I have a confession. There is something about those little wooden cotton reels that make me go weak at the knees. I can’t really put my finger on it. It could be the lovely little brightly coloured labels, the stunningly beautiful colours that cling onto their brightness after fifty or more years of life or maybe its the quirky names such as Forget-me-not, Turkey Red or Gay Kingfisher. Whatever it is, my obsession has led to me collecting quite a few of said cotton reels, buying one or a bundle of them whenever I can get my hands on them. Then one day, I set myself the task of collecting all 500 colours. I have a spread sheet (did I hear a snort then) which I must say is decidedly out of character, so that I can keep track of what I already have and what I still need.
So far I have around 84 and they are stuffed in shoes boxes and bundled onto shelves in my sewing room and it seems such a shame to have such beauties hidden away. As I work in the Antiques trade, I am well placed for finding shelves and cabinets but I decided to make my own ‘made to measure’ shelf unit to display the ones that I have and to grow into as I collect.
Firstly, I worked out a simple design and measured my cotton reels to decide how wide I wanted my shelves to be. I also measured an overlocker reel as it will be useful to store these too. I then went to my local wood merchants and got them to cut me nine, 1 metre lengths. As they use a circular saw it ensures that the cuts are at right angles which is vital for accuracy.
Using my omnigrid ruler I divided up two 1 metre lengths to accommodate seven shelves, marked them on and then marked two screw holes onto each shelf.
Using a drill I drilled all the marked holes, I then used a countersink bit to sink the screws so that they are flush. I then drilled through the side pieces into the shelves and glued and screwed all the shelves together. It is vitally important to line the shelves up exactly and at right angles to the sides and also to make sure that the screws ‘bite’ when tightened up.
Then it was just a case of filling the holes and painting it up ready to go on the wall!!
Im so pleased with the final result and now I can buy as many Sylko’s as I like!!