DIY serger thread rack for big thread cones

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serger thread rack

The reason I made this serger thread rack is because, about six months ago, I finally invested in a big collection of serger thread.

serger thread

But when I started looking for storage options, nothing was quite right. I wanted a rack for ease of access, but the serger thread racks I found lacked enough pegs, or were flimsy, or required a lot of floor space that I don’t have. And many of the racks advertised as “cone racks” are for smaller embroidery cones—not big serger cones.

the solution? a pegboard thread rack

My solution is a pegboard mounted on a simple wooden frame. Not only is it a frugal choice, but it looks pretty in my sewing studio and has plenty of space to add more hooks later.

serger thread rack

There are all kinds of attachments available for pegboards; with other hook sizes and styles, you’ll have the option to hang smaller spools as well as a variety of other tools and notions.

Today’s post is a very detailed guide based on my build. The rack has two legs and leans against the wall for support. It’s sturdy, simple to make, and takes up very little floor space.

bottom of serger thread rack

By the way: if you’ve never made something using lumber before, don’t let this project intimidate you! As long as you live near a big-name hardware store, you don’t need to saw anything. I do recommend a power drill, although there are creative ways to work around that as well (I used to use bits meant for power drills with an interchangeable-bit screwdriver to drill pilot holes—a cheap but arduous solution).

I hope this project helps you with organizing your serger thread and other sewing items. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below!

note: if you have small children or rowdy pets, you’ll need to find a way to anchor your serger thread rack when you’re done so that it doesn’t become a tipping hazard.

Tools & Materials

  • 24×48-inch pegboard
  • 1 3/8 x 1 3/8 inch lumber: two 54-inch pieces and two 18-inch pieces
  • 4 3-inch screws, size 8
  • 10 1-inch screws, size 8
  • 4-inch pegboard hooks, which can be purchased in bulk on eBay (I used 100; the board can fit more though)
  • basic tools such as a ruler, pencil, and drill
  • optional: rubber furniture socks (for hard floors)

pegboard You’ll usually find these at big hardware stores. The ones that include hooks are unnecessarily expensive, so I recommend buying the board on its own and getting hooks separately.

pegboard

Tip: pegboards are a classic garage item, so consider asking around to see if any of your family or friends have an extra one. I got mine from a neighbor who wasn’t using it anymore.

wood This is all 1 3/8 x 1 3/8 inch lumber.

wood

Choose your lumber wisely! Many pieces are imperfect. Look for pieces that appear nice and straight.

If you’ve never used lumber before, this would be a great first project! Home Depot and Lowe’s offer simple cuts for free on their lumber. If you feel hesitant about purchasing wood and having it cut, check out this article that breaks the process down perfectly: https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/Home-Depot-Plywood-CuttingRight-the-First-Time

You’ll need two 54-inch pieces and two 18-inch pieces. So, four pieces total.

hardware I’m using size 8 wood screws. I have 4 3-inch screws and 10 1-inch screws (You don’t have to use these exact sizes, by the way; this is just what I’m using).

hardware for thread rack

pegboard hooks A 4-inch hook size is perfect for a serger thread rack. I used a pack of 100 that I got on eBay. These pegs are a great deal and, as a bonus, they’re manufactured in my home state of Missouri. If you’d like to add traditional thread spools to your board as well, you can use the 2-inch version found here.

hooks for thread rack

You’ll also need some simple tools like a pencil, a ruler, and a drill with some basic drill bits. If you don’t have a power drill but you do have a lot of patience, you could get away with just a screwdriver and some interchangeable bits as I mentioned earlier—it’ll just take much longer.

Altogether, the materials should cost less than $75 if you’re in the continental U.S. Here was my cost breakdown:

pegboard: free (normally $10-15)

lumber: $20

hardware: $5

pegs: $22

construction preview

Construction begins by lining up the wooden frame, marking it, and drilling pilot holes. Then the frame is secured together using 3-inch screws. Next, the pegboard is lined up, pilot holes are marked and drilled, and the pegboard is secured to the frame. Optional rubber furniture socks can be added to the legs (if using on hard floors), then hooks are arranged on the pegboard. The whole serger thread rack will take less than a couple of hours, even for a beginner.

