Craft Ideas for Thread Spools

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 3, 2015

jar with 20 covered thread spoolsWhen you take old spools, give them new life, and toss in some balls of fabric, and buttons, you have what our grandmothers used for function, to use in a new way to decorate.


Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1-3

Source: Found one in a thrift shop and had to make them for a gift shop!


  • 20-25 wooden spools, empty or almost empty
  • 20-25 scraps of fabric
  • 1 hot glue gun
  • 1 scissors
  • 20-25 buttons
  • Varies old snaps, hooks, or packages of sewing notions.
  • 2 ft raffia or ribbon or torn fabric strip
  • 1 flower or ribbon
  • 1 old or new jar lid is optional
  • scrap yarn for balls
  • scrap fabric for the lid, at least 2" in diameter more than the lid
  • 30/1.00 hair bands to keep fabric lids on


  1. With the strips cut or torn, hot glue a very small amount to the spools, place the fabric on it and wrap it around to just cover it. If the spool is inset a bit, wrap some more to fill it out.
  2. supplies
  3. With scrap yarn, make a ball then cover it with the fabric. This saves fabric and gives it less weight.
  4. Advertisement

  5. Do this with all the spool sizes you have. Itty bitty ones are very cute, too. Stay with wooden ones, the older styles are best. If you have a bunch of old threaded spools, cover the thread with the fabric. Chances are the thread is too old to use anyway.
  6. Old Fashioned Sewing Jar with a New Twist
  7. Once you have this done, make sure the jar is clean. If you have a lid, great. If not, take a piece of plastic lid from a yogurt or cottage cheese container and cut a circle to use.
  8. Cut a circle in some fabric about 2" from the edges of the plastic circle. Pinking sheers give it a nice touch, but are not essential.
  9. Old Fashioned Sewing Jar with a New Twist

  10. Center the plastic circle on the fabric one and drop a small dot of glue to secure one to the other. If your fabric is one sided, make sure the good side is upside down when you glue the disk to it.
  11. Fill the jar with buttons, spools, an old pair of scissors, or other sewing things.

More Solutions

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 181 Posts
October 13, 2010

Re-use empty thread spools. Fasten a row of them jammed shoulder to shoulder inside a kitchen cabinet door and you've got yourself an instant knife holder.


12 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 28, 2010

I would like a craft idea that would use old tatting thread and spools full of thread, that are somewhat new. I saw somewhere a craft that used these, but can't remember where. Can someone help with this? Thank you ever so.

By Patsy from Salem, MO


April 28, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry, I'm looking for ideas of how to use full spools of tatting thread.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
April 28, 20100 found this helpful


May 5, 20100 found this helpful

I crochet with it with a size 8 (very old hook) or a size 10 hook. It works up really pretty and I only do basic stiches.

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September 14, 2011

A friend has a lot of wooden spools with no thread on them. She is wanting some ideas for using them or I should say, crafting with them. Thank you.

By homestead from Bardstown, KY


September 22, 20110 found this helpful

People used to make spool dolls. Google that and see what comes up or try and type in spool dolls.

September 26, 20110 found this helpful

Use as feet on baskets, bird houses, or planters. There is the old strung-together spool doll with a round wooden bead head with painted on face.

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November 28, 2005

I have several wooden spools that belonged to my grandmother. I was wanting to keep them in a jar with some of her old buttons. Do you know if it is better for anitquity to keep the thread on them or off? I know that I am to leave the labels on.

Carol from Fairview, TN


November 29, 20050 found this helpful

I think it's best to keep the thread on. I don't see how it could hurt the spools unless they get wet. It increases their value also. Besides, they must look nicer in the jar.


I have sold many with silk thread on them on ebay. You would be suprised at how much people will pay for them.

November 29, 20050 found this helpful

I think it's best to leave the thread on especially if it's silk thread. It can only damage the spools if they get wet. It will look nicer in the jar also. I have sold many of these on ebay, you would be suprised how much people will pay!


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
December 1, 20050 found this helpful

I'm not a collector or anything, but I'd say that if someone was wanting to buy your spools (if you ever wanted to sell), they'd want to see what was on the spools. Plus they'd be more attractive with their colored threads on them. If the buyer didn't want the thread on them, they could take it off, themselves.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
December 1, 20050 found this helpful

Keep in the original condition and that means leaving the thread on, even if it's hanging by a thread.
Baaad pun.

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February 13, 2011

Does anyone have an idea for use of old empty wooden thread spools? Thank you.

By linda from Niagara Falls, NY


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
February 5, 20050 found this helpful

I have a bag full of old wooden spools - not the spools you find today - the old spools anywhere from 8-12 inches, some have the yarn/thread still on them & some don't. I'm looking for crafts to use them in.


Thanks for any help.

January 21, 20140 found this helpful

They make really cute Christmas tree ornaments. Glue ribbon, pictures, beads anything that looks like Christmas.

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September 22, 2008

About 5 years ago I made a craft project for Halloween by painting on wooden spools. The characters were Frankenstein, Dracula, and a witch. Can anyone out there can help me, thanks in advance!

Donna from Edwardsville, PA


September 22, 20080 found this helpful

These are made with plastic spoons, but I'm sure you could modify them for wood spoons. The link below is for the ones in the picture.


This link makes a ghost and spider as well as the other styles using spoons.

Hope that helps!

By Michele (Guest Post)
September 24, 20080 found this helpful

You can go to this link. Tthere are a few listed.
Good luck

Answer this Question

March 23, 2013

The spools (plastic or wood) need to hold around 2 hundred feet of yarn or a little more.

By Curb minor

Answer this Question

November 28, 2016

This is a page about making a spool reindeer. Thread spools can be used to make many craft projects.

Making a Spool Reindeer

December 6, 2016

Use an old spool to make these cute and handy pin cushions. This is a page about making a thread spool pin cushion.

finished pin cushion with pins


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 13, 2011

I have empty wooden and plastic spools from thread. These are from small sewing machine thread. Does anyone know easy crafts we can do with them?

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