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storing pearl cotton

Pearl Cotton Storage


Whether you spell it "pearl" or "perle", this cotton thread is nice to work with when embroidering and crafting. It comes in lots of colors and even different weights, so you have plenty of options. Usually I stick with six-strand floss, but from time to time I go for the pearl. The thing is, I might be more inclined to use this thread if it weren't so tangly. Because here's the deal...it can go from skein to snarl in no time!

Pearl Cotton Storage
Pearl Cotton Storage

When you start a skein of pearl cotton, you untwist it, giving you a large loop. Traditional instructions tell you to snip through the whole thing in one spot of the loop, cutting the entire thing into pieces all at once. This would be fine if that's how you want to use it, but what if you want to keep your length options open?

To store mine, I fold the giant loop in half, then tie a loose knot to hold it. But even knotted, it's only a matter of time before it gets messy. And it seems that when you go to use it, as you pull off some thread, the whole thing knots and twists and you have skeins that look like this. (These are courtesy of my sister who borrowed my supplies!)

But then...a eureka moment! While working on projects for this week, I had my supplies out, and found a new storage solution!

Pearl Cotton Storage

Here's what you need:

Pearl cotton
Jumbo craft sticks (tongue depressor size!)
A binder ring
A Crop-a-Dile (My Crop-A-Dile punch remains one of my most favorite tools. It wasn't cheap, but I've used it so much that I've more than gotten my money's worth.)

Use the Crop-A-Dile to punch a 3/16-inch hole in each end of the craft sticks. If you don't have a Crop-A-Dile, you could get someone with a drill press to drill holes in a big stack of craft sticks, or you can skip this step for an alternate version.

Pearl Cotton Storage

Hold one end of the pearl cotton along the center of the craft stick, then start wrapping.

One downside to wrapping on something flat is that you will get kinks in the thread over time. To help stop that from happening, you could wrap some thin batting on the stick first, then wrap the pearl around it. I'm not overly concerned about it though.

Pearl Cotton Storage

When it's all wrapped evenly, tuck the loose end through one of the holes in the craft stick. If you are making yours without holes, secure the end by tucking it under some wrapped threads or using a small piece of tape (washi, anyone?)

Pearl Cotton Storage
Pearl Cotton Storage

Hang all of your wrapped thread on a binder ring and you've got tangle-free pearl cotton that's organized and even travel-friendly! (Not to mention so pretty and delicious, I could eat it all up!

Pearl Cotton Storage
Pearl Cotton Storage

I'm becoming convinced that a huge reason that I love embroidery as much as I do is that it gives me a good reason to look through gorgeous colors and touch them all and move them around and take pretty pictures as I do so. And I'm entirely okay with that! Especially now that I'm not constantly frustrated by this smooth and saturated supply!

Pearl Cotton Storage

38 comments:

  1. Looks absolutely yummy! Great solution!

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  2. This is a great idea! My perle cotton comes in balls! I think I use it more than six-strand floss because it doesn't tangle since it's a ball and not a skein. It's funny how the storage method and easy of use determines which supply I turn to first!

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  3. Molly you are brilliant! This is such a good idea. :-)

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  4. What a clever innovation! And those threads are such lovely colours.

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  5. Great idea! I spent the weekend organizing all of my threads. They become a HUGE mess in no time!

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  6. Your rolled up thread looks so neat! I usually do something similar, only less great looking. I take a piece of paper, fold it together to make it more sturdy and wrap my thread around. That's how my grandmum used to do it and my mum after her and she showed me how to store my thread when I was a little girl, so that's how I do it to... :)

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  7. Great idea!!! I am embarrassed by how messy my threads are. Thanks for inspiring me to organize them! ;) xo Heather

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  8. Craft sticks and a binder ring! This is so brilliant!!

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  9. Mollie,

    You are so smart! I know how quickly this stuff tangles due to a couple of cats and the fact that the perle cotton sometimes comes in balls. This is the best idea ever! I must try this!

    Maureen

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  10. What a fabulous idea! Think I'll have to take a trip to Michaels this week to buy a couplke packs of sticks - looks like I'll be busy this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. This is a fantastic idea - thanks for the detailed pics. I'm sooo with you on the crop-a-dile. Years ago, I was pounding eyelets the old fashioned way when my husband and I were watching an awards show together. He asked when I was going to be done, and I said, well, there's this tool... And before I could even finish, he said, get it! I love both versions!

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  12. Great idea!
    http://bycrina.blogspot.com.es

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  13. This is a really creative idea. Thanks! I will definitely be sharing this on my studio organizing blog soon.

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  14. Cracking idea ! love this idea, must try it and pass your link on too : )

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  15. Was looking at mine yesterday and wondering. THIS is a GREAT idea!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. awesome idea! I love how you put them on a key ring

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  17. Makes great swatches in the meantime.
    I have that Crop-a-dial!
    http://www.secondstoryloft.com/

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  18. I love this idea and I must do it, because all my perle cotton is in a giant tangle in a box.

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  19. What a great idea!

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  20. this is a wonderful idea.....gotta try this as I have the same problem and this takes up less room than winding on a spool...thank you.
    vivian
    ps: I think my SO has some of those sticks in his workshop...teeheehee

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  21. Thank you for sharing such a brilliant idea!! I just love your blog and all of your cute stitching! Keep up the great work!

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  22. Decorative and practical.

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  23. Great idea. I have medici wool thread and could never figure out what to do with it. This would be a solution for that thread also. I would probably just store mine in a box rather than on a ring, so punching a hole is not necessary for me.
    Thanks
    Sue

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  24. Anonymous12:36 PM

    That is so smart!

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  25. A very neat way to store your threads!

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  26. Christine F6:26 PM

    I love it. Decorating my craft room with them also. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. I have seen a LOT of ways to store floss and threads and THIS one is THE BEST! I have also started using this way for my short ends of ribbons for my paper crafting and scrapbooking etc. It just makes perfect sense! THANK YOU!

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  29. Lylianne2:38 AM

    Great and practical idea. The best I never seen.
    Many thanks

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  30. Una muy buena idea, pero donde comprais los palitos?
    Gracias por vuestra ayuda
    Begoñ@

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    Replies
    1. Large craft stores usually have them in the wood crafts section, or you can search online: "buy tongue depressors" or "buy jumbo craft sticks". I hope that helps!

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  31. Muchas gracias, claro que me ayuda, voy a buscar
    Begoñ@

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  32. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I would tape the label on the stick so you know what color and dye lot

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    Replies
    1. Great idea! I rarely label mine, because I don't get too particular about specific color numbers, but sometimes I regret that. Thanks!

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  33. This is something very creative. I really like it. Thank you so much.

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