1. lay out the frame

First, lay out your wooden frame. Put the two long pieces along the sides with the 18-inch pieces between them like the rungs of a ladder, as shown. Make sure that the side of each of the legs that you want as the front are both facing in the same direction.

frame of serger thread rack

Arrange the wood so that the upper edge of the top rung is 5 inches down from the top corners. The bottom edge of the lower rung will be 18 ½ inches up from the bottom corners. Double-check all measurements–including the distance between the rungs–to make sure that everything is square. Next, use a pencil to carefully mark the position of each rung on the face of the vertical wood pieces (as marked below).

marking intersections

After you’ve marked the four intersections, continue those lines onto the outer sides of the edge pieces. This will make it easier to place the screws. Place an “x” in the middle of those lines to mark where the screws will hold the rungs in place.

pilot hole marks

2. secure the frame

Time to drill some pilot holes! Prop the wood up, making sure it’s sturdy and firmly held in place, then drill a pilot hole through each of the marked X’s. Take care and follow appropriate safety precautions when drilling.

makeshift sawhorse
makeshift sawhorse

Drill all the way through the wood.

drilling pilot hole

The size of the pilot hole you need depends on the screw size. I have size 8 screws, and I’m using a 5/64ths bit. (But again, these hardware sizes are just a suggestion.)

Line the pieces of the frame back up using the original pencil marks. As before, the pencil lines are on the face and the pilot holes are over on the sides. While you could screw the frame together as-is, you may want help holding the pieces square as you drill them. In this case, I recommend using a sturdy box as a jig stand-in.

makeshift jig

Depending on the type of drill you’re using, you may also want to prop up the pieces of the frame with spare lumber. Use the pilot holes to bring your frame together using the 3-inch screws.

3. bring your serger thread rack together

Now that the frame is in one piece, the next step is to attach the pegboard.

wooden frame

To make it a little easier, lay the frame so that the feet are against the wall with the front side of the legs facing up. Then set the pegboard on the frame, face up.

smooth boardrough board

The smooth side of the pegboard is traditionally the front, but I prefer the look of the textured side; it reminds me of cane furniture. So I used the “back” as the front.

thread rack coming together

Wiggle the pegboard around until the very top corners of the frame are situated 5 inches down from the top of the board. The space on the sides should be evenly distributed. The sides of the pegboard should each measure 1 5/8 inches from the frame.

measuring sides

4. pilot holes, round 2

Once a final measurement check shows that everything is in place, use a pencil to mark where you want the pilot holes to go. The screws will right into the peg holes, which makes things pretty easy. Using a pencil, mark 10 spots on the frame underneath. Place the screws throughout the frame to make sure everything gets securely attached.

pilot hole marking

Remove the pegboard and drill a pilot hole at each mark. This pilot hole should only be an inch deep or so. Try to avoid drilling all the way through.

Pegboards are usually cut asymmetrically, so you’ll notice that the marks aren’t perfectly centered on the frame pieces. This is perfectly fine; just make sure your screws won’t be right at the edge of the wood.

pilot hole placement

Now that the pilot holes are drilled, set the board back on top. At this point, I realized that I should’ve marked the pegboard holes, too, because that would have made it much easier to line this back up. So I recommend doing that when marking the pilot hole locations. When lining the project back up, double-check that all the pilot holes are visible through the pegboard holes.

pegboard pilot holes

5. secure pegboard to frame

Next, put a 1-inch screw through each pilot hole to attach the board to the frame. I set a sewing pin in each of the pilot holes so that I could move between them faster as I was putting the 1-inch screws in.

pegboard with pins
inserting screws

6. hook arrangement

The serger thread rack is almost there! Time to get it up on its feet.

My thread rack will be living in a carpeted room, so the raw wood ends on the bottom will work well. But if your thread rack will be on a hard floor, I recommend adding rubber feet at this step.

peg legs

Place the hooks as desired on the pegboard.

hooks on serger thread rack

The frame blocks some of the holes, of course, but there’s plenty of room aside from that. I spread out the entire pack of 100 hooks on my board, and I bet I could fit at least 150 thread cones if I arranged them closer together.

Double-check that your serger cones have space to fit next to each other on the hooks.

serger thread rack

7. enjoy!

This is my finished thread rack with all my serger thread and a few of my go-to sewing tools.

serger thread rack

If you enjoy the process of making things, you might also enjoy my video on how to make a wreath from scratch.

What are your favorite ways to store sewing supplies? Tell me about it below!

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