Sunday, September 20, 2015

DIY Cone Thread Holder and Thread Guide

I prefer to use thread on cones or larger spools of thread.  It's much more economical to buy thread that way but those big cones just don't fit on a sewing machine.  I bought myself a cone thread holder but it was flimsy.  I set it up behind my Necchi BU and started to worry that it was going to break sending a piece of plastic flying across the room.  The other thing is vintage sewing machines, for the most part, don't like the thread being feed from the back of the machine, they want their thread coming across the top.  I pointed out all of my issues to Paul and after a little while he had this cone thread holder and thread guide.  Since they are so much cheaper to make these we now have several for each sewing area in our home.  There's no need to unthread your machine when you can make a cone thread holder for just a few dollars.

diy cone thread holder

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I am not the handiest girl in the world so if I can make this anyone can make it. Since most of this stuff is on hand one of us can a thread holder whenever we need one.

Supplies Needed

Here's the coat peg.  The first thing you need to do is turn it over and take the screw out that holds the peg in.  If you can't find a coat peg, they seem to be kind of difficult to find, use a wood plaque and drill a hole in the middle for a peg.  Since you won't have the small holes you'll need to make one small hole about 3 inches from the center.  Then you'll need to draw two parallel lines on each side of one of the small holes.

The small dots are where we are going to drill.  This is just to make it easier to get the wood out of there.  This is where our hanger is going to attach.

I'm not the best with a drill so to help me just go 1/4" into the board hubby wrapped the drill bit with painters tape.  He told me I could still go further but it would take a lot of force to do that.  Plus Paul didn't want a trip to the ER I'm sure.

Now we have to get that wood out.  I used an Exacto knife kit that we have.  It has a flat blade and it worked great.  We need to remove about 3/4" of the wood.

Now here is the tricky part.  We have to take one of those caps that used to cover the screw holes on the front and drill a hole in the middle of it or very close to the middle of it.  Don't do this on your pretty mat you were using to take photos on.  Use a piece of scrap wood under it or you will put a hole in whatever you are drilling on.  Also use a pair of pliers to hold the cap because it's super small and I don't want any of you getting hurt.

Now we need to deal with our wire hanger.  I cut the top of the hanger off so I only had to straighten those two bends at the bottom.  After you get your wire straight use your pliers to put a bend in one end about 3/4" long.

That bend we put in the wire is what is going into that channel we made on the bottom of our coat peg.  So we need to put the wire into the hole next the channel we dug out.  Make sure your hot glue gun is ready to go, it's time to use it.

You'll want to put just a little glue in the channel and then turn your wire into the channel.  Pull down on the wire to make sure it's set in the glue well and then fill the channel with glue.

Let the glue cool and the trim the excess off with a knife so that it sits flat.  Then turn it over so we can put the cap that we drilled the hole in.  Just like before we'll put a little glue into the hole and then put the cap in.  I tapped it in with a hammer and a piece of dowel.  Then put a little more glue on top just to make sure the wire was secure.

Now we need the washer and we are going to put it under the peg.  The washer gives us a surface that will let the spool move easily.

Then just screw the peg in.  Now it's time to start bending the wire.  You need to measure the height of your sewing machine.  From the table where your holder is going to sit to the top of the spool pin.  Mine was 9 1/2" so I put a 90 degree bend in my wire 12" from the base.  It just has to be above the machine.

Now we need to measure from the peg where our thread will sit to the wire.  Mine was 2" so that's where I put my next bend.  You need to bend your wire down and then cut all but about 2" off.

Now is the time to check that last cut and make sure there are now burrs on it.  If there are use a piece of sand paper and smooth them off.  We don't want anything to catch the thread.  Now we need to put a small bend in the end.

And one last step, We need to make the loop where the thread will sit.

That's it!  You just built your very own thread holder.  Now if you have a machine that is very particular with the way your thread gets fed you need to make yourself a thread guide.  All you need is a wooden spool and a framing eye for hanging a picture.  Just find yourself a picture hanging kit and they will be in there.

Super simple, make yourself a little pilot hole, I used a finishing nail and then screw the eye into the side of the spool. I did open the eye a little so I wouldn't have the thread the thread through the eye.  If you do that make sure that opening is at the top. That's it, you just did two projects today!!!

And because I love you guys so much I even made a Youtube video showing just how it all works.  Don't forget to sign up below the video for our sewing machine newsletter and get a free gift or pick one of our other mailing lists!

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Be sure to check out all of our other sewing machine posts.  You'll find reviews of vintage sewing machines and tips for keeping your sewing machine running it tip top shape.
diy cone thread holder and thread guide
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Home Ec. Mel
Home Ec. Mel

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  1. I truly think my machine/s stitch far better using a cone and thread feeder, plus its far more economical for me to buy the cones as opposed to the reels :)

  2. Great tutorial! I love the cones and thread feeders I see at antique stores. Now I can make my own.

    Visiting from Table It Linky

  3. I love this tutorial! I already have a cone stand, but I could use another ;) I especially like the thread guide idea - totally awesome - wish I had thought of it!

  4. Yeah, I made the spool with eyelet yesterday to use with a cone spool holder. Haven’t made my own cone holder yet but I want to give it a whirl. Ha ha. Great idea to use a wooden spool!! Thanks!