Ideas on different things I can do with these yummy old spools?

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I'm a picker and came across lots and lots of these beauties. I took home several boxes of these purdies and are using for different projects. However, I want to find out what would you do with them? Need new ideas. Thanks
q ideas on different things i can do with these yummy old spools, crafts, repurposing upcycling, Love the color of these spools I sat out all these spools and took a picture of them before I packed them up
Love the color of these spools. I sat out all these spools and took a picture of them before I packed them up.
q ideas on different things i can do with these yummy old spools, crafts, repurposing upcycling, I have some in my storefront with burlap and homespun fabric for decoration I also hang a crystal tear drop for a touch of bling
I have some in my storefront with burlap and homespun fabric for decoration. I also hang a crystal tear drop for a touch of bling.
  106 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 19, 2013
    Foot massage rollers?
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Oct 19, 2013
    wow. where did you find these? awesome
  • Jann Olson Jann Olson on Oct 19, 2013
    They are fabulous! Love the chippy paint on some! Love them as is and what you have done with them, but here's a few other suggestions: A spool garland would be fun for a sewing room. If you don't mind cutting some in have you could add a dowel in the front and hang them to be used as a hook on the wall. Even a group of three on an old piece of wood for a rack would be fun. One last thing. I once made a spool doll. The spool was the body. I just recently threw the doll part away and kept the spool. lol! But just an idea.
    • @Jann Olson thanks for the ideas. I think I could do something with the spool garland idea! I went on a pick some months ago and came across hundreds and hundreds of these. I started taking them out of boxes and started putting them on the table to look at all the great colors on the top. I took the picture for post about the pick.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Oct 19, 2013
    I can send you my address.....haha I've just seen spools that were decorated by hand top bottom and sides adding art directly to the spools that was pretty cool!
  • Erica Sharpe Erica Sharpe on Oct 19, 2013
    Not exactly how sure how large they are, but they would make nice rustic candle pedestals (with glass, of course)
  • Marian very good idea, thanks!
  • Jann Olson Jann Olson on Oct 19, 2013
    I'm laughing because I just noticed that I wrote have instead of half. lol!
  • Lynn/NotTooShabby Lynn/NotTooShabby on Oct 19, 2013
    I love these because my parents and grandparents worked in the textile industry....if they could talk:)
  • Larose LoganOakes Larose LoganOakes on Oct 20, 2013
    You could hang them with twine and make like a small ladder to hang objects on.I'm always running out of hanging storage area.You could then put hooks like shower curtain rings on the dowels and hang small objects like jewelry or ties or scarves or artwork or photographs if people still take pics, from them.Just a thought!
  • Karen Reyna Karen Reyna on Oct 20, 2013
    I just pinned a great display with mini pumpkins on the them... http://www.pinterest.com/pin/100064422944533322/ Here's a page ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=vintage%20spools I love them as a base of a cake plate!
  • Kimberly Young Kimberly Young on Oct 20, 2013
    Wow, I would sell some as is. I would love to buy some.
  • Patti Nicholas Patti Nicholas on Oct 20, 2013
    My first thought (actually my second thought, the first one was ship them to me) was as curtain holders. Smaller ones attached about half way to 2/3 down the window to use as drapery holders (like a tie back) or the larger ones attached to the top of a window as swag holders. Then some as candle stands, book ends, pedestals for small tchotchkes or just laying on a table top as is.
