Sailboat Decor from a Weaving Shuttle

Sailboat Decor from a Weaving Shuttle

One year ago, I had gathered up the materials I’d need for this project. I had a couple of weaving shuttles and clear vision for transforming them into decorative sailboats. But right as I was getting started, an email appeared in my inbox.

It was from a publisher- my book deal had arrived! So, everything I was working on was cast aside and this project went back in the cupboard for another year.

Fast forward to this summer and I finally had a chance to put my idea to work.

Weaving shuttle or loom shuttles for a repurposing project

As you may recall, I have a particular fondness for upcycling bits and pieces from old textile mills. And while there are lots of sailboat decor ideas out there, most of them use driftwood or scrap wood.

But a weaving shuttle seemed even more perfect to me! So, it’s high time I see if I could recreate the vision in my head.

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Transforming a Weaving Shuttle into Sailboat Decor

The most “complicated” part of my idea would be building a mast. But, really, all I needed was a couple of wooden dowels- a larger square one and a narrow round one.

Upcycling a weaving shuttle with wooden dowels

First, I measured and cut the square dowel into blocks (think like the game Jenga) that fit inside each weaving shuttle.

Square dowel as a mast stand in a weaving shuttle

These would act as a base for the masts to fit into. Which meant I then needed to drill large holes straight down into the blocks.

To do so, we used a drill guide to keep things straight and even.

Drill guide to create straight holes for a mast

Once the holes were drilled into the blocks, I inserted the round dowel and cut it to an appropriate mast length.

Masts for decorative sailboats in a loom shuttle

Not very complicated at all, really!

Next, I sanded all the raw edges down and gathered some different wood stains.

I needed to stain the masts to match their respective loom shuttles. Thankfully, I have plenty of small cans of stain on hand!

Matching the wood stain to the weaving shuttle

My idea for decorative sailboats was coming together quite swimmingly!

Sails for Decorative Sailboats

After waiting 24 hours for the wood stain to thoroughly set, I gathered up some duck cloth (or canvas) and ticking fabric to make the sails.

Duck cloth and ticking fabric for sails on decorative sailboats

I also needed to add a couple of teeny tiny eye screws to the tips of each weaving shuttle. These would be used for rigging the sails, so to speak.

To make my life easier, I used a pin vise to drill teeny tiny pilot holes for the eye screws.

Tiny eye screws in the corners of a weaving shuttle

You may recall that I used a pin vise once before for this unusual jewelry project

Anyway, then I used scrap paper to roughly trace out the sails for my decorative sailboats. I then cut out the duck cloth and/or ticking fabric based on the paper patterns.

Sails for decorative sailboats with duck cloth and ticking fabric

I ironed the sails and did my best to remove lint and debris. Then, I threaded a needle with craft thread to begin rigging up the sails!

Craft thread to tie the sails to the decorative sailboats

I chose craft thread because it’s thicker and more durable than all-purpose thread. I thought it might replicate the look of sailboat rigging line, as well.

Rigging the sails to the mast with craft thread

Either way, I rigged the sails to my decorative sailboats at the top and bottom of the masts, as well as to the eye screws.

Upcycling a loom shuttle as sailboat decor

Sailboat Decor from a Weaving Shuttle

And just like that, I had transformed the weaving shuttles into sailboat decor that was perfect for summer!

decorative sailboats for home

I mean, aren’t they just delightful? And unlike model sailboats that have a true hull underneath, the weaving shuttles are flat so you don’t need a stand to prop them up!

sailboat decor from a weaving shuttle

I’m just so tickled by how cute they are! And I’m doubly glad that I remembered to make them this year after being pushed aside last year for the almighty book!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for coastal or nautical decor, then you may also be interested in these upcycled nautical bottle ideas, as well!

coastal collection of bottles

Craft on!


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sailboat decor

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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. Such a cute idea!

  2. Soooo cute! Great vision!

  3. Your creative vision is outstanding. Love the sailboats.

  4. Great Job. I love them.

  5. very nice!!!!!

  6. What a cool idea, really love the simplicity of the design…would work in any style from rustic to contemporary! Sandi

  7. Lynda Wise says

    I love getting your emails. You are so talented. Love the sail boats. My son and grandson lives in Easley, SC Thank you for your posts, Lyn

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Lynda! Easley was very close to where we just moved from (Greenville, SC). We were there for 11 years…but excited to get to know Charlotte now!

  8. so clever, Sadie! you have such creative ideas and you execute them so well.

  9. Rebecca Payne says

    So Cute.

  10. These are so cute!!!!

  11. Sarah, Your brilliance is showing–yet again. However, may I also say, “Bad blogger!” You didn’t put a link to your book that I could easily find! I do really love your blog. Thanks for sharing your cute sailboats.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      That’s because it’s not out yet, LOL! It was supposed to be released in September, but the publisher pushed back many of their summer and fall titles due to world events. So it will be released and available to buy in February! Trust me, when it’s on the shelves, you will get sick of me talking about it, hahahaha!

  12. Maine is another place where there were lots of mills so I see shuttles quite frequently! The only thing I would add is a little red pennant at the top of the mast–unless it was Halloween when it would be a skull and crossbones! Some angel hair for “mist on the water”. I love your “beach glass” bottle project–which I did to votive candle holders with twine and charms–adorable. Love a nautical/beachy theme–any time of year!

  13. Mary Loveland says

    Really cute! Very creative, can’t wait for the book. Are you all moved into your new place now?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, Mary- it’s going to be hard to wait until February for the book to be released. But I can’t really blame the publisher for delaying many of their titles right now!

  14. Absolutely charming!!!!!How are you enjoying Charlotte?Will be looking forward to September for the book.Take care.

  15. Very cute and clever, Sarah! Looking forward to your book.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! I’ve been approving and revising the layout last week and this, so it’s starting to feel VERY VERY REAL now!!

  16. Such a cute idea! I love sail boats

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