Introduction: Organize Your Sewing Space!

I love having all my stuff where I can find it and get to it easily. I've come up with a few tips, tricks, and hacks to make things easier.

Step 1: Garden Hose Bobbin Holder

I hate, hate, HATE those plastic bobbin boxes! Why? Because I always drop them or knock them off the table, and then my bobbins scurry off to the far reaches of my sewing space, unwinding themselves as they go.

My solution was to take a piece of garden hose that's 5/8 inch (16 millimeters) in diameter and split it lengthwise all the way down. The bobbins then snap right into the hose and stay very secure until I'm ready to use them, even if I drop it on the floor. The sides of the bobbins are always facing out, so I can easily tell what color thread is on them. An added bonus is that the hose has a slight curve to it, which keeps it from rolling off the table.

I was lucky enough to find discarded garden hose, so it didn't cost me anything. But it would probably look even cooler if you got clear tubing and used that instead.

Step 2: Blocking Board Pegboard

Someone gave me a vintage blocking board, which was called a "doily stretcher" on its packaging. I don't do much work that requires a blocking board, so most of the time it stays leaning up behind my rotary cutting mat. I hang the rotary cutter on it, as well as my french curve rulers, protractors, craft forceps, scissors, measuring tapes, seam gauges, paintbrushes, and Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.

If I ever need to use it as a blocking board, I'll just take everything off of it temporarily, and voila!

Step 3: Tackle Box for Presser Feet, Buttons and Needles

Tackle boxes are great for keeping little parts organized, and they're so easy to tote around for projects on the go. The smaller compartments on top hold needles, thimbles, safety pins, presser feet, etc. The bigger cavity underneath the white tray is where I keep my stash of buttons, but you could fit a lot of different things into it. Notice in the second picture that I've kept matching sets of buttons together by using small plastic baggies or threading them onto string, bent paper clips, or safety pins.

Step 4: Neodymium Magnet + Bolt = Pincushion

I've tried a lot of pincushions before, but this gonzo version is my absolute favorite. The threads of the bolt keep the pins sticking out at crazy angles so they're really easy to grab onto, and the magnet ensures that the pins won't spill when you carry it around. It's also a lot quicker to wave the pincushion over a pile of pins like a magic wand, instead of stabbing them all individually into a soft pincushion.

Choose a bolt that has a flat top instead of a rounded one. It should be about 3/4 inch (19 mm) long, and of course it needs to be attracted to a magnet. You'll also need a small scrap of fabric, a flat piece of metal that is attracted to a magnet, and a flat neodymium magnet. Neodymium magnets are also called rare Earth magnets, and they have a lot of strength and holding power for their size. A regular refrigerator magnet would be too weak to work here. The magnet and metal piece I'm using came out of a discarded computer hard drive.

Sew the fabric scrap into a small pouch that's roughly 2 inches by 4 inches (5 cm by 10 cm). Slip the flat piece of metal inside the pouch. Now snap the magnet on top, and put the bolt on top of the magnet.

If you wanted to, you could just use a magnet and a bolt, but there are several reasons why I settled on this configuration. The flat piece of metal keeps the pincushion standing upright, and makes it easier to pick up. The fabric pouch keeps the metal parts from scratching your tabletop, and enables you to attach it to a horizontal surface, if you wish. I attach mine to the bookcase beside my sewing machine by trapping the top of the pouch between two heavy books. If you need to carry it around, just pull it out from between the two books and take it with you. You could even add a grommet if you wanted to hang it on your pegboard.

Comments

author
s2g_220 (author)2015-09-08

Thank you for the brilliant ideas especially regarding bobbins!! I have cats and they somehow always push them off the table to play with. Will be on the lookout for clear hose so I can get this done very soon :)

author
SnazzyBot (author)s2g_2202015-09-08

Oh, I bet those cats can really make a mess out of a bobbin box! :D

author
buildandsewandstuff (author)2015-05-20

I had one of those devil-spawned bobbin boxes that would leap off the table whenever I took it out of the closet, and chase all the bobbins under the bed, behind the lamp, etc. I loved your idea! I replaced the box with a 12" length of clear plastic tubing cut down one side. ( I bought the thinner 3/4" tubing that was 5/8" interior diameter, it cost 75 cents at Lowes.) It holds all my bobbins and has room for more. Next step is to find a suitable magnet.....

author

Glad you liked it! If I ever become Dictator of the World, I'm going to melt all the plastic bobbin boxes into something useful. :p

If you know someone in IT, they might have some neodymium magnets on hand from discarded computer hard drives. You can buy them too, but that's not as much fun as smashing things to get them out, haha.

author
SparkySolar (author)2015-01-24

Super cool Ideas

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SnazzyBot (author)SparkySolar2015-01-28

Thank you! Glad you liked them. :)

author
CraftyHarleyX (author)2014-08-15

I LOVE the hose for the bobbin idea. I went a little further and used a bit of Washi tape to add a little flair. I gotta say, you're ideas are so full of creativity and ingenuity! *LOVE*

author
SnazzyBot (author)CraftyHarleyX2014-08-16

Washi tape is such a great idea! I left mine plain, but now I'm dreaming of ways to perk them up. Glad you liked my ideas, and happy sewing! :-)

author
bbiechowiak (author)2014-04-21

I absolutely love the idea with garden hose. So simple and so clever!!! Why didn't I think about it? The idea is now stolen lol.

author
SnazzyBot (author)bbiechowiak2014-04-21

Yay! I'm glad my idea is getting stolen! I hope that you'll find it as useful as I have. :)

author
Katie5757 (author)2014-03-13

I used a magnrt to pick up a container of sewing pins. Now the pins are sooooooo magneyised, I have to prise them apart. Too powerful a magnet????

author
SnazzyBot (author)Katie57572014-03-13

Wow, that has never happened to me! The pins always act completely normal after I remove them from the magnet. I can pull them off and pile them on a table and they don't stick at all. I even store them on the magnet at all times.