  • Mary C Mary C on Oct 20, 2013
    they look nice now,and before i was old enough to work in the mill, as a child we played with the bobbins for the spinners and used them to beat our homemade drums made from items such as old oatmeal boxes,ect... but i sure did hate having to pull the yarn/thread from them when they would get bobbed up on the spinners and winders in the cotton mills....so glad i went to college....but these bring back memories...not many cotton mills are open anymore in the U.S...and for the people in my area, family...this was our way of life...sadly, many lost their jobs, income and their way of living....i hope you and others can bring much beauty to these....they are easier to look at now, and i must say, they tug at my heart for there are many memories of these old bobbins,spools,ect....i would like to be able to place my paper towels on them, or even attach them to the wall for regular bath, hand towels...i love the lamp/candle stick idea....hang kitchen towels on them...can't wait to see what our creative friends at hometalk do with all of the history here!!! :)
  • Isabel Karon Isabel Karon on Oct 21, 2013
    My friend put pictures on them half way through the front. Especially the old family pictures look adorable on them. I've done a couple now myself
  • Glenna Williams Glenna Williams on Oct 21, 2013
    I made a coat rack with them, just need a board, shools and a long screw. The screw needs to be the kind that doesn't screw in at top(no threads) and then you just make where you want them and screw them in. We are making one right now for our hallway. You could lay them on their sides and make a pumpkin, use a fast drying glue since only edges of spools would meet. They make cute drawer pulls also. Well there you have it three new ideas.... have fun, wish they were here, I have a few more wooden ones and mine will be gone.
  • Summer Summer on Oct 21, 2013
    It would be a shame to cut them but if you have so many, maybe a tabletop or art piece (like a mosaic) using the ends?
  • Summer Summer on Oct 21, 2013
    I'm thinking also it would be cute as a sort of window treatment. Hanging some from twine at different lengths, or maybe if not on a window doing it like a wind chime. Maybe from an old embroidery hoop or old wooden clothes hanger.
  • Summer Summer on Oct 21, 2013
    Oh this is fun! lol...drawer pulls? a coat hanging board where these are the 'hooks'? a garland with twine and burlap bows?
  • Donna Donna on Oct 21, 2013
    What a grat find. I have only a couple displayed in my sewing/craft room. Have them laying next to my ole blue mason jar of buttons. Have fun with them, I see lots of good ideas on here.
  • Jeri Turner Jeri Turner on Oct 21, 2013
    I would love to buy some if you want to get rid of some. I LOVE these things.
  • Jeri Turner Jeri Turner on Oct 21, 2013
    and you r a picker?????? Oh, I wish, I'll bet you come up with some fab finds. Do you sell or just collect?
    • @Jeri Turner Yes, I am a picker among other things. Yes, I do find some cool things. I do sell them at my storefront. Check out my blog or facebook page and you can see some of my scores! It's work but it is fun work. I'm lucky I can do what I love. Thanks for asking....www.iheartpurdythings.com or iheartpurdythings on facebook.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 21, 2013
    It is hard to tell, but these look about 8-10" long...?? I would varnish some, leaving the distressed look, and use them as candle holders. They would be great to glue and screw some together and make table legs. By adding different tops, they would be adorable. Some tops could be tiled, painted, stenciled, etc. Footstools could be made. I have seen curtains threaded on small dowels at the edge of windows...use these with hooks.
  • Claudia Claudia on Oct 21, 2013
    I set my tall one on the floor and used it as a candle holder for a large pillar. At Christmas time I added greens and ribbon and put it on the fireplace hearth.
  • Pam Townsend Bies Pam Townsend Bies on Oct 21, 2013
    I have seen them used for hat displays on and off the wall
  • Joanna Carrisal Joanna Carrisal on Oct 21, 2013
    This might sound odd, but I could see you using them as a curtain holder over an outside shower. Or inside for that matter. You could string them on a rope or metal cable. Then get some cool old fabric and hang the fabric on each individual spool. It would be so cute. You could change the fabric each season. Oh my, I'd love to have some of these.
  • Fenya Kashergen Fenya Kashergen on Oct 21, 2013
    I use mine for their original purpose, in hand weaving. Contact the local guild in your area and see if there is interest in the spindles.
  • Kari Lavecchia Kari Lavecchia on Oct 21, 2013
    I have some of them as well and have made really cute jewelry hangers by putting several of them at different heights on a piece of old barn board.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Oct 21, 2013
    I'd love to see these made into a "banner" using rope or rustic twine. Maybe thread a spool then add some burlap ties (hanging down 6-8" or so) then another stool until you have your desired length. They would also make great "hooks" (for coats/backpacks/purse) on a piece of wood, old door etc.
