As I was getting ready to plan out my display for CHA, I was looking around Pinterest for ideas and came across a vintage wooden spool with a photo clip in it. It stopped me dead in my tracks! I needed a lot of display items for cards and a good part of my “look” would involve sewing. Vintage thread spools were the perfect fit! I just so happened to have two metal photo clip displays (those things with a base and a bunch of arms with clips at the end) that was begging to be a part of it. The only problem, they were black and cream was going to be a main theme color. No problem! I grabbed some cream home decor chalk paint (I love the Plaster color by Waverly for Plaid), added a little sanding, sealed them and had perfectly shabby photo holders to go in my spools.
I basically created two different sets of spools. The first set all featured the metal photo holder. I embellished each assembled spool differently, many with little bits of vintage millinery from my stash along with some scrappy embellishments that I have saved for a long time waiting for the “perfect” project. I wish they made use of more things that you could find now in shops, but then maybe that is part of the fun of this group. They are all little found and saved bits. Look in your crafty stash, hit up Etsy and Ebay, and go crazy mixing and matching bits of this and that!
The second I will feature tomorrow were all embellished with die cut felt posies made with my dies. I will be sharing a video tutorial on how to make them on Monday. The assembly process is the same for both styles, the difference is all in the finishing.
The vintage millinery set today is a big group. There are tons of photos to follow. I am sharing a few notes about the details on each. So grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy the fun!
This first spool is one of my favorites! I loved the orange thread and that the spool was a coordinating color. To find spools I simply went to Etsy and Ebay and searched for “vintage wood spools”. You can usually find them offered in large sets. It is really fun to get them and see all the different sizes, colors and labels on them when you get a big lot of them.
You may notice, I added felt to the bottom of each spool (a few have pieces of vintage tatting). I used my Pom Pom Posies dies to cut a round base to match the size of the spool. This made some of the spools set a little better. Mainly though, I liked the look of it. 😉
To embellish this spool, I used a small round piece of tatting as a base. I added flowers and leaves from a small cluster of vintage millinery. I added in a few extra pearl stamens and a straight pen with a heart at the end for extra interest. The pin is an old one- from the Heidi Grace/Fiskars line. I have several of them hoarded. I love everything hearts and love a long prim style heart. I swear, I think those heart pins were made for me! I did my part by buying lots of them! 😉
This spool is another of my favorites! I love that it is so whimsical starting with a cute little fuzzy wire bee at the top!
The little mushrooms make me swoon! I picked up a baggie of vintage millinery and flower picks at an estate sale. These cuties were inside! They remind me of the late 70s/80s when my mom was crazy about terrariums. I had one in my room in an old fish tank complete with little wooden mushroom flower picks. I paired them here with cream stamens, little vintage paper posies, and wool felt leaves die cut from my Pom Pom Posies die set.
Good news! I have found an online source for mushrooms! Find them in the Rose Mille store: Spun Cotton Mushrooms.
Fun fact- Tim Holtz just released this same style of small paper posies in his Idea-ology line. I don’t know when they ship, but ask your favorite store if they will have them.
I made this spool photo holder with two stacked spools. To embellish the bottom spool I used a decorative brad as a clip. I flattened the prongs to one side and slipped it onto the thread like a paper clip. The brad? Yes, another long time hoarded lovely from a K&Co line. I have a thing for ladybugs so I saved and treasured this cutie like it was made of gold!
This little trio makes me smile because of the colors. Pink and yellow are such happy colors for me! Add in hearts and I am all swoony!
At the top, I added leaves and posies from a vintage millinery spray. I added extra blue stamens for a little shine. For vintage bits of millinery, Etsy and Ebay are great places to look. Also look at old hats in flea markets. I have bought many hats just to salvage the flowers off of them. I don’t generally cut up my millinery pieces, I tuck them in little vases and lay them around my collection displays. Many of the pieces I used for the spools were damaged or just bits and pieces. Check the floral departments at craft stores too. They often have little flower sprays and picks that are small and cute. The beauty of those, no guilt for cutting up something vintage.
The green heart is an old, old, old heart-shaped brad from Provo Craft. Goodness, that might be at least 10 years old!
