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Make a Sewing Machine Needle Organizer - free tutorial

I recently designed myself an organiser to store packets of new needles, and partially used ones, in a way that easily showed what they were (as I always forget).  This is my third version, so I think it’s finally ready to share! 

  • Each page covers a different type of needle. 
  • You can store a partially used needle in the felt under its size.  
  • New needles in their packets fit in the pockets at the bottom.
  • A card 'bookmark' slots into the pocket when you take a needle out of the packet.  (If there is more than one size in the packet, you can use the Flower Pin  to show the size of the needle presently in the machine).  

There is a list of Contents, and I put in a diagram with explanation of the parts of a needle. Someone suggested I add a Fabric, Thread and Needle guide too, so I have.  I have made it big enough to fit in a small ring binder.  I made a cover for the binder and added a fabric label and dividers.  I used self-adhesive tabs and labelled them using my dad’s Dymo Letra Tag. 

Anyway, I thought you might like to make up your own, so I have attached PDF files for you to download and print ................

Print on A4 size card


Print on Letter size card

......... and here is how to put it all together!

Assemble the Materials

1. I have designed them to fit two pages on one sheet of card.  The pockets for the packets of new needles are alternated from top to bottom to reduce bulk.  You will need 13 sheets of A4 or US Letter size card, suitable for your printer.  (I have used this A4 200gsm smooth white printer card from Amazon).

2. Clear vinyl to make pockets for your packets of new needles.  (I bought 52" wide Glass Clear Supple PVC Fabric from  You will need 20 strips 4 ½” x 1 ½” (115mm x 35mm)

3. Felt for storing your ‘used’ needles.  A couple of felt squares should be enough (mine were 9” x 12”/230mm x 300mm).  Nothing too thick though.

3. Teflon/Non-Stick foot for your sewing-machine.  If you don’t have one you can use invisible Scotch Tape underneath your normal foot like this (thanks Ashley!)

4. A well used needle (so you won’t mind throwing it away afterwards I used a Jeans needle.)

5. Thread

6. Rotary cutter and board (or scissors)

7. Craft glue (I used Hi-Tack All Purpose Very Sticky Glue) or double-sided tape

8. Clear Ruler (I use the Creative Grids range) and a pencil

9. Chalk marker (I use a Chaco Liner)

10. H0le Punch

11.A Flat Flower head pin, and/or a small piece of coloured card

12.A5 or equivalent US Half Letter size Ring Binder


Sewing Machine Needle Organiser Tutorial

1. Print the PDF files onto either A4 or U.S. Letter size white card, then cut the sheets in half, making 2 pages.

2. Cut out 20 strips of clear vinyl 5” (13 cm) wide and 1 ½” (4 cm) high.  I used my rotary cutter and board.  (Use reflected light to see the vinyl and line it up with the lines on the board so you know where it is!  Or put tissue under it.  It is hard to see!)

3. Measure and cut out 20 strips of felt to fit in the printed boxes.  (I’m sorry, these vary in size according to the number of sizes the needle is available in!).


Making the pockets

1. Fit the Non-stick foot and ‘old’ Jean/Denim needle to your machine, thread up.

Sewing Machine Needle Organiser Tutorial

2. Position your clear vinyl on the box You can stick it in place with a piece of Prym Wonder Tape along the centre line, as it won’t gum up your needle.  I just held it in place with my fingers.   

3. Set a longer stitch (I used 3 on my Janome).  DO NOT BACKSTITCH  to start.  The needle perforations weaken the card, so stitch in one continuous line, so do not go over previous stitching.    


            Finish >○                                 ←                      Start >      ○

                     |                                    |  |                                     ↓

                     ↑                                    ↓  ↑                                    |

                     |                                    |  |                                     | 

                     |_ _ _ _ _ ← _ _ _ _ _ _|  |_ _ _ _ _ _←_ _ _ _ _ _|


4. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, stitch SLOWLY (you cannot hide holes made accidentally!)

5. Go down one side, across the bottom to the centre line, and up to the top.  Pivot the needle and take one stitch across.  Then sew back down, parallel to that last row.  Stitch across the bottom, and up the other side to the top.  DO NOT BACKSTITCH to finish.

