Organize with Embroidered Labels

White fabric

The adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place” may be an old saying, but it is true! One tip organization experts agree on is using labels to designate a place to store items in your workspace.

One way to add a little fun to the task of organizing is to be creative with your labels. We used Coats & Clark Polyester Machine Embroidery thread to create embroidered labels for supplies in our sewing studio space here at Coats & Clark.

We used the “make it” theme for our labels - Sew It, Cut It, Press It, Quilt It, etc. Because we used a computerized sewing & embroidery machine, we had many choices of fonts to download in addition to the alphabets pre-programmed in the machine. We chose this slightly whimsical one hoping it would make it more fun to put things away.

You will need:

  • Coats Polyester Embroidery Thread-1 spool to coordinate with fabric
  • Cut-away stabilizer
  • Water soluble stabilizer (optional- see tips)
  • Paper backed fusible web such as Wonder Under
  • Heavy-weight fusible interfacing
  • White cotton fabric
  • Prints in several coordinating fabrics

Embroidering the labels

Our labels were stitched using a computerized embroidery machine. Most of these machines have built- in alphabet options and with some you can purchase fonts and download them from the internet.

Tips for Embroidering Small Letters

  • Choose a font optimized for small letters. In general, the best fonts are simple, without serifs and decoration.
  • Always stitch a sample or two to test the sewing attributes of the embroidered letters.
  • Lowering the needle thread tension can help prevent pulling the bobbin thread through to the embroidery right side.
  • Lower the stitch density; in other words, adjust the design so there are fewer stitches per inch.
  • Choose a fine thread; machine embroidery threads usually work well for lettering, but Dual Duty XP Fine can also be a good choice.
  • Use a cut-away stabilizer under the embroidery, especially if the fabric is a knit or textured weave.
  • Add a water-soluble topper over the fabric to keep the small letters from sinking into the fabric.

Step-by-step instructions:


Embroider labels.

White fabric


Working with a piece of the printed fabric that will yield the number of labels you plan to make, fuse the heavy weight interfacing to the wrong side of the printed fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Fabric and words mounted on phoomph


Cut into the desired number of 3” x 4 1/2″ rectangles. Use a rotary cutter for best results.


Trim out the embroidered labels slightly larger than the finished size. Fuse the paper backed web to the wrong side of the labels. Cut embroidered labels into 2” x 3 1/2″ rectangles. Remove the paper from web. Center the embroidered rectangle on the front of the print fabric rectangle. Fuse in place.


Adhere the label with a glue or an adhesive appropriate for the surface.

If you do not have an embroidery machine, there are many other options for creating the words for the labels:

  • If you do not have an embroidery machine, labels could also be stitched using the alphabet letters on your sewing machine.
  • Create the words for the labels in a document on your computer in the font of your choice. Then print the labels on an ink-jet printer fabric sheet.
  • Hand embroider the letters using Anchor Embroidery Floss. Here are some basic hand-embroidery stitches

Organizing boxes

Storage box