Lynne: This project told me something about myself that I did not realize before. The objects I create come from a need for something rather than from the parts themselves. I had to think of a need and then decide if the spools could fit that need.
I spent most of the two weeks drawing spools in my notebook. I find that drawing my ideas first helps me find problems that could occur before I put any permanent glue in place. After pages and pages of spools in all different configurations, I found that the container I wanted for my colored pencils could not be made with the spools I had. I had to find another need.
Since Kristin and I have been back from our Indiana Dunes trip, I had been wanting to make a bracelet that reflected the colors of Lake Michigan. Friendship bracelets have been the rage all summer and I thought a woven chevron would give me the effect I wanted. However when I went to get the lengths of embroidery floss I wanted, the bobbins kept falling to the floor always ending in the dustiest corner of the room. I decided I needed a covered box with a bobbin that would roll and there I realized was the use for my spools.
I wound the floss I needed for the bracelet project onto some of the wooden spools. I threaded the spools onto two 12 inch dowel rods and put the rods into four holes that I had put in the plastic box. I used a heated awl to start the holes and then a craft knife to make them just a little larger than the dowels.
I originally poked holes in the lid for the floss to come out of the box, but the threads tangled every time I removed the lid. I put new holes near the bottom of the box which worked great. I tied jump rings to the thread ends so they would stay in place. I cut off the jump rings when I need floss and retie them when I have the length I want.
The spools can be changed depending on the colors needed for a project and the floss stays clean and neatly wound. The bottom photo shows the completed bracelet.
We were not allowed to see or talk about anyone else’s project before the time limit was up. It was a lot of fun to get together and see what we had all come up with. The projects reflected each of us perfectly. We had a lot of fun with this and are already planning more.
Cheri: This spool challenge was a lot of fun to do. I think all of us had a really good time and our projects were all so different. For my spool project I decided that I wanted to do a Halloween project. That being decided, I realized that I wanted to paint some monsters on the spools and then I thought it would be so cool to be able to change the parts of the monsters around. I spent a few hours painting the spools and then I had to decide what I wanted to display them on. I had picked up some old alphabet blocks maybe a year ago and they just had the right feel to them. I started working with the letters to decide what I wanted to spell and finally felt that “SPOOKY” was a very appropriate word. I drilled a small hole in the top of the blocks and then I cut 5 pieces of dowel. I then hot glued the dowel into the blocks. My son suggested that I paint the dowels black so they didn’t stand out so much, and voila!!! My project was completed. I think we all did an awesome job and I can’t wait to get started on our next project.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Crafty Sisters are kicking off our first Crafty Challenge! I came across this box of wooden spools tucked away in the garage (going into my garage is like an archeological dig!), hundreds of them, with all the thread removed. What on earth would I do with a box of wooden spools? Better yet, what would each of us here at the Crafty Sisters do with them? The first Crafty Challenge was born!
Each of us approach crafting in a different way, and we each have our own favorite medium, so it will be fun to see what each of us does with the same material. There are no rules to this challenge, just use spools! There are no winners or losers, either. This is just creativity and play at its best!
To divide up the spools, we passed the container around and took a spool with our eyes closed. That way, it’s totally random, and we each have a variety. We’ll post the results on Sunday, October 9th. It will be very interesting to see what we each come up with!