serger thread storage

After a lot of virtual hunting, I found the perfect Mainstays wall ledges from Walmart. They are 32″ long, which was almost the exact size I needed. Each ledge holds 15 serger threads. So, this means I can gaze lovingly at 30 spools of serger thread with my two shelves.

The hanging apparatus on the back of one of the shelves was not very functional, which is why they didn’t get great reviews. But, my hand husband was able to hang them without a problem! They’re not oriented exactly where I wanted them to go in relation to the thread rack storage conglomerate, unfortunately. But, I had to be flexible in missing the door hinges and doorknob when the door was opening.

I’ve since added an upper doorstop to catch the door a few inches before hitting the thread rack to make sure my kids don’t slam open the door and wipe out my threads!

Machine Embroidery Thread Storage

Now, I’ll show you my embroidery thread organization ideas!

DIY Wall Thread Rack Redo

diy thread rack redo for sewing thread

I like to display my variegated and metallic embroidery threads (and a few others I use frequently) on this 60-spool wall thread rack. The metallic and variegated threads are so pretty and bring me joy when I see them!

This thread rack redo was so fun to create also. My mom had a perfect-sized wooden frame (from Hobby Lobby’s 90% off clearance!) laying around for it already. I painted it with pink acrylic paint and added a gloss varnish to make it shine more. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

I made the gorgeous turquoise cardstock paper flower with my Cricut Maker using one of the free Design Space flower files. With a little super glue, this added the perfect touch to my rocking thread holder.

How to Stop Threads from Unwinding

how to keep thread ends from unraveling

Depending on my mood and the intended use of the thread, I have two main ways I keep my embroidery machine threads from unraveling. While sewing threads have the little nick in the top or bottom of the spool to hold the thread end, my embroidery threads do not have that option. And, the threads are so slippery that they’re always unraveling.

I use either spool huggers from Amazon (the plastic colored rings) or thread nets cut to size. I initially purchased thread nets for metallic threads, but I soon found they have utility all over the place. They hold thread on the spool for one, but they also keep Cricut vinyl, wrapping paper, ribbon, embroidery stabilizer, and so much more from unraveling.

Embroidery Thread Holder – Embroidex Rack

embroidex thread stand review

Whenever I’m going to embroider a project with a lot of colors, I like to line them up in order on my Embroidex thread stand. It holds small cones, bobbins, and even big cones. I’ve never found any thread it won’t hold somewhere on itself! It sits near my window behind my machine, and it’s usually a bit of a mess. I don’t like to waste thread and don’t clip the ends! But, it’s one of the most awesome things I have for my single needle embroidery machine hands down.

Threads in IKEA Alex Drawers

the IKEA Alex drawer with my ironing board on top

I have two sets of IKEA ALEX drawers. There’s a tall, thin ALEX drawer (two pics down) and a short, wide ALEX drawer (above). This is where I store the bulk of my embroidery thread colors and my big embroidery cones.

embroidery thread storage in IKEA ALEX

Both hold embroidery threads if you buy the small spools. They also hold serger threads on their sides in all the drawers. This is not an ideal storage solution for my serger threads, but it’s where they are for now!

The tall, thin Alex drawer set, however, will hold big embroidery cones and serger threads standing up in the bottom three drawers. I use these drawers instead for storing office supplies, camera equipment, and my pre-cut stabilizer sheets. There’s no room for spools there!

storing embroidery threads in IKEA Alex

One thing I do not like about the Alex drawers is they don’t pull out all the way to see what’s in the back. So, this means shoving something in the back 1/5th or so of the drawer to keep the spools from sliding back there and being inaccessible visually. I’m a little bummed about that wasted space, but it’s still a great way to organize embroidery machine threads.

My Old Sewing Thread Organizers

thread spool storage containers

Before my stash got too large to control, I used to store the threads in the big cases above. My grandmother gave me some of her old threads, which is where the green and yellow storage containers came from! I had 4 of the clear cases to the left. They weren’t very durable, and the tops would crack every time I dropped them. I dropped them a lot. And I hated that plastic-on-plastic screechy sound they made when I shut the case. I am SO glad to not have to deal with them for the moment.

Other Thread Organization Ideas I Considered

If you’re wanting to keep your threads stored in a case rather than on display, here are a few great options for thread storage that I found when deciding how I wanted to organize my sewing threads.

ArtBin Thread Box- Super Satchel Storage Container

ArtBin Thread Box- Super Satchel Storage Container with two removable trays for thread spools, 9002AB

Creative Options Thread Organizer My mom uses this thread organizer for her threads, which are much smaller in number than mine!

Creative Options 5315 Thread Organizer

Sulky Universal Slimline Box would work great if you’re looking to store smaller sewing threads.

Sulky Universal Slimline Box, Clear

And that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed these sewing and thread organization ideas from my craft room! I’d love other suggestions for thread organization if you have any! It’s just a matter of time until my thread stash expands again, I’m sure.

4 Comments

  1. Mae Lynn L Zimmer says:

    I love your instructions. They are so clear and easy to follow. Thank you!!

  2. I wanted to stop by and thank you for writing this post! Googling thread organization brought me to this post (and your blog) and I’ve since read almost every one of your other posts. I love your blog! Thanks for your easy to follow content and good suggestions.

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