Large Thread Spool Holder on the Cheap




While shopping for thread my wife came across large cone shape spools of thread on sale for half off. The price was to good to pass up and it was very high quality thread as well. We asked one of the workers at the store if that particular spool would work on a standard brother sewing machine (Brother Project Runway Addition).  She informed us that it would work for sure.

Of course we get home and it is entirely to large.  I did some digging and found spool stands, which seamed to be the solution to this particular problem.  Much like this one.  However I did not see the point in buying one when they seemed to be such a simple design. I figured I would simply make one instead.

This instuctable is amazingly simple and took me all of 15 min  to make and cost a total of $.80 to make.  Its mostly made of pieces I already had but which would be very cheap to acquire. Enjoy.

Step 1: Parts List

Dowel Rod- 3/8" Poplar
8 Gauge wire
Block of wood
Thread of course.

Drill Bits- 3/8" and other sizes

I had the block of wood already. It is basswood- I use it for carving and I happen to have this scrap piece with several knots readily available. Any thick piece of wood will suffice.

I used 8 gauge wire which I already had. I suppose a thicker gauge would work and a a couple sizes liter might too- but 8 gauge seems sufficient. It runs about $.80 a foot at most box home improvement stores.

Any glue will do titbond is not necessary- I just really like it. You could use super glue, wood glue, even Elmer's might work.

Step 2: Step 1- Drill Some Holes

Step 1-  Drill some holes

Start by taking a drill bit that is slightly larger than the 8 gauge wire and drilling a hole in one end of the dowel rod.

Then take your saw and cut the dowel rod into two sections.  The end with the hole should be about 20" tall or more. Really it depends on your sewing machine, I was guessing when I cut mine.  The other end should be two inches or so taller than the spool you intend to use.

Now take your 3/8" bit and drill two holes in your block of wood.  Mind the height of your wood. Mine was about 1.5" so I had plenty of room to drill into.  You want at least 1/4" depth in your hole.  Drill as straight as possible- a drill press would insure this, but we aren't building a rocket or a coffee table are we. I staggered my holes. The the hole for the spool I centered and the hole for the feed hook I put in one of the corners.

**Optional-- If you plan on painting yours now would be a good time to sand the wood and put a layer of paint on.  When the dowels are in place this will become increasingly difficult.

Step 3: Step 2- Wire and Glue

Step 2- Wire and Glue

Next I ran the wire through the small hole on the long dowel. I used needle nose pliers to wrap it as tight as I could and create a hook on one end.  When I was happy with the shape I gave the bundled wire a good squeeze with the pliers. I know it isn't the most beautiful thing in the world but I was going for function rather than form.

Next put a small portion of glue in each hole and firmly push the dowel rod into each hole. They should be snug and require some force. Glue may spill out over the top- simply wipe clean.

That is pretty much it.  Wait for the glue to dry before use and you should be good. When I got it home I realized the dowel I used for the spool was too long and was going to interfere with the thread coming off the spool clean. I shortened it up and solved the problem.

Step 4: Options and Pictures

I had thought of painting or staining the base, however this seemed unnecessary as this device was purely for a utilitarian purpose. Also I figure my wife could spruce it up if she where so inclined. 

Some additional options for this project are a second hook and an additional spot for a spool.  I understand some machines, quilting machines among them, can feed more than one thread at a time. This project would most certainly be useful then. Please discuss further options, improvements, advancements, etc... in the comment section.  Most importantly please enjoy and keep creating.

**A side note the pictures of my wife's fun little projects where added because of the up coming holiday. Happy fluffy bunny day to all!!



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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I have found that it will cause problems with the tension while you're sewing. I had to hold the thread from the large spool between my fingers to create enough tension to make a nice stitch.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I used an old bent aluminium arrow, piece of wood, scotch tape, and a screw in eyelet. My singer simple is supposed to fit the larger spools, but it does not do so well. Thanks.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of copper wire you could use a small screw eye for the feed hook (thread guide).


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I will have to make one of these when I get my sewing room done. Thanks for sharing and do have a splendorous day!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Ingenious!!! I have many spools like that and I just bought a Singer machine and I cannot use that thread.
    Thanks so much for shring this, you just helped me fix my problem, I have all the things needed, this is so simple it is hard. lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was cleaning my machine last night and the spool holder snapped off. It is just a cheap piece of plastic and I can't see anyway to fix it. I got online right away to find a cheap machine on ebay or craigslist because I am in the middle of a quilt for my niece. Somehow I got on this sight and found your spool holder and was thrilled with your holder. I will have my brother make it for me right away. Thanks for making my day.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you liked it. I hope it works well for you. My wife uses it when she made the Halloween costumes!

    Phil B

    7 years ago on Introduction

    It appears your wife's sewing machine is on a table and you may put it away when not in use. That would mean you probably need to remove the thread from the machine when putting it away, and rethread the machine when you want to use it again. I know my wife would never go along with that arrangement. I would suggest you could possibly cut a piece of 3/8 inch plywood to go under the sewing machine. Make it big enough that it extends beyond the back corner of the sewing machine and mount your thread on it with its dowel arm. Add some handles to the plywood on both sides of the plywood. Then you pick up the plywood and the thread holder comes with it in one unit. It is just an idea.

    1 reply
    gillesegPhil B

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    We currently live in an apartment and when we move into a place more permanent I plan on making her a crafting table with a place for her sewing machine. This was a temporary fix and a cheap copy of others I had seen. Clever idea though. I will run it by her.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    My Brother XL2600 budget machine has the spool holder that is a post in a hole on top of the machine. It is oriented vertically so I just cut out a piece of cardboard for the spool base and taped on a popsicle stick to extend the peg. It is a pain to put away even with that footswitch powercord so I think an external spool holder would have made things not fun to use.