Upcycled crochet thread showmen

For a long time, old spools of crochet thread were really popular, and sold well ‘as is’.

1-30-13-stars-projects-029I’d put hand stamped tea stained labels on some, and just toss them in a big old bowl!

5-10-12-etsy-stars-projects-045Sometimes I’d add other embellishments.

dsc00011When I could find smaller spools, I’d toss them in a big glass jar; those always sold fast.  The cones of thread and yarn always sold well too.  I used to create entire displays of old spools of yarn and crochet thread.


And I still have a pretty good stash of the crochet thread.  I had to come up with something different to do with them.

p1070454I thought these crochet thread ‘mini cakes’ were a creative way to use up some of the odds and ends.


They were really fun to make.


And I thought they looked adorable on my upcycled cupcake stands!  Alas, the ‘shoppers’ did not share my vision.  Back to the drawing board!


I usually only buy white and cream colors, but occasionally there are some other colors mixed in with the big bagfuls at the thrift store.  I used up the orange ones to make some Jack-o-lanterns a few years back.

p1090771So, a couple of years ago I came up with these guys.  (Those hats are made from ‘cooked’ styrofoam coffee cups!   They melt down into cute little hat shapes!)  I wanted to do something a little different this year though.

P1230858I mostly only had this one size of spools, so I decided to only stack two of them this time.  Here’s how I made them.

P1230763Some of these spools were fairly ‘bare’, so I put the fuller spools on the bottom.  glued them together with some tacky glue.

P1230764I had seen these little ‘hat’ ornaments at Dollar Tree and decided they would look cute on my snow-dudes.

P1230766The top part of the hat is just styrofoam, and when I pulled the hanger out, it left a hole.  I filled the hole with tacky glue, and waited for the glue to dry to add glitter.  But all the glue dripped down into the hat and the hole was still there!


So, I stuffed some tissue paper into the hole, then more glue; then silver glitter.


Since the top spools were pretty ‘bare’, I decided to cover the spools with some vintage style mica flakes.

P1230770I just thinned down some of the cheapo Dollar Tree school glue; brushed it onto one spool at a time, and rolled it in the mica flakes.   You really have to be sure your spool is really SOAKED with the glue solution because the thread absorbs it.

P1230772The mica flakes added just enough sparkle, but you can still see that they are made from spools of crochet thread.  I thought about using glitter, and I suppose it would work fine; but it would probably cover the tread and hide it quite a bit.

P1230771I let them dry overnight.

P1230887I glued a round piece of cardboard to the bottom to add some stability.

P1230857I glued the hats on with tacky glue, (Oh! I added a band of black ribbon around the hats) and made them a scarf from the same ribbon.  Glued on mis-matched black buttons.  Made charcoal eyes and a carrot nose out of sculpey clay (baked to harden before gluing on)

P1230880Just for comparison, and to see which sells first, and because I just happened to have three spools in graduated sizes; I made one without the mica flakes.

P1230886I gave this one some little rusty bells instead of buttons, and a strip of tea stained muslin for a scarf.

P1230885And tucked one tiny rusty bell onto the hat.

P1230888Which do you like better?

P1230890These guys will be headed to Stars next week.

My newest ‘thing’

Add KEYS to my list of favorite things.  Lately I’ve been adding keys to things almost as often as I do crowns!

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 054I added a few new glass canisters/jars to my recent collection.

1.23.13 signs Stars 079This thrifted bottle is about the size of an 8 oz baby bottle; and has a plastic screw on lid.

1.23.13 signs Stars 082Instead of using actual keys on this one, I decided to use some skeleton key rub ons that I had; just for the sake of variety and to see which will sell better.

1.23.13 signs Stars 080The rub ons are less expensive to use too, so I can price the jars with these less than the ones with the real old keys or the big  repro skeleton keys.

1.23.13 signs Stars 081I decided to dress up the lid on this one a bit too.  I could have just spray painted it with the flat black that I used on all the other metal lids.  But, as long as I was trying something different; why not go different with the lid too!  I glued a strip of this burlap ribbon around the edge and a punched round scallop paper medallion on the top.

1.30.13 stars projects 079The jar on the left is the same kind as the two biggest jars I did in the last batch.  I sure wish  I knew where/what they came from!  They are very thick and heavy glass, and the lids are brushed aluminum; which I spray paint black.

1.30.13 stars projects 084Some jute twine around the neck.

1.30.13 stars projects 083In keeping with the ‘key’ theme I added a big skeleton key rub-on on top of a tea stained and hand stamped paper label.

1.30.13 stars projects 082I’m not sure I like this one better than the others that I tied the big ole repro skeleton keys to, but again, just wanted to add some variations on the theme AND offer a lower price point.

1.30.13 stars projects 080These are pretty standard glass canister jars with tin screw on lids.  With the ribbing in the glass along each corner, I needed to keep the label inside one panel.  I miscalculated a bit on the positioning of this rub-on, but it wasn’t bad enough to scrape off and start over.

1.30.13 stars projects 081I decided that this short stubby repro skeleton key was perfect for the top of this jar.

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 020These have all gone to Stars and are blended in with the last batch I made.

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 036I had re-painted this formerly red tin embossed heart back when I got it; then packed it away with my Valentine craft supplies.   One of the big repro skeleton keys tied on was the perfect finishing touch!.

1.30.13 stars projects 009This is what I originally made the hand stamped tea stained paper labels, like I used on the one jar.  Found these four good sized spools of string at the thrift store.

1.30.13 stars projects 011

 Usually I like to just toss assorted balls and spools of string ‘as I found them’, into bowls and jars to display and sell.  But now that several other vendors at Stars are doing the same thing; I decided to ‘take mine to the next level’.

1.30.13 stars projects 008LOVE how these labels turned out.  I was going to use some of this  paper ribbon I got a while ago:

12.29.12 stars Val buys 096

And even held it up to the spools to see how it looked.  That’s when I got the inspiration to make some of my own.  The purchased stuff would have worked just fine, but it was kinda pricey.  So I really need to save it for a higher priced item.

1.30.13 stars projects 007

I really like my home made stuff just as well.  Might even have to make more of it; and sell just the labels!  Whaddyathink?!?!

1.30.13 stars projects 028Took the spools of string to Stars and tossed them in a big old wooden bowl with some vintage crochet threads.

1.30.13 stars projects 029Might have to make some thinner labels to add to the crochet threads too!

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 016Then ultimately I ended up tossing some hand stitched hearts in with the mix too!

Pondering putting together some ‘bundles’ of assorted spools of threads and string and pillows like this to sell in my etsy shop.