Introduction: Pencil Stand-holder From a Sewing Bobbin

We like pencils. They are still very useful and you can't compare the simplicity of jotting a note down with a digital wait for reboot. Here we would like to share the idea of how to make a pencil stand/holder that you can use in your home or office. It makes an interesting and unique gift too. Our original idea of making a pencil holder from a solid brass was inspired by sewing bobbins. :)
So here we would make a transformation of wooden sewing bobbins into a pencil holder/stand.

What would you need to make it:
Wooden sewing bobbin
Rust-Oleum metallic finish (gold and silver)
Krylon lacquer or comparable
Walnut oil
InstaMorph 1/2 tsp (moldable plastic)
Small metal dish
Paper towel, latex gloves (for applying finish)
1 chopstick or something similar
Sandpaper 400 grit
Regular home drill or ideally variable speed drill
1 bolt 1/4"x 20 x 4" (thickness of the bolt x threads per inch x length)
2 washers that will fit 1/4" on the 1/4" bolt
1 nut 1/4"x 20 to fit on a bolt
1 drill bit 11/32" ( this size makes a hole with an ideal width to hold a pencil)
Blue tape (or any non-clear)
If after reading instructions you would decide that unwinding/rewinding the thread from a bobbin and sanding your bobbins with a sandpaper is not for you (or you do not have any of these items) you can still do the project by hand. If so then you would not need anything from the list above starting from drill and down (a drill, a screw, a washer, a nut and a tape).
For those people who have a drill at home the drill bit is a very common size and you can find it in a set of drills that come with a drill. As for a nut, 2 washers and a bolt, they can be bought at any hardware store.
I used 3 differently looking bobbins for this project to show different finish





Step 1: Removing Thread From a Bobbin

- clean your bobbin (tags and glue) by taking off labels.

- prepare the drill to unwind the thread from it to another bobbin (at the end you will put the same color thread back on the bobbin)
1. Take the screw, add one washer, push a screw with a washer through bobbin's hole, then add another washer and on top of it screw tightly the nut (look at the pictures). Insert the screw into still, tighten it in the drill. So, know we are ready to unwind the thread from a bobbin.
2. Take off already empty bobbin from the screw. Take a small piece of sandpaper. Rub it slightly against bobbin's surface to remove any discoloration and freshen it's surface. Sewing thread bobbins are pretty much polished, so you just need a slight touch to freshen it up, preparing for the first color coating.

Step 2: Making a Hole to Fit a Pencil

1. To avoid the pencil's graphite tip from being broken when bottoming out we will drill a hole 2/3 of the height of the bobbin. This way it will keep the pencil from touching the bottom of the bobbin. For this, measure the depth you will drill and put blue tape as a marker on a drill bit.
2. Insert a drill bit into the drill, tighten it and start drilling the hole. Please take a look at the video for clarity. Do not drill into the surface of your table! :)

Step 3: Creating a Plug to Close the Bottom Hole in the Bobbin


This is the first time I have used InstaMorph myself. It is a moldable plastic. Packaging has very easy to follow instructions on how to use it. It is on the one of the pictures. For all 3 bobbins I used less than 1/2 teaspoon of this plastic. After placing 1/2 tsp into metal container, and pouring hot water over it, plastic drops become clear in color and very soft. I took a small amount and roll it into a small ball, the size that will fit into the hole. Then push it into the bottom hole of the bobbin. The great thing about InstaMorph plastic is that it can be reheated and re-molded if something went wrong before it really solidifies and glues itself to the surface. So, you have time for mistakes here. Insert a small plastic ball completely into the bobbin's hole. Then place the bobbin's bottom on a flat surface and insert a chopstick into the top hole and flatten the surface of the plastic ball from inside - you created a plug

Step 4: Applying a Finishing Color

For the purpose of this project I've chosen silver and gold colors using fast drying Rust-Oleum metallic finish for 2 bobbins and for one just walnut oil and a lacquer finish.
1. Spray a bobbin with your choice of the paint and let it dry. I applied two thin coats of paint. It seemed that spraying with just one thin coat was not enough. After spraying let it dry completely.
2. For walnut oil covered bobbin, apply, robbing a good amount of walnut oil into the surface. Let it soak in and put it aside to dry. When it is completely dried apply a coat of Krylon lacquer.

Step 5: Putting Back Sewing Thread

Assemble the drill as you did it for making a hole in the bobbin. Insert a drill bit into the bobbin's hole, not too deep. It is just for faster putting the sewing thread back onto the bobbin. You can do it by hands as well.

Step 6: Glueing the Thread's End

Take a tiny drop of crazy glue and glue together threads' end with the rest of the thread on the bobbin. You will not see the glue or where the thread ends.

Step 7: Bobbin Pencil Holder

The picture above has two bobbin pencil holders. One was machined from a solid piece of brass and we have it in our ElegantUtility shop on Eatsy.com or ElegantUtility.com and another is the one that was made from a sewing bobbin. :) I personally like them both! Beautiful and elegant.


I entered this instructibles into Homemade gifts contest. Hope you like it.
Thank you

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Bio: We love to create new things or improve functionality and look of existing ones. Often something that looks good does not necessarily work good and ... More »
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