Easy, Inexpensive thread identifying system

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I have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of Connecting Threads thread. It comes in many colors, is inexpensive (even more so when they run sales which they frequently do) and the quality is fantastic.
The problem is that as I acquire more of their thread in more colors, I needed an easy way to identify the color so that I would know what I had, and what I needed.

Connecting Threads thread is identifiable only by the outer plastic wrap. Once you remove that to use the thread there is no way to identify it. image

Some of the colors are obvious, like black, white, red. Then you get into colors like Calypso and Cerulean and it gets a little harder to remember which is which. Looking online was no help as the colors don’t look exactly the same in person VS. what’s on the screen.

I had the same trouble with my Kona cotton fabrics. You can buy a Kona swatch card, but it’s $20! I don’t need to see ALL the colors which the swatch book has, so I made my own using the Kona fabric I already have in my stash.

It not only helps me plan projects without dragging out all my fabric, it also helps me keep track of what colors I have. I definitely see the usefulness of a swatch book showing the full line. If it was less expensive I would probably even order one. For $20 I would rather spend that money on more fabric.

I decided to use a similar swatch method for my thread that I used for my Kona cotton since I still had some leftover supplies from my Kona swatch identifier project.

What I used was a set of embroidery thread bobbins. I prefer the plastic ones, but I had a bunch of the cardboard ones that came with an embroidery floss case. I also had a leftover embroidery thread bobbin ring. You can find a set with the bobbins and rings at most craft stores. I got mine at Michaels with a coupon. I don’t remember what I paid, but I think it was under $3.

A quick Google search turned up many free embroidery floss bobbin patterns online. I find having the ring to put them on convenient, but you could always make your own thread bobbins and put them on a piece of yarn or ribbon to make this project even less expensive.

I wound some of  the thread around each card, dabbed it with plain white glue front and back, and wrote the color on the card.  I’m not a tidy writer, and I also like them separated, but you could probably do several thread colors on one card.


I let them dry overnight, and then put them on the ring. I love that I can pull it out before I place a thread order. I can also carry it over to my fabrics to see if I have what I need, and I can bring it into the store with me if I need to.

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