tutorial: how to make a film canister bobbin organizer

I used to store my bobbins inside one of the tiny drawers of the 30-compartment organizer I have under my sewing table. The drawer served its purpose but I didn’t like the fact that the bobbins rested on their sides inside it. I was intent on buying a bobbin organizer but I happened to look at a box of film* on my desk while browsing through the many designs (DIY or factory-produced) online.

And so I made this film canister DIY bobbin holder:


You will need: film canisters, craft knife, hot glue


1. Cutting plastic is tricky. The trick (HA!) is to do it VERY SLOWLY.

2. Each canister will house 4 bobbins.

 *We have a stash because we have 2 lomo cameras and one vintage film camera.

23 thoughts on “tutorial: how to make a film canister bobbin organizer

    1. That’s really cute! I love how you “defended” why you still use film :)

      I was debating whether it sounds pretentious to say we have lomo cameras….
      But then people might wonder why we have film canisters. They might think we are terrible hoarders. Which is also true. Haha!

  1. Film canisters remind me of my childhood for some reason. My parents always left those things lying around our house back then. Hahaha.

    I kind of like them though because they can store tiny things like beads. You, on the other hand, use them for bobbins! Cool! I wouldn’t have thought about cutting them apart and still be able to use them!

  2. If you go to photo centers at Walmart or Target, you can usually ask for empty canisters and they will give them to you for free. There’s a dedicated bunch of folks out there who still use film!

  3. Very creative! You gave me an idea. We still have lots of those here. Films are expensive nowadays but the photo developing stores here gives them away for free.
    A suggestion so the bobbins can stay in place if you just need short strands for hand sewing. Insert a stick thru the center of the canister or loop a wire so you can hang them, instead of lying on the table.
    I’ll definitely try this one out!

  4. another good place to find canisters is if there is a photography class at the local high school or college, have the teacher collect them from the students, and make a stash for you.

  5. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve got dozens of these I came across recently and wondered how I could put them to good use! Now I know what I’ll do with some of them!


  6. another good easy bobbin container is mini M&M containers! they’re great and come in many colors so you can put certain color bobbins in a certain color container. Love my PINK ones! :)

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