Spool Cap Substitute: DIY Replacement and Helpful Guide

It isn’t news as things break. Even in sewing different parts tend to break at the wrong moment delaying your sewing project till you can fix or replace the part. It is a good thing you are handy and have lots of DIY fixes you can choose from.

The spool cap is a fairly important sewing machine part. It helps the thread unwind correctly while holding it in place. When it breaks you may have some trouble. If you have craft foam on hand cutting a hole in the center and pushing it over the spool pin may help.

To learn more about this and other DIY fixes for a broken spool cap just continue to read our article. It has the fixes you need so you do not have to stop sewing until you are free to go to the repair shop or store and buy a replacement cap.

What Does a Spool Cap Do?


A spool cap is generally a plastic piece that slips over your spool pin to make sure the thread does not jump around on you as you sew. Its other duty is to hold the thread in place so that it unwinds properly.

Because it is plastic and doesn't stop you from sewing when it breaks, you can use other lightweight items to do the same job temporarily. All it takes is a quick search around your home to find the right item that can slip over your spool pin.

There are different sized spool caps for when your spool of thread is longer and doe snot allow for the normal-sized version to be used on your sewing machine. Janome has one that works well for those longer spools of thread.

How do You Use a Spool Cap?


A spool cap is not one of those parts that you notice a lot. While it performs an important function it is not an attention-getting part like the bobbin and its related parts. It sits quietly on top doing its job like an unsung hero.

To use it is as simple as you can be. It simply snaps into place over your spool pin and stays there until you remove it. Also, it is not a very large part and holding it at times may be a bit tricky if your fingers are thicker than average.

Putting it into place can be fun as the small size makes maneuvering the spool cap a little difficult given the small space you have to work with. That applies to the special longer spool cap Janome has for those longer thread spools you use from time to time.

Just keep in mind that it is a plastic part. The spool cap needs to be handled with some care as they are not as strong as metal parts. The spool notch needs to be on the bottom when you attach it to your spool of thread.

What Size Spool Cap to Use?


You can check your owner’s manual to see what size the company recommends you use when buying a new spool cap. Usually, the manual has these little details if you take the time to look through each page.

But if you can’t find the information or do not have your owner’s manual then it is still quite easy to find the right size of the spool cap to use. All you have to do is match the size of the spool cap to the size of the spool thread. That is it.

If your spool cap is not the same size as the spool of thread, you can go a little bit smaller for the spool cap size. Do not go larger as that will be a loose fit and undermine the purpose of the spool cap.

Now if you only have one size of spool cap or the ones you have are too large you can always go to the dealer associated with your sewing machine and pick up some spares that will fit.

Sewing supply stores may carry some as should repair shops and so on.

Spool Cap Substitute

One substitute already mention is craft foam. Actually, just about any firm foam should be usable as a substitute temporarily. All you have to do is cut it to size and then make sure there is a large enough, but not too large of a hole, for the spool pin to fit into.

Another substitute could be a hair elastic. It should not be too large and it should be flexible enough to wrap around the spool when sitting in the horizontal position. Just do not make it one with some metal inside or a scrunchie.

If you are lucky you may have a sewing machine that has a spool cap bottom. Viking sewing machines may have them. If so all you need to do is pop it off and place it on the top.

Other options may be to cut a piece of a plastic milk jug or quilting template material. Then use an emery board to smooth out the sides and shape the substitute. After that is done simply place the new piece over the top of your spool.

A final suggestion which doesn’t take any time at all is to get a coffee mug and place your spool inside. Then try to sew normally. It may or may not work well.

DIY Spool Cap Replacement


When you go to a DIY solution you are going to have to take some time to make sure the substitute is shaped properly or it may not work. If it doesn’t you have either wasted your time or need to spend more to get it to fit.

But if you are not a handy person and your husband isn’t then it may be best to contact the manufacturer or their dealer of your sewing machine. They should have spool caps in stock and ready to use.

One idea would be to pick up a few extra just in case. These spool caps are made from plastic and not very strong. Having a few on hand will save you a lot of time and money the next time it breaks.

The key is to make sure you get the right design and size for your sewing machine as well as for your thread spool. All thread spools are not made the same, a common theme in sewing machines, so find one or several different ones that will work with all the thread spools you use.

Buying a Spool Cap Replacement


When you are not a DIY type of person or you do not have suitable materials around the house to replace your spool cap then buying them is the best option. That way you can get an exact match and not have to worry if the replacement is going to stay on or not.

If you do not like going out in traffic just stay home and shop online. Amazon has a great selection of spool caps and they come in different shapes and sizes. A few clicks and the replacement is on its way to your home.

Babylock has on its website a retail store locator so you can just place your zip code in the search box and then the store closest to you should appear on the screen. For the zip code 90210 8 locations popped up that you can visit to get the right part.

eBay is another good source for online shopping. Its selection may not be as great as Amazon’s but at least it has them in stock and at a good price. When searching online, the only thing you have to be careful about is your search terms.

Simply saying ‘spool cap’ is not going to get you directly to sewing machine spool caps. Your results may send you to weed eater spool caps or other outdoor options. Make sure to use the search term sewing machine spool cap even on Amazon.

Spool Caps for Brother Sewing Machines


The above mentioned online sources, except for Babylock, should work well when you need a spool cap replacement part fast for your Brother sewing machine. Each online outlet has a wide selection of spool caps and all you would need to know is your machine’s model number to get the right one.

Or you can go to Brother directly and purchase the one that is made by Brother for your particular sewing machine. The only thing you have to be careful about here is that you are not sent to the British or another foreign site instead of the American web page.

Or if you do not like shopping online, you can go to one of the many fabric or sewing supply stores and see what they have in stock. You can bring your broken spool cap with you to make sure you get the right one that fits perfectly with your machine.

Also, do not forget to bring your machine’s model number to double-check and make sure you have the right part.

Spool Cap for Singer Sewing Machine


The story is going to be the same for Janome, and Juka sewing machines as it is for Brother and Singer sewing machines. Singer has a great online presence and its spool cap replacement parts are found at Amazon and other online outlets.

There are also discount sewing machine supplies outlets that handle Singer replacement parts as well as for the other brand names. It is worth giving them a try and maybe shave a few dollars off your purchase price.

Then you can go to the department store where you purchased your Singer sewing machine and see what parts they have available. Singer approved repair shops should also carry some spare parts you can pick up when you are out picking up the kids.

There are a myriad of places available for you to get replacement spool caps when you do not want to use your handyman skills and make your own.

How to Use Thread Spool Cap


The use of a spool cap depends largely on the size of your spool of thread, the design of your sewing machine and the space you have to work in. Not all spool caps have the same design or working space.

When you look at the different makes and models at amazon, you can see the difference between the different ones. Brother and Babylock have 3 different sizes in one set and all you need to do is match those sizes with your thread spool and snap it into place.

Each spool cap is not hard to use and most just snap into place without any trouble at all. It is the customized ones that work with different lengths of thread spools where it might get a little more difficult to use.

One interesting situation came up as we did our research. Amazon may not carry Bernina spool cap replacements. It did not come up in any search we did. You may have to contact an authorized repairman or dealer to get a spare spool cap for those expensive machines.

Some Final Words

When plastic parts are being used to make your sewing machine run then you should expect different parts to break at the wrong time. Plastic parts, like spool caps, do not have the durability or lifespan of metal.

It is a good thing to know that you can make your replacement spool cap or find the right one where you shop for sewing supplies. The smart move would be to have several on hand so your sewing project is not delayed that much.

DIY spool caps will work temporarily and help you sew until you are done what you are working on. But it is always best to get the right part for the job that needs to be done.

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