My projects,  Other crafts,  Paper crafts,  Tutorials

Cardboard spools for sewing organization

I used to store my lace in a big glass jar but after I started making lingerie the amount of different lace and other lingerie materials has multiplied. It has become hard to find the materials I need without spreading the whole mess of materials on the floor and that is well… just messy. I decided to arrange everything so that I could easily see the lace and the elastics I need and find the right things for my future projects. So, I made cardboard spools to wrap everything neatly. Then I got into laser cutting and decoupage… Well, all in all, there was a way too much time and energy spend on this but I had fun doing it and that’s what’s important!

Lace spools

I have wide lace for bras and panties and narrow lace for edging. Thus, I needed three different sizes of spools. I first cut spool shapes out of cardstock.

Cutting out the spool shapes.

Then I glued them onto pretty pieces of patterned scrapbooking cardstock.

After wrapping all the lace I had around these cardboard spools I was surprised on the amount I had – although some spools only hold a metre or so.

I arranged a cardboard box to store all the narrow lace:

All the narrow lace wrapped and stored in this box.

The wider lace needed bigger spools. These are 21 cm in height and about 15 in width (the size of an A5 paper). All the paler colours are here:

The paler colours of lace.

And here are the darker ones:

My darker shades of lace wrapped neatly around the new spools.

Aren’t they pretty! I am finding it hard to decide which I am going to use next. I might go for either one of the blues or then choose the slightly narrower champagne coloured lace.

Lingerie elastic spools

In addition of lace I had all these elastics and other materials for bra making:

My mess of lingerie elastics.

I couldn’t use the same method with the elastics that are thicker. They needed something sturdier. I ended up buying some thicker cardboard for this. I wasn’t able to cut it properly with scissors so I went and used the laser cutter of the local library. (Yes, I know this is all too much effort for merely organizing your elastics but well… I got the idea and ran with it!)

Here are the settings that I used to remind me in the future and for anyone else planning to use the same machine:

The laser cutter settings.

After this, I had 36 slightly singed cardboard spools. I wiped most of the soot of and then decided to make them a little prettier. I bought decoupage gloss and paper napkins.

Decoupage with paper napkins

Materials for decoupage.

What I did was to separate the outermost printed layer of the paper napkins which I then cut into the shape. Then I laid it onto the cardboard spool and started spreading decoupage gloss with a paintbrush moving from the centre towards the edges. After one side was dry I did the other one.

I trimmed any extra napkin from the sides, did a little bit of sanding to smooth the edges out and finished with another coat of decoupage gloss. This is what I finally ended up with:

All the cardboard spools are ready.
The finished decoupaged cardboard spools.

Then it was just a matter of wrapping all the elastics around the spools:

Wrapped picot elastic.

I thought that the little slit would be useful to hold the ends of the elastics. Finally, I think it is a bit too wide to grab the end properly so I mostly used pins or just hid the end under the wraps. Here are all of them:

Everything fits neatly into this box.

Of, course the cardboard box looks ugly, so I decided to do something for it:

Cardboard spools in my decoupaged box.

Much better! Now I can easily see all the colours I have and just pick the right one for my project!

I hope you enjoyed this post. How do you arrange all your ribbons, elastics and lace? Or are you one of those people who only buy materials for a specific project in mind?

Thank you for reading and happy sewing (and crafting)!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: