How to propery store cross stitch needles

So, there you are, happily stitching away, and BAM! Your needle breaks. Fine you think and you dive in your pack and pull out a slew of needles to find… They’ve opened and gone everywhere!
 
Recently I came up across quite a problem; how to store your needles better. Now there are a few needle storage methods out there, and a few I picked up from fellow stitchers after asking around, however it was shocking just how many people had the same problem as me. So I put on my top hat and went to work!
 

The failing needle storage method

needle storage in cd casesLet’s start with what you probably have set up. Packs upon packs of needles randomly thrown into your pack, causing massive headaches when you’re looking for a needle, and no way of actually tracking which needles you have. Yeh, this is no way to store anything, let alone needles. When I reached out I spoke to an old friend of mine who stored theirs in old CD cases, and whilst this is a genius use of old cases, it’s hardly helping.
 

Pebbles

John James Needle Pebble“I use a pebble!” I hear you shout. Well, yes, pebbles are great, but let’s face it, unless you only have a few needles (we all know that’s not the case), or a seriously massive stash of pebbles somewhere, these just don’t cut the mustard.
However, before you think they aren’t worth the money, I personally have a pebble in my travel kit. It’s perfect for only a few needles and keeps them safe from pricked fingers.
 

DMC Needle Organizer

dmc needle organizerOh, the DMC needle organizer. When I first saw this a year ago I was SO pleased. It looked perfect. However, the reason I started writing this post, was due to the 10th time I’ve accidently dropped open the lid. In addition, the needles constantly switch between segments, making storage of different sizes or types a serious pain.
I now loathe this thing. Now, I need a real solution.
 
 

THE SOLUTION?

File Storage

needle storage in a5 paper filesMy initial thought was to go back to packets, but with a better storage method, and for about a month, I did just that. An A6 storage file actually works perfectly for needle cases, and with little tabs to label them, it makes sorting a breeze.
However all was not well. You really need to keep these suckers straight. Mine fell over a few times and the needle cases came tumbling out. Whilst that’s not a great issue, it became a pain to keep resorting all the time.
 
That’s when it hit me!
 

THE SOLUTION!

Tulip sashiko needles in glass vial
I was reading the most recent XStitch Mag and saw a page featuring fancy Tulip Sashiko Needles. And they came in a glass vial. Very fancy I thought, but shooting back to my pre-med days I realised doctors store used needles in plastic tubes. I reached out, and you know what? They don’t do it anymore. Something to do with health and safety. However, one plucking doctor friend of mine mentioned he’d seen some specifically for stitchers.
 

Needle Tubes

needle storage tubesHonestly, I think these things might just be the best thing since sliced bread. Not only are they super cheap, seal like a dream, stack up without issue, come in various colors heads for easy identification, come with labels, AND they fit perfectly into that long slot on a thread storage box.
 
Although there is the more whimsical side of needle storage. How about needles in a high heeled shoe, courtesy of Peacock & Fig?
heel pin shoe from peacock and fig
 
If you’re interested in tapestry needles, we’ve been featuring a great series including answering that annoying question Why are cross stitch needles given random size numbers?, and How are cross stitch needles made?. Of course, we also have awesome guides like finding the best size needle for your work.

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