Welcome to the 8th Day of Last Minute Christmas Gifts! Since I’ve been sharing so many quick and easy tutorials for gift items, I thought today I would do something that takes a bit longer.. but is soooo worth it! It’s the Thread and Bobbin Holder that my dad made for me 🙂
Some of you who know me in real life know that my dad is very clever 🙂 Not only can he quilt, but he can pretty much make anything I ask him to 🙂
Years ago I asked him to make me a thread holder – not just to hold thread, but also the bobbins that go with the threads. I was doing a lot of applique at the time and wanted to keep the top and bottom threads the same color. I gave him a bit of an idea of what I wanted, and this is what he came up with:
It is made to sit on a bookshelf or table.. the back looks like this:
This thread and bobbin holder has been to Arabia and back.. but now lives in the garage of the kids’ unit. The last months in Arabia I was really missing it, so I had the bright idea to ask Dad to make me another one… and take pictures of the process to share with you…
Now if you are clever with wood and power tools, you can totally make one of these in a morning… and give it to a special friend for Christmas. Or wrap it up for yourself to put under the tree with… “To me, from Santa” written on it…
If you are like me and not clever with wood and power tools, go find someone in your life who is! Show them this tutorial and hint that there is still time before Christmas to make you one 🙂
What you need to make a Thread and Bobbin Holder:
1 24″ x 9 1/2″ piece of wood, 3/4″ thick (The guys at the hardware shop cut this to size for us.)
4 wooden rods (8ft long) to make the dowels that will fit into your bobbin. The ones we bought were approx 1/4″ round.
1 piece wood 6″ square, cut on the diagonal to make two triangles
4 countersink wood screws
(The holes in bobbins are different sizes, for example Mum’s Singer machine bobbins have a bigger hole in the middle than my Bernina ones. Bring a bobbin with you to the hardware shop to make sure it will fit easily over the dowel.)
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 1
Decide on the spacing of your threads on the board. My threads are ones I buy in Arabia, 100% Italian Cotton. I can’t buy them in Oz, but I think I have enough to last a lifetime. They are bigger than some other brands of threads, but smaller than the large size cottons. The number of threads that will fit on your board will depend on the size of your favorite thread…
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 2
Once you’ve worked out your spacing, you can start marking the wood. Measure how many rows of thread you want on the board:
Dad did 6 rows of 19 holes. There’s about 1 1/4″ between each hole.
The space between the 6 rows is wider so that you can easily grab hold of the thread. They are about 1 5/8″.
Really you can work out what spacing suits you and the threads you are using. Here is a view from the top – you can see the spacing, with more space between the 6 rows:
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 3
Start drilling holes! Dad used a 1/4“ drill. Set a stop on your drill so that it only goes 5/8″ deep:
It’s best to use a bench drill instead of a handheld for this step.
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 4
Plane the back edge of the board at 45 degrees:
And the front edges a little less wide.
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 5
Cut the dowels to your desired length. Mine are 3 1/4″ long because I like to have the bobbin under the same color thread.
It’s good to use a jigsaw which has a very fine blade. Dad cut two rods at the same time, sliding along a piece of wood as a guide rather than marking the dowels:
Once the dowels are cut to size, take the burs off of both ends using a belt sander:
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 6
Now it is time to work on the triangles that go behind the board to keep it at a 45 degree angle:
Take the two triangle pieces (the 6″ square piece of wood cut in half on the diagonal) and attach them to the back of the board by pre-drilling the holes and using countersink screws:
You can also use the belt grinder to remove any sharp edges:
DIY Thread and Bobbin Holder Step 7
Last step is to pop all the dowels in the holes, with or without a drop of wood glue, depending on whether you want to take the holder apart. Then you can start adding your bobbins and threads:
You can see that the dowel is even long enough to put two bobbins under the thread, which can be handy if you have different sewing machines:
So there you have it! A handy dandy thread and bobbin holder… and this one is my Christmas present 🙂
The first one Dad made was varnished, but we decided to leave this one natural…
It is now in bits, ready for me to put in my suitcase in a few weeks to take back to Arabia:
Do you think you can make one of these.. or do you know someone who can make one for you? I hope so!
PS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
Sign Up for My Newsletter!
Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get this stitchery pattern free!