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Monday, March 5, 2012

Thread Storage

I've seen lots of pictures of cute and colorful sewing rooms with sassy thread displays and often wondered if I was a thread hoarder. I have at least 10 spools of various shades of light pink and probably five more of fuchsia ... in addition to the millions of other spools that are scattered around my studio. Do these people even sew? Because there is no way I could begin to fit my thread it cute little glass containers.

My mother, who sewed professionally, didn't have a lot of thread (she stuck with the basics), but what she did have was hung on a brown pegboard that was next to her machine in her sewing room. When I first started sewing, that's what I did. I spent time sorting and hanging and color-coding and re-organizing and it looked colorful and fun. Plus my thread was within arm's reach - and I love ergonomics. Then about a year or so later, I took my machine in to be serviced and got a lecture on dust. 

It seems that when I hung my thread on a peg board, all the dust from my sewing room collected on the spools. That dust was depositing itself into my machine. Not a good thing. So I learned that I needed to keep my thread away from dust, heat, and humidity. So I started paying attention to how others stored their thread. When I took an embroidery class, I noticed thread stored in a small plastic Sterliite drawer unit. I bought some of those and did exactly that. Problem solved.

Here is the area next to my sewing machine. Most of my thread is in the Storage Drawer Cart. I used some spray glue to adhere pieces of fabric on the front to make it look a little neater.

But then I had lots of new thread that I wasn't using yet - thread that I stocked up on when it went on sale. So one morning during breakfast, I put on my thinking cap and asked myself, "What container is free, unbreakable, and transparent?" And the answer was staring right back at me: peanut butter jars. 
So I've sorted my thread into colors, labeled and stuck them into the drawers in my drawer cart.


Here are the jars in the drawers.

Right now this works for me. Because my studio is a public area, I keep my own thread hidden away. If this was my home studio, I'd probably have these hung on a wall somewhere.

It reminds me of my dad's workroom with babyfood jars hung from the ceiling (the lids were screwed in the floor joists and the jars twisted on). I think it would look amazing to have the lids of my peanut butter containers screwed into a painted piece of wood (framed, too), then have the jars screwed into the lids. Hung on the wall? It would look like a piece of art!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing at the thread party. I love this...organizing and recycling at the same time. A girl after my own heart!!

    1. Thanks Karen - Love your blog. I think your sewing room is as big as my house! HA! Lucky you!

  2. I thought I was the only one that kept those empty peanut butter jars! They are great for storing all kinds of small items.
    You are right about the thread getting dusty. I made a wall unit to store my massive collection of embroidery threads a few years ago, I intend to make some sort of plastic dust cover to attach to the front to cut down on the dust, but that is still on my to do list. I do have more thread than the shelf will hold, so I also have several in drawers next to the sewing machine.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. June - my local Bernina dealer has clear vinyl hanging in front of their thread units. That's it - it's transparent and keeps the dust out. Maybe put grommets at the top with small hooks - or just use a clear shower curtain. BTW...that's a lot of thread! I'm green with envy!

  3. The JIF jars are a great idea. I like how you sorted by color. You could also place the jars in the drawer, upside down and see the colors. That might look cool.

  4. I love recycling jars for almost everything, this is cool.

  5. I never thought about the dust that spools pick up and bring to the machine...hmmm. Love the jars idea!

  6. Thanks for the comments ladies! My big problem now is that I switched to all-natural peanut glass jars!


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