How to Store Your Sewing Machine Bobbins! (Free DIY Tips)



Do you need some fresh new ideas for sewing machine bobbin storage? Check out these clever DIY ideas to store your bobbins for free that will work for almost any sewing machine.

I’m a bobbin hoarder. I admit it. These are the bobbins from my lovely vintage Bernina 1530. When the Bernina broke and I bought my Janome Memory Craft 14000, I thought I’d have to find something to do with them (modern sewing art?). Then in a stroke of luck and pure genius, I put one of them in the new Janome and guess what??? It fit!

So now I have a TON of bobbins. When I need one in a new color, I can usually find it, but not without 30 minutes of searching through them all. I know, I know, by that time I might as well have filled an empty one with the color that I needed.


But the other day I was sorting out a sewing room cabinet and I found this empty box from a multi-thread collection that someone gave me for Christmas a couple years ago. You know the thread collection, it goes on sale every year during black friday. But I like to keep all my thread in the same place, so out of the box and up on the rack they quickly went.


I was about to throw away the empty box when I thought of a brilliant use for it – bobbin storage! I can stack up to three bobbins high along the sides where I can see the color of thread through the sides of the box. Then I put empty bobbins in the middle.


I’ve only got a tiny portion of by bobbin hoard in here. Maybe I should get a few more thread boxes on black friday. ๐Ÿ™‚

How do you store your sewing machine’s bobbins? Tell us in the comments!

Looking for more ideas to keep your sewing room organized? Check out my article 11 Free Sewing Projects to Make You More Organized. Have fun!


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. how lucky your old bernina bobbins work on your new machine. I have just bought a janome 8900 but they have plastic bobbins so all my bernina 1230 are no use never mind the bernina is still in use but will have to add to my collection of plastic bobbins, have bobbin cases to keep them in, the ones with polyester thread I keep separate from the cotton bobbins

  2. Great idea. At the moment my empty ones reside in a pretty little tin box marked "Bobbins" which was given to me by a friend. As for the ones with thread, they are stacked pretty much the same way as yours but in the sewing cabinet drawer – it has a few spikes for reels, but I have a different place for those. I don’t have as many bobbins . . . yet! I’m working on it though! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I really like the toe dividers used for pedicures. They keep the thread contained and they are all the same size so you can line them up in a container if you wish. I prefer the hard rubber to the softer foam ones but both work quite well. The softer foam holds 3 bobbins and the stiffer foam holds 4.

  4. I love it and you’re right, I already have 2 of those boxes!

  5. What a super idea! Can you recommend a resource for this container or a similar one? I have the same problem finding adequate bobbin storage. Thanks, so much! ~JMF

  6. Bonnie Thiem says:

    I just so happen to have one of those. Never thought of using it for bobbins. Great idea. Thanks, Caroline.

  7. I was told by my Janome dealer to only use plastic bobbins. Something about metal & magnetic parts in the machine. Is this just hooey or good advice?

  8. I love the idea and am headed to the basement to retrieve my boxes. I love them but didn’t have a use for them until now. I have bobbins all over the place. My different machines take different bobbins plus the cheap ones I use for hand sewing. The bobbins take up much less room than the spools with only a little thread left.

  9. Lara Trottier says:

    This is awesome, and I do have one hanging out ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I purchase the plastic bobbin cases at Jo Ann’s for each of my machines and keep the bobbins separate and appropriate for use in each machine. The lid snaps closed so they don’t fall out. I just keep it handy near each machine.

  11. Barbara G. says:

    I bought 5/8" clear plastic tubing at the hardware store, and cut sections as wide as the thread area on my bobbins. Then I cut those so they open to clip around the bobbin and hold the thread ends in place. I store them in bobbin boxes, but I’ll be on the lookout for that thread box come black Friday! (Local only, at the fabric store, or online?)

  12. Bobbin Storage: I’ve been using a fishing tackle box to store my bobbins in for many years now. It’s one of those that are double sided and each side has lots of little compartments. One side is for bobbins on the two machines I use most often, my old beloved Bernina and my Juki quilting machine. The other side holds bobbins to two machines that I rarely use anymore but am saving for my daughter to have someday (if she EVER takes in interest in quilting). The little compartments keep the bobbins sorted by thread color. Occasionally I do get a "bird’s nest" of thread all clumped together but not often enough to really bother me.
    Peace & joy to you!

