Thread storage and an idea for zippers

Time to focus again on my low-cost “studio makeover.” By this I simply mean reorganizing my sewing supplies without a large investing $$$ in new furniture and cabinets, using what I have on hand but re-thinking the way I’ve been working. So this week I decided I really needed to address my thread issues.

I don’t know if this happens to you, too. You start collecting fabric and that somehow grows and spills out to other things: gadgets, buttons, thread, ribbons, zippers… and on, and on. I seem to be collecting thread these days, and I suddenly realized that I have not organized it adequately. I started with a small rack and when I outgrew that purchased a second one, then had a friend make me a third one and lately have just been stashing spools wherever I find an empty container. And cones represent a problem… how to store them? I realize now I had thread spread out in four different locations around the room!

Racks/boxes set close to sewing machine

Thread rack set on another table

Shelves across the room with thread cones

More cones in yet another location simply because there was space

Container with threads that floats around everywhere
Container with threads that floats around everywhere

One possible solution would have been to take down some pictures and build one or two larger tread racks. I quickly discarded this idea for several reasons: I wanted an immediate solution (no time to build something), did not want to spend a lot of $$$, and I actually love the pictures I have hanging on the wall and do not want to have to move them. So instead I have taken some under-utilized bathroom shelves and invested in a three-drawer plastic storage unit, and rearranged things so that at least all of the thread is contained in the same area. I will have to see what happens over time, but for the time being I think this is going to work for me:

Everything brought together now in one central location, close to the sewing machine

Machine quilting threads

Cotton thread

All-purpose threads

Thread cones – all together now!

Invisible thread and other specialty threads

Embroidery threads

Hand quilting threads (can you tell I enjoy it?)

Silk threads – I love them for appliqué!

Embroidery floss

While I was at it, I also came up with a very simple solution for storing the zippers I use for making bags. Previously I had these all thrown in a drawer together, which I pretty much had to empty out while searching for the right color/size zipper. I took this hook unit (meant for hanging things in the kitchen – I know it actually has a name, but this just goes to show how much I am interested in actual housekeeping!), organized my zippers by size, used large clips to hold them together and to hang them from the hooks. Ah… much better!

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  1. Posted June 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Angie,

    What a delight it is to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words on my “Christmas in Ohio”.

    Wow, you have A LOT of threads — I am a little bit envious! 🙂

    In stitches,

  2. Posted June 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh gee that looks good, I really need to do this with my whole sewing room. Good idea to sort threads into same together. I have out grown my thread rack too, and have all these extras in boxes and zip lock bags.

  3. Posted June 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    That is a lot of thread and I know what you mean by the collections just seem to grow. I had to put up more shelves because I had stuff piled everywhere. your solution looks good.

  4. Glenna Williams
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Angie you should see all the thread I have…I love how you did it, mine is in plastic and wood three drawers cabinets, some are DMC cabinets. I do love the zipper idea and may i use it also. I have tons of zippers, I have been sewing since I came out of the womb…… had a business of sewing for others for over 40 years so I have a huge collection of zippers that customers purchased and it was not the right kind so I just threw them in a box and bought what I needed, guess what they are rarely the right one now when I need a zipper either but I do like having them around . I also have four thread holders on the walls for my cones of thread for the serger. I am thread poor. hehe… I too like to make do with what I have if I can and I do think it is fun to rething what we have and use it in a different way,oops, i just thought” Green”. Glenna

  5. Sharon Caulkins
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your idea for “zipper storage”!! I have looked everyplace for ideas for storing my zippers. Utensil rack right under my nose so to speak. Perfect idea and the price is right too. I did go to the see-through 7 1/2 x 7 3/4 drawers for my embroidery floss. I was constantly going through all looking for a certain color. I stack 3 at a time and that really works well. Problem solved an I am in a much better mood!!
    Thanks again for the rack for zippers!!