5 Clever Ideas for Storing Your Sewing Supplies

When it comes to sewing, most of us like to have a sewing studio that’s organized in a way where our supplies are easy to find. Not only can this make sewing more enjoyable, but it can make for more time sewing and less time spent looking for tools. That’s why we are always on the hunt for sewing storage ideas that make our lives easier.

These five ideas will teach you how to organize your sewing supplies and store them more efficiently:

1. Picture-Perfect Thread Holder
2. Budget-Friendly Bobbin Holder
3. Keep Your Cutting Mats Out of the Way
4. Perfect Pegboard Display Wall
5. No Space for a Sewing Room? Make Some.

1. Picture-Perfect Thread Holder

If you’ve been sewing for a while, you’ve probably started a large collection of different colors and types of thread. Easily see what all you have by storing them on rows of small shelves, like this thread holder from The Creative Homemaker. They’ve even added small nails under each color of thread to store a bobbin that is wound with the same color. Not only will this thread holder make finding your thread easier, but it can free up another shelf or storage box for something else. When hanging any kind of thread holder on the wall, consider where your windows are in your sewing room. Repeated and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade and damage thread.

Make one yourself: Sewing {Thread} Holder

thread-holder-new

Related videos and articles: No More Tangled Thread, How to Prevent Sewing Thread Breakage, Different Types of Thread for Sewing, Prevent Thread Breaks and Tangles, Keep Your Thread Long and Strong

2. Budget-Friendly Bobbin Holder

bobbin holder

If your thread holder doesn’t have thick enough shelves to store bobbins under the thread, consider this fun idea from Sew Many Ways. Repurpose an ice cube tray that is meant to make long, skinny ice cubes for water bottles as an easy bobbin holder. These trays can be found made of silicone, so they are flexible enough to hold any bobbin even if yours many be slightly smaller or larger depending on your machine brand. The silicone also helps to grip the bobbin so they stay in place.

Check out your nearest Bed Bath and Beyond or big box store to purchase a tray like this, or find them on Amazon here.

Related videos: What Size Bobbins Do I Need?, Bobbin Storage & Transfer, Understanding the Benefits of Bobbin Winders, Understanding Different Bobbin Sizes, How to Wind a Bobbin Correctly Every Time

How to Store Bobbins

3. Keep Your Cutting Mats Out of the Way

Once you have your many spools of thread and bobbins organized, it’s time to move on to rulers and cutting mats. Since they both come in a variety of sizes, some being rather large, it can be difficult to find a good place to store them. This is especially the case with cutting mats, since simply propping them up against a wall or another surface can cause a permanent bend in the mat over time. Double Nickle Quilts came up with this great idea to store both.

cutting mat holder

By hanging the cutting mats and rulers on the wall and behind the door they are out of the way when you don’t need them and are easy to find when you do. It also helps prevent them from getting bent or broken.

Related blog: All About Cutting Mats

4. Perfect Pegboard Display Wall

When it comes to organizing a sewing room, many times the small miscellaneous items get overlooked and simply tossed in a drawer or storage container. While this might keep them out of the way and your sewing studio looking clean, it can make finding those items difficult when you need them. Fynes Designs came up with a fun peg board way to store everything from scissors and rotary cutters to needles and buttons. You can even store small pieces of fabric on your peg board as color inspiration for your next project. If you have lots of small items, consider making more than one peg board and grouping together similar items on each one.

Make one yourself: Craft Room Organizing Ideas

peg board

5. No Space for a Sewing Room? Make Some.

If you are just learning how to sew, you should consider creating a designated sewing space! An unused closet can make a surprisingly cozy sewing room for those lacking in space. But, it is much harder to know how to organize your sewing supplies when you are working with cramped quarters. Gwenny Penny shows us that a closet-turned-sewing-nook can be just as organized as any other sewing room. Making the most of your space by placing storage boxes or shelves under tables and hanging items on the wall can make any space feel larger.

sewing closet

More ideas here: My New Sewing Closet

With these great ideas and many more available, we hope you are inspired to spruce up your space with fun sewing storage ideas that enable you to spend more time sewing!

