Organizing Sewing Supplies

Category Crafts
Keeping all of your sewing supplies well organized makes working on each project easier. This is a page about organizing sewing supplies.


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I found the best way to organize my sewing supplies is to separate them by item. I have found these solutions by being a very avid seamstress, as well as, crocheter and crafter. I have three active boys, so I do my share of mending as well.

I have several large 3 drawer plastic organizers that I purchased from Walmart to hold everything. I have divided each of my drawers. I divided one in half. The others into thirds, quarters, and eighths. You would want to divide yours according to your needs. These dividers can be purchased, or made from either wood or cardboard.

I keep all of my patterns in a large three ring binder. They are then separated with dividers according to category. For example: blankets, clothing, etc. You can go a step further and subdivide your major categories, for example:


Another way is to file your patterns in an expandable file. I prefer to use the binder. I do this so I can easily see the individual items.

I have my buttons divided by color and size in a tackle box, but anything like this could work; such as ice cube trays, old muffin tins, plastic divided trays, empty baby food jars, or even small sandwich bags, stored in a larger gallon size bag. I do the same type organizing with my needles.

Ribbon can be stored on dowel rods, paper towel racks, or even in a larger box. I prefer to see my ribbon, so I use the dowel rods, capped off at the ends. Just keep in mind you will want to tape down the ends of your ribbon to prevent tangling.

My thread is stored on a wooden peg board. The pegs are just long enough for one spool. These can be easily made; get creative. A cork board would work with cutting a dowel rod (from scraps). If you don't have a saw, you could even use the cardboard which is on the bottom of wire clothes hangers or even the wire hanger itself (cut up into the right length).


Zippers are stapled to poster board cut down to a size small enough to fit into one of the binders or manila folders.

My material I keep folded in the same size rectangles, and pinned down. Then I stack them by color and/or design. Another idea would be to store this in expandable files, labeled by color. Also you can try folding and rolling material around a used paper towel tube.

Yarn is kept rolled and separated by weight; (#3) sport weight (#4) bulky, etc.

Finally for all of the other "doodads", I group them together in separate small boxes. I have used shoe boxes, cigar boxes (look for wooden ones these are best), and cookie tins.

The final step in to use your labeler and label every box and drawer. In case you do not have a labeler, purchase one! It will be one of the best tools you ever bought. They cost $15.00 at Walmart or can be found at any office supply store. You will find yourself using this item over and over again in many projects.


Once you organized your sewing area, projects will go more smoothly, save you money, and be less chaotic. Making all of your projects big or small more enjoyable.

Happy sewing!

By Mistie

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February 15, 2010

I came across a good idea. At the supermarket you can find cut up vegetables and dip for guests but what to do with the container. This container has sections and a lid. It will make a excellent organizer for your sewing supplies.

If you are just a "mender" like me you will have all your supplies in a container that is disorganized with threads and needles messed up. This container has sections and keeps it all neat.


By Sheila from Ont. Canada

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You can separate the materials into categories, cottons, silk, and such. If the material is cut, hang on hangers and use the garment protectors. You should then be able to store bolts of material in there as well.

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Make a decorative magnetic straight pin holder made from an empty recycled container. Mine is made from an empty plastic facial cleanser pad jar.

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Have a lot of buttons, all colours, shapes, and sizes in a bag or bottle? Collect the little plastic containers from a photo developing shop (clear ones), stick little round stickers on top and colour them with Koki pens.

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My threads, zippers, elastic, lace, ribbon, and tools are endless, but are stored in groups. So I have zip plastic bags for each of these supplies. I write the name on the bag.

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Most large sewing baskets have slotted containers for the different types of supplies. This can help you really stay organized when you need to find a specific tool or material.

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I tend to store my supplies in fun-looking boxes by similarity. So, all the buttons are stored in small jars, by color, in one box that I found at Walmart.

