Tips And Tools Tuesday – Bye-Bye Bobbin Bird Nests!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how I love to reuse and repurpose things.

I have been blessed with several sewing machines.  Four Singers and a Brother. Each serves a different purpose. Each have tasks that they do well. Three, only do a straight stitch. Two can do a zig-zag and decorative stitches. Two have adjustments for presser foot pressure, great for making rope bowls, or sewing on thick, difficult materials. No one machine does it all. And, only two of them use the same type of bobbin.

This is what I’ve kept bobbins in for 40 years.

One holds 21 bobbins and the other holds 25.     Holds.       I use that term loosely, because that’s how these cases hold them.      Loosely.

Oh, they keep the bobbins contained in one place, for sure.  But they are free to bounce around, and unwind, and create a tangled thread mess. A “bird’s nest”, if you will. Okay, “bird’s nest” might be hyperbole, but, it’s still irritating.

Plus, now that I have five machines, and need four different bobbins for them,  these cases had to retire.

So, I looked for bobbin cases. I really did. I would need 3 or four of them to hold all of the bobbins I have, and it would cost me $20 to $30 US. I saw some ideas on how to tame those bobbin threads, too, but most of them covered or clamped around the bobbin, hiding the thread color.

Between four of my machines, I have 70 threaded bobbins. I still need to get bobbins for my Two-fold Treasure, Grandma’s Singer 99.

The bobbin cases I found online and in stores hold 25 to 30 bobbins and cost about $7 to $10 dollars US.  So, I decided to try and make one myself.

I already had this handy storage case (About $10 US), foam rubber from a pillow I never use, and an electric carving knife. Perfect!

This container has dividers that I can insert to make compartments of various sizes. I decided to use all of the dividers to keep the compartments small.

I measured the compartments, drew a grid, and carved away!

I measured the length and width of the compartments. 2 1/4″ wide by 2 3/4″ long. The first pieces of foam rubber I cut were 2″ x 2 1/4″, thinking that that would allow room for the bobbins.  Nope. Too much room. Didn’t keep the bobbins secure.

The next ones I cut were 2 1/4″ x 2 5/8″. Perfect!

I cut some grooves horizontally in the first foam rubber section.

This did not hold the bobbins as snuggly as I’d hoped, and it was more difficult to remove them.

So then, I cut two grooves vertically. Yep, that was just right.

The vertical grooves hold the bobbins from the sides, and they’re easy to remove. With my thumb and forefinger, I just press down the foam on either side of the bobbin I need and lift it out.

I labeled each section with the model of sewing machine that matches those bobbins.

This storage case will hold 112 bobbins, and I can see the colors clearly.  They are all in one container so I can easily find them.

My spools of thread and bobbins are now organized. They stay clean and tangle free!

I’m loving this!

I hope this idea helps you to keep those bobbins under control.

Today is a good day to reuse or repurpose.


Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how you solved your bobbin dilemma.

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