Recycled Cotton Reel Organiser Tutorial


I’ve seen many a blogged tutorial in my puff but never considered ‘doing’ one due to my untidy surroundings and lack of idears for things to tutor on….until now baby!

This is pretty easy and obvious but leave me alone ok?  I’m very pleased with myself.

So I have all these thread reels lying around getting lost and unravelling and even though they ‘live’ in a tin they often escape and sometimes I can’t be bothered getting the tin out to see what colours I have so just use what’s in the machine even if the colour is wrong.  (uh, take a breath dude?  That’s what commas are for?)

I also started to be really annoyed by this space I have on the wall next to my sewing machine…

Blank canvas wall

I had seen on the pretty lovely people’s blogs where everything is perfect and they tell you where they got their nail polish and what they’re wearing in the ‘shoot’ with the tutorials things like this in the background for organising thread…

Ackfield 23 Pin Spool Rack

They are about £18 on amazon or Ebay and although they’re kinda pretty I couldn’t help thinking that was quite expensive.  Then I was thinking….that’s just sticky outy things…..I wonder……

So went out to the shed to see what Mr Kapow was keeping down there that I might make use of.  He can’t keep me out of the shed you see because it was broken into and currently has no padlock.  Nothing was taken by the shed robbers probably because there’s STUFF in that shed to the extent that it is rather difficult to enter.  Among other things there is the remnants of our neighbour’s greenhouse which she donated to Mr Kapow when he was building his own and A LOT of random wood.  Yep, I married a collector.

So anyway, my glance (from the doorway) on a piece of wood which had been part of a fence in a former life.  It was quite a good size and wouldn’t require sawing which I had no interest in doing.  Using stepping stones (plant pots) I managed to get to the back of the shed where I procured a hammer, staplegun and a couple of “wee drawers” containing useful looking things such as nails.

So for this tutorial you will need:

  • A bit of wood you like the size and shape of or which you are willing to alter
  • A hammer
  • A staplegun
  • Nails
  • A piece of fabric large enough to cover the wood
  • A picture hook or fixture

I spent a bit too long trying to choose fabric from my stash.  I’m quite attached to some of it so can never bring myself to use it.  I decided to go for something with a small print on it so that the spools would stand out.  I considered using a self coloured background and appliqueing spool and sewing motifs onto it but ultimately decided that would be too much effort.

1. Pull the fabric tight around the wood and staple in place

2. Then take some pins (long thin nails)

3.  Hammer the pins into the wood at an angle.
You might want to plan out where first and mark with tailor’s chalk.  I didn’t have to do this as the check on the fabric was perfect for helping me space them.

4. Don’t hammer the pins too far in. They need to be secure but if they’re too short they won’t hold bigger reels.

5. I used smaller shorter pins at the bottom for bobbins and longer pins at the top for reels

6. I then found a wee picture hook in another of Mr Kapow’s wee drawers. It looks like a cute little smiley face!
I fixed that to the back at the top which was difficult due to the nails on the front so I would actually suggest that you braniacs out there do this as step 3!

7. Hang on your wall

8. Hang your reels at the top…

9.  …and your bobbins at the bottom!

I hope you like my first ever tutorial.  I’m sorry it’s not very pretty or well lit.  My ‘workspace’ is a total tip most of the time but I did ‘tidy’ for you…

Neatish ‘pile’ of assorted projects and ‘stuff’ near a Warhol inspired ‘print’ made by my sister of Mr Kapow on his 30th birthday holding alphabites which spell the word shit.

I didn’t brush my hair for you though!

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12 thoughts on “Recycled Cotton Reel Organiser Tutorial

  1. such a nice idea! thanks for sharing! i really want one of these. next door just did a rip out job. maybe i can scavenge some bits of wood! lol

    • Good question Dee! I would probably use a bigger bit of wood and more substantial nails / pins as a couple of them have fallen out. The nails could also be painted or sprayed so that they don’t look so much like nails?

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