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Floss Storage 
9th-Aug-2010 01:11 pm
I'm currently re-organizing my stash and have been thinking on how to organize my floss in a more user-friendly way. I have most of my floss in about 7 floss storage containers on cardboard bobbins, but it's all mucked up and not in any particular order after pulling out various colors for different projects. I have got floss everywhere and I am completely overwhelmed by it at this point.

So after nosying around the internet at different systems people use, the majority seem to favor the cardboard (or plastic) bobbin/storage container system but I'm just wondering about other ways.

I thought about using little baggies for each colour (e.g the floss-a-way bags) but I'm not sure how I would store them - space for all my craft stuff is at a premium as it is.  And the acidity and non-breathable bags worries me a bit.  There was an idea for using little card pockets but I'm not sure how that would be in the long run with acidity etc.

What appeals to me would be able to have the floss already cut into lengths, and then the remainder easily put back with the floss it came from, so that's why I'm thinking about little bags.  For this reason the stitchbow type organization doesn't appeal (although I'm not entirely sure how it works).

How do you store your floss?  If you use the bobbins system, do you organize by color number or color family?  Throw some ideas at me please! :D
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9th-Aug-2010 04:18 am (UTC)
That's a good idea! Those cardboard/plastic bobbins are surprisingly expensive (where I live anyway). I also have a huge pile of floss to sort out, lol.
9th-Aug-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
I use a gizmo storage unit out of the home improvement store, similar to this one. It really helps for storage and it's not all that large. Plus - I can store thousands of bobbins in there.
9th-Aug-2010 02:01 am (UTC)
I have those, too...except mine are all the small drawers. I have like five of them bolted to my wall underneath my bar. There are two colors of floss in each drawer, and I have labels with the color numbers stuck on the front of each drawer so that I know what's what.

It keeps everything nicely organized and keeps the cats out of my floss, and it makes it really easy to check my inventory at any given time when I need a certain color. Plus, it doesn't take up any space at all, since all the boxes are bolted to the wall! =)
9th-Aug-2010 02:05 am (UTC)
It really is super easy to check and, since I have so many drawers, I use the larger drawers as my "project" drawers - so when I have a project, I yank a drawer out, slide in a bunch of floss and then have it at my fingertips. But you could easily use the smaller drawers for that, too.

And I have mine bolted to the side of my worktable :D

Plus - around Christmas? Those things are dirt cheap.
9th-Aug-2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Great idea - I might have a look around and see if there's anything similar I can get here.
9th-Aug-2010 02:29 am (UTC)
I love my Floss-a-way bags. I have two large metal rings, one with DMC 0-999 and one with DMC 1000+, both in order by number. I have separate rings for my growing Dinky Dyes collection and other misc. I also have a separate ring for DMC variegated flosses. I love the bags because I can cut lengths and carefully coil them and put them back into the bag, along with any ends that are long enough to be worth keeping.

They all fit into the large bottom drawer of a stand-alone plastic drawer set (two large drawers on the bottom, 4 shallower drawers on top).

