Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Embroidery Thread Book - Tutorial

How do you store your embroidery thread? For years, mine has been jumbled all together in a plastic bag. When I was a kid my mom had this red book type holder that had zip top bags to hold the different thread. I've had it in my mind forever to make one for myself. Finally I did it and it only took about an hour to make and didn't cost me anything, since I had everything on hand. Why do I put these things off for so long?

Here's how mine turned out:

Want to make your own embroidery floss book?

You will need:
2 pieces fabric 8 1/2" X 18 1/2"
1 pieces fabric 2" X 6 1/2"
1 piece thin batting 8 1/2" X 18 1/2"{I used warm and natural type batting}
12 ziptop bags

Let's start with our button loop. Take one of your small pieces of fabric. Fold each end lengthwise into the middle.

Then fold again and sew down both long sides.

Do you recognize this fabric? Its leftover from the carseat cover I made for my sis-in-law. 

Now lay out your pieces and pin together. Place one larger piece of fabric face up, then pin the button loop to it like shown. Next lay down your other fabric face down {so right sides are together} Then place batting on top. Pin to secure and then sew around the whole thing leaving a section open to turn it right side out. Then top-stitch around the entire rectangle.

 Your last small piece of fabric is going to be sewn on top of your zipper bags. I folded each of the ends down and sewed them. Now it's ready once your bags are in place.

Next we add our zip top bags. This was probably hardest part of all. The bags want to slip and slide as you place them on. You will want to place your bags with the zip part at the ends of your rectangle. I alternated sides. So I would place one with the zipper facing bottom, then the next with the zipper facing top. The bottoms of the bags overlapped each other in the middle of the rectangle, so when I sewed it all together each bag had two sets of stitches and will hopefully hold better.

I found that the best way to do this was to use pins. I would lay down two bags, one facing each way, and pin them. Then I'd add two more and pin them. Then I'd remove the pins from the first set and use it for the third set of bags and so on. Does that make sense?

Once you get all the bags in place, set your fabric on top and sew down the length of each side of the rectangle. You can see I did not get mine centered. But it works.

Add your button. I originally wanted to do a velcro strap, but I only had black velcro. I didn't think it would match. But thinking about it now, I don't think it really would have mattered because you wouldn't see the velro anyway.

Next add your thread. I sorted mine by number and placed all the 600's in one bag and the 700's in another bag and so on. I wrote all the numbers on an index card so I can see at a glance what I have. I also had two extra bags. One I keep a small pair of scissors, extra needles and such. The other bag is for current projects. I can gather the thread I need for whatever I'm working on and place it in it's own bag.

So how do you sort your embroidery floss? Or is it just in a big mess like mine was?

More Sewing Projects:

Free Pattern: DIY Hanging Shoe Organizer


  1. My thread has been a big mess but now I am feeling motivated to get it organized. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  2. What a fabulous idea, Rachel!!! Mine is shoved in a little basket.

  3. Great idea Rachel!Thanks for charing!
    Have a wonderful rest of week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  4. Cute! I have that same fabric in my stash. I'd love for you to share this at my link party Submarine Sunday. It's open until Friday @ 11:59pm. I hope you'll stop by!


  5. Nice! I'm loving anything organizational right now!

    I'm starting a new linky party. I'd love if you came and linked up.

  6. Love this idea - thanks so much for sharing - Joining from Shine on Friday -

  7. This is great! My thread is a HUGE mess! And I use it a lot for embroidered cushions so it would be so good to have them organised somehow! I am pinning this for when I get time (I am supposed to be working on Christmas presents!!)

  8. This bag is so cute and I love the fabric you used! I'm stopping over from One Artsy Mama. I would love for you to share at our Pinteresting Link Party!

  9. This is too darn cute! I love the fabric especially. I appreciate you sharing this on "I Gotta Try That Monday"

  10. Since my thread is all in one big heap, I could totally use one of these! What a much prettier way to keep them organized. Thank you for sharing at A Crafty Soiree!

  11. I've just had a bit of luck - a friend, who's been forced to stop sewing through failing eyesight, has just donated ALL her silks, trimmings and wools to me. She's sorted everything into bags for me already - so all I have to do is to add my (messy ones) to her organised ones and there I go...... except there are so many that I don't think just one of your bags will do! Thanks for the idea, anyway.

    Am looking forward to using them and blogging about it at Why not come and join me - we'd love to see you there! Isobel

  12. Rachel,
    Love this! My thread is such a mess and hard to look through. I'd much rather have a book. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

  13. Wonderful idea! I love your fabric, too!

  14. Thank you for the pattern. The idea I think is great, but like the plastic trays were made in the tutorial I'm missing. It was indeed more to the closure of the book.

    Greeting Guilitta

  15. great idea! What size ziptop baggies did you use? This would also be great for little unfinished projects, or projects you plan to make.
    I have my floss on bobbins and in plastic boxes sorted by numbers.

  16. My flossy mess is kept tidy (ish) in a vintage small wicker picnic basket. It opens at the top with flaps and has pockets which are great for scissors etc.

    Love this tutorial great idea. Thanks for sharing

    www.rubymurraysmusings.blogspot. ca

  17. I love this idea! I'll be making one today,thank so much.