Top Tip: An easy way to store your sewing machine needles!

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

So having dealt with the issue of storing my hand sewing needles with my origami needle wrap (free pdf pattern here) my attention turned to my machine needles. Up until now I’ve had them stored in one of the drawers of my Ikea Moppe mini drawer unit. I think every craft space must have one of those right?

In any case, that storage method was certainly adequate. But for some reason it bugged me that I had to rummage around to find the needle pack I needed and couldn’t see at a glance when I was running low. So I’d occasionally go in search of a particular type of needle only to find I’d run out of that size/type. Not a massive issue as other needles will always do the job at a push. But I find my machine produces a better stitch when it has the right needle for the right job…An easy way to store sewing machine needles

I had just restocked all my machine needles. So it seemed a good time to sort out an improved storage solution for them. As it happened, I’d been on a bit of a purge/sort out mission all week. Among the things I’d  donated  to the charity shop was an old organiser/ring binder; (like a cheap filofax thing) but I’d kept back the plastic inserts above. They had multiple sections for business/credit cards and it occurred to me they were the perfect size  for machine needle packs!

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

So I simply cut them into separate pieces…

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

Hole punched each corner…

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

Then whacked in a split ring with a lobster clasp connected.

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

So every needle pack now has it’s own little see through pouch. So I can find the one I need quickly and easily and see at a glance if I’m running low etc…

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

And the whole thing hangs right next to where I sit at the sewing machine for easy access and makes the little organisational addict in me smile inside, lol!

An easy way to store sewing machine needles

There!! Much better than having them bundled in a drawer or strewn across my worktop!

How do you store yours? Any other nifty storage tricks you use in your sewing space?

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28 Comments

  1. Alissa May 27, 2016

    Clever tip! I store my sewing machine needles, thread, and bobbins in a repurposed 5 gallon ice cream container with handle. Sadly, I’ve not seen it for weeks – ha!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie May 27, 2016

      Alissa ha ha!

      Reply
  2. Rebecca M May 27, 2016

    I have the obligatory Moppe drawers which is where my machine needles live but I store them in the little tins that peppermints come in. I can’t resist a pretty tin so justify my habit by repurposing them in my sewing drawers! My current favourites are peppermint fish from Tiger. The tins are so cute!

    Reply
  3. Anne May 27, 2016

    That is so smart! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this afternoon that features your tip: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=88138 –Anne

    Reply
  4. Anya May 27, 2016

    This is genius! I am going to utilize this tip. My machine needles are currently stored in a little clear plastic box, which keeps them tidy on the outside, but on the inside… it’s all hell broken loose! I have to rummage through the box to find the right needles.

    Reply
  5. Lisa May 27, 2016

    But how do you remember which needle is in which machine? (yes, I am using more than one at time:) I switch needle types and sizes often and can barely see the handy color stripe on them never mind trying to read the size. Help!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie May 27, 2016

      So….yes I often do that too! I try and leave the packet for the needle I’m using next to the machine. Or, you know that secret compartment most sewing machines have? When you slide off the flatbed to do cuffs? Theres usually a little compartment that your lint brush/screwdriver etc came in when you bought the machine. Pop the needke packet in there! So you then know that needle packet relates to the needle in that machine. If that makes sense??

      Reply
      • Lisa May 27, 2016

        Brilliant! Many thanks!

        Reply
      • Jayne Johnson June 1, 2016

        I have a piece of masking tape on the front of my sewing machine, I make a note of whatever needle is in the machine (U12 for universal size 12 etc). When there’s no room left on the tape I just whip it off and replace it (it comes off easily & doesn’t leave any residue)

        Reply
        • Portia Lawrie June 1, 2016

          Oooh I like!!!

          Reply
    • Marion Rodgers June 19, 2016

      I painted an old needle with bright coloured nail polish then when I take a new needle from the case, I pop the coloured one in its place so I always know what size needle I am using.

      Reply
      • Portia Lawrie June 26, 2016

        Oooh I like that!!! Thanks for sharing!!

