Cotton reel holder

As promised, I am going to share a couple of tutorials this weekend for storage solutions that I featured in my Crafty workspace post.

This first tutorial shows you how to make a cotton reel holder. This really is a great solution to the problem of having a million and one cotton reels and never being able to find the colour you need. It also takes up no desk space, which is important when sewing as you need as much space as possible.

You will need:

1. Baton of wood (I bought mine from B&Q and it was pre-painted). Length: 180cm, Height: 4.5cm, Depth: 1.5cm. The baton I bought is actually meant for skirting board so it has a curved edge, which looks nice.

2. Dowling. Length: 320cm, Diameter: 6mm

3. Paint and brush

4. Drill, eight screws and wall-plugs, spirit level, pencil

5. Hacksaw and sandpaper.

Cotton reel holder

1. Saw your baton into four equal lenths of 45cm and sand off the edges.

Cotton reel holder

2. Use the hacksaw to chop the dowling into 10cm lengths. You need 32 of these. Use the sandpaper to soften the edges.

Cotton reel holder

3. Drill eight holes across each baton, an equal distance apart. Try to drill the holes at a slight angle so the dowling points up rather than horizontally.

Cotton reel holder

4. Use a spirit level and pencil to mark where to screw each baton onto the wall. Drill in two screws, one at each end of the batons.

Cotton reel holder

5. Screw in all four of your batons and then paint the dowling and the ends of the batons.

Cotton reel holder


Cotton reel holder

Cotton reel holder

I have found that one of things that will stop me sewing is not having direct access to the tools needed as it is quite a fiddly process. This reel holder makes it simple and I keep the bobbins in one of the jars.

Tomorrow, I will show you how to make a magnetic board from a baking sheet, fabric and a bit of glue. If you have any crafty storage solutions please do let me know; either leave a comment or email me a photo katy@ x




  1. Sophie
    27th April 2013 / 10:21 am

    What a good idea. Why haven’t I thought of this? Thanks for the step-by-step directions too.

    • katy
      27th April 2013 / 10:24 am

      I’ve seen this sort of idea quite a few times but I’ve never been able to find anywhere to buy it. That’s why I made my own and thought it might be useful for others too x

  2. 30th April 2013 / 9:07 am

    I love this idea, it’s such a good way of instantly adding some colour to your craft space! 🙂

    • katy
      30th April 2013 / 12:47 pm

      Thanks, Leanne. I like it so much because the older reels belonged to my grandmother, that she gave to me years and years ago. I just like the way they look! x

  3. Phil Moriarty
    7th January 2014 / 7:49 pm

    Hi Katy
    Love your work its wicked especially the cotton reel holder.
    My husband made me a similar one but like you I have hundreds of cottons, Anyway I found a great web site called The Makerey and they sell smaller holders for £16 which hold 20 reels.
    These are perfect for anyone who hasnt got a handy man.
    Pass this on to your followers

    regards Phil

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