{saturday craft: fabric-covered spools}

As a gal that sews, I have {or used to have} a lot of empty spools of thread. At first it was a cute, *little* collection. Then it outgrew the basket I was keeping my empty spools in. Then I had to start throwing new empty spools away for fear of becoming a hoarder.

I’m sure I saw this idea somewhere else, but the thought of wrapping scraps of fabric around the empty spools as a play off of my ruffles//sewing//thread sounded super cute.

Want to know what’s the best part of this Saturday craft? I’ve used the end product to decorate my studio and table at a craft fair {scroll down for a pic}. It’s a totally practical craft :]


Here’s what I did: I used some orange satin ribbon {left over from our wedding, which was 3 years ago this coming summer (fist bump) } and used it as string to carry my empty spools of thread. I used about 30 empty spools for this project. I cut my fabric squares a little bigger than the width of the spool because I wanted them to have a ruffled look once they were glued on.

Materials needed:
empty spools
cotton fabric squares – one for each spool {mine were cut to about 3″x4″}
hot glue gun + glue sticks
rope: use ribbon, string, twine, yarn {about 5′}

I went through my bin of scrap fabric and picked out colors + patterns that I loved the most. I also found a few solid scraps to use in between all the print squares. And I’ll admit it, I totally ironed the scraps before I glued them on. Hah! :]

To start: draw a line of hot glue onto the spool from edge to edge {left photo below}. Place one edge of the fabric square over top of the line of hot glue {center photo below}. Press hard for a few seconds until the glue dries, then tightly wrap the fabric around the spool. About half way around, stop and squirt a dot of hot glue on the spool. Pull the fabric tight, then continue wrapping until you reach the starting edge of fabric {right photo below}.

When you arrive at the starting edge, draw another line of hot glue on the spool about 1cm before the end fabric {left photo below}. Pull the fabric tight and press down hard for a few seconds {right photo below}.

Repeat with another piece of fabric and spool ~

And… keep repeating :]

This is totally one of my favorite crafts to make. Just in general, I think ruffles are fantastic, so the thought of creating them to be used in a totally new way is… lovely *wink*.

You can see below I hung up my fabric-covered spools like a banner. Adorable. Know what else would be adorable? Use your fabric-covered spools as garland around your Christmas tree, scallop it down a banister, hang in a nursery, or use in a playroom to practice colors//counting//imagination.

I love my pretty banner ~ it’s the perfect element for this wall!

This jar sits on a shelf in my studio. Ruffles, they are literally everywhere in my studio! :]

This jar has also sat on my table at The Creative Connection {bottom left photo}. Can you find it? It’s kind of being sassy and hiding ~

Want another craft idea? Click over to see my first post in my *new* series, Saturday crafts.

* The winner of the Gussy Sews headband giveaway is Jenna Allen, The Indecisive Organizer. Check your email, chicky :]

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  1. 3


    I love this! I have so many empty spools that need a function. I just found my old tin of vintage spools in my kitchen cabinet recently. Love the wood ones. I’ll have to give it a try. Now if you’ll just come up with something to do with the serger thread spools….

  2. 4


    yay! i am so happy you posted this! i first saw your fabric covered spools awhile ago on your blog and have become a empty spool hoarder every since. now i just need a glue gun!

  3. 17


    This is so cute! I saw your fabric covered spools in the jar awhile back and LOVED the idea and I am so happy you posted this tutorial!! Great ideas Gussy!

  4. 18


    I love this craft idea Gussy! It is so pretty…the colors of fabric you choose are also pretty! I like the idea of putting them on a Christmas tree. I’ll have to remember that for Christmas. I like that you did your craft on your ironing board. I often find myself doing a lot of crafts on top of mine and hoping I don’t spill anything…glitter for one. ;)
    Have a great weekend,

  5. 24


    Love it!! So cute and I’m pretty sure I know where I can get a few spools, LOL … now a reason to not throw them away. Give me a month or so and I’ll have my very own garland a’la Gussy ;).
    Happy Saturday my friend!!

  6. 26


    Hello, Miss Gussy! I don’t know how I missed putting your blog into my reader after Blissdom, but I did. *turning red now* So today I popped over and started reading. Oh, how I love you! And I LOVE this craft idea! Absolutely adorable. I just may have to link to it this weekend.

    Miss you, friend!

  7. 27

    Pat says

    I LOVE the colors in your room! As for the fabric covered spools, I wonder if double sided tape would work on the spools with the fabric. Just a thought… : )


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