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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embellishing. Merchandising.

A thrift store jar is a jar.  Add a few little embellishments and it becomes a treasure!

And it doesn’t have to be anything grand or fancy.   Simple can be better because the simpler the look, the more flexible it is to fitting in with ANY decorating style your customers may love.

I think I may be ADDICTED to buying old crochet thread spools like this.  I just cannot resist them if they are white/cream/tan colors!  I fill jars with them.  Make bundles of them for those shoppers who HAVE their own jar already and just want to fill it.  I decided I also like placing single spools here and there, and have seen lots of other decorators do so.  SO, I decided to add a little embellishing to my single spools!

Again, nothing fancy!  Just dug through my box of tea stained paper scraps and wrapped a piece around each spool.  Tied a vintage key and a hand stamped tag on one; and glued buttons to the paper of the other, lace above and below; then a tiny repro skeleton key.

Sweet and simple.

And now for sale in my booth at Stars!

Stars is open seven days a week; 11am – 6pm.

Because I LIKE them . . .

I really can’t tell you WHY I like bowls and baskets and jars full of string or crochet thread.  I just DO!

My ‘love for the look’ surfaced last summer when we started our closing sale for our retail store, and I decided I wanted to get rid of my entire collection of primitive/folk art and Americana decor.  We live too far out in the boonies to ever do a yard sale at our home, so I hurriedly whisked my entire collection off to our store to sell there, while I had the chance.

I knew I wanted to go with a more ‘nurtral palette.  And a more ‘organic’ and simplistic look.  And I found myself drawn to whites and creams and soft putty colors.  ESPECIALLY big bowls and jars filled with string!  THAT was the inspiration for the whole living room re-do.  (which is still very much a ‘work in progress’ . . . . SLOW progress!)

These pictures are of items I just stocked in our space at Camas.  I finally got enough ‘to share’.  I’ve got two big glass jars at home, and a couple of small jars with darning thread and grubby vintage white ric rac in them. 

I’m lovin’ the BIG industrial size cones of thread too.  I have one at home and took the rest to Camas.  You can see part of one on the far left here.  The other two (I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of them!!)  have sold already.

The jars shown come WITH the contents included.  The big glass jars are actually harder to find than the string.  Target carries some at a ‘reasonable price’ if you are buying for your own use.  Of course I have to HUNT for them at garage sales at a cheaper price so we can make ‘some profit’ on selling them.    If you already have a jar or basket or bowl and just need the string, these shown are sold individually.

  What is it about big bowls and jars of string or yarn that is so appealing?