  • Joyce Joyce on Oct 21, 2013
    Use these to display old hats
  • Diane Kinnaird Diane Kinnaird on Oct 21, 2013
    I made lamps out of mine (lg) 15 years ago for my living room...they turned out lovely w/ lampshades that I had a lady make for me, out of a muslim material..very chic/rustic look....
  • Carol Carol on Oct 21, 2013
    I would wind quilting strips, ribbon or trims on them and display them in my sewing room. It would keep then tidy and look pretty. Also a great help planing a log cabin quilt.
  • Yvette Yvette on Oct 21, 2013
    use at window corners to drape curtains over with swag inbetween
  • Anita Erskine Anita Erskine on Oct 21, 2013
    I'm just plain envious of your find! They are lovely and I would display them and like Carol said, wind some old quilt fabric, or ribbons around them. Lucky you!
  • Linda Linda on Oct 21, 2013
    I was recently in a store where they had spools up on the wall as hooks in the dressing rooms. I think they screwed them into the wall. They looks cute.
  • DebbeyK DebbeyK on Oct 21, 2013
    They also make wonderful candlesticks. You can decorate the base and up to the "top" according to the seasons..
  • JoAnn Cappello Herrera JoAnn Cappello Herrera on Oct 21, 2013
    I have a client who put a bunch of them on top of her entertainment center and put various sizes and heights of candles on and in them. Not just tapers but wider candles too.
  • Kathy C Kathy C on Oct 21, 2013
    Look on Pinterest - lots of ideas there for old spools!!
  • Jane Jane on Oct 21, 2013
    Lucky you...I have used a couple as candleholders for very thin tapers especially at Christmas on the mantle. I tie a festive holiday red ribbon around the top neck, then insert the taper and surround them with greenery and other Christmas mantle items. I also have three of varying sizes and colors that I just display year round on a shelf in my tall bookcase. Many people don't know what they are so I found they are a good conversation piece when new guests are in my home. Living in the south I found mine at an old textile mill that was going out of business. I paid a quarter each for them and now wish I had bought a barrel of them. I just love that they are a bit unusual, and have some interesting history behind them.
  • Lila Mae Dease Lila Mae Dease on Oct 21, 2013
    Help ansIwer this question...I like the idea of winding old brightly colored fabric around them as suggested earlier, but then display them in a nice vintage basket.
  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Oct 21, 2013
    The little colored ones laying down in the top picture are old thread bobbins..Ive seen those used for candle holders to hang on the wall..There pretty hard to find these days..The others you could use as pedastal bases gluing bowls or different things on top..You could take four of the same size and use them as legs then attach a piece of wood on top for a free standing shelf..you made a good find..Those are fairly old spools.
  • Evie Evie on Oct 22, 2013
    We use them a lot for "vases" for wire & metal, primitive flowers, it's a great look!
  • Marguerite.guinn Marguerite.guinn on Oct 22, 2013
    I love these spools. I check for them at every thrift store, crafts show and garage sale that I attend. How fun to find so many in one place!
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Oct 23, 2013
    Just thought of a "second take" on my original banner idea. This might give you an alternative to make more than one design to help with selling them in a shop. DESIGN TWO: Using a colorful child's "jump rope" remove the wooden ends so that the rope can go through the spool holes. Add your burlap, colorful calico fabric (playing off the colors of the old paint on the spools.) Make your banner and then if you can reattach the wooden ends of the jump rope you'll have a "fun" and child-like banner. (This is assuming they STILL make jump ropes with wooden ends these day - or maybe you can get a vintage one? or use a wooden curtain rod end or thread spool to tie off your ends?) Or here's another one....DESIGN THREE: IF you can find a twinkling light set that is small/narrow enough to go through your spool holes (or drill your spool holes larger perhaps?) you'll have a "banner & light" all in one. Now that's cool huh! Please be sure to photo and report back as I hope to "see" this idea some day. Wish I had some spools to put my vision into practice!
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Oct 24, 2013
    Christmas is coming, I would use a few and paint or decoupage nutcracker men onto them!
  • Freda Freda on Oct 25, 2013
    They can be the base for so many things, cake plates, pie plates. I think a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving would look lovely with a larger spool as a base.
