Was thinking about starting some simple cross stitching projects. I can usually pick up some cheap embroidery skeins in a large pack.

The problem I have had in the past, and from what I have seen of other thread collections, is that once you take the paper off a few of them is that they get all tangled up in a mess. Makes you just want to throw out the lot.

What are some storage solutions that I could use to keep my thread preferably together in the same container?

3 Answers 3


My personal floss storage method is floss bobbins.

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via Michaels

These are typically available in any craft store that sells embroidery floss, in the same aisle as the floss. They're available in either thin plastic or cardstock, and typically have little notches at the top or bottom that lightly hold the floss in place as you wind it (and for storage).

If you are feeling crafty, you can get free templates (e.g. here) to print and cut out your own -- either the more traditional "spool" profile, or more interesting/adorable shapes.

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via Little White Whale

To keep the floss bobbins all stored together, there are a lot of possible storage methods. The above floss bobbin set has an included ring to hold the bobbins together. You can put them all in a plastic bag. You can build a custom box to hold them all in neat little rows. (The biggest limitation is your personal creativity.)

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via Kat the Craft

Always write the floss color number on the tab so you know what color it is after the paper is gone! This does require a little up-front organizational work, but it's less effort than throwing out the tangled mass of thread and driving to the store for more :)

  • 1
    This should be our mantra here The biggest limitation is your personal creativity.
    – Matt
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 18:22

My mother once owned an embroidery business, and the way she dealt with her thread was to pre-cut it to length, then twist or braid it back into skeins. With the cut-to-length skeins, you can remove a single strand of thread while leaving the rest of the skein intact.

(Note that this method works best for perle cotton, i.e. the type of embroidery thread that's already twisted into, well, threads, instead of individual strands of floss. If you use it for stranded floss, you need to be careful to remove an entire six-strand thread at once, and only separate out the number of strands you want after you've removed it from the skein.)

antique skein winder with four arms

A skein winder can be very useful for this purpose, but in a pinch, an appropriately-sized piece of cardboard can work just as well. You remove the paper from a skein, find the end, and re-wind the thread, either around the skein winder or around your cardboard.

When it's all wound, you tie a small piece of string around the threads at one of the arms (or one edge of the cardboard), and then you cut the skein in half opposite the tie. Now you can either twist the two halves together -- twist each part clockwise, then twist the parts together counter-clockwise -- or you can re-divide the skein into three parts and braid them together. Don't twist or braid too tightly.

Firmly tie off the ends of the braid/twist with an elastic, so it'll continue to hold together as the skein gets smaller. When you need a thread, grab it at the fold and pull it out. The skein will get all accordion-pleated and scary-looking as you're doing this, but it'll smooth right back out after you have your thread.


Like Erica I use thread bobbins, before this I used miniature pegs which were really cute, but the wood mine were made of was stupid cheap and so ended up ripping my threads. The thread bobbins is a great way though, you can buy them super cheap but I recommend customising. I have customised so that mine all have what number colour and make they are.

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