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Bobbins & Thread

16 April 2012

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?

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55 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 January 2014 6:11 PM

    this is a good idea and I have a free source of bits of tubing, Thanks!

  2. 3 September 2013 1:10 PM

    Скоро свадьба у моей подруги и у нас возник вопрос, где Goldwell Краснодар есть?

  3. Lyn Hoare permalink
    22 June 2013 9:18 AM

    Fantastic idea about the plastic tubing. I bought some today and it’s working a treat!

  4. 6 May 2013 5:23 PM

    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

  5. Jill Trobaugh permalink
    9 March 2013 1:14 PM

    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!

  6. 13 February 2013 9:47 PM

    I love this idea too! What a EASY way to take care of a BIG MESS! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. 17 November 2012 4:27 PM

    I love this idea. I have been wanting a better solution for bobbin than tape..Thanks so much for sharing.
    Stephanie

  8. 12 August 2012 1:56 PM

    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…..

  9. 23 May 2012 1:06 AM

    I thought this was something to share with my readers, it’s terrific.

    Here is the link:
    http://handcraftedpretty.blogspot.com/2012/05/i-can-see-clearly-now-organization.html

  10. @pril permalink
    22 May 2012 11:13 PM

    I just shared this on my blog with a linkback to get the tutorial: http://koolbeenz-blog.blogspot.com/2012/05/neat-tidy-clear-bobbin-storage-tutorial.html

    Feel free to grab my Featured button if you like.

    @pril
    KoolBeenz-blog.blogspot.com
    For-the-Love-of-Pie.blogspot.com

  11. Charlene Quarles permalink
    19 May 2012 8:30 AM

    Wow….what a clever idea using the plastic tubing. I can’t thank you enough !

  12. Bobbie (aka claysmom) permalink
    2 May 2012 9:11 AM

    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.

  13. 30 April 2012 3:41 PM

    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!)

  14. Lori Smanski permalink
    29 April 2012 5:00 PM

    oh this is so cool. thanks for the wonderful info. cant wait to “clean up my thread area”

  15. 28 April 2012 1:47 PM

    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!!

  16. 27 April 2012 4:58 AM

    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!!

  17. Janet permalink
    26 April 2012 7:45 AM

    Great idea ! Thank you!

  18. 25 April 2012 10:21 PM

    This is such a fabulous idea (:

  19. 25 April 2012 8:40 AM

    This is featured today at Pin It and Win It Wednesday! I hope you will come back to share some more of your creations this week! Thanks! http://cheapcraftymama.com/pit-it-win-it-wednesday-4/

  20. gczbowie permalink
    24 April 2012 9:47 PM

    Featuring you tonight! :)

    Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com

    http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2012/04/wow-me-wednesday-48.html

  21. 24 April 2012 8:34 AM

    Great idea! I’m going to give it a try.

  22. 23 April 2012 7:56 PM

    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

  23. 22 April 2012 5:31 PM

    SO SMART! Thanks for linking up to Classy Clutters Spotlight Saturday!

  24. 22 April 2012 8:51 AM

    OK this is such a smart idea. I am so excited about it I’m going to share everyone I know. I would love to have you come and share at my Sunday Round Up Party @ http://www.arosiesweethome.com/2012/04/sunday-round-up-6.html
    I’m now following on Linky and GFC.
    Hope you come and share.
    Rose

    • 22 April 2012 8:53 AM

      Sorry about the GFC and LInky I am use to following blogs with this. I will follow you by email.
      Rose

  25. megardengal permalink
    21 April 2012 9:09 PM

    What a fantastic idea

  26. 20 April 2012 10:35 PM

    Hey thats clever….Thanks for sharing @CountryMommaCooks link party….have a wonderful weekend!

  27. 20 April 2012 9:46 PM

    this is BRILLIANT! I’m always dealing with the threads from my bobbins. I’m a) Pinning this and b) so doing this.

  28. 20 April 2012 3:33 PM

    Great idea, thanks!

  29. 20 April 2012 12:57 PM

    That is SUCH a good idea! Love the idea of keeping those flyaways under control:)

  30. 20 April 2012 7:33 AM

    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!)

  31. 20 April 2012 4:45 AM

    very cool! I wouldn’t have thought of this. so simple and effective. Will be trying this!

  32. 19 April 2012 9:17 PM

    This is a fantastic idea! Those little bobbin tboxes are practically worthless.

  33. 19 April 2012 4:08 PM

    That has got to be one of the most clever things I have ever seen! Tube is at the top of my shopping list now!!! Thanks for sharing!

  34. 19 April 2012 3:55 PM

    What a great idea, thank you for sharing.

  35. 19 April 2012 9:49 AM

    brilliant! and did I mention BRILLIANT!

  36. 19 April 2012 9:29 AM

    Genius! My bobbins are a mess, too. I will be on the look out for tubing!

  37. Gail permalink
    19 April 2012 9:08 AM

    Great idea…

  38. 19 April 2012 8:14 AM

    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!

  39. 18 April 2012 11:47 PM

    Julia, what a great idea with the tubing. My husband definitely has some of that! Thanks for the tip! Stopping by from Transformation Thursday.

  40. 18 April 2012 6:31 PM

    great idea!
    taced

  41. 18 April 2012 11:54 AM

    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

  42. Deb Mitchell permalink
    18 April 2012 11:19 AM

    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!

  43. 17 April 2012 11:50 PM

    That IS much tidier! What a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  44. 17 April 2012 9:49 PM

    That is a great idea!

  45. 17 April 2012 9:06 PM

    That is such an awesome idea! I HATE the dangling threads from bobbins so I’ll definitely try this, thanks!!!

  46. Nancy's Couture permalink
    17 April 2012 7:13 PM

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

  47. 17 April 2012 6:55 PM

    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

  48. 17 April 2012 4:05 PM

    My bobbins drive me crazy! I will have to pick up some tubing the next time I am out. So smart!

  49. 17 April 2012 2:48 PM

    THANK YOU! I’m going to do this tonight. My bobbins are a mess!

    Dona
    sewingmilesofsmiles.blogspot.com

  50. 17 April 2012 10:18 AM

    Looks great! Nice job. I love having all the colors out like that, so pretty!

  51. saynotsweetanne permalink
    17 April 2012 8:14 AM

    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)! http://saynotsweetanne.com/2012/sweet-sharing-monday/

  52. 17 April 2012 5:44 AM

    What an amazing idea… I’m off to B&Q!

  53. m3isme permalink
    17 April 2012 1:13 AM

    Fabulous!! Simple, easy, and effective. I love it…

  54. 16 April 2012 10:13 PM

    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!

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