        Reply
  6. Nicky B May 27, 2016

    What a fantastic idea, mine are scattered untidily In a drawer so I think I’ll have to try that

    Reply
  7. Lisa G. May 28, 2016

    I have mine in little plastic sandwich baggies, which are labelled as to the size: 9 11, 14,16. I have to sheepishly admit that I only just found out there is more to needle differences than just a number! But my biggest problem is my eyes. I wear contacts, and I’m sixty and can’t look at anything in small print or close up anymore. With my magnifiers AND a magnifying glass, I can still barely read the tiny number if one gets loose. I want to start a notebook with details of my sewing projects, and maybe then I can write down the needle I’m using so I don’t forget.

    Reply
    • marijka July 2, 2016

      A friend’s solution might help you out — she labeled each segment of a new tomato pin cushion with 10/12/14/16/etc. (universal needles) and another pincushion with K8/K10/D16/etc. (for knit/denim/whateer). At the end of each sewing session, she removes the needle from her machine and stabs it into the appropriate section. Since she arrives to a needle-less machine every time, she never has to wonder what’s being used or try to see the itty bitty number! If the pincushion segment is empty, she knows she tossed a bad needle and is ready to pull a new one from its package.

      Reply
      • Portia Lawrie July 3, 2016

        Nice!

        Reply
  8. Adele K. May 28, 2016

    Love this idea, going to do this. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Lenoria Kelly May 28, 2016

    I wish I still sewed enough to worry about this problem! I only sew occasionally now but I just wanted to pass on a tip to anyone who does not have the business card holders already available – you can take a heavy duty sleeve protector for a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and sew pockets in the size you need and then just cut them apart as you did.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie May 30, 2016

      Great idea Lenoria! Thanks for sharing! Px

      Reply
  10. Toria May 28, 2016

    Oh I need to do this! Mine are just chucked in the storage bit on my sewing machine’s case but it would be far better to have them to hand. Maybe I’d stop buying ones I already have!

    Reply
  11. Lynette Nock May 31, 2016

    Thank you for sharing, such a neat idea,and so good to be organized!

    Reply
  12. Marlyn June 6, 2016

    My machine needles are stored in a little plastic tray inside a drawer in my sewing machine cabinet. Like sizes/types are rubber banded together. All the Universal, Jeans, Stretch, Ball and Twin Needles are on one side of the tray. The other side holds Topstitch (used most often), Microtex, Embroidery and Quilting needles. I like that Superior needles have a different color case for different sizes. I can tell at a glance which bundle to take out.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie June 9, 2016

      The different colour case for needle types is SUCH a good idea. Never heard of Superior needles. How do they compare to Schmetz/Klasse etc??

      Reply
      • Marlyn June 9, 2016

        Superior needles sold by Superior Threads in St. George, Utah, USA. The needles originally come from Organ. Superior sells all the sizes of Topstitch needles available. I could only get Schmetz Topstitch in a size 90/14 at the local fabric store. All the Superior needles are coated with Titanium, so stay sharp longer. They say 8 times longer than uncoated needles. I take a pack out of the bundle, remove a needle and keep the pack on the right side of my machine. Then when I sit down to sew the next time, all I have to do to know what size needle is in the machine, is to glance at that pack. It works for me.

        Reply
        • Portia Lawrie June 10, 2016

          That’s pretty much what I do Marlyn! Except I put my pack in my pin dish 🙂 Thanks for the info on the needles!!

          Reply
  13. marijka July 2, 2016

    I buy machine needles in bulk or on sale, so I always have several packs of each type on hand. I separate the packs into Altoids tins by type (universal, knit, denim, leather, titanium, etc.) and label the long side with a Sharpie marker. They store on-edge perfectly in my multi-drawer unit, alongside tins for snaps, hooks/eyes, thimbles, needle threaders, etc., etc. I can see all my needles and tiny notions in a glance, and it’s obvious when I’m running low on anything.

    Reply
  14. Cindy S May 12, 2017

    I wear braces and I’ve found the containers the wax comes in are the perfect size to store the needles. You could label the outside of them with permanent marker. I buy Organ needles in bulk so I just slip the paper they come in so the size is visible through the see-through case. The cases are lined up in order of size in a drawer section.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie July 4, 2017

      Nice!

      Reply

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