I may or may not have picked up embroidery in part because it doesn’t take up as much space as other hobbies would in my tiny NYC apartment. But it does indeed take up some space! Especially as my thread collection has grown. And while there is almost always something or other strewn across the coffee table or couch, I wanted something a little better for thread storage.
1. Doesn’t look terrible if left in plain view
2. Doesn’t require too much time-consuming maintenance
3. Allows me to quickly find a thread color
4. Allows me to quickly put a way a thread color
A lot of folks seem to wrap their floss on plastic bobbins and keep them in a compartmentalized box. I do use the bobbins to wrap left over thread that’s been cut from the skein, or when the skein doesn’t hold together on it’s own anymore.
The drawback to this method is having to wind the skeins on the bobbins all the time. Plus it leaves kinks in the thread that makes it tangle more easily when stitching. But then I saw this binder method on Lolli and Grace and decided to adopt it.
You take a 3-ring binder (mine are from Target and the Container Store) and add plastic sheet protectors. There are baseball card sleeves that have 9 pockets, but I opted for 4 pockets because I have multiple skeins of the same color in a number of cases and the thread doesn’t slip out as easily.
I have binders in the following groups: Reds and pinks, oranges and yellows, greens, blues, purples, and neutrals (greys, browns, black and white). Within each binder they are organized by DMC number.
I decided to go by number because it makes putting them away soooo much faster and easier. Before I did this my primary choke point was putting away thread after a project or after purchasing new thread. Duplicate colors wouldn’t end up in the same place because I couldn’t find their original pockets, or if I had some of the same color on a bobbin and some still in a skein they would get separated, etc.
I also added some white printer paper between plastic sheets so that each color stands out and is easier to identify.
The one complicated factor here is that categorizing by color is not actually all that straight forward sometimes. Is this peach a pink or an orange? Is this dusky rose a pink or a brown? Is this teal a blue or a green? Is this burgundy a red or a purple? These are the questions I ask Vlad to tear himself away from the computer or work or cooking or whatever he happens to be doing for. But 90% of the time I can go with my gut and it works out alright.
So as you can see, it looks pretty good on our bookshelf.
The maintenance mostly takes care of itself once the system is in place.
And I can quickly find or put away any thread color when I need to.
And ta-da! That’s my embroidery floss organizing system.