Saturday, October 13, 2018

Organising DMC Threads

This post is all about organising DMC threads   - It might appear that I am a bit OCD from this - I don't think I am all that OCD, but perhaps in some areas I am . .  .you can be the judge!
If you are not into probably don't need to read on!!
And if you do - take a deep breath.  or grab a cuppa!

Joy from Days filled with Joy - is doing some blog posts about how she organises sewing things - in particular she did one on organising DMC threads.... we have exchanged several emails about this and other organising tips and I told her I would do a blog post about me & my threads.... 
(I must confess to owing some of each of the DMC 6 stranded threads - many years ago my bestie friend and I collaborated and to complete our sets we bought threads and gave half of some of them to the other...blah blah...hopefully you get that idea....)

We then spent a few lunchtimes (we worked together back then) sorting colours into colour groups and naming each group - there were several on line resources we used and took some poetic licence on some colour names...

MIne all got wrapped onto the cardboard bobbins that you can buy...not sure I even knew of the plastic ones then....and the numbers were written on - I elected to put mine in plastic boxes and I lay them horizontally so I can see the colour better.  So I need to write the number on the tab as well as on the larger area.... as shown below:

(I do sometimes do cross stitch or need a specific colour but more often than not I just need a colour and I like to see all the pinks together - and DMC have not done a good job on their numbering...LOL)

Then I created an Excel spreadsheet to list all the numbers by colour group....(mmm getting very OCD now??)
So, what I do is print the spreadsheet and trim it to the size of the lid of the box.  

That sits in the lid.

I printed a page for each box to show what colours are in each box.

Inside the box - I have a square of cardboard with the colour group name, then each bobbin for that group, then the next colour group name etc - to match the list in the lid.

So - how do I find a colour by number?? usually I can scroll down the list if I know what sort of colour - or if I am desperate - I open the spreadsheet file and search for the number - it will then tell me the colour group and I can find it easily enough.

Now - to make it even more OCD - when I remove threads for a project - I have cardboard squares cut to size and I write the colour number and what project the thread is for....then  if I really need it for something else I can (usually) find it.

This is my pink/purple box - there are a lot of threads can also see bits of sponge that I have cut to help fill in the gaps so that the threads stay upright - that is not a fool proof system...but the best I could think of . . .

If you would like the Excel spreadsheet - I am more than happy to share it - include your email address in your comment (unless you are a regular commenter and I know your email address already). 
I can't guarantee its totally accurate and it doesn't include the latest lot of new colours (numbered up to 55), but if you wanted to do something similar to me it will save you some time.  I don't still have the document I used to print the colour group names.

Yep - OK - over the top - but it works for me.


  1. Oh, awesome! Thanks so much for doing this post! I just love your system :) xx

  2. Mmmmm.....not sure what to say done maybe....

  3. wonderful.... and well organised…. I think its always what works best for you in these systems....

  4. Hmmm!!! can't say my threads are at all organised but well done with yours......

  5. I don't think it's over the top at all! My personality organizes things by color, and this makes a lot more sense to me than doing it by number. I have two boxes a XS-er gave me when she quit, and lots more colors that could be put in there. I use them for Crazy Quilting, and with CQ number is meaningless! This would be great, and I'd love the spreadsheet. Thanks for offering it. dezertsuz at gmail dot com

  6. Oh my Susan that's amazing so neat

  7. I LoVe it... might have to do something similar...
    Thanks for sharing... xox

  8. It looks like a good system Susan....I like the way you pop a note in to tell you what and where the thread is - that's my problem; I start a good system then take theings out to use and it all falls to custard from thereonin!!

  9. this is how I organise my threads too. It doesn't make sense to me to do it in numerical order. I think it only would if you only ever did cross stitch or embroidery projects from a pattern and stuck with the original colours.

  10. I just started cross stitching and have OCD about storing my threads. I'm so happy to have found your amazingly detailed method! Do you mind emailing me the spreadsheet? I would be so honored to use your creative project for storage. Thanks and keep up the great work!


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