Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Repurposed Spool Holder

OK. So, this is one of those projects that took me way longer to finish than it should have. Life with a baby, I guess. Amazing how something so simple can take so, so long.
My sewing/crafting/work/storage area is a tiny desk that sits next to my bed (see picture below). I actually love that desk. It is an old beat-up desk that was in the first house I moved into during college (my first house after I moved out of the dorms). During the year that I lived there, I just fell in love with it. So much so that when it was time to move out, I bought another old desk from the goodwill to leave in its place and I brought it with me. What is so special about this desk you ask? Nothing really. Maybe it was the first piece of solid wood furniture that I had ever owned. Or maybe the fact that it held a history unknown to me, with its nicks and scratches. But whatever it is that made me unable to leave that desk behind is pretty serious. I have moved it to 8 houses and 3 states since I first acquired it. My husband thinks I am nuts. It doesn't match at all with the rest of our furniture (in color or style), yet I have repeatedly and firmly refused to give it up.
So how does this relate to a spool holder? Well, this lovely old desk of mine is quite small and the  storage is limited. I found the desk drawer (as well as  my sewing box) were overflowing with thread and ribbon, all of it unwinding and completely disorganized. And I decided it needed some organizational help. I have seen spool organizers before, but figured I could easily make one for free. And I did. Well,.. almost.
I got a piece of wood from Home Depot that was in the to-be-thrown-away pile (yet I still had to pay 30-cents or something for it). I gave it a coat of base paint and then (carefully) let Finn paint it with acrylic paints. After it dried (OK, much after... like 3 weeks) I measured out locations for the dowels to go and drilled some holes into the wood (but not all the way through). I had some dowels leftover from a project I did a few months ago, however, I didn't have enough of the correct size dowels and actually had to go buy some more. Then I cut the dowels down to the right length (long enough to hold about 3 spools of thread each), and using wood glue,  I secured the dowels into the holes. It was super easy, even for me who has almost zero woodworking skills. The whole project cost less than $2 and the block of wood was destined for the landfill. Plus it is a functional piece of art painted by one of the loves of my life.
As I said, this simple project has taken me forever. Weeks. Longer than a month, and actually close to 2 months. And, although it is finally finished, it still needs to be hung onto the side of my desk. Hopefully that will get done tomorrow, but at this rate it may be weeks still!
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  1. Awesome project and you know I can sympathize with how long such things take these days! :)

    I love your desk. I probably would have taken it with me too, if I were in your situation. My "desk" is a small table from a steak house. It's laminate and has steer heads all over it with matching red chairs. My husband hates the "cow table" but it's stayed with me/us through five moves and two states with no plans to get rid of it any time soon.

  2. ooooooo! I LOVE your sewing table!!!!

  3. I have furniture like that as well- our kitchen table (which wobbles) is from a trade I made with a friend in college- and my favorite dresser is from the side of the road in Toronto- solid wood- amazing piece- I had to FIGHT for it cuz my hubs was really against taking it home in the first place.
    Great project- I have a million unfinished project and no baby as a distraction.