What are your best tips for learning how to organize your sewing supplies? Let us know in the comments.

Have something to add? Leave a comment or email editor@nationalsewingcircle.com.

Comments
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84 Responses to “5 Clever Ideas for Storing Your Sewing Supplies”

        • Gail Kokoszka
          Gail Kokoszka

          Love all the great ideas. Mostly love the thread and bobbin rack. A problem I see with the bobbin is that it might unwind leading to lots of hanging threads. Having arthritis makes it near impossible to tighten the thread at the side of the bobbin. Any suggestions for that

          Reply
          • Kim Barker
            Kim Barker

            I’ve found that the small ponytail holders work great to keep the thread ends on my bobbins from coming undone. I get them at Dollar Tree so they are inexpensive to use.

            Reply
  1. Avril
    Avril

    Hi iv just got my nephew to man the same cotton and bobbin holder its 5 ft long by 18 in wide it’s the best thing ever

    Reply
  2. Myrna
    Myrna

    I have converted our back room that has 2 sides of windows coming halfway down the walls and I am worried about fabric fading. Has anyone got any ideas to store lots of fabric

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Myrna. I also have two walls with windows in my sewing room and I store my fabric in cube shelves. On one of the walls I am able to place a cube shelf under the window in a way that nothing in the cubes is ever in direct sunlight. If you are not able to do this I would recommend storing your fabric in bins on shelves or in a filing cabinet. If you have small enough yardage amount you can fold it, hang it over a filing cabinet divider or even a folder and then you can easily ‘flip’ through all of your fabric when you are looking for something specific.

      Reply
    • Diana Denny
      Diana Denny

      Fabrics can be neatly “filed” in an unused file cabinet. This works especially well with fat quarter. For yardage, I have cleared several bookcase shelves. I nearly wrap the fabric around a piece of cardboard and set them on the shelves like books. They are handy and you can easily see what is in the stash

      Reply
    • Hannah
      Hannah

      I stockpile fabric, and the best way to store your fabric without having it fade is in rubbermaid tubs (maybe not the most space efficient though!) That works for me anyway! Happy sewing!

      Reply
    • Vicky Torrey
      Vicky Torrey

      I am fortunate to have two walk-in closets in my current master bedroom. I live by myself so one became my fabric storage. I’m moving to a much smaller place but with two bedrooms, both of which have walk-in closets. Second bedroom is the sewing room and the walk-in closet in there will be for the fabric; anything else that fits is icing on the cake.
      Think I planned it that way?

      Reply
    • Margaret Davis
      Margaret Davis

      I store my fabrics in unused bureaus. I have a number of old/antique ones, and some of them have different sized drawers- which are great for my smaller pieces. I fold them vertically so they fit in the drawer, lined up like books on a shelf. You shut the drawer- no sun. And if you have dampness in your house, you can through in a recycled silicon packet.

      Reply
    • Sheri
      Sheri

      ja, I have tons of fashion fabrics, laces from many countries, silks from Japan, and also pretty print cotons from local stores. A lot of precious fabrics. I roll all on tubes, from cardboard at fabric store, I use NOODLES lol, long wooden sticks for pile, pvc pipes etc. I enclose all in black plastic, you can find good plastic at garden or hardware stores. Hang a swatch and info off the end. Here is the best part: Hang from your ceiling some sort of wire grid. We use hog/cattle panels from farm or hardware stores. Remember, your ceiling is just another wall. So we hang the panels about 12” down, you can put some luan board as a support for ALL those rolls. I hang LED lighting from underneath, and cords to get out of the way, dresses to hem while I am sitting down etc. So, no light, and perfect organizing opportunity.