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In my sewing chest and my craft basket, I keep the little things separate. In the sewing chest (three drawers), I keep my various scissors in the bottom drawer, including my electric scissors that were a gift.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 11, 2006

I do a lot of sewing for babies, especially "preemies", and have quite a bit of sewing supplies in my stash. How does everyone organize sewing, trims, lace, thread, etc.?


Evelyn from Southern Indiana


August 18, 20061 found this helpful

A school in my city was remodeling and for $5 I got a cabinet with 16 drawers. The drawers were deep. the only problem with the cabinet was ,it did not have a top. So I asked my handyman husband to make one of plywood. Then we covered it with peel off floor tiles. It looks great and I can use the top as a cutting table with my quilt mat.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 18, 20060 found this helpful

A school in my city was remodeling and for $5 I got a cabinet with 16 drawers. The drawers were deep. the only problem with the cabinet was ,it did not have a top. So I asked my handyman husband to make one of plywood. Then we covered it with peel off floor tiles. It looks great and I can use the top as a cutting table with my quilt mat.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Anne lewis (Guest Post)
July 11, 20081 found this helpful

Hi, I found a neat trick for storing fat quarters. I bought a cd cabinet. A folded fat quarter fits in the slots perfect.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

October 4, 2017

Most sewing machines come with an assortment of feet, designed for the various sewing projects you might work on. Keeping them organized and identified as to task makes it easier to find the one you need for your next project. This is a page about organizing sewing machine feet.

Feet in plastic compartment box.

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January 8, 2016

This is a page about organizing bobbins. Keeping your bobbins organized for easy reuse can be an ongoing hassle.

jumble of bobbins

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July 30, 2012

This page is about storing sewing machine needles. Having your needles readily available makes all sewing machine projects easier.

Storing Sewing Needles

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 29, 2005

My hobby is sewing and crafts. The problem is I have so much material in a small room. I need some ideas on organizing my sewing room. I am a very clean and organized person, but When it comes to my sewing room it's difficult. Please help.

Ruth from Hot Springs, Arkansas

See-through Boxes 02/16/2005
I store my unfinished projects in see-through shoe boxes (small projects) and storage containers. If it is real small (like a jewelry item). I store it in a zip-lock bag on my projects shelf. (You could also use a small bottle or jar).
By Anna(Guest Post)
Ideas 03/23/2005
For very small misc. pieces (fabric, paper, beads etc.) I use a large cork board and put the items in small baggies. That way I can see everything and its easy to stick a thumbtack through the plastic, poke it on the board and be done with it. You can also use old cardboard gift boxes as cups to hold small things just use two thumbtacks to secure the box to the cork board. I am 99% visual so I need to see everything or it's forgotten.
By Wanda (Guest Post)
Ziploc Bags 12/29/2005
Our grocery stores sell Best Choice generic products. Best Choice makes a 2 gallon Ziploc type storage bag that is perfect for keeping larger projects organized. It even fits 12X12 paper for all you scrapbookers out there. It helps me keep everything for a page together until I'm ready to complete the scrapbook page.

Hope this helps.

By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
Plastic Dressers 12/29/2005
I have two of those plastic see through dressers that you can get at Wal Mart. I use the 2 top drawers for bias tape, trim. and other notions. Then the bottom 2 drawers are just the right size to organize my patterns in. I have them stacked like they are in the stores except they are on their sides. I also have an armoire that I fold and stack all my fabric in. That way I can just open the door and see what I have.

The larger cuts of fabric i put on cardboard bolts that i got from Joann's. (They just throw them away when they are empty. The employees were happy to give me an arm load of them). I just stack them in the armoire or on top if they are too long to fit inside. I also have a sewing machine table that my machine sits on. Before i got the armoire I hung some of my fabric on hangers in an empty closet in my house. This was ok but i like the armoire better. Hope you get some good ideas from all the feedback. Good Luck!

By Sarah Massey
Comment Was this helpful? Yes

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