If I'm working on a project, I remove the bags for that project from my master collection, and keep them with the pattern and fabric while I'm working on it.
9th-Aug-2010 02:53 am (UTC)
This is how I organize mine too, and I love it. Each bag has a hole for the ring to go through, so while it isn't "breathable", it isn't airtight. I didn't choose to store mine this way.. as I inherited my floss stash, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
9th-Aug-2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Yep, that's the system I was thinking of. As I already have a huge number of floss bobbins, I might look at doing any new floss (and my huge pile of unorganized floss) in bags similar to the floss-a-way bags.
9th-Aug-2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
YES! Floss-a-way bags are the best. It's sometimes a pain in the ass when you finish a project and have to put the bags all back in numerical order, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
9th-Aug-2010 03:29 am (UTC)
I use bobbins in boxes, sorted numerically. It's a pain to put them all in numerical order, but I find it's easier to keep them that way than doing anything else.
9th-Aug-2010 04:24 am (UTC)
I might have to spend a fair bit of time sorting my bobbins out again - they were in numerical order but its all a bit of a shambles at the moment, lol.
9th-Aug-2010 05:31 am (UTC)
I organize mine this way, too. I have 3 boxes with bobbins, and the floss is in numerical order. I have a small rolled up kit that DMC makes (called a StitchBow Roll Art) where I can put floss on brackets and tie it up to bring with me when I take my project(s) on the road. They make a larger one that is about the size of a binder with handles and pages to put the StitchBow bobbins, too. I have both and they are very handy for organizing a particular project. Then, when the project is finished I roll the floss back on to cardstock bobbins and put them back in the boxes.
9th-Aug-2010 03:34 am (UTC)
I use the bobbins (plastic), in the plastic storage containers. I wind the floss onto the bobbin when I start a skein. I organize bobbins in the box by number, NOT colour. I have a DMC colour card organized by colour group that I use if I need to visualize colour, or else I pick out the colours that appeal to me and look at them individually. I have 3 boxes that hold all of my DMC thread.

I have many additional skeins as a result of left-over ones from projects, those inherited from family members, and a mass lot purchased from ebay. I have those sorted out by number (0-99, 100-199, 200-299, etc) and kept in a small zip-lock bag. In each bag I keep a slip of paper with an inventory of what's in that bag, like 5 x 361, 2 x 362, etc). All the small bags are together in a larger clear plastic bag.

I also keep an excel table which lists all the DMC colours and includes a count of what I have on bobbins (usually 1 or 0, unless I wound 2 skeins on bobbins by accident) and how many skeins I have.

When I work on a project, I take the bobbins for the colours I need out of the floss boxes and put them in a separate project box. I have one small one for small projects and a bigger one for big projects. For a major project where I expect to use A LOT of floss, like my baby blanket afghans, I will also find the skeins I have in those colours and stick those in my project box too. If using a blended needle, I will take a few cardboard bobbins and label them with the blended needle numbers and keep those with blended threads just for the duration of the project. Whenever I use up a bobbin I wind another skein on (if I have one - and I almost always do :) and note that I used 1 of whatever on the back of my project pattern. Then every couple of weeks I'll log into the computer and correct my inventory list, noting that I am down one skein of that colour.

I have A TON of floss and I have ZERO trouble keeping it organized this way. All of my cross-stitch supplies fit into one plastic tub, no problem. And because I keep the electronic inventory I can tell what I have in a snap.

Also: you said you would like lengths to be pre-cut. This would not work well in my system but I would find this a nuisance, since I cut different lengths of thread for different projects - short if working with metallics, longer if working with an even number and can do a loop start, longer still if doing a really low stitch count fabric like the afghan, etc.
9th-Aug-2010 04:28 am (UTC)
I also have a ton of floss, but unfortunately it is nowhere near as organised as you sound! The other problem is that I've collected other left-overs and mass lots as well, so I have several of each colour.

I think its sounding more and more like I will organise numerically (it was once upon a time but is now a shambles!) what's already in my floss boxes, but start using little bags for any new stuff and the other unorganised floss I have that's not already wound on to bobbins.

An electronic inventory sounds like another good plan. Thank you for your thoughtful response. :)
9th-Aug-2010 04:26 am (UTC)
I use baggies with a couple of holes punched at the bottom. I group them by project with metal rings that open and close to hold them together. I found the initial idea at Hobby Lobby, but I'm going to start punching holes in bags myself. The rings can be bought at any office supply store.

