How to Build a Thread Spool Holder

Written by jane smith
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How to Build a Thread Spool Holder
Organise your thread. (thread image by studio vision 1 from

Organising craft and sewing supplies sometimes seems impossible. The cost of purchasing supplies you didn't need or running out of a hard-to-match thread colour in mid-project make it essential to have some way to keep everything within fingertip reach and in plain sight. Thread spool holders are easiest to see and use when they are slightly tilted and have plenty of room between spindles.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Wrap-around eye protection
  • Dust mask
  • 2 pieces framing lumber, 1-inch by 2-inch by 22-inch
  • Table saw with mitre fence
  • 2 foam core plywood sheets, 25mm (that is how it is sold) by 18-inch by 24-inch
  • Carpenters' glue
  • 192 dowel rods, 1/8-inch diameter, 6-inch long
  • 48 dowel rods 1/4-inch diameter, 6-inch long
  • Power drill, 1/8- and 1/4-inch diameter bits
  • 4 framing clamps, 30-inch long
  • 8 brass wood screws, 1/8-inch diameter, 3/4-inch long

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  1. 1

    Put on wraparound eye protection and a dust mask. Mitre the two pieces of 1-inch by 2-inch by 22-inch framing lumber to a 30-degree angle at each end. This will be the base of an A-frame.

    How to Build a Thread Spool Holder
    Always wear a mask when using a saw. (medical mask image by Gina Smith from
  2. 2

    Mitre each foam core plywood sheet along each of its 18-inch sides to a 30-degree angle. Use slow, even speed and do not force the foam core plywood across the saw table. The foam core pieces will be the front and back of the thread spool holder.

  3. 3

    Lay one 25mm foam core sheet flat with the mitred edge facing the table. Foam core plywood thickness is given in millimetres, because that is how it is sold.

  4. 4

    Place a yardstick across one of the 18-inch sides, 3/4-inch from the edge. Beginning 3/4-inch from the left corner, make marks every 1.5 inches until you reach a point 3/4-inch from the right corner.

  5. 5

    Move the yardstick 1.5 inches from the first row of marks and mark the next row. Keep moving the yardstick 1.5-inch and marking the points until you reach a point that is 3/4 inch from the lowest right corner closest to you.

  6. 6

    Use the power drill on low speed with a 1/16-inch diameter bit to drill holes at all the marked points. Stop the drill as soon as it passes through the first plywood layer and hits the foam core layer. You should have 192 holes in this sheet when you finish, each 1.5-inch apart.

  7. 7

    Repeat marking pilot holes for the other sheet of foam core plywood, beginning 1.5-inch from the top left corner and marking every 3 inches until you reach the lower right corner. You should have 48 holes on this sheet when you finish, each 3 inches apart.

  8. 8

    Fill each hole with carpenters' glue, as recommended by the Adhesive Choice Tool at This to That. Insert the 1/8-inch diameter dowel rods into the board that has the most holes. Repeat for the other foam core board. Allow all dowel rods to dry in place overnight.

  9. 9

    Have a helper hold the two foam core pieces so that two of the mitred faces are butted against one another while you fit the mitred stock wood supports flush with each side between them to form an A-frame. Dry-clamp the pieces along the 18-inch edge at the left and right, even with the supports. Dry-clamp between the bottom edge of the frame supports and the point where the mitred faces of the foam core are butted to each other.

  10. 10

    Check all mitred joints to ensure they are forming a 60-degree angle and that the mitred faces are completely flush. If they are not, remove the clamps and cut the mitres again.

  11. 11

    Remove the clamps once all mitred joints have been checked. Apply carpenters' glue to the mitred faces of the foam core plywood sheets and to the mitred faces of the side supports. Replace all clamps in their original positions. Keep frame clamped until glue dries overnight.

  12. 12

    Drill two 1/8-inch diameter pilot holes 1.5-inches apart through the foam core boards and into each frame side support. Secure with 2-inch long, 1/8-inch diameter screws.

  13. 13

    Place three regular thread spools on each spindle on the side with the most spindles. Place one cone spool on each spindle on the other side. You will be able to store up to 48 cone spools and 576 regular thread spools.

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