  • Alana Lamica Alana Lamica on Oct 27, 2013
    you could make lamps, tables , spool stools, pizza stand :)
  • Nancy Thrift Nancy Thrift on Oct 28, 2013
    I used on to hold those cloth hair ties for pony tails or pig tails. also candle holders
  • RoseMary Wells RoseMary Wells on Jan 14, 2014
    Over the years I have simply used different heights together on a surface (mantel, dining table, side table) because the wood can be so beautiful just as it is. When my grandson was little (crawling), they were among his first toys - spools with equal-sized base and top went flying across the floor in a straight line. The one with the small top and larger (red) base (which made it even more beautiful next to the satin brown wood), however, went in a large circle when pushed on the hardwood floors. He LOVED going back and forth between the different spools - I think he's gong to be an engineer. (Another one of his favorite things to do was to crawl around his stroller and move it just a little bit, watching the wheels move intently). Babies are even more fun than crafting! : )
  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 15, 2014
    You could also attach one end to a decorative plank or shelf and use as coat rack pegs
  • Glenna Williams Glenna Williams on Jan 16, 2014
    Well I have some like them displayed in my new bathroom on my shelves, I also have a couple of half gallon old blue jars with regular old wooden spools in them, they are the ones I started sewing with way back when,.. You can tie a fabric or ribbon bow around the base and put a little baby's breath in hole, instant little cutie vase, OR you can give them to me... now that's a good idea! HA!!!!
  • Cath Cath on Jan 16, 2014
    I have one that has been carved in the middle to make room for a glass sand timer.(figure 8) It is attached with a dark twine...matching the color of the spool. Rustic and perfect for "time-out" for my grand children!
  • Mary Sweet Mary Sweet on Jan 16, 2014
    As for me all the other people before me had some of the same info that i was going to say, I would take 3 or so different hight on& put them on the floor next to a table for decoration. Also they would have different collored tops of color..
  • Ann B Ann B on Jan 16, 2014
    I have a tall spool with 4 cup hooks evenly spaced around the top. I put it in my sewing room and hung old sewing notions on it.
  • Raquel Damas Raquel Damas on Jan 19, 2014
    Eu desmontaria alguns e faria relógios com as bases.
  • Dezzy Dezzy on Jan 19, 2014
    I thought of you when I found this link on this site with 8 uses for wooden spools. Hope you find it useful. http://diy.allwomenstalk.com/cool-and-clever-cable-spool-diy-projects
  • Susan-Amber Springer Susan-Amber Springer on Jan 19, 2014
    I had some smaller spools in my antique sewing collection, and after some soul-searching, decided to cut them and use them as drawer pulls. One had a section cut out of the middle to make two pulls and I cut semi-circle sections out of the ends of another for a drawer pull. No way to show you pics right now, but I was happy to have extra space for "stuff" in my craft/sewing/reading room.
  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jan 20, 2014
    I have a spool that my Mum bought me while holidaying in England many years ago. It has part of the 'stem' cut out and a glass egg timer inserted in the gap.Every time I boil eggs It reminds me of her and I know she would be happy that I am putting it to good use.
  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Jan 20, 2014
    I have a couple of them, I use them for candle holders, but I don't burn the candles, just for looks, I also think they look good just sitting on a shelf.
  • Felicity Woodruffe Felicity Woodruffe on Jan 20, 2014
    how big are they i cant tell if they are empty cotton reels or large empty cable reels
  • Mary Sweet Mary Sweet on Jan 20, 2014
    I would take 3 of them different sizes & color tops & set them near a table just for decoration. i would also use them as candle holders....
  • Dolores DeLuise Dolores DeLuise on Jan 20, 2014
    I don't know if you have any the appropriate size, but . . . funny . . . I was just thinking today about the doll bed my grandfather made for me and the fact that I can't make one because thread spools are no longer wooden and do not have the shape of yours. He attached four spools to the four bottom corners of a cigar box and painted it and added clothespins to the top, painted them as well, and I had a four-poster bed for my doll. My grandmother sewed the bedding. The color was light gray with red accents. If yours are large, you could use a wine crate to make a bigger one.
