Project Four: Spool Thread Holder (with tutorial)
I had been meaning to make one of these for ages, but it was only after I found all those beautiful vintage wooden spools of thread at the charity shop that I was really spurred on. I wanted to display them as I found them so aesthetically appealing, as well as be able to view and select the colour thread I needed quickly and easily.
When I say I made this, what I actually mean is I designed it and collected all the materials. All the actual labour was done by the boy.
Here’s how we made it:
One piece of MDF 16″ by 12″ ( this was the size the piece already was when we found it in the bin store. Any size could be used)
One electric drill with a wooden drill bit
18 small wooden dowels (£2.99 from Homebase for a pack of 50)
1 metre of wooden doweling (from our supply of wood that we scavenge)
1 junior hacksaw
Emulsion paint (I used leftover paint from painting the walls)
Wood glue (£1.99 from Homebase)
(total cost: less than £2 for materials used. I like cheap projects)
Draw a grid of 2 inch squares on your piece of wood.
Using a drill bit the same size as the diameter of your dowels, drill a hole at all the intersections of the horizontal lines with the vertical, making sure you drill about the same distance down each time and don’t go through the bottom of the wood.
Depending on your selection of spools, decide how many small dowels you need (for old-fashioned smaller spools of thread) and how many longer dowels you will need for the modern longer spools. Once you are decided, cut your long piece of doweling to make enough longer dowels for your longer spools. I cut them about 2 and a quarter inches long, using the hacksaw.
I had 35 holes drilled, so decided on 18 short dowels and 17 long dowels.
Once all your holes are drilled, put a dab of wood glue onto the end of each dowel and hammer it into a hole. It is quite therapeutic, the boy certainly enjoyed it. Leave it to dry overnight.
Before we had cut the longer dowels to size and inserted them, I couldn’t resist trying it out with the vintage wooden spools to get a feel for how the finished product would look. Lovely!
Prime and then paint your new spool holder in the colour of your choice. I chose white, as it is my favourite colour to paint things, and I think it helps show off the lovely colours of the thread, but any colour would work.
Once it is finished and the paint is dry you can just prop it up on a shelf and admire your handiwork. I have a friend who has a really tall one (she is a professional tailor though) and it is at least 1.5 metres tall. Very impressive. I like mine. I especially like admiring the vintage wooden spools of thread every time I walk past.