Repurposed / upcycled vintage crochet spools

I don’t know why big jars and bowls filled with spools and balls of old crochet yarns/threads

are SO appealing to me?!?  They just ARE!  And it’s a fairly popular decorating trend also.  The first time I saw a jarful in a booth, I HAD to have one too!    I’ve been curating and collecting and creating with vintage commercial yarns (on the BIG come spools) and regular size ones.  Here’s some of the stuff I’ve done with them in the past:

Roll them into balls and sell them by the bagful in my antique mall booths,

Occasionally I’ll have compiled enough of them that I can just toss them in a big bowl or basket and price them individually; as shown on the bottom shelf of this rusty planter rack.

When I can find jars that are BIG enough, I’ll fill them and sell the whole thing together.

Assorted yards and altered spools of string individually priced and displayed in a big wood bowl.

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And maybe sometimes toss in a few hand stitched felt hearts that I’ve made.

Individually decorated some of the fuller crochet spools I found.

Displayed and sold them individually.

LOVE IT when I can find these big old ‘mercantile jars’ (1 and 2 gallon sizes!) to fill.  Have a couple of these at home with my personal collection!

And it’s especially fun to find the big Industrial size spools!

Yep, I LOVE spools of yarn!  (and apparently so do my customers because they always sell well too!)

Here’s an entire post I did a while back on crafting and decorating with string and crochet threads with LOTS more pictures that I won’t bother to copy and paste if you are looking for some more inspiration.

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I found some itty bitty spools last year . . .

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Turned some into snowmen; inspired by some I saw made of regular size spools of crochet yarn.

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A topped a bunch of them with little bottle brush trees.

My little collection at home.

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Having seen the cute snowmen made from them, I decided to try some Jack-o-lanterns last fall.

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Those cute little witch hats came in a four pack from the craft store.  I cut the faces from black paper and just glued them on.  Black crepe paper rosettes on the bottom for a collar.

9.22 12 etsy projects 008And when I ran out of the purchased hats, I made my own with a back paper come and a rosette.

WHAT’S NEXT?!?!  I’d been staring at a pile of them for a while, trying to think of something ELSE to create with them.  I had just finished a new batch of cake and cupcake stands; so I thought I’d try to make some ‘mini cakes’ out of them to display on the cake stands:

P1070454I just got out a bunch of my fabric embellishments and started decorating them.  For some I had a smaller matching one that I was able to put on top.  I think those are my favorites.

P1070460Some are made of colors that I don’t normally use.  But it was either use them up or toss them in the donate bag, so what they heck?!?!

P1070458I wish I’d had some bigger strands of pearls to use.  I think that would have really made them look much better!

P1070459Or maybe I should have kept the small ones separate and out them in a fluted cupcake paper???

P1070461 This one is a small ‘cupcake size’.  Like I said, I was just ‘using what I had’, so they’re not my BEST work.  But I had FUN making them.  

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So, whaddyathink???  Yay or Nay?  Maybe just different/better embellishments?  I’m open to suggestions!  This was just one of those projects that I just ‘went with it’.  Not really having a ‘vision’ of how I wanted them to turn out.  It’s always a process though.  What would you try next??

P1070513I’ve taken them all to my booth st Curiosities in Beaverton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fake cakes 101

Whilst in the midst of my recent white cake and dessert pedestal making binge, it struck me that they would ‘display’ much better (in my booth at Stars AND in the pictures in my etsy shop!) if I could show them ‘being used’.  So I set out to hunt down something that I could make a fake wedding cake from.

I’ve seen some AMAZING ones for sale on etsy, but I wanted to make my own.  Some of my favorites are these hand SEWN felt cakes.  SOME day I will venture into making something like that!  But for now I needed something a little faster to construct.

I found some paper mache boxes and went to work!  To create this one, I used a set of two round paper mache boxes (without the lids!) and glued them together.  Once dry, I painted them.

Then I added some coral shapes, die-cut from cardstock.

Applying glue to the backs of, and applying them to the cake was probably the HARDEST part of this whole project!

At the same time, I was working on a couple of smaller, three tier boxes that I wanted to make into wedding cakes.  Painted a shimmer white.

And on ONE I added a ‘trim’ of vintage ‘silver dragees’ (that’s what the label says!) ALMOST (but not quite!) as difficult as gluing on the paper coral pieces on the green cake!  I applied my bead of glue, then placed the dragees in a line.  But the glue melting off the silver!  sigh.  I had too many in place to change my mind at that point, so I had to continue!

A~HA!!!!   Now that’s better!  I found some tiny pearl trim to use on the other wedding cake!

Just measured out my pieces and cut to size.  Applied a line of glue all the way around, and gently laid the pearls in the glue and pressed them into place.   The TOP row was the most difficult, as I didn’t have the extra support of another layer holding it in place from behind.  Had to let this glue ‘set up’ a bit so it grabbed the pearls better.   Then I just sat and watched for about 30 minutes while it dried; and pushed any that started to slide off back into place.

Just ‘testing’ to see how well they fit on the cake pedestals I had made.  LOVE those aqua doilies I found at Michael’s a while back!

And I decided that pearl trim would work on the beach themed green cake too.  After the pearl trim was dry, I added some tiny dried REAL starfish in-between the paper coral on the sides.

And a few on the top for the finishing touch!

A sprayed on clear top coat to make it easier to dust and I’m done!

Perfect fit on this 8″ cake plate with a 2″ rim.

For the three tiered wedding cake that I’d glued the silver dragees onto, I decided to add a ‘sugar’ coating (clear white glitter)  And I painted the lid to the largest box, added some satin ribbon and glued it to the bottom layer for some additional support.

Then I decided that they could serve DUAL functions!  To display ON my cake pedestals.  And to display the little birds with crowns cake toppers I was selling.

The other three tiered wedding cake that I used the pearl string on, I didn’t do anything else to, except add the birds to the top.  And to make the base sturdier, I glued one of the aqua doilies to some cardboard, then glued that to the cake.  (because otherwise the bottom of the cake is just the OPEN side of the mache box)

I also re-did a few of the cupcake trinket boxes, adding ‘sugar’ glitter to the top and some little ribbon roses.