The middle spool has a little wool felt heart pinned to it. I mentioned on another project post that I needed a small heart die but didn’t have one… until I looked at my upcoming May release. One of my stamp/die has a small heart in it. I used that little heart like crazy! I wish I knew where I got that straight pin, I love its clear top!
On the bottom spool I used a large brad again like a clip. This one was from Cosmo Cricket a few years back.
This spool… it has my heart! I have a mad love for the Eiffel Tower. It is a bucket list thing for me. I have been to the one in Las Vegas and the one in Paris, TN (yeah, really), and will someday visit the one in Paris. I was given this little charm by a friend who knew of my love. I thought it was awfully cute on the top of a spool.
I loved that this spool was red! I added little paper posies and pearl stamens to the top along with the charm. The spool was empty so I added some rick rack to it. I LOVE rick rack! I also used another of the Heidi Grace heart pins. I loved that the periwinkle blue color really stood out against the red.
Next up is this cutie that makes me think of pink Angora sweaters. I remember having an Angora sweater in the mid 80s. I remember feeling so fancy every time I wore it! This spool was empty so I dug in my fiber stash for something different to fill it with. Isn’t it funny how you remember exactly where you pick up certain things? In 2006 I took a sisters vacation with my sister to Sanibel Island Florida. While there we visited a needlework shop. They had this divine Angora fiber. I was really into silk ribbon embroidery back then and envisioned myself using this on some SRE pieces. I bought it and a couple of colors of thin chenille cording. I never used any of them! I just thought they were too good to use so they sat in a box with all of my special ribbons and fibers. How sad is that? Now that I have some on a spool that is one display I am actually looking at, touching, and enjoying that amazing fiber. There is a lesson to learn there about using and enjoying special things.
I added a few paper posies and pearl stamens to the top of the spool. I also wrote a sentiment on a Shortie Tab and wrapped it around a long straight pin. Gingham, another of my favorite things, was a big part of my projects so I added a jumbo gingham brad to the spool as a clip. I wanted the fiber to be the star on this spool so I kept this spool simple to allow the fiber to really shine.
On this set, I was really inspired by the classiness of the gold-colored thread. I wanted to embellish it in a way that would feel very classic.
At the top I added a ring of rose-colored mini millinery flowers. I added glittered stamens to the center pointing upward so that it made the ring of flowers more like one large flower. I trimmed small pearl stamens down to just the tips. I then took each stamen tip and placed them one by one around the top of the spool below the ring of roses. Thank goodness for good fine tipped craft tweezers!
I used a piece of the thread to tie a vintage piece of tatting to the bottom spool. I embellished the tatting with a vintage mother-of-pearl button. I added a small simple silver leaf behind the button. It is simple but really makes the color and the tatting shine!
The colors on my samples were really focused on pastels. This simple trio spools highlights three of the shades I was focusing on. This was one of the first spools I did. They got a little more elaborate as I went. I love the really detailed spools but I think there is a sweetness to the simplicity in this one.
At the top, I simply added paper posies, blue stamens, and a small bow of Distress Ink dyed Crinkle Ribbon.
On most of the spools I wanted to add something that “secured’ the loose end of the thread. Since I knew these would be handled a lot (they were), I actually glued the ends of the thread in place to keep them secure. Can you imagine the mess of thread they would be if they weren’t secured? Next I added something decorative over the glue to look like the securing element. In this case, I added thread to vintage buttons before glueing them to the spools. I love that it looks like the buttons are sewed in place!
This spool is another favorite because it features a favorite little cluster of vintage millinery.
This cluster combined fabric stems that were wrapped with crisscrossing wire. They wire was brittle and had mostly fallen off. I love that the wire left marks on the fabric stems. The cluster also had woven fabric and velvet posies and a fun mix of leaves.
I also tucked in a few favorite vintage buttons and blue pearl stamens.
Did I mention that yellow is one of my happy colors? This pale shade of yellow makes me super happy. I filled an empty spool with vintage seam binding in the softest most perfect shade of yellow.
The top was simple, paper posies, cream pearl stamens, and some pink matte stamens that came with the paper posies cluster.
