Make your own Embroidery Color Catalog

One of the things that comes up in our lives periodically is when you show your customers a thread book from a manufacture and they are overwhelmed with colors. They also ALWAYS manage to pick the one color you don’t have.

Here is our Nerdy solution to this. We developed both a standard Word template, and an automagic Microsoft Excel file. We even made a PNG for every color for the most highly requested brands. If you don’t see your brand when following the steps, give us an email and we’ll hook you up.

My only request is that you don’t use this product to make these for other people and charge them for it. I’m not charging you for this, and there’s a lot of work that went into this. I really don’t care, but just give people the link to this page and they can also learn.

Manual version (easier, annoyingly repetitive, friendlier)

Step 1- Download the Microsoft Word File:

This manual version is essentially just a pre-built MS Word template where you replace each thread individually by replacing each placeholder cone.

In my opinion, this is very slow, but the easier way. If you want to add a thread between two, you will need to move them all individually. That’s very annoying. So that’s why I build the next method.

Automagic version (harder, faster, stronger, better)

Step 1- Download the Excel File:

We have the file hosted on our Google Drive so you can get access to it. It is a Macro enabled Excel file, so some computers may not allow you to open it. If you have issues, reach out to us.

Step 2-  Get your thread cone images:

As I stated before, I painstakingly created a thread cone for thousands of colors in Photoshop. That takes hours and hours. Don’t worry, I cheated. I wrote a Photoshop script to do about 100 colors per minute.

Go to this link, and right click on the brand you need, and choose download. It will take a few minutes as Google will zip all the images up.

Once you get all the images downloaded, you will need to extract them into a folder. Doesn’t matter where, as long as you can remember where you put them.

Note: This excel method will only let you put images found in one folder onto the finished product. If you want to do one with for example, Madeira and Fil-tec, you will need to download both and then copy all the images into one folder. I have it setup this way because most people would likely rather have them separately so they can have their PDFs/sheets sorted by different brands/styles of thread like glitter or metallic.

Step 3- Setup the Excel file:

Firstly, you will need to open it. Upon first opening you will be brought to the sheet/tab called Thread Selector. This is where we will import all your threads. First thing to do is click on Browse for Folder. This will open a prompt, and navigate to where you downloaded your thread images to.

You won’t see the images in the folder, that’s fine, just click OK. You will then see that the line above should change to where they are.

Once that is completed you will need to click Get Files. This will update the list below with all of your available thread colors.

Go through that list and delete the ones you DON’T have. You don’t have to remove the spaces either. Just use the arrows and the Delete/Backspace key on your computer.

Step 4- Prepare the PDF template:

There isn’t an easy way for me to add this into the script behind the scenes. So you will have to delete the old pictures yourself. It’s really easy though. Just click the Printable Chart tab and click on one of the cones, press Control+A (Command+A on Mac) and then hit Delete.


To change the logo for your own, click on the Embroidery Nerd logo, and under the Headers & Footers ribbon tab chose Picture. Select your logo from your computer and it will pop in.

If the image is too big, click on the Format Picture in the screenshot, and set the height to 1″ or whatever works for you.



The last thing to do is change the name of sheet if you’d like it there. It’s on the bottom left of the page. Just double click it and change Madeira into whatever you’d like. Typically it would be your reference back to the real brand. Since customers don’t care about the brand, it’s not in the thread images. You could do something like MyCompany-PolyA1 and then have a second sheet you use to cross-reference it into the real brand. That’s only if you are trying to prevent your customer from figuring out the brand. Or maybe you have seven different blacks.

Step 5- Run the script:

Last big step is to go back to the first Thread Selector tab and click on the Update button. This will then build the PDF for you. Once it finishes, you can either print the Printable Chart sheet, or save/export it as a PDF.

Once that is done, you’re also done. Save it where your customers can get access to it.

I also recommend saving the excel file in the same folder you are storing your images. This way you can modify it in the future.