Storage for Threads, Hoops and PatternsWhen it comes to the individual elements of your embroidery supplies, I’m going to put it out there and say that threads are the hardest part to keep on top of. They often get tangled up together or you somehow manage to lose their colour code label, for example. So, for this first section of the post, the main focus will be on thread organisation, with a nod to a couple of other key supplies in there, too. A quick note on colours - one thing I think that holds strong for every option you’ll see below is that grouping colours together is for sure the way to go. Not only does it help you get a clear overview of all your shade options, it also just looks great! If you have multiple thicknesses of thread, you might also want to use that as a way to further subdivide your skeins. Now, onto the different tools and storage ideas that can help you achieve maximum organisation! .
Organiser CardsOne brilliant tip that really changed my storage game when I first started out is to rewrap thread skeins around organiser cards or paper bobbins. They make your collection super neat and are easy to stack together in a save-saving box that can be stored away in a cupboard or drawer. They also stop your thread getting tangled as you unravel it to be used stitching. You can pick the cards up cheaply in craft stores or online, but you can also just use cardboard you may already have if you want to create a homemade alternative.
Clothes PegsAnother option along a similar vein as the organiser cards would be to wrap your threads around pegs and hang them up. Vertical storage like this is an amazing space saver as it means you’re not filling drawers or taking up floor space with boxes. It’s also easy to achieve with a few household objects and DIY essentials – an old photo frame, some nails and some spare clothes pegs are all you need to get started.
Hanging HooksIf you like the hanging idea but aren’t too fussed about rewinding your skeins, you can try a hook display instead. I find this approach to be particularly pleasing on the eye and feel like it becomes a piece of textile art in itself. When I tried it in my studio, I found it made me so inspired to imagine what these threads could become in their next incarnation, too. This might get a little less tidy as you start to use your skeins and it gets harder to keep them neatly looped, but it’s certainly great for displaying your stash pre-usage. You could easily hang hoops from these too, making it a 2-in-1 organisation option.
Wall RackIf you prefer to buy spool cones instead of the standard skeins, you can also use a wall rack to save taking up precious desk or drawer space. I’ve always admired the beauty of this display at weaving studio The London Loom and while I don’t have the need for quite such a range or quantity of colours, I would definitely consider something like this as we expand! It’s also totally doable on a much smaller scale – even if you just had a handful of large spools like this, you could definitely use this rack style organisation solution to keep things neat and tidy.
Craft ShelvesIf you have the space, you could go all out and set up an open shelving unit so that you can proudly display your beautiful supplies. This picture is of me in my studio, so probably a larger scale set up than most home embroiderers will require. I do think, however, that it demonstrates rather nicely how you can group together threads, hoops, fabrics and other items and show them off in a neat, orderly way.
Pattern StorageWhether you buy a kit for your embroidery project or create your own design, chances are you’re going to have some sort of paper pattern that goes with it. It could just be a drawing for transferring and reference purposes, or it could be a full instruction booklet, but either way, you’ll probably want to keep these papers safe for any future projects. There are lots of different ways you may choose to organise them, such as envelopes, plastic folders etc. but I particularly love this idea from @_tiffathome. They use it for sewing patterns and I think it’s just perfect. Most embroidery patterns will only be a couple of sheets of paper at most, so this type of storage shouldn’t get too bulky as you fill it up. It’s such a simple yet visually appealing item, too, that it could definitely be left on a desk or on shelves if you don’t have any space to store it out of sight.
Staying Organised While You’re Making
I wanted to finish up with a couple of tips for keeping things organised while you have a project on the go.
Needle MinderOn the super small scale, I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing more annoying (or potentially painful) than misplacing your needle halfway through a project. To combat this problem and save yourself a lot of time searching for a sliver of silver around your home, you have a couple of options: you could designate a little pot or storage dish specifically for storing the needle being used on your current project, that way you won’t mix it up with a different size. Or, you could get yourself a magnetic needle minder. These little tools are both cute and practical and will save you from any unwanted holes that could occur if you simply weave your needle into your fabric in between stitching sessions. This, of course, is still a totally acceptable option, but it does come with that small risk! This whale needle minder is based on my whale embroidery design and can be found in my embroidery accessories shop.
Project Bag or Box
And finally, a simple little fix that can help you keep organised throughout a project is finding yourself a dedicated bag or box to keep any current work in. That way, you can keep all necessary components of a piece in one place and then hang it up on the back of a door or stash it away somewhere hidden while you’re not working on it. Easy!
The possibilities really are quite endless when it comes to embroidery storage and organisation. Even within the short list I’ve created here, there are all sorts of mix and match options that could be used to fit your specific needs. I hope at least that these ideas have given you a bit of inspiration and helped you figure out a solution that will work for you.
If you have any favourite tips, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!