My craft room pretty much always looks like a bomb went off inside. But if you love lace, glitter, fabric, washi tape, and paint… well then it wouldn’t probably hate my beautiful mess. But on occasion, I get a wild hair and decide to organize a little corner.
I have a TON of lace. Like… A TON.
I find it all the time at garage sales for pocket change. And my collection has been building up up up! I love using lace for embellishing gift wrap, or putting together scrap books or the girls’ baby books. But mostly I just like looking at my lace. Mmmmmm Kay?
I never really quite knew how to organize it, so it’s all just been overflowing out of a giant wicker basket in the craft room.
But, ever since Rockler sent me my very own LATHE (this one!), I’ve been so excited to play around with it. And have been brainstorming ideas for what my first project should be. And then I realized it would be perfect to make a bunch of wooden spools for my lace. Not only could I make a variety of sizes, I could also experiment with different techniques and shapes to get comfortable with all the tools and wood types and such.
So let me show ya how I made these!
I started with a block of wood. This one is about 2” x 2” …and about 8 inches long. (my spools ended up ranged between 2/5” all the way up to 10 inches)
On both ends, use a ruler or a straight piece of wood to draw and X from corner to corner. It’s important to be fairly precise with this part because you’re finding the center.
Line up the center of your X onto the point of the spindle and press it on so it digs in a bit. Then slide the tail stock over until the point of the dead center is right in the middle of your other X, and lock ‘er down!
Slide your tool rest into place so that it’s close and level with your wood, but won’t touch when the wood is spinning.
Now it’s time to start things turning!
After you turn the lathe on, use the rounded carbide tool, and very slowly move it close enough that it’s barely nicking just the outer edge of the wood. You’re rounding off those sharp corners!
Continue to slowly move your tool back and forth, taking off a new layer with each pass.
The spinning lathe has a way of making you feel like it’s round, and you’re almost done. But it’s ok to stop the lathe every so often and check your work. This was after about 5 minutes.
And this was after another 5 minutes.
On some of the spools I made, I left the two outer edges square. But on this one, I spend a couple extra minutes rounding them off.
Then I used the square carbide tool to smooth everything out, and add a little ridge on either side.
Once everything looked the way I wanted it, I moved the tool rest out of the way, and took a strip of sandpaper to it. With the lathe spinning the wood, you don’t really have to do any work! Just hold the sandpaper with slight pressure and the spinning does it all for ya!
After making a few dozen of these, you’ll feel LIKE A BOSS on the lathe. LOVE my wooden spools!
Their not all perfect, but I love them. And it was sooooo fun loading them up with lace and binge-watching Bloodline.
About halfway through turning all these wooden spools (over the course of a couple weeks), I had a brilliant idea of how to display them. Rather than just throwing all the spools back into that wicker basket… why not put them on this trinket shelf I’ve had collecting dust in the attic?!
Nick’s Dad actually built this for his Mom back in the day, so it has sentimental value!
As much as I can appreciate the detail of the hearts, once I realized how simple it would be to remove these parts… I took them off. I just wanted clean lines to show off my spools! (Sorry Bob!) And painted it white.
Then I loaded it up with my lace-wrapped wooden spools!!
I have it hanging on the wall just above my sewing table… which is a HUGE MESS. So I’m not gonna show you. Cause it’s mah blog.
So? what do you think? Playing around with a lathe is soooo fun! And it falls under my list of ‘easy-power-tools-for-a-beginner-to-start-with’. Also… not a bad price for something SO FUN and useful! I’ve got a ton of projects in mind for this bad boy (this is the lathe I have).
Have you been playing around with any new tools lately? Or stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new in life? I’ve been thinking about trying this ‘avocado toast’ craze, but I JUST CAN’T BRING MYSELF TO TAKE A BITE.
THANKS for pinning!
*I was provided with product in the form of a lathe from Rockler. I was not paid cash money, or told what to say or even make! this post contains affiliate links.
Love love love it and what fun! Your display is motivating!!
Jess Rey says
This is COOL! I need that lathe machine! The possibilities are endless!
What a cute idea! I love how you repurposed that piece.
Erin @ DIY On the Cheap says
Such a cute idea! I’ve always wanted to try using a lathe.
Karen Sandlin says
I have always wanted to use a lathe and Beth you have just reignited that “want” fire! My granddad used a lathe and made 4′ tall candle holders (starting with 4×4) in different shapes that we used for our wedding ceremony. I think there were 10 in total. The entire ceremony was candlelit (no other lights) so they were quite a statement among all the other candles! He also made beautiful pedestal bowls. Get busy, Girl! You have a long way to go! enjoy it for me — Karen
Cassie Bustamante says
oh i am a sucker for lace and your display is gorgeous!