Vintage Thread Nests No.2: Spools

A couple of years ago, while stripping old spools of their brittle thread, I crafted a series of colorful thread nests. Today, I took that project a step further and included the original spools, with thread remaining, as a part of each finished piece.

My tiny nests spun from the thread on the spools reminds me so much of a favorite book I read to my kids, No Roses for Harry!. It’s the sweetest story of the gift of a rose patterned sweater gifted to Harry the Dog from Grandma. Harry hated that sweater and was trying everything he could to “loose” it, but the children kept finding it and giving it back to him. (Spoiler alert…) One day while in the park a bird took hold of one tiny string coming from Harry’s sweater and flew away with it, unraveling the sweater completely. Harry was delighted! Later, he led his family to the tree to discover that the bird had made a rose patterned nest with the yarn from Harry’s sweater.

For the tiny spool nests I used little eggs that I purchased on Etsy.

I matched vintage spools of thread to Martha Stewart craft paint I had on hand, but most any acrylic paint will work just fine to paint the little eggs.I snipped several tiny twigs from the boxwood bushes in the yard, each with forked areas to hold the nests.I wrapped thread around two fingers multiple times, removed and molded the thread rolls into nests, this time using hot glue. I filled each nest with eggs, glued them into place and tucked the nests into the crooks of the branches. I ran the thread from the spool up and into the nest to finish. These would be fun little favors, place setting decorations or shadowbox decor. And though I prefer the sparseness of the bare branches, you could tiny leaves of small print fabric to enhance them. Here are my final spool nests:

Vintage thread spools can be found at thrift stores, and online at or Ebay. For more detailed instruction on thread nests, click HERE.

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34 Responses to Vintage Thread Nests No.2: Spools

  1. Pingback: Vintage Thread Nests | Just Something I Made

  2. #1 - Vicki says:

    So very clever and cute; I especially like the one inside the jar,


  3. #2 - Doni says:

    How CUTE!!! Your photos are wonderful, but the sweet little eggs in a sweet little nest with the twigs and the THREAD! LOVE IT!!
    So pretty!
    I love that photo of the thread on top of the paints!
    Blessings, Doni

  4. #3 - Celine says:

    Those are the sweetest! I especially like the one in the jar. Beautiful!

  5. #4 - Beth in NE PA says:

    You have created so many really fun craftiness! This one is especially great. I imagine I may think about trying it. Have to put the idea away for awhile. But I love it!!! It is sweet and uses up some of that thread I can’t get myself to throw away but really isn’t good for my new sewing machine. Thanks!

  6. #5 - Ann says:

    Cathe these are the sweetest little makes I’ve seen in a long time! What a lovely way to use those old cotton reels we like to collect but don’t want to sew with. How perfectly you’ve managed to match the colours and, yes, like others I just love the nest in a jar.

  7. #6 - Elizabeth Toel says:

    These are just precious! Wouldn’t they be perfect at a baby shower!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  8. #7 - Anna says:

    These are more than adorable! Just pinned it! Can’t wait to make some. Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. #8 - maggie raguse says:

    you’re up to your old crafty goodness….LOVE IT!!

  10. #9 - Mary Ann Potter says:

    Cathe, these are absolutely adorable! What a wonderfully inspired idea! One of the sweetest bird’s nest I ever found was one made almost entirely of hair from our 225 lb. St. Bernard, Bruno. It was soft and snuggly. I just may have to make a few of these little ones soon.

  11. #10 - Lauren aka Giddy99 says:

    They’re just lovely! Where creativity is “born!” (or hatched)? 🙂

  12. These are adorable, how sweet would they be on a spring table setting as little place card holders, very cute!

  13. #12 - Merri Jo says:

    These are one of the most adorable things that I have ever seen! Truly delightful!

  14. Pingback: Weekend Roundup | Victory Rolls and V8s

  15. #13 - Tina W. says:

    So so cute Cathe! I LOVE it…thanks so much for sharing this clever idea! I’m off to gather all the supplies to make some of my own. :o)

  16. #14 - Tracy says:

    These are absolutely darling!

  17. #15 - Christie Cottage says:

    These are lovely and so simple! A perfect keepsake from my Mom, grandma’s and great-grandma’s thread I have!

    Tank you!


  18. #16 - Harley says:

    Awww, those are super cute!

  19. #18 - Sharon says:

    Omigosh! These are so cute & evocative of another time. I absolutely love them!

  20. #19 - Shelley says:

    OMGosh! Those are soooo cute, I had to pin it!

  21. #20 - maybaby says:

    Oh how I love these! I had saved your directions when you originally posted the thread nests, as I have far too many spools of old thread. And now I am feeling motivated to make them. Delightful!

  22. #21 - Mitzi Curi says:

    Those are so precious, Cathe! And wouldn’t you know, I have a huge collection of thread spools and jars. I have no excuse not to try this project!

  23. #22 - Karen on Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    You amaze me. I am speechless. Just so clever and charming. I am especially charmed that you left the thread connected to the spool…I would never have thought that up myself. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  24. #23 - Lisa Farmer says:

    These little bird nests are adorable. I love the yellow one! The story about Harry makes them even more special. Thumbs up for a cute idea!!! I have all the material together for a blog post about decorating with birds and all things associated with them…cages, feathers, nests etc. I would love to show one of your nests and include info about your site. My blog is if you would like to visit. Just let me know it it would be ok. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

  25. #24 - Shelly says:

    Oh so beautiful and fun! Thanks for the idea. 🙂

  26. #25 - Wendy Orme says:

    These are so adorable! I just inherited some vintage thread spools I’ll have to use to make some of these.

  27. #26 - Shirley Woo says:

    These are awesome! You are so talented!

  28. #27 - Pamela says:

    You are truly GIFTED !!!!!

  29. #28 - Diane says:

    My eight-year-old daughter and I made several of these. Turned out so cute. We gave them to friends/relatives, and everyone thinks they are great! Thanks!

  30. I do like when you create little things with eggs.
    You inspired me a few pictures on my first blog.
    You even inspired my old banner. Thank you for all your beautifull ideas.

  31. #31 - Betty Rivers says:

    May I use your picture of Vintage Thread Nests in the newsletter for the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston? I will give you credit for this tutorial. The Guild is having a Celebration of Empty Spools at the Evening Meeting. This was my idea – that we should save our empty spools for the entire year as a visual reminder of time spent. All year, pictures were in the newsletter to show our progress. Now, members are bringing their spools to our meeting and want a reason for saving all year. I Googled Thread Spool Crafts and found some uses. I wish to suggest making several items, including your Thread Nests in the newsletter.
    I will be glad to send you copy of the December Newsletter, the Patch Dispatch.
    Thank you,
    Betty Rivers, editor

  32. Pingback: Fun and Creative Thread Spool Crafts | Rustic Crafts & Chic Decor