Bobbins & Thread

My collection of thread has been getting out of control. I had been keeping my thread spools and bobbins on separate racks on a wall in our study/craft room/office closet. At least most of the thread spools have ways to secure the loose ends of the threads, but the bobbins were turning into a huge mess.

bobbin storage

I got the idea somewhere on the interwebs (sorry, I can’t seem to find it any more) to use plastic tubing from the hardware store to keep bobbin threads tidy. I got a length of clear plastic tubing with 3/8″ inner diameter – 10 ft for $3. The tubing will list ID and OD measurements – inner diameter and outer diameter, respectively. I found that 3/8″ ID fit my bobbins just perfectly – I wanted it to close around nearly empty bobbins, but still stay snug around very full bobbins. I like the clear tubing because it lets me see the thread color easily from all angles.

bobbin storage with plastic tubing

I first cut the tubing into slices – little ‘o’s – each as thick as the space in my bobbins. I found using scissors was most effective for this. Then I cut a slit through one side of each slice – making them little ‘c’s. I found an exacto knife to be most effective for this step. Then I just wound up the last of the bobbin thread and slipped one of the plastic tubing sections on – voilà!

bobbin storage with plastic tubing

And on top of that, finding matching thread spools and bobbins was more of a hassle than really necessary, so I wanted a new thread rack solution which would keep threads and bobbins together and keep loose threads to a minimum. I also have several different brands/sizes of spools which are not all the same width/height. Which means that while this thread rack and this one and this one are gorgeous, there weren’t going to be ideal for me.

I ended up deciding I liked the angled rows of dowels on my June Taylor thread racks (from JoAnn  – under $10 with coupons or on sale). I figured the dowels for each thread spool are long enough that I can slide the bobbins underneath each corresponding spool to keep them together. From the front, you can hardly even tell the bobbins are there, but they are – nice and tidy!

bobbin thread storage with plastic tubing

And, oddly enough, my thread selection echoes the same color biases as my fabric collection – allthough not nearly as much red. Maybe because I use so many different shades of blue, and really always the same shade of red?

56 thoughts on “Bobbins & Thread

  1. oh this is so smart! my bobbin box is a HOT MESS! I waste so much time and thread dealing with that bobbin drama. i’m off to raid my husbands tool bench for some plastic tubing!

  2. What an awesome way to organize! I have an issue with leaving my threads out, because my cats get into them (And eating thread is bad for cats.) This is just the trick I need to get them out of the way an on a high shelf! I would love it if you would stop by and link up to my debut Sweet Sharing Mondays (new linky, every Monday)!

  3. Soooo wonderful… I love COLORS and I just love thread…. wish I could sew more though!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!! xoxo

  4. What a great idea! I am always struggling with my bobins. I will be buying tubing in the morning. Thank for sharing!

  5. I just spent 30 minutes rewinding thread on bobbins and taking a tiny piece of tape and putting over the loose end of thread to keep them from unwinding again. I am definitely going to get some tubing and get rid of that tape! Wonderful idea…thank you for sharing!

  6. Hi! Thank you for sharing great idea! I have still my threads in coocie tins and bobbins in one emal ‘tupper’. They work, but yours look so beautiful that I think it’s time for me to get something more proper. Sunny wished from Greece! x Teje

  7. I am on my way to the garage and that roll of tubing I saw last week — surely hubby won’t miss a few inches, especially for such a great idea! Storing it with the thread is smart. I would love it if you would consider linking to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, a Sunday through Thursday link party for ideas that make life easier, better and more fun!

  8. I’ve been doing the plastic tube thing for a couple of years, keep a roll of the tubing on a pegboard in my studio–somehow I always manage to lose a few off the bobbins. Good on you for getting the idea out there. (I also use small strips of self-adhesive bandage to contain the loose threads on spools. Works a treat!)

  9. This is such a great idea!! You just made our lives easier! We loved having you link up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” Please join us again next week! Thanks! -The Sisters

  10. Fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing at Shine on Friday. I’m featuring you today over at Happy Go Lucky! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

  11. awesome! i’m totally doing this! for finding the matching thread/bobbin combo: when i start a new bobbin, i write the brand of thread and the color number directly on it. so like for coates and clark all purpose white would be c & c ap #001 (or whatever number white is) works for me. 🙂 i want to go to home depot right now to get some of that tubing!!

  12. Ah, this is GENIUS! I’ve been trying to figure out how to tame my bobbins lately and every solution has been a disappointment. This, though, is going to be perfect! And I’m willing to bet that my hubby has some tubing just waiting for me! Thanks so much!!!! (Dropping by from Sarahndipities!)

  13. What a super idea!! I use rubber bands to wrap around mine but it takes time to put on and take of and get annoying. this is great, thanks for sharing.

  14. Did this today and it is fabulous. I found that even if you cut the tubing too wide it still works, although not as perfect to look at. Thanks… Now if only I could find tubing wide enough for the thread spools…..

  15. Just read your wonderful idea for securing bobbin threads. I tried tape but it leaves residue, not good! I am on the way to the hardware store for some tubing. Its a great idea! Thank you!

  16. I had been bought this particular as a gift by friends that visited us for the summer and knew just how much we love to our juice. The aged juice extractor really was upon it’s last legs, really clunky and to be honest it would be a pain to wash up after this. This particular intended all of us did not utilize it anyplace close to much as we may have liked to complete. That one is a real

  17. I heard about this several years ago and tried it. It works great. I also purchased the larger tubing and covered my spools of thread.

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