easy projects with spools of thread

My grandma (well, one of them) is a huge sewer. Hence she had a HUGE collection of awesome vintage spools of thread! Well, most of them weren’t “of thread” anymore and were empty. But some still had lots of old thread on them. And some of these spools were from her mom, or my great-grandmother. They all look so awesome and unique! My grandma said she never knew what to do with them so she sent them my way… figuring I’d think of something crafty – ha!

So Josiah and I came up with a few ideas for projects to do with these antique spools of thread. If you do have a huge pile of these, you’re in luck! We’ve got easy projects coming your way. If you don’t have a huge pile of these lying around, they are super cheap on etsy!

First spool project: Use spools of thread to make a garland!

This one was super easy to do! Basically, just string a bunch of spools until you get to the length of the area you wanna hang them.

But Josiah wanted a more “refined” look and tied nots in between each of the spools. They are spaced apart and don’t knock each other. Plus you can see all the cool ends this way! We just eye-balled it, but did about 2 inches between each spool.

We made one garland of the bigger spools and one garland of the smaller spools. Josiah then tied them on our curtain rod at the shop – but you could just make a loop and string them with a nail.

Second spool project: Use a spool of thread as a pull chain

We use to just have a piece of string as our pull chain… which was ridiculous to try to grab sometimes. It didn’t lie flat (it was hemp or something) and I’d always be grabbing around in the dark like an idiot. Ever done that? Yeah, you feel great afterwards. So instead we just tied one of the spools onto the string – which weighs down the string so now it’s easy to find! Woohoo. Not a super amazing project, but it’s changed my “grabbing around in the dark” experience.

Third spool project: Spools on the wall

Glue a bunch to… something flat… and hang it up. Cardboard or something? You know, like all those wine cork projects, but with spools! Look at all those cool labels… that could be hanging in your house! Or, you could just arrange them on the floor like I did, take a photo, and then hang THAT up in your house. Ha.

Fourth spool project: Put them in some cute baskets or randomly on a table.

Umm, Lauren, this isn’t even a project. Yeah whatever. But don’t our burlap baskets look awesome? They were made by the grandmother of the spools. No not the spool’s grandmother, the grandmother who gave us the spools. She made burlap bowl things and then starched them like crazy so they’d stay that way! So cool!

Well, there ya have it. Share any other ideas if you have any – I still have tons and tons of old spools! I haven’t even broken out the ones that still have thread on them…!



  1. Nicole May 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I love turning recycled objects into something useful! How about using spools of thread for cabinet knobs? Or poke a stick through the hole, print an herb label on the spool, and stick it in the ground for a garden marker? Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  2. Zsófi May 5, 2012 at 3:53 am

    You could also glue small trinkets and baubles on top of them and use them for board games!

    I love the look of these spools! Maybe I should go and ask my grandmother if she has any!

  3. gemma May 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    oeeh love this,
    and I would love to add this one
    its an mini photo albem made using a spool

  4. Lauren May 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    love ALL of your ideas!!

  5. inspiregardens May 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I use old wooden spools to store my embroidery floss on. Mark the tops with a black sharpie and you’ll never have to untie a mass of knotted thread again

  6. Jennifer May 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I see you have some old Belding spools. I used to live in one of the old Belding silk mills and now I live in an old silk mill boarding house. There used to be 2 more mills next to my house but they have since been removed. I’m always on the look out for Belding spools. Love the project.

  7. Elizabeth Martin June 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    the link to my blog shows the project I did with my wooden threat spools. I should update it with the picture of it mounted by the door!

  8. DA June 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I make Christmas trees by threading the spools on graduated dowels after tying torn fabric around the spool and knotting it. I also make people with heavy string. Someone else made a tray with the like sized spools glued to a board.

  9. Diana November 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    you could also use them as door/drawer pulls to a cupboard or closet door.

Comments are closed.


Subscribe for news, discount codes on our silly candles and other fascinating info.