The system works great for me since I hate bobbins and dislike getting my partial threads all jumbled up even more. Especially when the shades are close. With the bags I can just pop a partial thread inside and move on.
9th-Aug-2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Yep I think I will try the bag system from now, it does sound like what I'm after. Thank you. :)
9th-Aug-2010 04:43 am (UTC)
I used to use bobbins, but I really like the DMC stitchbows. Of course, they are designed for DMC and Anchor. Anything else needs to be wound onto them, but it is nice to just stick the whole skein on and there is a place for the label to be slid on so you have the color number right there. They are more expensive, but if you like to be really organized with less fuss, they are really nice.
10th-Aug-2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Same here. I bought a ton of stitchbows and about eight binders and just take out the colors I need for each project and dump the whole kit in a pencil bag for travel and organization.
9th-Aug-2010 04:53 am (UTC)
If you want your threads cut to a certain length, I recommend the Lo Ran storage method: http://www.ethknits.co.uk/Lo-Ran/Lo_Ran_Needlecraft_Accessories.htm

I used to have my threads organized this way, and it was actually really convenient. You wind your thread around a card in the kit, slide it off and cut one end. Then you loop the fibers through a hole on the storage card and number it. Putting floss back worked the same way.

I used this method until I got all the DMC colors. At that point, there was just too much floss for the storage case. But I'm sure it would work better with a couple of cases; I was just too lazy to get another one. :)

Now I store all my DMC floss on plastic bobbins in numerical order in 4 clear plastic boxes. Specialty threads have their own baggies that I keep on a ring. It works for me! Good luck choosing your own method.
9th-Aug-2010 04:55 am (UTC)
Oops, I just realized that site is for the UK. I'm in the States and purchased the Lo Ran stuff at Hobby Lobby, so I'm sure you can get it anywhere. :)
10th-Aug-2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Or, if you want to do something like this but cheaper, you can get a pack of index cards and punch holes in them yourself. I think I remember doing this for a kit, where the floss was both supplied and pre-cut.
9th-Aug-2010 04:53 am (UTC)
I have mine on bobbins in the boxes with the little compartments. organized by number, but I also didn't stuff each compartment, so that I could easily add more in if needed.
9th-Aug-2010 08:45 am (UTC)
I use bags and love them. I have all sorts of lengths of floss and I just never liked the idea of the cardboard bobbins. I keep all of my floss on two giant rings and when working a project, I take the colors I'm using out and put them on smaller rings so it's not like I'm hauling around every bit of floss I own.
9th-Aug-2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
After being overwhelmed with grocery bags full of plastic zipper baggies, I first converted a sewing chest into a floss chest with little compartments divided into just the right size for plastic bobbins. Even made trays to utilize space. All bobbins filed by DMC number. I hate filing, by the way.

Problem was... I'm clumsy with fibromyalgia, I have two young cats, and a very large rabbit.

The second time the thing fell over in two months and spread HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of bobbins all over my living room floor, I broke down and cried.

Did I mention how much I HATE FILING!!

So now I'm trying the ArtBin Super Satchel Cube series http://art.artbin.com/super_satchel_series.asp#cube . It cost a bit to start, but JoAnn Fabric were selling them at half price, and so far, I really like them. I have one cube to start with the Slim Multiple Compartment boxes in it. Filled five of the boxes with floss, leaving one compartment free to "grow" into. Left one box for specialties and beads. And since the cubes are stackable, there's room to grow, if I want to add more space for fabric, etc. Right now, I have all that stuff in acid free drawer storage stackie thingies.

The best part? The boxes LOCK! No more spilling due to clumbsies, kitties, or bunny! I LOVE IT!
9th-Aug-2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
I use bobbins and plastic storage boxes for my DMC floss, and the bags for my WDW, GAST, and silk floss.

I also try to keep an updated list of my floss in a excel file on my computer. Yeah, I'm a geek.
9th-Aug-2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Floss boxes on bobbins, in numerical order; then I have a separate one I use for current projects that have a lot of colors. All my extras are sorted into baggies - 100s, 200s, 300s, etc.

Dealing with a baggie for each color would drive me insane. For me, the floss boxes are the most compact and neat way.

Edited at 2010-08-09 03:37 pm (UTC)
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