      Reply
    • Ann Schlabach
      Ann Schlabach

      I am in process of organizing my She Shed. My neighbor left a large coffee table like a huge trunk under her patio cover. I asked why it was outside and she offered it to me. When my husband and I got it home we realized it was a coffee table with a lid that raised up to dining- table height. Inside was a shelf at each end, and below, the bottom gave me 2 and 1/2 feet wide by 6 feet long by 18 inch tall. That isn’t all: the top lifts to a table top for cutting, pinning, ironing on a cover. So, my fabric can rest in a safe place, and I have a great work space. Additionally, I saw a 5 sided corner shelf unit beside the street for a couple of days. The 3rd day it came home with me as the house was empty and had a for-sale-by-owner sign. It will go in a rather dark corner. It will be painted with bright paint when the weather allows. More storage! Lucky Ann

      Reply
  3. Cj
    Cj

    Behind my old (1940’s vintage, military discard, leather topped) sewing table is an alcove wall. I covered two 3 x4′ foam core boards, promotion discards, with fabric. I can pin photos,guide sheets, even hang light weight tools. I LOVE using Velcro so the boards are secured to the wall with stick on Velcro on the wall and coordinating sewn on strips of Velcro on the back fabric of the boards.

    Reply
  4. Nancy
    Nancy

    Love your ideas about using the skirt hanger for cutting boards. and the peg board for the measuring rulers.
    The closet idea is also great, but with me I put my Studio 10 Embroidery machine in there to give my Embroidery Room more space with the computers. I have an old Sewing cabinet so that is how I am using it.
    For small jobs comes in handy for baby clothes, and apparel and bedsheets.

    Reply
  5. Carolyn Grace
    Carolyn Grace

    I use toe-dividers (used to seperate the toes when painting toe nails) to hold my bobbins. They are great. The boobins fit perfectly and the thread has no opportunity to unravel.

    Reply
  6. Jeanine
    Jeanine

    Love the ideas for an organized sewing room. I am having difficulty with this.

    Reply
  7. Kathy
    Kathy

    Love the ideas. I have converted a son’s bedroom into a sewing room. To organize fabric I just purchased 2 sets of hanging cloth shelves for the closet. Each shelf is a color of folded fabric. Works great. Also have saved Oui yogurt glass jars and am going to separate buttons by color and place the jars on a shelf.

    Reply
  8. VIRGINIA PRESTRIDGE
    VIRGINIA PRESTRIDGE

    IF YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR FABRIC ON OPEN SHELVES JUST MAKE A BLACKOUT CURTAIN FOR IT

    Reply
  9. Joanne
    Joanne

    I like all but one of the five clever ideas for storing your sewing supplies. The one that I have a problem with is The Perfect Thread Holder. Thread, especially cotton thread, should always be stored in closed containers. All cotton thread has a certain amount of time when it’s useable, then it will eventually become too old and brittle to use. To prolong it’s life it should be stored in a closed container and out of the sun. Polyester thread and many other threads that are not made from natural plant or animal materials have a much longer shelf life but they also shouldn’t be stored out in the open where they can collect dust and other pollutants. Good quality thread is not cheap and it needs to be stored in closed containers. The idea looks great, especially because the bobbins are hung underneath the thread so it’s easy to find, but storing cotton thread this way will reduce the life span of the thread significantly. My nickname is “The Thread Lady” because I use so much thread while making my Art Quilts. I’m also a wholesaler for a large thread company and my knowledge of thread is extensive because I use so many different types of thread that I’ve done lots of research on threads and the way they’re manufactured. If you want your thread to run through your sewing machine with as few problems as possible you must store it all in thread boxes on a shelf that doesn’t get any sunlight.

    Reply
    • Janet
      Janet

      To improve on the thread holder-just create a back and a door to enclose the thread holder.

      Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Thank you Joanne for the education on thread storage, I have always kept my threads in a closed container . I have thrown away too mujch thread that becomes dry rotted. THere is more to be worried about storing thread. Thank you.

      Reply
    • John Shalack
      John Shalack

      I have some cotton thread that’s 20+ years old and have not experienced any degradation…

      Reply
  10. Glenda
    Glenda

    I have another way to store bobbins. I use tread mate ( spool and bobbins pegs) by June Tailor in Joanne fabric

    Reply
  11. Laurilli
    Laurilli

    I store my fabric on multiple book shelves. I use tension curtain rods to hang curtains to block out sun and lighting. It is easy to just slide aside for selecting fabric.

