20 Steps to a DIY Thread Rack

Ready to make your very own DIY thread spool rack? Yay! This is totally just like one of those peg-board racks you’d buy in the store, except made by you and a lot different.

You will need:

a zillion spools of thread (left over from your hoarder grandma);

skinny dowel rods (1/18-inch to 3/18-inch work best–they need to fit through the spools);


nail and hammer;

hooks (I used “brass plated cup hooks”. They have a curving head so they don’t accidentally drop anything);


staple gun and staples;



Rustic Barn-wood Rack

1– You’re going to make a rack to hang the rods on, and the rods will hold the spools. Find two boards about the same length, and nail them to a third board that will put their centers about 18 inches apart (this might vary depending on how long your dowel rods are – they need enough support that they won’t snap under the weight of the spools).

2– Stand the board rack up, and drive one hook in on one side. (It worked for me to tap a guide-hole with a hammer and nail, then hand-screw the hook into the hole.)

3– Using a level, find the spot for the other hook, and drive a second hook there.

4– String spools of thread onto one of the dowel rods, and hang the dowel rod on the hooks. Yay!

5– Realize that this is great for displaying the spools, but if you actually want to use them, it would be really inconvenient to need the color in the middle.

No problem, we’ll just modify this design!

Chic Fabric Rack20 Steps to a DIY Thread Rack — Kimia Wood

6– Take out the hooks and select fabric to stretch over the rack and provide tension. It’s going to be a back-drop for all your thread, so it should be white, black, or some other neutral tone.

7– Stretch and staple the fabric around the frame, making it as tight as possible.

8– Repeating steps 2 and 3, drive two hooks into the boards again.

9– Hang a dowel rod (no spools) on the hooks, and then rack the spools on top of the rod, between the rod and the fabric. Blam!

10– You didn’t stretch the fabric tight enough. Don’t ask me how I know – just trust me that no matter how tight you stretched it, it’s not tight enough. In that empty space, between the two boards, the spools are falling down behind the dowel. They just are.

Art-board Thread Rack20 Steps to a DIY Thread Rack — Kimia Wood

11– Find something to stick behind the fabric in that empty space. I found a canvas board that in ten years I’ve never gotten around to painting on. You might also use a piece of foam-board, cardboard, more barn-wood boards, etc.

12– Slide this board behind the fabric, and position it as perfectly as possible. Then, at the bottom of the board, drive two hooks into the wood of the rack behind to keep it in place when the rack is upright.

13– Rehang your dowel rods.

14– Now the thread spools are falling forward. The canvas board/foam-board is too much for them, and the space where they’re sitting is too narrow, and they throw themselves to oblivion rather than stay perched on the precarious ledge.

Throw-in-the-Towel Rack

15– Take out the art-board. String your spools on the dowel rods again, and hook the dowels on the hooks.

16– Drive more hooks, hang more dowels, sort more thread spools by color.

17– If someone complains about your rack design, hit them with it! (Unless it’s your mother. You can’t hit your mother. Just one of those things…)

20 Steps to a DIY Thread Rack — Kimia Wood

18– (optional) Go to the store and BUY a thread rack because this isn’t working do I LOOK like an engineer to you?!

Hey-This-Isn’t-So-Bad Rack

19– The hooks on my thread rack were just under 18 inches apart, which means that the average 3-foot dowel rod can be chopped in half to make two spool rods.

20– Decide that you don’t use thread that much anyway, and it’s kinda cool to see them all arranged by color.

So…maybe it works after all. Okay, we’re done here!

20 Steps to a DIY Thread Rack — Kimia WoodKimia Wood was raised by an aspiring author, so spinning words and weaving plots is in her blood.

She currently lives with her family somewhere in the American midwest, bracing for the collapse of society by knitting, baking, writing, and reading as much Twitter as possible before the web goes dark.

Join the mailing list for a FREE copy of her post-apocalyptic adventure novella Soldier!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *