Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spool and China Tealight Tutorial

I really love the way that industrial, rustic pieces look when paired with refined, elegant items. While rummaging around in my office/studio, attempting to organize too much stuff into too little space, I placed some old textile bobbins, or spools, in a box with some china cups and saucers I'd collected. "Hmmm" I thought, "I think I can do something with this combination!" Forget organizing - it was time to get creative! As my brain often times gets ahead of itself, I didn't think to take any pictures of the project until after I'd made two of them, so I created a third with step-by-step photos to share. So, here we go!

First, I gathered all of the basic supplies: E6000 glue, bobbin, china cup and saucer, a scrap of decorative paper, lace scraps, foam brush and Mod Podge (or a craft glue of your choice), hot glue gun (optional)

Using the foam brush, I spread Mod Podge on the back of the decorative paper. I chose this paper because it has the appearance of old, chippy wood. After the Mod Podge was applied, I wrapped the paper around the upper half of the spool (you can wrap the entire spool if you'd like), smoothing out any wrinkles.

Glue Applied To Back-side Of Paper

Paper Wrapped Around Spool
After the paper is in place, dab a small amount of Mod Podge or hot glue to the back to attach your ribbon, lace, cloth or other material of your choice, to the spool, then begin winding it around and up the spool, overlapping slightly so any ruffles and frayed edges show.

When finished, another dab of glue is added to hold the top end in place. Note: this project is very free-formed. You can used as much paper and fabric on the spool as you wish - make it your own creation!
 Set the spool aside and flip your cup over so that you can run a bead of E6000 industrial strength glue around the rim, then place the cup centered onto the saucer. Note: Use E6000 in a well-ventilated area as it stinks and can cause headaches! Please follow all directions when using this product! After the cup and saucer are joined (they will come apart until the glue cures, about 24 hours later, so handle with care), run another bead of glue onto the top of the spool, then center the saucer onto the spool.

Cup and Saucer Glued Together

E6000 Being Applied To Spool

All Pieces Glued Together
As per package instructions, please allow at least 24 hours for the E6000 glue to dry and cure before continuing. (Wait for it......wait for it.....I was going nuts wanting to continue!)

 And now for the real fun! Get out your collection of  blings and things, bits and bobs or whatever you like to call them and try various pieces on your spool until you find what you like. Since I was taking pictures as I went along and wanted to finish, I was unable to move the uncured pieces too much. So, I loosely tied a piece of rawhide string to a silver heart and tried it on for size. I liked the raw leather with the smooth shiny silver, but I may change it once I can handle the piece more. I'm thinking that this piece needs a fluffy ruffle underneath the saucer and perhaps one on the bottom, to add some balance (this spool is smaller than the others I used) and then some bling around the middle.
Box Of Goodies - Blings and Things

Silver Heart With Rawhide String (Going to change this out) Re-Do! Re-Do! LOL!

Here are two finished tea light holders I currently have listed in my Etsy shop. The shorter has script paper and pink lace, the larger has old sheet music and frayed muslin. I need to find more spools to play with now! I have placed flameless tealights into these, however you can also use a regular candle.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial and will give this project a try. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!
Hugs, Leena


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet comment-I'm now following you back :)

  2. What a fun project. Rustic and refined is definitely my cup of tea. (Ouch! sorry)

  3. Adorable and whimsical....just like you! xoxo, Janet


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