Weaving Bobbins as Spindle Ornaments

Weaving Bobbins as Spindle Ornaments

Because Greenville, SC (where I used to live) was historically a textile town, the relics of those old fabric mills are found in every vintage shop around. And repurposing those relics is a favorite pastime- including these weaving bobbins (Pirns? Quills? I’ve seen them called all sorts of things) that I found. Because they were on the smaller side, I decided to turn them into spindle ornaments for our Christmas tree!

Weaving bobbins or pirns

And this is not the only Christmas project I’ve made by upcycling something from the old textile mill industry. Remember these thread cone trees that I created?

Christmas craft project with serger thread cones

Back to the task at hand, though. All I needed to do was give them a paint job and figure out a way to hang them from my Christmas tree. An easy and fun Christmas craft, for sure!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Upcycling the Weaving Bobbins

If you can’t seem to find these vintage wooden bobbins or quills in your neck of the woods, check on Etsy, as well. There are almost always listings for them- just double check the lengths before you purchase, as some can be quite long.

First, I painted the weaving bobbins with an “undercolor”- I chose shimmery gold and silver

Painting the weaving bobbins in gold and silver

Why an “undercolor”? Because I planned on distressing these so that two colors would show through!

Next, I rubbed plain ole’ paraffin wax over the pirns. The wax will help during the distressing process by allowing the top coat of paint to be rubbed off without sanding.

Using wax to distress paint on pirns

After I rubbed on the wax, I painted the weaving bobbins again in a brighter “overcolor”. For this step, I chose a chalk paint red and turquoise blue.

Americana Decor chalky finish paint for upcycled Christmas ornaments

I absolutely love the color combo of a bright poppy red and an aqua or turquoise at Christmas time!

Upcycled Christmas Ornaments from Pirns or Weaving Bobbins

Once the chalk paint had dried, I rubbed off some of it off with a soft rag. This revealed the flashy metallic paint underneath, which was exactly what I had wanted to happen!

Painting and distressing the weaving bobbins

After that, I buffed finishing wax over the pirns as a top coat to protect the painted finish.

Last but not least, it was time to “cap off” my spindle ornaments. And to do so, I used ornament caps from vintage Christmas ornaments that had gotten broken!

Adding an ornament cap to spindle ornaments

And if you don’t have any broken ornaments, grab a box of cheap ornaments from the thrift store and use the ornament caps from those!

To attach the ornament caps to the weaving bobbins, I added some super glue in the top hole and pinched the ornament caps in the holes.

Lastly, I propped up the bobbins in antique bottles so the super glue could dry right-side-up.

Pirns as Christmas ornaments

Weaving Bobbins as Spindle Ornaments

Once everything dried, I had three spindle ornaments from my weaving bobbins. I just LOVE how they turned out!

Weaving bobbins as Christmas ornaments

They look even better hanging on the tree, don’t they?

Upcycled Christmas ornaments from weaving bobbins

I’ve had fun turning these vintage bobbins into DIY Christmas ornaments. But other small wooden spindles or even finials would work as well. In fact, there are probably endless possibilities for creating Christmas ornaments from upcycled, unexpected vintage elements like these!

This idea for spindle ornaments may be of interest to you, as well! Can you believe they came from a coffee mug tree?

Wooden spindle ornaments from a coffee mug tree

Craft on!


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Weaving bobbins or pirns as Christmas ornaments

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. charmingimperfect says

    Sarah, these are adorable! I love chalk paint, although, I’ve never used it crafting. 🙂 Found you on the Your Turn to Shine link up.

  2. what a cool idea! The local scrap exchange has some of these and similar, I wondered what they were for!

  3. I love these cute vintage spindle ornaments!! My grandma has a few ornaments from when she was a little girl and these kind of remind me of them. Thanks for sharing at Your Turn To Shine!!

  4. What a clever idea. I have a couple of these smaller ones so maybe they too will become ornaments.
    thanks for the idea,

  5. This is such a great idea! Thanks for linking up to the Home Matters Linky.

  6. Oh my goodness, how adorable! I love them!


  7. Hopping over from Prodigal Pieces…LOVE these ornaments! Be blessed!

  8. These are great ornaments!

  9. That is an awesome idea! How great they were featured in a magazine too! I’d love to find some vintage spindles. I love chalk paint. There is still time to enter to win a whole selection of paints & stencil supplies on the blog! Pop by if you want. Thanks for sharing your project! & hope to see you again soon. Theresa @DearCreatives

  10. distresseddonna says

    Congratulations for being published. Since I live just down the road a piece, I find tons of the spindles. This is a lovely idea – of course I love the distressing! Thanks for sharing it at Make It Monday.

  11. Stinkin’ perfect repurpose, Sarah! I love them and am featuring your spindles tonight at the “What’s YOUR Prodigal Piece?” link party. :o)

  12. Love this!

  13. Norma Miller says

    Where can I get the spindles and the things you put in the center for hanging or I guess we could just drill a hole in the top to hang would make good gifts for next year great idea

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