This little cluster… vintage happy. The flower at the center is a piece of a broken brooch that I found at a flea market. The flower has a pink rhinestone in the center. It fit perfectly in the center of a flower shaped piece of vintage tatting. That happy little accident, like they were made for each other, is the kind of thing that makes me happy while crafting.
This stack is pretty simple. I loved the peachy pink thread on the top spool so I paired it with a spool of white seam binding to help the color really stand out.
I embellished the top with more of the paper posies and cream stamens. I thought it would be fun to use a vintage pin to secure the thread on this spool. I stuck the pin in the thread and then wrapped a length of the thread around it in a figure 8. It is a super simple way to secure the thread and keep it all usable.
I love vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. I buy them in big lots on Ebay. It is always fun to sort through them and see what little random treasures are hidden in the pile. This is one of those treasures. It is a small mother-of-pearl ribbon slide. I have a couple of dishes that I place all of my button bag treasures in. This slide has been in the dish for a while. It is nice to finally put it to use!
This cutie is may be my most favorite of all the spools. I love the thread color. I love the heart wound into the thread. I love the little felt rosette. It just all combines to make something so sweet and cute.
I used the round flower in the Posies Parts set to make the rosette. You can learn how to make the rosettes with this tutorial I shared on the Spellbinders blog: Pom Pom Posies Rosettes.
I used one Pom Pom Posies leaf and one Posies Parts leaf. I curled both of them into a tube shape and secured them with a couple of stitches. I tucked small pearl stamens in between the rosettes.
That little heart!! I am madly in love with it! I really can’t wait until May so you can love it too!
Did I already call a favorite? This one is a favorite too!
I embellished the the top with a favorite charm, a Victorian style hand with the word “love” in the palm. I don’t remember where it came from, but I have saved it for years. I am so glad that I have finally used it on something. Now I can love it and enjoy it every time I look at this spool!
I added sweet white vintage millinery flowers and leaves to the top of the spool. I tucked a few yellow pearl stamens around the flowers and leaves to add a sweet touch of color.
The top of this spool had pencil marks on it. It didn’t bother me until after I the photo clip firmly glued in the spool. To fix it, I die cut a small heart and cut a slit through it to the center. I slipped it on around the wire and glued it in place. It was just enough to cover most of the pencil marks.
I wrapped the spool with a scrap of handmade lace. I added a wonderful yellow glass button and a straight pin with a light pink top on it. I love how feminine this spool turned out!
This spool is another simple set that really helped play up the gingham and focus colors. I used black and white gingham brads as clips. The straight pin with the back flower is from JillyBean Soup (I think).
I kept the flowers super simple focusing on black and white with white paper posies and black pearl stamens.
Whew! The last spool! I hope you are still with me!
The top of this spool starts with a base of two die cut flowers layers. The bottom layer is the smallest round flower from the Pom Pom Posies die set. The second round flower layer cut from the round flower in the Posies Parts stamp & die set. On top of the felt posies there are paper posies with a mix of blue, cream, and yellow pearl stamens. It is finished off with two leaves die cut from the single leaf in the Pom Pom Posies die set. I added a straight line of machine stitching to each to add a “vein” to the center of the leaves.
This spool was empty so I grabbed a fun yellow gingham ribbon for it. This ribbon came in a pack from Making Memories years ago and included the rhinestone buckle. I thought it was too fun not to use. I added another of the Heidi Grace heart pins to finish it off.
One important not for you adhesive. I can not brag enough about how awesome Therm O Web’s Mixed Media Adhesive is. I used hot glue to put the wire in the spool, but otherwise, I adhered EVERYTHING with TOW’s Mixed Media Adhesive. That means fabric, metal, wood, shell and glass buttons, felt, all the millinery… that glue adhered them all. It dried clear and held strong. These spools were handled a lot at the show. I didn’t have a single one come apart. It has become my go-to glue for everything! (I even glued a Hallmark ornament back together at Christmas. If you have ever tried to glue plastic to plastic, you know that is hard to find a glue that works.)
This post was huge! I hope you made it all the way through! I hope you found a spark or idea along the way that you can use too!
Tomorrow I will be back with a few spools embellished with wool felt posies. I hope you will come back by and check it out!