Vintage Wood Textile Spools

Good morning, lovely people! I scored five more vintage wood textile spools at a yard sale this weekend for $8. My unintentional, but fun, collection is growing. I love how each spool is unique and probably has a different “story.”

These old bobbins or spools were used in textile mills and on looms in factories. They are each a vintage piece of the Industrial Revolution.

The spools are wonderful conversation pieces. As decorative items they can be used individually or displayed in a collection. I’m envisioning something involving white candles, a wooden spool collection and my Fall mantel…shhhh, don’t tell anyone that I’m already thinking about Fall. 😀

Here are some other super cool ideas for using vintage wooden spools…

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This is such a cute pin cushion display, although it would be mighty dusty and a pain to clean.

apartment therapy

How precious is this idea for the baby shoes!?

over the moon vintage rentals

I love the colors and textures of the spools with flowers.

apartment therapy

Of course, you could always use them for your water hose!

Last, but not least, look at these lovely place card holders. I’m swooning over them!!

Here’s my collection one more time. 🙂

Do you have any vintage wooden spools at your house? Have you ever considered using them to decorate with?

I’m linking up with Today’s Creative Blog and Tip Junkie!



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  1. I kick myself sometimes. I went to the flea market last season and saw boxes upon boxes of the large industrial spools. I wanted a few, but I couldn’t think of what I’d do with them. So I pocketed my money, and now I think for sure I could used them to create something cool. Your collection is great!
    Smallgood´s last blog post ..Beautifying the Office: Terrariums

  2. I always love your posts, I do not have a spool collection but now I want one! Is your house a “blog perfect” home? I see all of these fantastic projects and wonder how on earth you keep things so tidy, the artist in me can create great things but the aftermath gets overwhelming. Thank you for what you do.

    1. HAHA!!! A blog perfect home? Um, you should see the dishes that need to be done, the laundry that needs to be put away and the explosion of stuff in my dining room/hall from the boys’ room that I’m painting right now. Tidy doesn’t describe the chaos that is my house right now!!!! 🙂 I promise I’m a real person with real messes!!

  3. My mom used to have a lot of vintage wooden spools around the house when I was young. That was very much her decorating aesthetic. I was also used to seeing metal bobbins all over the place, too – My dad is a sewing machine mechanic! 🙂
    Jenna´s last blog post ..In Defense of Little Things

  4. My hometown in Seneca Falls, NY, is the home of the Seneca Knitting Mill. Long since vacant, the mill still stands awaiting grants of money to bring it back as a museum! The beautiful dark colored spools were drilled out on the top just wide enough to house a taper candle. Fortunately the metal bands are on the outside allowing for this widened hole. They were sold in town in the 70’s and my mother worked for the mill’s family drilling out some of these spools. I am grateful to have kept them and now I hunt through local yard sales to find more. I sell the extra finds to travellers who visit our Lilac farm Gift Shop! You are so right…I’m sure each spool has a rich history and story to tell. Would love to see how you display yours! …Penelope

    1. I have a couple hundred wooden spools. I work for a trimming co and kept lots of spools that were trashed. They make wonderful decor ideas. I’m in California but would love to visit the old mills in the south.

  5. The garden hose idea is too great! Would you have to put some kind of sealer on them to be used outdoors?

  6. I have spools that I collected about 10 years ago. I like the look of them in a grouping, but I wish I had some other way to use them. Thanks for the ideas. Please post more.

  7. This is such a great idea!! I hope I can find some of my own soon! Thank for another creative post :).

  8. Myra, I have almost 100 of these sp,oils in various sizes. I have been collecting them for years. I am a knitter, so they really appeal to me. Mine are displayed on a shelf in our family room at almost ceiling height.

    Your post gave me some new ideas to think about

  9. Just saw this site from a resell book site. I love it. As for the spools, I don’t know where you are from; but, in Hendersonville,NC there is a row of antique stores and in the basement there are 100’s of spools. Its been over a year since I was up there but I am sure they are not all gone. Quiet a few here in the south with all the cotton mills, etc. closed now. I’ll check soon! I bought 6 last time and you have me thinking of what to do with mine!!!! Fun!

  10. I love your spool collection! Part of my family lived and worked in the Manchester, New Hampshire mills way back when. I’d love, love , love to find some of those treasures to decorate my sewing room! The most obvious thing to do with them is to stick candles in them, but that really isn’t appropriate for my sewing room or “quilt studio,” if I want to sound grand. Those placecard holders are great – I’d never thought of that! They certainly look lovely with flowers and that baby shoes idea is so sweet! Those pin cushions are absolutely just right for this room, although I agree they’d get awfully dusty. Thanks for some good ideas.

  11. Hi, my great-aunt and great-uncle gave me a matching set as a wedding gift over 25 years ago. I am now going to give the same pair to my brother and his fiance as a wedding gift – along with the note of the history that came with them. Hopefully my brother and his new wife will enjoy them and begin a collection to carry on the family tradition. She is a museum curator, so I am sure she will appreciate the history.

  12. I have about 20 displayed as a grouping, but I saw a larger spool wired as a lamp and now I am dying to find one about 12 – 15 inches tall to make one myself.

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