Machine Embroidery Storage Tips

As you continue to delve deeper and deeper into your machine embroidery hobby (or obsession) the more you may encounter one particular issue getting a little bit out of hand.. Storage! In the early days of sweetpea, anyone visiting couldn’t have been blamed for thinking a bomb full of cloth had gone off. If you are a naturally neat person you may not encounter these issues but for those of us that don’t count organisation and cleanliness as our strengths, we need a little bit of extra help. This is also the case for anyone who’s material purchases have started to outgrow their storage capacity. This blog will discuss the different options for storage and some tips for keeping both your house/workplace tidy and your family/coworkers sane.


As is the theme with many of my blogs, here the rule of thumb is to balance price with functionality. With storage items, it is usually very easy to find something with high functionality and low price. Obviously, if you are already using a beautiful and priceless mahogany antique writing desk i’m not saying you need to replace this with cheap plastic tubs, but price is definitely something to keep in mind when shopping for storage. Ikea, classified sites and discount stores are all great places to look.

What to look for

You may be thinking the only thing you have to worry about when looking for storage solutions is overall capacity and this is important, but there are other things you should keep in mind as well. Accessibility and visibility are important aspects to consider, especially for materials and tools you are going to be using on a regular basis. Using a bookcase for storing your different kinds of cloth make them easily accessible. It also makes it easier to find the right cloth straight away, instead of having to sift through drawers to find what you need. As mentioned in the price section, Ikea can be a great source of cheap bookcases.


machine emrboidery fabric shelves

Online classifieds can also be an excellent source, even offering cheaper second-hand wooden furniture. This is quite often in good condition and can be brought back to life by sanding back and varnishing. is a great site for Australian readers, while craigslist seems to be the go to for those of you from the U.S. We colour ours with bright colours at Sweet Pea. 


Thread Storage for Easy Access

Thread can be a huge hassle if not kept well organised. A great way to keep yours neat and tidy is to invest in a thread rack that can screw right into the wall like this one.



Or if you already have wooden furniture you are using you may want to keep this theme going with a set of sliding shelves.


Another great tip to keep your threads tidy is using the slots that some threads provide. Robison-Anton have thread spools that click open to store the excess thread and click back in to secure the thread away neatly.

Plastic Fantastic

A very cheap and, space saving option for storing all your machine embroidery knick-knacks is to buy the clear plastic tubs and drawers available at most discount stores and supermarkets. These give you a fairly good view of the contents of each drawer and definitely will not break the bank.




Even leftover jars can be converted into a way to store all of your small pieces such as needles, pins, buttons and more. You could also use small racks to hold ribbon reels so you can see them right in front of you.





Make sure you are tailoring (sewing pun) your storage to your own personal needs and space. Here at Sweet Pea we use a lot of large wooden furniture with bigger drawers to house our finished designs, but for you, at home, if you aren’t going to be keeping a lot of designs on hand that you aren’t using all the time you may not have the same needs. We also have a lot of room in the office for the bigger furniture, that may not be the most space-efficient. Some of you may have room all around your house for your materials and designs, some of you may have one room dedicated to machine embroidery, but some of you may have half a room or less and will need to be more economic with your space. Make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck with low cost, low floor-space, high volume containers.


  1. Are the thread lids or covers something that can be purchased or does a particular brand come with them? I would love to have that option for threads which are left out and readily available but I’ve never seen a beast such as those!

    • Hemmingworth thread come with protective caps, I’ve looked all over the internet and I could not find any protective caps that come separately for any thread spool. But I’m sure maybe there is some more out there.

  2. I use the Thread Art plastic bins that are supposed to be for paper crafts to store my threads and a much deeper one for my serger threads. You can usually get them on sale at Joannes for around $18. They hold quite a few spools of thread. I would show a pic is I could… Happy Sewing!

    • My apprehension about thread racks is I was told you should not store thread uncovered. Do you agree with this; and if you do, how do you protect your thread from Room climate and dust if you use a thread rack?
      Thank you in advance for your insight.
      Cindy M

      • We only keep the threads we are about to use out on the thread racks if we know we use them often. All of the threads without lids are kept covered up in boxes. All the threads with lids we keep all of them out on our racks or hemmingworth 63 slot stand

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