I’ve mentioned here before, my husband is in law enforcement. The first Christmas after he became a police officer, I bought a little police car ornament. I’ve bought nearly every police-themed ornament I’ve seen since, so we have quite a collection. We also have a nutcracker police force. Our Christmas village is full of cops. I love all of it, but a couple of years ago I started to realize I didn’t have much to represent my own interests among all our holiday décor. That was the year I bought my sewing nutcracker.
I’ve been saving my empty thread spools this year, which are now part of the perfect garland to hang over the window in my sewing room and compliment this stitching soldier.
To make this garland, you’ll need empty thread spools, felt, large buttons (1” or more), beads and about 200 inches of jute or other string to hand it all on.
I used Gütermann 500m spools and cut the felt into pieces 1 3/4 by 6 inches. If you’re using a different spool you may need to adjust that size – make it as wide enough to cover the part of the spool where the thread was and long enough to overlap a bit.
Glue one end to the spool using a hot glue gun.
Wrap the felt around the spool and glue the other end.
Repeat to make as many as you need for the length of garland you’d like. I ended up making 22 of them and used 20 on my garland.
Feed the jute through the two holes on a button, about 14 inches from one end.
Wrap the other end of the jute with a piece of masking tape. That will keep the end stiff while you feed it through each item.
This is a very long piece to work with, so I found it helpful to tape the end nearest the first button to my worktable to keep it from getting tangled. String a bead onto the opposite end. Push it until it’s about one inch from the button. Bring the end of the jute around and feed it back through the bead so it wraps around it as shown.
String a thread spool on, pushing it up next to the bead. Repeat with a bead on the other end of the spool.
Add another button, then repeat the bead-spool-bead process until you’ve reached the end.
I had a couple of spools left over, so I made ornaments from those. If you only have a couple of empties or are looking for a quick gift, this is your project. Attach the felt to the spools the same way as for the garland. Cut a piece of jute 20 inches long. You’ll also need two beads.
Fold the jute in half. Feed the folded end up through the spool. String a bead onto that end and tie a knot above it.
String a bead onto the bottom and tie a knot below it.
Trim the ends shorter if you’d like and untwist them to create a tassel.
You know what you’re going to have to save this year? That’s right, empty thread spools.