I would guess that your pins are made of a different metal than mine are, because the magnet I use is quite strong. My pins are steel, with plastic heads: http://www.homesew.com/product1428.html#.UyKGWPldUuc but honestly, I'm just as puzzled as you. :(

author
Ulsha (author)2014-02-24

Nice hack with the garden hose. Saw formed platic bobbin holders jsut like that at the store a few weeks back and the price was so ridiculous I dropped it from laughing.

author
SnazzyBot (author)Ulsha2014-03-03

Thanks!

author
foobear (author)2014-02-21

Now that is so clever! By the way, how are the plants doing?

author
SnazzyBot (author)foobear2014-02-23

FOOOOBEAAAAR! The plants actually flowered last Fall! I was so excited! But lately I've been worried that I should have taken them in the house for the Winter... I know they're supposed to be really hardy, but since it was their first year and all, what if they don't come back? :O

How are your plants doing? :D

author
foobear (author)SnazzyBot2014-02-25

I am willing to bet at least 25 cents that they will come back! =). (I never bet more than 25 cents in case I'm wrong). Actually it's a pretty good bet and I could safely raise it, but anyway. Ours here aren't up yet, so maybe by April you might see them start to shoot up again.

Your plants did great! They thrived throughout the year last year. I'm waiting to see if they survived our winter. I know grapes will grow here, so I am guardedly confident, although we had a couple of especially long and brutal freezes.

author
SnazzyBot (author)foobear2014-03-03

I hope you're right! I'm not panicking yet, but I might start freaking out by the time April rolls around. :P

author
Abigail02 (author)2014-02-26

Nice! Like the garden hose trick!!

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SnazzyBot (author)Abigail022014-03-03

Thanks!

author
yudystuff (author)2014-02-22

Awesome thanks I have been trying to figure a way to organize my bobbins .... you da bomb! thanks

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SnazzyBot (author)yudystuff2014-02-23

You're so welcome!

author
rose_adamaj (author)2014-02-21

I bow to you, oh queen of DIY!!! The hose idea is beyond brilliant---can't wait to start cutting my hose apart! (Won't my hubby be surprised, lol). I too have used a computer magnet for years - w/out the bolt. I did not think I could be more impressed & excited after the hose - but then you introduced the bolt. I nearly fell outta my chair - now I will scavenge a bolt & get that set up also. I will say I have been using tackle boxes for years. & the compartmented boxes are cheaper if you buy them in the fishing dept rather than craft dept.
Thank you for sharing. I for one will strive to do better in my DIY'ing, you have set the bar quite high!!!

author
SnazzyBot (author)rose_adamaj2014-02-23

Haha, thank you! I really hope you enjoy your new tools. Glad I could help! :D

author
chabias (author)2014-02-21

Some great tips here! I've been 'planning' to re-do my office/craft room for quite some time, but the "what to do first" question always stop me from starting at all. This gives me more ambition. Thanks!

author
SnazzyBot (author)chabias2014-02-23

You're welcome!

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UKTech (author)2014-02-21

So simple, I like them all, more please.

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SnazzyBot (author)UKTech2014-02-23

I'll see what I can do. :p

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loisfolino (author)2014-02-21

such a simple (but ingenious) idea to use the tackle box! The box that came with my Bernina for storing the various "feet" is over flowing. Feet everywhere. can't wait to get organized.

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SnazzyBot (author)loisfolino2014-02-23

They really do work great!

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mikeasaurus (author)2014-02-20

So many tiny things to keep organized; looks great!

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SnazzyBot (author)mikeasaurus2014-02-23

Thanks!

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DucttapeNinja (author)2014-02-20

Very clever! Thank you so much for sharing, there are so many people who can benefit from this.

author
SnazzyBot (author)DucttapeNinja2014-02-23

Thanks! I hope so; I know it's made my crafting a lot easier. :)

author
Cheese Queen (author)2014-02-20

ZOMG! I've used a magnet on my sewing machine forever as a pin cushion, but the idea of the bolt to make the pins stick out is genius!

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SnazzyBot (author)Cheese Queen2014-02-23

Thanks! :D

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Todd Gehris (author)2014-02-18

Love the pin cushion!

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SnazzyBot (author)Todd Gehris2014-02-20

Thanks, I do too! :p

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mole1 (author)2014-02-17

This is pure genius!! Love the bobbin holder and pin cushion especially. I'm going to do both.

author
SnazzyBot (author)mole12014-02-20

Thank you! I hope you love yours as much as I love mine!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am an artist and clothing designer with a passion for helping others bring their own creative dreams to life.
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