Tip of the Week – My Favorite Bobbin Storage Solution

Weekly sewing tips and tricks

Use plastic tubing to keep your bobbins under control.

Bobbin Storage solution using plastic tubing


Awhile ago I realized that I have over 75 different colors of thread. And that doesn’t include the cones of serger thread. This is just the standard Coats and Clark spools of thread. Seventy-five! Can you imagine the state of my bobbins? There isn’t actually one for each spool just yet, but it’s definitely still a hoard. I already have a few of those plastic bobbin cases, but with 10 or more shades of pink sometimes they get a little hard to match up. And then all the tails are always tangled together inside the box…It’s a mess!


Store Bobbins on a thread rack under their matching spools.
So I decided to start keeping my bobbins on the thread rack stacked underneath their matching spool of thread.
No more searching, squinting, or twisting threads together. It was perfect! At least until the cats started to go after the tails.
The solution? A simple piece of 5/8 inch plastic tubing.
Use plastic tubing to organize bobbins


I found mine in the plumbing section of our local hardware store. It was super cheap, and I was able to get about
fifty covers from the 1 foot length they cut for me. If it is marked 5/8 OD (outer) x 1/2 ID (inner) you’ve got the right one.
 Cut plastic tubing cut into rings to keep bobbin tails under control.
All you need to do is cut the tubing into rings…
Cut plastic tubing into C shapes to control bobbin tails
Cut through the rings to make little C shapes…
Cover bobbins with plastic tubing to help control tails.
And slip them around your bobbins!
Bobbin Storage Solution
It’s so simple, and they’re clear unlike some other systems so I always know I’ve got the right color. Love that!
Store bobbins on the thread rack under their matching spools


How do you keep your thread organized?


Visit the Tip of the Week page to see the entire list of tips!

40 thoughts on “Tip of the Week – My Favorite Bobbin Storage Solution

  1. Genius!! I need to get me some thread rack action going on in my studio soon, the one I've got won't take the fat spools I've got, only the skinny ones and it's plastic too, it's not the most attractive part of my stash!

    1. I absolutely love the wooden one I shared a link for! I used to have the 60 spool version (painted pink!),but I outgrew it, so Ant got me this 120 spool one for Christmas. I just wish it held serger cones too.

  2. I have a peg board that my husband just installed for me a few weeks ago. I just stick my spools on the pegs. My husband made a small sewing box for me a couple years ago. Inside the lid he glued foam (actually those foam puzzles you can get at dollar tree) and covered it with felt. He carved 'boxes,' for each bobbin I have. I only have about 8 bobbins, and several more colors than that so I always am stacking bobbin colors and wasting thread by pulling it off when I need one. It's frustrating, but I haven't gotten around to ordering more bobbins! I like your ideas with the tubing, way cool!

    1. Thanks Lynette! I couldn't imagine only having 8 bobbins. Between the kids and cats I swear I lose at least 1 or 2 a week around here. I'd never get any sewing done! You're so lucky your husband is willing to help you with your crafting/supplies though. A lot of men seem to get overwhelmed by our fanatical hoarding and creative quirks. I swear Ant looks at my stuff sometimes like he's gonna catch cooties from it. ;D

  3. Is that a thread rack that you bought, or is it custom made onto that pegboard? I need something to corral all my thread. It's everywhere.

    1. Hi Pam, It's a thread rack I bought. There is a link under the picture of the green spools of thread that'll take you to a few different sizes of the one I have.

  4. So smart! My little boxes of bobbins are starting to go crazy too 🙂 I wonder if larger pipe for the spools would work too? The tails on my spools bother my type A self 🙂
    Heidi @ handmadefrenzy.blogspot.com

    1. That's an interesting idea Amber! I don't see why it wouldn't work, but I wonder if you would need to have different sizes for each brand of thread, or would one "large" size be universal? Please let me know how it goes if you happen to give it a try.

  5. Great storage tip! This is great! I unfortunately never have that many bobbins wound because I hate winding bobbins. It usually wait until I have used every last bobbin until I wind another one!

    1. Oh gosh, I hate winding bobbins too! It's such a hassle to unthread the whole machine just for those last dozen stitches that didn't make it! I try to wind a big fat one as soon as I buy a new spool so that I never have to make them when I'm ready to start sewing.

      1. Purchase a bobbin winder. Walmart and other fabric stores sell them. Wind as many as you need for your project and never take the spool of thread off the machine again, except to change the color.

    1. You caught me! I didn't even notice them in the picture, but yes, I've been wrapping my random bits of trim around my old spools. It's so much nicer than the knot they made in the old jar where they use to live!

  6. This is fantastic. My husband is making me bins for my thread, cork tiles on the inside bottom with golf tees up through so that they are tall enough for thread and bobbins, but I couldn't figure out how I was going to keep it all neat and pretty looking. I will be going to the hardware store tomorrow. I can't wait…. of course now I also need to invest in more bobbins 🙂

  7. How did you cut the tubing?

    How wide is each piece?

    I wonder if it was difficult to make straight cuts.

    I have my regular sewing thread in a plastic drawer cabinet. I did have a beautiful wooden thread rack my husband made for me. But I noticed some thread that I didnt use often was fading. I moved the rack to inside a closet and later found it was easier to have thread in drawers sorted by color group. I probably have about 50 bobbins between my machine embroidery and sewing machines, so the tubing will definitely stop the tangles.

    Wonderful site. I am enjoying it.

    1. Hi Maureen! I just cut them about 1/4 inch wide with a pair of old scissors. It was a little hard to keep them straight, but not terrible. I’m sure you could also use a box cutter if you have one handy. They’ve definitely been awesome at keeping everything untangled!

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