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Sewing Machine Bobbin and Thread Spool Ornaments

Christmas in July!

Welcome to Christmas in July! For the next 4 Fridays the blog will feature some fun ways to get started on your Christmas presents. To kick things off, today I am welcoming my good friend, Tawn Hunka to the blog. Tawn is a retired flight attendant, former President of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA), grandmother extraordinaire, and an amazing sewist! I had the privilege of serving as President Elect when Tawn was President of SAGA and flying around the country with her on her buddy pass! So here is Tawn with a wonderful gift for your sewing friends!

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Here is an idea for using an old or newly bought sewing machine bobbin as an ornament. The idea for this ornament came to me a couple of years ago from a bobbin necklace I bought at a Sewing Expo in Puyallup, WA.

Bobbin Ornament

Gather your supplies: Shiny Christmas colored threads, bobbins, Liquid Fusion Glue, charms and beads, ribbon, tiny dowel, grommet, brush, 2 inch eye pins for beading, wire cutters and needle nose pliers.

ornament supplies

Simply fill your bobbin with thread of your choice, I recommend using a shiny thread such as ‘Sulky’ 100% rayon. Others with a sheen are ‘Mettler’ polysheen or ‘Gutermann’ 100% viscose. Using metallic thread is a bit more fussy, but they do look nice as well. Once the bobbin is filled, tuck the end of the thread tightly between the wound thread and the metal bobbin so it doesn’t unwind.


Caution: do not over fill bobbin, just fill until the thread covers holes in the bobbin. I prefer to use no-name bobbins with more holes than the more expensive bobbins.

Supplies for making ornaments

Using a water resistance glue such as “Liquid Fusion” (found at Joann’s), lightly cover the entire bobbin of thread (avoid getting glue on the bobbin). I have found that using a small dowel with a rubber grommet will hold the bobbin in place while applying the glue, dabbing the glue on the thread and then spreading the glue evenly with a small brush makes the job easier. Allow 24 hours for the glue to dry completely before

adding beads, charms and ribbon.

To add beads or a charm you will need eye pins for beading.

Eye Pins

Arrange your charms and beads in an pleasing arrangement before beginning the process of putting them together. There are beads that have holes in which to insert the eye pin and other beads that already have an eye pin inserted to which you then just attach the straight eye pin.

Supplies arranged

Here I have attached the charm to a bead with an eye pin and then attached the bead eye pin to the straight eye pin to insert through the bobbin. The best results seem to be when there is a snug bead at the top or bottom.

Ornament with beads attached

If I simply add a charm at the bottom, I will glue the bead at the top to the bobbin in order for the charm to hang freely and not be pulled up into the center of the bobbin when hung on the tree.

Ornament with just charm attached

I made about 45 of these last year, gave them as gifts to my Midnight Oil Smockers board, sewing and knitting friends and now have none left for my tree this year.

Finished bobbin ornaments

Last year, SAGANews Volume 38 Issue 4 featured a smocked cuff over an antique wooden thread spool as a charming and quick Christmas ornament or a gift babble. If you like exploring antique shops for sewing items, you may want to start collecting old wooden thread spools. The ones hardest to find are the thread spools with the thread still on them. Here are some ideas for their use…

Finished Thread spool ornaments

Using the same method as the bobbins, ensure that the thread end is snugly attached to the spool with glue such as gorilla glue or super glue. Once that has dried, cover all thread with the “Liquid Fusion” glue (once again avoid getting glue on wooden spool), allow to dry for 24 hours, then attach beads, charms and ribbon. I have found that using a compression spring about half the length of the spool tucked into the middle opening of the spool, then attaching the beads at the top and charms at the bottom holds everything snugly in place.


Here is how they look together with the bobbin ornaments on my sewing room tree last year!

Sewing room Christmas Tree

Join us next Friday when Tawn will be back with another wonderful idea for Christmas in July and join us every Friday this month for ideas to get started on your holidays sewing!

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