Monthly Archives: October 2011

Crafty Challenge One: Wooden Spool Towel Holder

Spool challenge towel holder
Spool challenge towel holder

Loryn: One of my first ideas for the spools was a towel holder that would take advantage of the spinning spools to make getting towels on and off easier.

Spool challenge towel holder
Spool challenge towel holder

I used a piece of scrap wood left over from the new wood trim I put in my laundry room. My first thought was to use some wire from the garage to hold the spools, but it sagged too much, so I bought a 1/4″ dowel. I had also planned to use two more pieces of scrap wood to hold the wire at each end, but it just looked too big and clunky. I didn’t have any hooks or strapping that would work, and I didn’t want to make another run to the hardware store.

Spool challenge towel holder
Closeup of the wire hook.

The wire was still sitting on my work table, so I tried bending it into a hook. Doubled, it’s strong enough to hold the dowel full of spools. The same screw that mounts the towel holder to the wall also holds the wire hook on. Simple and efficient! I can see a lot of uses for hooks like that, so expect to see more down the road!

The trim wood I used is poplar, which would normally be painted. I wiped everything down with a little boiled linseed oil to make it look a little more finished. I really like the look of linseed oil, but make sure that you spread your rags out flat to dry in the sun before throwing them away. Linseed oil can spontaneously combust if you wad up soaked rags and toss them in the trash.

Spool challenge towel holder
The finished towel holder in place.

And here it is in my bathroom! I hung it next to the sink to hold hand towels. The wire isn’t heavy enough to hold wet bath towels, but it’s perfect for this use.


Crafty Challenge One: A Study in Teal

So, we posted two weeks ago about our latest activity, the Crafty Challenge. This challenge was to use old thread spools in a craft; any sort or craft. There were no limits and you had two weeks to complete the project. Today we unveiled our projects and here is mine!

Photo of spool wreath
I think it is easy to tell that my favorite color is teal.

I decided to make a wreath. This is usually Cheri’s forte, but I thought I could do something that was good, clearly not up to her standards (I will have to get some pics of the wreaths she has made for me posted sometime), but pretty.

I have to admit that I procrastinated the whole two weeks away and actually made this in about 2 1/2 hours this afternoon. First, I had to paint the spools. I used some acrylic paint I had leftover from an art class. None of the colors are repeated and in fact one of the spools is not painted at all, it is a lovely green color. You can see it below with the labels still in view.

Photo of my painting job on the spools.

I used some heavy gauge wire and some plastic tubing to make the wreath base. I pulled the wire through the tubing and then wired the ends together. I then made the loop hanger. I covered the tubing with some pretty blue ribbon to hide the base and blend it into the background a little.

Photo close-up of the back of the wreath.

Then, I wired the spools to the base. We actually only received 22 spools for this challenge and I did not have enough to go around the entire base, so I designed a large bow-type decoration at the bottom of the wreath to hide this fact.

Photo close-up of the ribbon at the bottom of the wreath.

I wrapped the thin teal and brown ribbon all around the spools and then layered it very heavily in the bottom space to give some fullness to the striped bow.

Photo of the back of the wreath where I attached the ribbon.

The striped ribbon is cut into several pieces and each curled and then wrapped around the wreath base with some more wire. This gave me a long bow instead of a really large bow.

Another photo of the whole wreath.

I am really happy with how the whole project turned out. I was so surprised by the variety of each of our finished crafts, so keep on reading! I can’t wait for the next Crafty Challenge (to be announced tomorrow)!