  • Ruby Coles Ruby Coles on Jan 24, 2014
    I would turn them into chairs - paint them different colours, glue comfy pillows, use some sandpaper to give them that vintage look, or do some decoupaging. They have big potential :)
  • Meliss Etner Meliss Etner on Jan 24, 2014
    I saw these recently on Pinterest or Hometalk repurposed as a series of wall hooks with the face displaying labels to fit or painted finish. The only issue with this is that leaving the length of them intact, they would probably need to be mounted where there's space and no bump into them effect. Good luck!
  • Meliss Etner Meliss Etner on Jan 24, 2014
    Hey, just checked out Pinterest and saw a couple of good lighting options with spools-take a look-see!
  • Adriana Adriana on Jan 24, 2014
    please let me know if you are interested in selling a few. Thanks!
  • ZOYA ZOYA on Jan 25, 2014
    Zoya - well-- what I do with ones I have bought at flea markets etc, is I sew cloth snowman heads and pumpkin heads.These make great stands for them. I sell them at craft shows and make good bucks! My cloth heads are painted and tea stained and look quite primitive so they go well with these spindles just as they are.
    • Cindy Cindy on Jan 25, 2014
      @ZOYA Could you post a picture of the snowman heads? I would love to see them!
  • Pat Cobb Pat Cobb on Jan 25, 2014
    I have made a few candle holders and love them, also make a couple of cake plate stands with them.
  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 25, 2014
    When I was little I remember my grand father made a corner shelf out of spools for my grandmother's knick knacks! It's still just as beautiful now as it was then nearly 50 years later! He put some type of lacquer finish on it.
  • EileenA EileenA on Jan 25, 2014
    I would use them to make a coat hanger ...
  • Candi Candi on Jan 26, 2014
    I would love to have some of these if you are selling some of them...Kandella1@No search results.msn.com
  • Ulka Kern Ulka Kern on Jan 26, 2014
    set a marble on a little one and you have an instant gazing globe for your fairy garden
  • Linda Gournay Linda Gournay on Jan 27, 2014
    Help answer this question...i have a few and use them as candlesticks
  • Connie VanDeKoppel Connie VanDeKoppel on Jan 27, 2014
    My husband drilled 3 holes, staggering them horizontily, in a large spool, 13 1/2" high. Then he put 3 dowels thro' the holes. I have 6 spaces to hang hand towels from on my bathroom vanity. Very handy and it looks quite fitting atop my old oak sideboard converted to a vanity with sink.
  • Loretta Johnston Loretta Johnston on Jan 27, 2014
    If you are going to sell them I would love to buy some. Or maybe tell me where I can get some of them. Thanks craftysister2@yahoo.com
  • Lisa Damoff Lisa Damoff on Jan 29, 2014
    Make them into toys for kids. They look like wheels.
  • Meliss Etner Meliss Etner on Jan 30, 2014
    ALERT!!!!! I heart! Finally found site where they show spools as bath/kitchen towel hooks with decorative farmy labels on face of these gems. Site is Farmhouse Wares. Hope this helps... @ least it gives a visual for one way to use them! You have so many you could do a variety of things or use them this way throughout the house..bath, kitch., laundry, entry, kids rooms...Good Luck!
  • Momcat1211 Momcat1211 on Apr 11, 2014
    gluing small pots on top so the plants have height and the ability to hang over for an arrangement on a table setting. You could clean them up and store ribbon, string, fabric, beads etc. on them too. I think a good coat of furniture wax and the wood would be so nice to admire too!
  • May Spearman May Spearman on Apr 11, 2014
    stack 2 and screw them together and attach a round top to make a child's table then add some cushion or some type of foam topper to others and make upholstered stools to go with the table. great for a childs play room or playhouse!!
  • Khg320372 Khg320372 on Apr 13, 2014
    I use one for braclets
  • Janet Baack Janet Baack on Apr 13, 2014
    I used a large spool, bought the parts for lamps (they usually come in a kit) at my local craft store and made a lamp. Most holes on the spools usually work. Purchase a small lamp shade and you have cute accent lamp.
