DIYdiy projectshaylie waring

diy project: haylie’s spool hooks

by Grace Bonney

For years I have collected wooden thread spools, picking them up here and there, mostly at yard sales.You can’t usually use the actual thread, if there is any left, because it has become brittle with age. So, aside from displaying them in glass jars I wanted to put them to good use. I have chosen to use a handful of spools from my collection as hooks. It is a really simple project with a fun and colorful outcome. Here I have hung necklaces on the hooks, along with an antique measuring tape. I think they would be great even alone as their own installation art on an open wall. Also, they could make great dresser pulls or door knobs for a small cabinet or a chest. Haylie

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Materials & Tools:
-wooden thread spools (with or without thread)
-drywall screws to size- be sure to take your smallest and largest spool to hardware store to size for appropriate screws. Holding the screw to the spool, you should have approximately 1/2″ to 1″ overhang to anchor into the wall properly.
-glue,something that dries clear (elmer’s will work)
-sheet of paper to use as a hanging template

Step 1:For spools with thread, you want to tack down the loose end of the thread, so you don’t end up with a tangled mess. Just dab a little glue on the tip of your finger and drag the tail of thread through the glue. Then, using a clean finger, tack the tail down while smoothing out the glue to make it less obvious.

Step 2: Choose a piece of paper that best fits the space on the wall you want to fill with your spool hooks. Then lay the paper on a flat surface and layout the spools as if they are going on your wall. Be sure to look at your final draft from all angles- standing on a step-stool and looking down on the layout may even be necessary, to make sure you are happy with the look.

Step 3: Using your pencil, trace around each spool, to indicate the layout- once you have traced each spool- you may remove the spools from the paper. You should have a paper covered in circles. Now find the center of each circle and make and “X”.

Step 4: Now it is time to attach the template to the wall, first eye-balling the placement, and then marking the layout by piercing through each “X” with a tack. Once you are finished marking the spots, you may start from the outter edge of the the template, removing tacks and peeling back the paper to find your “starter holes” for drilling.

Step 5:Using the appropriate drill bit (according to the size of your screws), you can now drill into the starter holes that you made with the tacks.

Step 6: To attach the spools to the wall, just insert the appropriate fasteners through the spools and then into the wall, tightening with a screw bit or a screw-driver.

Step 7: Now, you have a place to hang your necklaces, ribbons, or neckties. Enjoy!

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  • Such a cute idea! Perfect for the work room/studio.

    Also love how Haylie used a simple sheet of paper to plan the layout before-hand. I never would have thought of that otherwise, and probably would have made a mess of it myself.

  • I also have a small collection of wooden spools–the thread has a wonderful sheen! A great idea and I too love the template.

  • This is a brilliant idea! I have a handful of old spools stuffed into odd drawers and boxes all about, but I think now this is what I’ll do with them!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

  • Super cute! You could also mount the spools on a piece of wood or a wooden plaque base with finished edges (available at craft stores) to reduce the number of holes in the wall and make the arrangement portable.

  • Yep, I’ve got one of those glass jars full of old spools sitting in a window sill in my sewing studio. What a great idea, not to mention clear explanation of your process, Haylie! Now I want to see somebody customize some furniture with spool pulls on drawers or cabinets. :)

    @MsChilePepper: Love your version of the idea with a separate mounting, so it’s doesn’t leave so many holes in the wall.

  • I’m a little confused.. I don’t know anything about spools or sewing but are you just putting really long screws through the spools to attach them? I’m not sure what you mean by fastener.

  • I too have gobs of those little spools~

    They are always too beautiful to say no to, but I never knew what to do with them until now!



  • Oooh, I love this! I’ve been dying for a fresh way to organize my necklaces. This is the perfect project for all of those old spools of thread I’ve been saving from my grandmother’s sewing box. Thanks for sharing!

  • Such a great idea! I also have tons of old wooden spools that have been waiting for a great new purpose! I’m currently using antlers to hang my necklaces but I’m going to arrange the spools around them…so cute!

  • What an awesome idea! I LOVE it! I have a few empty spools that I’ve been hanging onto until I find something to do with them- this is a wonderful way to reuse them!

  • Thank you for this idea. I saw it a while ago and just this weekend I found a box of my grandmas spools. I am going to hang these above my sewing table to hold my scissors and other such items. I cant wait!

  • Just found a bag full of those in an old closet in my bedroom nobody had been in for years! Now, got to get past spider webs to them!

  • i love this idea! i have been writing a blog post re/ organizing necklaces in a display worthy fashion. now i have yet another collection to amass.

  • what a great way to use the spools. Like everyone else said, we all seem to have these old spools around and just don’t want to get rid of them. Besides the memories they bring they are also useful now. just think, you could use them to hang your keys on by the door or put them by your wall going down the basement stairs to hang bags on with your pop cans in or things you want to take downstairs but don’t want to do it until you have other things to take down.