    Reply
  12. Elaine Pannell
    Elaine Pannell

    I’m a self employed seamstress and keep my threads in sets of plastic drawers made for a4 paper. Each drawer is colour coded and I have one for sewing threads and another for overlooking cops. Everything else is stored in clear plastic boxes with lids and stored on an old dresser next to my sewing station, so I don’t need to even stand up to reach thread, elastic, bias binding, lace edging, etc!

    Reply
  13. Elizabeth Uchiyama
    Elizabeth Uchiyama

    The best idea is using the multi-skirt hangar! I have patterns I’ve made that need to be stored and that idea is the perfect solution. Thanks!! I also like the ‘spice rack’ for thread with a nail below for the bobbin.

    Reply
  14. OrahLee Hoose
    OrahLee Hoose

    Love the ideas, even the ones I can’t use are inspiring. I have an older Singer with the flat plastic bobbins–no center holes! I put matching teensy hair scrunchies around them to corral the thread, and store in a pretty glass container at each machine. When I use an unusual type thread, I slip a rubber band in the bobbin’s groove and around the spool to keep them matched. —-Keep inspiring us! You light up my life!
    OL

    Reply
  15. Kay
    Kay

    Love all the storage ideas – especially the hanger for cutting mats. I also want to send a “thank you” to Joanne for the lesson on thread. Good to know!

    Reply
    • Ann Schlabach
      Ann Schlabach

      12 years ago I realized I had so much thread I had to store them better. I bought 3 plastic, flat containers the size of ordinary sheet cake pans with lids. I sorted the threads in color groups: 1) red, pink, orange, 2) blue, purple, green, 3) black, gray, white. I rarely have to buy thread but I do have to be careful that thread is the right weight for each project.

      Reply
  16. Linda Arnold
    Linda Arnold

    I love to quilt ! I am still learning to quilt, I would like to learn more simple things.

    Reply
  17. Diane L VanWinkle
    Diane L VanWinkle

    I drilled a small hole, centered on one side of my cutting matts, so I could just hang them up on a nail in the wall. Easy to grab when needed.

    Reply
  18. Marjorie
    Marjorie

    I have the plastic bobbins and I write on the bobbin, the number (in a fine permanent marker) off the thread. Saves time in matching thread to bobbin!!

    Reply
  19. Sue Chapman
    Sue Chapman

    My sewing area is separated from our very dusty back yard by a sliding glass door, not enough to mount my threads/bobbins as in several of your examples. I have my threads organized by color families in transparent plastic drawers to prevent dust and some sunlight damage. My fabrics are likewise separated by types (cotton, brocades, flannel, etc.), then colors, then seasons, etc. and are in transparent plastic boxes with covers. I’d love to have a better system, but this is what I can do with the space I have.

    Reply
  20. Marilyn Linnegar
    Marilyn Linnegar

    I loved the idea for hanging the cutting mats but mine were too heavy & pulled right out of the hanger clips. They are the large Olfa mats that clip together to make one large mat so nothing exotic about them. I had separated them, so it wasn’t as if I was trying to hang them ad one unit. Is it a special brand of hanger that was used? Space is at a premium in my room so I would really like to use this tip.

    Reply
  21. mary m
    mary m

    I guess I am the luck one because I have two antique Coats and Clark store display cases. No the larger spools wont fit but everything else does fit. In my guest bedroom I had a long counter installed. I took cup hooks and long dowels and shirred fabric (matches the wall paper) and screwed them into the edge. Hides extra storage. I should have had it placed lower as I have to use stools instead of chairs. Plenty of room for my serger and sewing machine.

    Reply
  22. John Shalack
    John Shalack

    I made a thread holder with dowels long enough for the bobbins to store under the spool.

    Reply
  23. Gladys Gonzalez
    Gladys Gonzalez

    I have very small sewing room and I definitely need suggestions on organizing it.

    Reply
  24. MaryAnn
    MaryAnn

    My Hubble bought himself a new tool chest and was going to sell his old one. I confiscated it and am using it in my craft room for all my sewing and craft supplies! It’s amazing how much it holds !

    Reply
  25. Debi Ervin
    Debi Ervin

    I love to sew and to organize! These are some great ideas. I have some more to share with you. Can I send you some pictures of my sewing room organization ideas?

    Reply