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Aug 03, 2014
    @1 result is available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.Pat CobbI bought one at an antique shop. It had a copper piece pounded into the top for using it as a candle holder. I display it along with two small spools that I bought at the same time. You are lucky to have so many. They are hard to find except antique stores can be outrageous in cost.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 27, 2015
    I have vintage lace, etc. wrapped on some, and some pillar candles displayed on others. I think of the larger ones as pedestals, and ideas come to you as you sort your finds. For example, at Christmas, wrap some with ribbon and display ornaments on top.
  • Darlene Clonts Darlene Clonts on Oct 04, 2015
    plant stands/can be decorated with any thing
  • Gill Moreton Gill Moreton on Oct 04, 2015
    Hi, curtain hold backs. Screwed to the wall. Rustic look.
  • Ruidoso Ruidoso on Oct 05, 2015
    I have used my beloved aunt's for years as candle holders--all sizes of candles.....
  • Naydene Cook Naydene Cook on Oct 25, 2016
    Stool legs, different sizes glued on top of one another for trees,base for a round small table with glass top.
  • Leila Leila on Jan 01, 2017
    Do you still have these and are you interested in selling any of them That you aren't using?
  • Jenniepilant Jenniepilant on Jan 02, 2017
    They make cute cupcake holders .as well as candle bases. Also use with cup and saucers and fill with succulants.
  • Kcama Kcama on Jan 04, 2017
    The narrow ones in the bottom of the picture can be used to make a chime - soft, gentle tones.
  • Monique Leslie Monique Leslie on Jan 06, 2017
    Use them to display photos like an unrolled film roll. Attach pictures end to end with tape and put on a shelf
  • Nanny Carol Almond Nanny Carol Almond on Jan 08, 2017
    Tie them together, with some space for them to hang down ,five or six long. You would have a scarf hanger for several scarves, neat, n room saving

  • Melanie Kelley Melanie Kelley on Jan 08, 2017
    You can put the small electric lights that you get at craft stores on top of the spools. Makes cute lights!

  • Suzanne Hudon McCullough Suzanne Hudon McCullough on Jan 08, 2017
    Sell them! I would love a few.
  • Kj Kj on Jan 08, 2017
    The small blue ones at the bottom of the picture would be great mounted on a beautiful piece of reclaimed wood with over the door wreath holders attached to create an over the door coat hook, or threaded into an old bedpost (as a picker, I'm sure you can get your hands on one or two  ) to create a coat rack. You could use some old candle stick table legs to brace the bottom, or one of the larger spools!
  • Pamela Cochrane Pamela Cochrane on Jan 09, 2017
    use as shelf supports to make room divider, or tall shelves on either side of mantle


  • Sam Phillips Beckerman Sam Phillips Beckerman on Jan 10, 2017
    rustic or industrial chic. google those for ideas. Candlesticks would be great as is. As a cake plate? To build rustic wood shelves, with these holding the next shelf?

  • Liz Straughn Liz Straughn on Jan 11, 2017
    I put candles in mine. You can also get some nobby yarn and wrap spool with it, enough to cover spindle, then use as displays.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jan 13, 2017
    I have a few of the examples you have pictured, and paid a healthy amount of money for them on ebay. I have mine around the house as small pedestals, candle holders and my favorite - I have vintage lace wrapped around some of the narrower ones. They are a good way to change levels of a display, also. If I had so many, I would pick out my favorites and sell what I couldn't use.
  • Jane Jane on Jan 18, 2017
    I have mine (some I picked up in Japan w/Kanji, Japanese writing on them) displayed in my sewing room. I use some to store ribbon or cording.
  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Jan 21, 2017
    Not decorative, but they'd be handy for a string of Christmas lights...
  • Moi15727962 Moi15727962 on Jan 21, 2017
    Stools, coffee tables if you glue some of the same height together.
  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 21, 2017
    Ok, I'm inspired to use a few large to medium ones and top with enamel ware bowls for things I keep on the Kitchen table, Napkins, salt and pepper, etc...