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Making A Lamp For My Craft Studio

I was the happy recipient of Hub's grandmother's sewing box when she passed away.  She had been a dressmaker in New York City and before that, in Germany.  Oma's sewing supplies included silk thread, wooden spools of thread, buttons, ribbon, lace, and lots of odds and ends - she was very frugal and saved everything!

A lot of the thread she had saved was too fragile to use in real sewing projects, but I was really interested in keeping the thread.  It is beautiful and every spool is wooden - something you don't see any more.

I've been looking for a way to showcase the thread and I finally discovered the solution:

It all started with a bottle lamp I found at the thrift store for $3.00.  I liked the shape and size of the bottle, and the electrical cord and socket was in great shape. 

The hardest part of the project was cleaning out the inside of the bottle.  First, I removed the socket and cord.  Then I filled the bottle a quarter of the way up with warm, soapy water and about 1/4 cup of coarse salt.  I put a dishcloth over the bottle opening and, holding tight, shook the bottle to death.

 After about 3 or 4 minutes of shaking (I considered this my arm work-out for the day) I dumped out the sudsy soap and began to rinse it with hot water until it was nice and clean.  I waited a few hours for it to dry (the hot water allowed it to dry quickly) and then filled it with the small spools I had been saving.   I used a shade from another lamp I had in storage and tah-dah. . . a new lamp!

I love looking at the beautiful colors of thread and wondering what Oma made with them. I hope she would be pleased that they mean so much to me.  I'm enjoying my new lamp on the desk in my craft studio.  Maybe it will inspire me to get crackin' on making more goodies for my Etsy shop. 

Have you used a sentimental collection to decorate your space?  Please share about it in the comments.

I'm linking to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Mrs. Miller,
    This is so lovely!! All of the colors would provide so much inspiration...and in many ways, comfort. I love the story behind it.
    Hope all is well, and congratulations on your recent anniversary! :)

    Jessica Graham

  2. What a great idea! I love it :) You are brilliant!!

  3. Wow! This is like an answer to an unasked question! I, also, have a collection of old wooden spools of thread that came from my mom and aunt (which may not SOUND old, but I'm they are!). Now I'm on the hunt for a lamp! Thanks SO much for the inspiration!

  4. Beautiful idea to display your treasured collection!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  5. Hello!!!! That is VERY cool! I have yet to do anything with my treasures, they are all in a box waiting for a grand idea. The only thing I've definitely decided on is a quilt made out of the boys old clothes. Those pieces are cut and waiting for me to finish collecting pieces!

  6. thanks for the great idea! I have my mom's threads on wooden spools and have been just storing them, at a loss of how to display them! Now I'm on the hunt for a lamp!

  7. I love the lamp! It caught my eye because I have an old jar that I wanted to make a lamp out of and fill it with Seaglass. FYI, an easy way to clean out an old bottle or a vase is to use Efferdent tablets. I read that tip in a magazine years ago and it works great for cleaning out vases with tiny openings and they come out sparkling clean every time!


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