6. Cut threads and pull through to back.  Knot and trim ends.  Repeat until all the pockets are attached. 

The Non-Stick foot does NOT work well with the felt, so unless you can set up a second machine with another foot to do the felt, this is the best way to work.

Adding the felt Pieces

You can use glue to hold these in place, just a line across the top, OR stitch them.

 Sewing Machine Needle Organiser Tutorial

1.  Change back to your general sewing foot.  (I have used my clear satin stitch, my roller and my walking foot). 

2. Position your felt in the printed box, so you can see the Needle Sizes across the top and fix it in place with some wonder tape across the top. 

3. DO NOT BACKSTITCH to start.  Stitch across the top close to the edge.  Pivot, take one stitch down, and sew back in a parallel line.  Pivot needle, take one stitch up to complete box. DO NOT BACKSTITCH to finish.

I did a box as it was quicker to tie the ends off once than do a single row of stitches and have to tie both ends off!  Cut threads and pull through to back.  Knot and trim ends.  

4. Repeat until all the felt pieces are attached.

Adding Backing Sheets

You need to finish off by fitting a backing sheet to each page, to both hide and seal-in the stitches.  

Decide how you want to arrange them.  Mine above has plain backing pages, but if you want the thinnest option put the pages back-to-back.  

How to make my Needle Organiser

Stick the backing pages on.  TIP - don’t start laying the glue on a corner, halfway down one side is better!  I have used double sided tape before, so use whichever you prefer.

Assembling the Organizer

Mark the centre down the side to position the punch and make holes in each page. 

Fit the pages into the Binder in the order shown on the Contents page. 


Using the organizer

  • Fit your needle packets in the pockets. 

  • When you fit a new needle into your machine, put a card marker in the pocket with the packet it came from, or put your flower pin in the felt under it's size.
  • When you remove a lightly used needle from your machine, place it in the felt, under the number relating to its size. 

Remember, they don’t last forever; you will need to throw them away and get new ones eventually!

Enjoy your new organizer!

  • Tutorial to make a loose cover to personalise your organizer here 
  • It makes an excellent gift, with or without some needles!
  • It’s a great sewing aide for a Student/Beginner Sewist



Beginner Serging: Machine Basics & Techniques

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Comment by Nathalie Lord on November 11, 2015 at 4:46pm

Great idea!  I've already printed the pdf file, I'll be working on my organizer tonight.


Comment by Karen on February 12, 2015 at 3:53am

Sorry Becky, it was late, and I was being thick!  I will do the instructions as a document to download too, bear with me.  I may put them on My Page first, if I add it to the tutorial page the whole thing disappears until Susan (editor) has time to approve it.  Getting on it now.

Comment by Karen on February 12, 2015 at 2:48am

Hi Jackie (wherever you are?)

It's not stealing when it's a gift, and this is to help any of my sister sewers.  It's one Global Sewing Bee in here!

The only payment required is that "Thanks".  Oh, and pictures would be nice!


Comment by Jackie on February 12, 2015 at 2:34am

I am "stealing" this ... I am always "looking-up" the right needle for a new project ... Here it is at my fingertips!!

Thanks, Karen

Comment by Karen on February 11, 2015 at 5:34pm

Hi Becky

The links are just above the materials list, where it says 'print on A4 size card'(or US Letter size).  You should be able to just click and download as a pdf file.  (The link is also on my page if you click on my icon).

Comment by Becky Hournbuckle on February 11, 2015 at 5:04pm

I tried to copy and paste into a word document, but the pictures wouldn't show.  Can you give me a link like in your tutorial for the notebook covers?  That worked for me.  Thanks. 

I will print these pages for referral as you suggested...just gotta go buy more ink:)

Comment by Karen on February 11, 2015 at 4:05pm

Well Mary Ellen, you pay the air fare and I'll pack a bag!  LOL!

Comment by Karen on February 11, 2015 at 4:02pm

Hi Becky.  Well you could always print it out for reference.  You don't have to make the pockets, and the felt can be glued on!

Comment by Becky Hournbuckle on February 11, 2015 at 3:28pm

Very comprehensive.  I like it.  Saving your tutorial in case I get motivated enough to do this too

Comment by Mary Ellen Edwards on February 11, 2015 at 3:00pm

This is so cool! Would you please come live with me for about 2 weeks and get my life this organized, pleaeaeaease?!

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