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October 2010
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What To Do With Empty Thread Spools – Part 2

A few weeks I posed the question of what to do with all the empty thread spools that I’m accumulating.  To show you what I’m talking about, here’s a picture of PART of my empty spool stash — this picture has spools from one box (130 spools) and I have a couple more boxes with so many that I thought they wouldn’t fit in the picture.

I’ve had a LOT of responses with ideas and I want to pass a few of them along to you just in case you have a stash like this.

** Make cat toys from the spools by threading two or three onto a length of yarn or heavy string – tie the ends and let the cat play.

** Somebody found a back massager made out of empty thread spools — that might work pretty well, but I’m not so sure I have time to make it OR time to sit and use it!

** A really cool idea that I’m GOING to do is to make pin cushions out of the spools.  I love this idea because it could be something that could also make a little extra cash!  I’ll pass along any pictures as soon as I get a few minutes to put one together.

** One reader likes to use the empty spools to glue to the bottoms of plant pots in order to keep the pots up off the ground.

** Several of you like to use the empty spools to wind end pieces of rick rack or quilt binding to keep the lengths in one place and easy to use for the next time.  A tiny piece of scotch tape at the end will hold the rick rack or quilt binding in place.

** A child’s project of using pipe cleaners shaped like a “stick” man can be used by putting the empty spools onto the pipe cleaners, then make the shape of the stick person.

** The very best idea I’ve saved for last, and I’m really hoping some of you with the large spool stashes will think about doing this – find an easy craft idea, such as threading 8-10 spools onto heavy thread or twine to make Holiday decorations.  Halloween is too close, but perhaps Thanksgiving and especially for Christmas.  Decorate the spools with bits of yarn, stick on candy canes or stars or sequins THEN thread them onto the twine for a tree decoration or a banister decoration.   The best part of this idea from a reader who says she has all the bits and pieces (and spools / twine) ready for the craft, then she sets a time with the local Pre-K school teacher for her to come in and help the children make the craft to take home to their parents.  The kids get to stick on the sequins, stars, bits of Holiday colored felt, etc then she and the teacher help the children get their decorated spools onto the twine.   You can then either tie the ends together to make a Christmas “circle” to hang from a door knob or make knots at each end big enough so they won’t slip through the spool holes so the children can have a Christmas “rope”.

A big THANK YOU to all who have written in — I’m sure there are many more uses for these empty spools, but I have an idea where a bunch of mine will go!

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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