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Embroidery Thread Storage and Organization

by | DIY, Home

One of my favorite drawers in my 72-drawer card catalog renovation is the one holding my collection of embroidery thread.  It’s just so pretty and totally appeals to the crazy, anal-retentive organization nerd in me.  When I used to cross stitch, I had a little plastic bin that held a few bobbins, but I never really took it seriously.  Then, I started making my Crocheted Friendship Bracelets and bought a pack of thread, but never got around to organizing it – they just sat all tangled up in a ziplock bag.  But when I started filling up my card catalog, I knew IT. WAS. TIME.  Time to attack the big rat’s nest of embroidery thread and make it somewhat usable, and hey, maybe pinnable!

One Dog Woof: Embroidery Thread Storage and Organization, in a card catalog!

I started by figuring out how to store the thread in the card catalog drawer.  I got really lucky and realized that I could fit 3 normal cardboard bobbins across in the drawer.  But because the drawer didn’t have a completely flat bottom, I needed to make sleeves for the bobbins themselves, otherwise, I’d just have a tangle of bobbins instead of a tangle of knots.  So, I made some measurements and cut out 3 templates from a piece of posterboard.  Then I glued them together to form 3 sleeves to fit inside the drawer.

One Dog Woof: Custom embroidery thread storage sleeves from posterboard
One Dog Woof: Custom embroidery thread storage sleeves from posterboard

Then came the fun part.  Yah, as if the cutting of the posterboard wasn’t fun.  At least I could do this part while watching tv, and I spent the whole time catching up on The Tudors.  It was just me, my bobbins, and my tangle of thread.  For days and days.  There was a quick trip to Joann’s to buy more bobbing, and then more Tudors and more wrapping of embroidery thread.  Finally, every last bit of thread had been wrapped on individual bobbins.  I was looking forward to lining all these little beauties into my drawer!

One Dog Woof: Use cereal boxes for embroidery thread storage

But they didn’t all fit!  ACK!  I mean, I MADE them all fit, but it’s a bit of tight fit in there.  And organizing a rainbow was harder than I thought it would be – crazy, isn’t it?  Is this color a peach, or a cream, or a yellow?  Does pink go to purple or does pink go into red?  What happened to plain ol’ ROYGBIV?!

One Dog Woof: Embroidery Thread Storage and Organization
One Dog Woof: Embroidery Thread Storage

Anyways, I’m rambling. They all fit, eventually, after a lot of squishing, and now I have the most beautiful card catalog drawer in the world!

One Dog Woof: Wine Corks for embroidery thread storage

How do you organize your embroidery thread?  I had considered wrapping around wine corks, but that took up too much room.  What do you think?


  1. Steph @ meet.make.laugh.

    Isn’t it so satisfying when you organize something? I love that feeling! And this looks so pretty in the drawer! Happy Friday. ~Stephanie

  2. ChiWei

    Steph, that’s exactly how I feel! I always see those gorgeous organization photos on Pinterest and wonder how long it took them to stage it or organize it that way, and now I have my own little drawer of goodness. My husband wasn’t so impressed when I HAD to show him my handiwork, but yes, I do just open it and look sometimes 🙂

  3. ChiWei

    This is the best kind of satisfying. I mean, a good meal is unbeatable, but I feel so PRODUCTIVE, like I CREATED that – yeah! Man, I’m such a nerd for organization! Thanks Steph!

  4. Brenna @ Life After Laundry

    It is beautiful! What a neat idea. I wish I could find something like that.

  5. Kate Lantry

    Ooh, such pretty colors 🙂 It speaks to the organizer in me. I have mine wound on bobbins in the plastic boxes. Yours came out beautiful.

  6. ChiWei


    I used to have mine in the plastic boxes too, but then I got lazy and never wound them on bobbins – it was a total mess! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. ChiWei

    Thanks Brenna! I count myself pretty lucky to have scored a card catalog – otherwise, my embroidery thread would still be in plastic boxes and ziplock bags EVERYWHERE!

  8. Marian

    Your card catalog is a dream come true! I love this idea. I have been saving some old storage drawers that I have for old computer storage discs. Now I know how I will use them!

  9. ChiWei

    Thank you! I love storage drawers … and all the fun things you can keep in them 🙂

  10. Melodie

    Where did you find the card catalog? I am trying to find one to surprise my sister.

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