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Thread: What do you do with empty thread spools?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    I'm a relatively new quilter, but I'm starting to amass a collection of empty plastic thread spools in a variety of sizes. Back in the olden days of wood spools, I knew all sorts of useful things to do with them, but is there anything you can do with the plastic ones? I hate to just throw them out...

    Jan

  2. #2
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I pass them on to a friend who is an embroiderer - she winds her skeins of stranded cotton on to them.

  3. #3

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    I used to spray paint some of mine and leave some white and give to the kids to play with. They used them like building blocks. Seemed to make them happy.

    Lynette

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I throw them away. Life's too cluttered without wasting space on things I will never use. Little scraps of fabric get tossed out for the same reason.

  5. #5
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Gather them and give them to a scouting group ... they like recycling things and have many projects that can use them quite well. Another place to donate is your kindergarten classes ... used as building blocks isn't a far-fetched idea, and they will use them for a lot of small muscle coordination things that they call art! bag them up and take them to the thrift stores ... you never know who will purchase them, but I am betting they won't stay on the shelf for very long ....

  6. #6
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    I've always just thrown them away, but I like the idea of giving them to a kindergarten or preschool class. Great idea.

  7. #7
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky
    I've always just thrown them away, but I like the idea of giving them to a kindergarten or preschool class. Great idea.
    well, I have also seen fabric tubes, strategically knotted to turn the spools into little dolls ... but I haven't gotten around to that, either! LOL
    I know that when my kids were in kindegarten the teacher was always happy to get things like the spools and yarn, fabric squares/scraps, and lids from jars ... now, to figure out what to do with all these med bottles I refuse to throw away! LOL

  8. #8
    MelissaK's Avatar
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    Throw them away...

  9. #9
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelissaK
    Throw them away...
    LOL

  10. #10
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    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.

  11. #11
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.
    See??? everything is a toy for someone! <g>

  12. #12
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    I save mine but don't know why. Someday I might find a use for them. I like Bevs idea of a cat toy. I may do that.

  13. #13
    sunnyhope's Avatar
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    what about either leave them as they are, or sparypaint them and then glue them onto something and use them as hangers, u can put jewelry or craft stuff on :wink:

  14. #14
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.
    I throw mine onto the floor for the cat to play with! :-)

  15. #15
    sunnyhope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueChicken
    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.
    I throw mine onto the floor for the cat to play with! :-)
    neither of my cats are bothered with them,lol

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nursesews's Avatar
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    I put my dull needles in medicine bottles for disposal.

  17. #17
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.
    Funny you should mention this because just this morning, I finished one of those spools from Connecting Threads?
    First I threw it away, then I grabbed it back out of the bin and tossed it on to the floor for our cat, Peanut! .... He sort of looked at it, and just about the time he figured out to play with it, I figured that he would probably lose it, but I have some selvedge tied on to a drawer handle for him to play with, and if I put it on there, he would probably be able to play with that spool better (it is a long cylinder for those of you who haven't seen those thread holders).
    Just about the time I reached down to grab the spool back, because I had changed my mind, HE decided that I really had intended for him to play with it, and one quick swipe of his paw ... under the refrigerator it went!
    I got down on my hands and knees, and saw it, just barely out of reach of my hand, and I went to get a ruler to coax it out ..
    long story almost ended - - I didn't get the spool back, but if you had left the tip before I emptied the spool .... LOL
    Isn't life just a HOOT???? Our lives get connected in such strange ways, eh? LOL

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The Connecting Thread spools I saved a few to use as adapters for the big spools of Star quilting thread I have that are too big to fit on my machine spool pin. I remember having to buy an adapter for the spools and it wasn't cheap but I have misplaced it somewhere.

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I just throw mine away.

  20. #20
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I save them in a baggie in my sewing closet. My guild uses them for a door prize during our quilt shows. A huge jar is filled with spools of many colors and sizes, people guess the number of spools in the jar and the person who guesses the correct number or comes the nearest to it wins a prize.

    I've also sent some to teachers or scout leaders who were collecting them for projects with their kids. May in Jersey

  21. #21
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I have a huge pattern box full of the wooden ones I have saved all these years of quilting and sewing. Many children have played with those spools. LOL! I used them in the past to do some wooden toys and furniture legs, and dowel ends. If you cut the ends off, it is a great wheel for a pull toy. I also have used them for weights when I used to braid. But, for now, they are there for my niece who stacks them up and rolls a ball to knock them down, like bowling pins. :D

  22. #22
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the ideas! I think for now I'm going to save them for a Guide/Scout group or a Kindergarten. I just need to organize my sewing closet better so I have a bag or box to collect them in.

    This is what we used to do with the wooden ones when we were kids:
    http://users.bigpond.net.au/mechtoys/tank.html

    Jan

  23. #23
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    Omak, my vet uses the med bottles for meds for her clints-our beloved pets. I started collecting mine and drop them off wheni,m either going there or have a stack. also some of them are recyclable (if that is available where you are)

  24. #24
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    sorry about all the typos

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueChicken
    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    I don't save all mine. I did save a couple, ran yarn thru the holes and hung it up on my door for my cat to play with.
    I throw mine onto the floor for the cat to play with! :-)
    I'm afraid I'd be the one stepping on them and taking a dive.

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