  13. Great idea! Just curious, have you ever tried your old Bernina bobbins in your Juki? Thanks!

  14. I just recently found my clear bobbin case that my aunt gave me. It holds 9 bobbins. I had purchased 15 bobbins before I found bobbin case. So, now I need a bigger case.

  15. I made a bobbin/thread holder on 3/4 inch plywood. I screwed cup hooks into board in straight rows all the way down on board. I purchased bobbin/thread holders, they look like cotter pins but the are plastic and they hang off of the cup hooks. I wish I could post a pick of it. Besides being very functional its also pretty to look at

  16. I use the wooden peg thread storage that you can buy, and place the matching bobbin beneath the thread spool. It makes the whole process of matching thread to bobbin a no-brainer.

  17. Susan Thompson says:

    I have three sewing machines, so I keep all bobbins and feet for each one in it’s own plastic case that I found at Walmart. The case has 10 individual spaces on 2 sides. It was in the fishing supplies area.

  18. I’m gratified to hear so many ladies that have multiple machines. My hubby always gives me a hard time…until I remind him of the MANY multiples of tools (some are really pricy) that he has. One of our kids said we’ve been conditioned by the CIA….like in Mel Gibson’s movie Conspiracy Theory, except we’re not buying the book Catcher in the Rye. Lol!
    I have various bobbin holders. This sounds better!

  19. Brilliant storage – many thanks. I am in the UK and our Amazon has these boxes for sale (I discovered) empty and very affordable. Next day delivery too…

  20. That’s a brilliant idea. I hope someone gives me one for Christmas. =)

  21. Natividad Vega says:

    Me encanta, se podrรก ver bien todas las bobinas sin tener que remover todo lo que tengamos.

  22. Nellie Mueller says:

    I have some plastic tubes made for coin collectors. Think they are nickel size. They work really well for sorting colors or brands of bobbins. Great for travel or. applique projects. Wish lids were screw on type.

  23. I took a nice piece of 6" x 3/4" wood and hammered 3 – 4" nails, up from the bottom. The bobbins fit beautifully on the nails, every bobbin colour is plainly visible and easy to remove for use.

  24. Jamie Todhunter says:

    I have my thread in a storage box and I keep the matching bobbin on the same peg in the box under the same color of thread.

  25. I bought an ice cube tray for long tubes of ice, the ones that fit in bottled water. I can fit over fifty bobbins and they lay on their side so I can see the color

  26. Bobbin storage: a container( choose your size) place a piece of florist oasis. Take wooden coffee stirrers, push into the oasis. You can then store bobbins or better still, you can place real of thread with the matching bobbins.
    They can be decorative bunches of colour.

  27. What a brilliant idea. Regretfully I got rid of my boxes when I was sorting a few months ago, but I will keep the tip in mind.

  28. Stephanie says:

    Just a little shout out to you, Caroline. Love your blog and read it every day.
    Well done and I find your tips and techniques spot on. Have tried many of your patterns
    With great results. You were born to do this! Thanks. Stephanie.

  29. I took my thread storage system (the one with the spindles) and cut straws to fit over the spindles that were long enough so that I would place my thread on the straw and still have enough length of the straw left so that I could put a matching bobbin on top of the thread. I also put small hair ties (not the elastic band type but rather the thick, fluffy rope kind) around the bobbin so the threads don’t hang down. Viola!

  30. My bobbins are stored on top of their matching thread. I take a pipe cleaner and cut it about 7" long (in half?) and fold that in half with a curve or loop at the fold. Then press the loop down to form a "T" shape. Jus put the bobbin(s) on top of the thread and insert the pipe cleaner through both. Now my thread and bobbins are together. No more searching for the matching colors. To keep the thread ends from being loose, I use a piece of the pipe cleaner and twist it around the bobbin. Empty bobbins go in a pocket of my Sewing machine/Embroidery machine mats. I have a Brother sewing machine and a Janome embroidery machine. Fortunately, both machines take the same size bobbin, #15. I’ll have to watch for the sale of that thread though. I can always use thread.

  31. I keep my bobbins in an embroidery floss container that I don’t use. I also wind a number of full bobbins of colors that I use alot so i don’t always have to stop and wind a bobbin. I also use sticky back labels and put a label on the outside top of the different thread brand and the thread weight. I do that for each compartment. So easy to grab what i need quickly!

  32. I use the foam dividers that the pedicurist’s use when they paint your toenails. I like the hard foam ones the best. The soft foam works well too. They hold the bobbins snugly and they don’t unravel.

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