I love embroidery floss! It’s definitely one of my favorite craft supplies. I think it’s so fun to spread out a rainbow of floss skeins and play with pretty color palettes.
As beautiful as it is, it can be hard to store embroidery floss in an organized way. So, I set out to find a floss organization system where all of my threads would be organized, easy to find, and easy to grab when I’m ready to start a new project.
How to Organize Embroidery Floss
You can sort and store embroidery floss in various ways. Before you commit to a particular method, take a bit of time to consider your needs, your time, and your space.
Here are some things to consider:
- How many skeins of floss do you have?
- How much room do you have to store your threads?
- How much money do you want to spend on organizational materials?
- How many different projects do you work on at once?
- Do you want to be able to carry your projects around, or will you always stitch in the same spot?
- Do you need to reference the color numbers, or do you choose colors by eye?
For me, it was also important to find a way to store my floss where I could easily add more colors to my collection without having to re-do my whole organization system.
Ways to Store and Organize Floss
Here are some of the best ways to keep your embroidery floss collection organized. Some of these methods are better suited to long-term storage of your whole collection. And some of these methods are great ways to organize a smaller sub-set of threads for your current project. Enjoy!
Drawers or Cabinet
I like to store full skeins of embroidery floss in transparent drawers. Here is the link to the cabinet I purchased, though you may be able to find something similar at your local hardware store.
You could even purchase a set of drawers that are meant to hang on the wall to save desk space.
When you are shopping for drawers, make sure that they are deep enough for the skein to fit without folding. The skeins I have, for reference, measure between 6″ and 6.25″ in length.
- It’s quick and easy to organize your floss in a set of drawers. Just put groups of like-colored floss in each of the drawers and you’re good to go!
- If you have clear drawers, you can easily see what thread is in each drawer. If you have wooden drawers, think about how you’ll label them.
- Cabinets and sets of drawers can be expensive.
- Multiple cabinets will take up more room on your desk or shelves – though you can hang these drawers on a wall to save space.
- Most likely, you’ll have more than one color in each drawer – so you’ll still have to search to find a specific color.
Of course, you can always store embroidery floss in standard plastic organization boxes. This is how I stored my thread when I first got interested in embroidery — and it’s still a great way to store thread.
First, wind the skein of floss around cardboard or plastic bobbins, and then arrange them in the storage boxes.
Transparent boxes are popular because they allow you to see the whole rainbow of color without opening the box.
- It’s easy to see all of the available colors at once.
- You can add new threads to your collection without reconfiguring the whole box.
- You can pull out a small selection of bobbins to use for a current project
- The box won’t take up too much shelf space
- Bobbin boxes are usually inexpensive.
- It takes a long time to wind each skein of floss onto a bobbin, especially if you have a large stash!
- The embroidery floss can become creased with long-term storage on the bobbins. The threads will be wrinkled and more prone to knots. To fix that, you can steam or iron the thread straight again — but this will take even more time.
Project Cards In a Binder
You’ll love this organization system if you like to stitch in a lot of different places in your home, or if you like to bring your embroidery supplies with you when you travel.
To use it, loop your skeins of thread though the holes in the acrylic organizer bars. The bars are designed to fit a standard three-ring binder.
If you want, you can use small stickers to label each skein with its color number.
After you set it up, you can just open the binder and grab the group of threads you need very easily.
Potential drawback? You do have to cut the threads in order to loop them through the holes in the bars.
Hanging File Folder Method
This method is very similar to the binder method, in a slightly different format.
The downside? This system is not as portable as the binder method.
Thread Drops on a Key Ring
Thread drops are pieces of stiff cardstock that have large holes to hold skeins of floss. Most thread drops also have a small hole that you can use to store them on a key ring.
To keep the threads organized, you can write the color number on each tag.
If you want to organize a huge stash, this method would get messy quickly. But, it’s definitely a good way to organize a smaller selection of colors for a single project.
This is a true low-cost DIY solution. Store thread in small snack-size plastic bags. Place an index card inside each bag to use as a label. Then, store the bags in boxes, baskets, or drawers.
This is a very flexible system. You can store full skeins and leftover bits of thread in the same bag. You can arrange them in number order, or in groups of similar color.
It’s easy to add new colors of thread. And, it’s just as easy to remove a small selection of colors to work on a project.
Bonus Idea: Clothespins
Wrap your floss around cute mini clothespins and hang them from a pegboard. The floss will be easy to see and use, plus it creates a colorful display to hang on your wall. Be careful storing your embroidery floss in direct light, though. Colors can fade in the sun!
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Sarah Stearns has helped thousands of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
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