Monday, May 5, 2014

DIY: Homemade yarn bobbins

I've been into making graphghans lately. Or I should say I've been into thinking about making graphghans, as I look at the pile of projects I have still to make. Well at any rate, I figured I would get ready to make one by getting my yarn bobbins together. I'm cheap #1, so I have a bunch of embroidery thread bobbins, which while they work ok, they are small and don't hold much yarn. I wound up google searching to see if there was a way to make DIY bobbins and there are few, so I decided to try my hand at making my own. So here we go: Warning, there are a ton of pictures.

This is a traditional thread bobbin

While it works well as you can see the yarn slips off and it can't hold nearly as much yarn.

Unlike a DIY cardboard bobbin

You will need the following materials.

a cardboard box, I used one of the many priority boxes I have laying around. You want a box that will be stiff enough to hold its shape and not bend with yarn wrapped around. 

I used one template and simply enlarged it to get two different sizes. (This is linked at the bottom of the blog.)

a cutting board or any surface that you don't mind getting messed up. This is my no food craft cutting board.

an exacto knife, this can be optional because you can use scissors, but I find the knife to be far more efficient, scissors and a pencil.

you want to take your box and cut it on the seam so that the box will open flat.


It will be a bit easier to cut it once it is opened rather than fiddle with it while it is whole.

you'll want to cut each section,

so you will have 4 different pieces of cardboard

now you may be a puzzle genius and know exactly how to get the most bobbins out of your cardboard. I am not... So yeah, you want to take your templates and trace them onto the cardboard. You may also be better at this than me and I'm cool with that. :)

next you will want to take your exacto knife and at first lightly score your lines. 

then you will want to go back over them until you feel the knife break through the cardboard

as you can see it takes time and a little bit of force

once you have scored/cut enough, you want to start breaking it out. 

nice and easy.

This is optional, but you can cut some notches ( or even just one on each side or whatever you want) to hold the yarn like a regular bobbin.

and boom. there you go, two different sizes of yarn bobbins. 

Here is where I got the bobbin template. I simply saved the image from the page. I can't remember the percentage I used, but you can play around with it until you get the size or sizes you want. 

Hope this was helpful for you!


  1. Absolutely brilliant. Just what I was looking for. Thank is for sharing.

  2. Awesome! I will definitely be using this! Thank you!

  3. If adapting for smaller ones only cut a single slit instead of making a flap

  4. Thank you! This was a big help.