Crafty Storage – Embroidery Threads

thread storage

I’ve been cleaning and tidying in my craft room lately. Somehow I work much better when there is some order! I have a lot of supplies in there so I need some kind of system for knowing where things are when I change projects and materials so often.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, but I used to mostly stitch by hand. I have a collection of embroidery and cross stitch projects that I made before I had kids. All those projects required a collection of threads so I thought I’d share how I store those.

embroidery thread cards storage

Embroidery threads come in little bunches called skeins. Each one has a number to identify the colour. Patterns usually include a list of numbers for the colours required in that project.

At some point I decided to buy all DMC threads. At the time most patterns came with a list of thread colours in DMC or Anchor threads. By sticking with one type of thread, I could easily check which threads I already had when I started a new pattern and only buy the ones I didn’t have already.

storage box craft

The skeins quickly get messy once you start using the threads, so I transfer my threads onto small cards. I wrote the number for each one on the cards too. Then I stored them in a couple of boxes. I would have bought mine at Lincraft or Spotlight, and I have still seen them around. I think mine came with some cards but I also bought extras as I needed them.

Now I have two boxes of threads in just about any colour I could ever want! Storing them this way makes them easy to find and easy to put away.

How do you store threads? Any tips?

Tonya Grant (288 Posts)

Tonya is the voice behind She dabbles in lots of different crafts – patchwork, quilting, cross-stitch, scrapbooking, knitting, crochet and sewing. She also writes about blogging and social media.


  1. I’ve always stored mine in the small Ziploc bags on a d-ring, but now I’ve got 4-5 rings jammed full. They take up a lot of space and even though they’re numerically ordered, it takes a good amount of time to find anything. Your boxes look so small and tidy. Does it take a lot of effort to get them all wrapped around the cards?

    I think I’m going to have to try this.
    Michelle recently posted..I Wandered Off, but I’m Wandering Still…My Profile

    • It did take some time at first, Michelle. A good job for in front of the TV!

      But now I put all new threads around a card before I even start stitching. It makes it so much easier to find them and carry them around. Plus it stops me buying a second skein of colours I already have – I used to do that a lot!
      CraftyMummy recently posted..January Photo a Day Challenge – Week 1My Profile

  2. Eileen Evans says:

    I also use these bobbins in platic I put a tiny label on to write the numbers on
    then use the same boxes as you so far I have 4 large boxesthe last about 1/2 full.
    I also have 2 smaller ones that I put my cottons in when doing a design then I have them all together & dont need to keep going to individual boxes when I want a colour.
    When winding them onto the bobbins I use a hand rolling machine much quicker & easier than hand rolling

  3. Eileen, I too have 4 boxes full of thread. In the last box, where I have extra room, I put other essentials you need when you cross stitch, such as needles and any extra threads you may have. Some times I work on more than 1 project at a time. In that case, I put the needed colors for each project in separate smaller boxes. Sure makes life easier!!

  4. This is how I store mine two however, I’m disappointed that they all have “crimps” in the thread where it bends around the card shuttle. Wonder if this becomes a stress point…

  5. I also use the white cards and number them. I store them in one of those toolbox storage containers with all the little drawers. I have the 100’s in one row, 200’s, etc. If I haven’t wrapped the skeins yet. I just wrap them up and put them in the drawer anyway. There was a sale a few years back at Joann’s crafts where the DMC skeins were 10 cents a piece so I bought them all!

  6. I use the white cards, my boxes were made to hold match box cars. I pull thread for a project and use the smaller clear thread boxes. The floss is stored by numbers, and there are three boxes!

  7. I use the plastic bags, and always will…until I finally get moved over to the plastic/or cardboard bobbins. The bags are getting a little old and sticky! Right know I use a plastic storage box for the plastic bobbins, and keep the box with the project. I LOVE big projects. Consequently I have about ten 10×7 boxes with those projects and will probably never finish them…but I have a better chance if everything is in the right spot to work. The skeins I’m not using are still in their plastic bags inside closed cotton covered shoe boxes. I think I have 6 full ones yet, even with the projects in the plastic boxes. I’m a threadaholic!

  8. I also use the spool-shaped cards, but I don’t have such a variety of colors, so I use a large key-ring that is about 4 inches across and store them on that. It snaps open fairly easily, which isn’t so good for keys–it was forever coming open in my purse and all the keys would fall off, so I got another key-ring, but I kept it and it’s great for keeping the thread cards organized and in one place. I also use the floss for darning, all 6 strands at a time. It’s strong and soft and wears well and has the right consistency for socks, kind of bulky for T-shirts, though. I love all kinds of hand work.

  9. I do the same with my floss. I started collecting the floss when I learned how to cross-stitch and how I use it for hand sewing and on my scrapbook pages/cards.

  10. Deborah Jennings says:

    I have always stored mine in a box on the cards like shown here. I, too, have 2 boxes and have almost all the colors I could ever need or want. =)

  11. Thanks for visiting, Deborah. I feel like my two boxes is lots too, but it sounds like some of our other visitors have twice that – wow!
    CraftyMummy recently posted..Pressing MattersMy Profile


  1. […] do you store your embroidery threads? And Sew We Craft shows us how she stores hers. Check out her method and let us know about your own in the comments section […]

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