Turn Wooden Spools into Photo Holders

At times mounted photos can be a bit tricky in regards to how to display them if you do not want to use a frame. Leaning them against the wall or propping them up next to another object doesn’t always work. One simple way to display your mounted photos is by creating custom photo holders using vintage wooden spools. The end product is practical, unexpected and pleasing to the eye. The process for creating these is simple.

Supplies Needed

  • Vintage wooden spools
  • Sandpaper
  • Hand saw

Step 1

Slowly saw a slit in the spool by moving the spool back and forth and keeping the saw stationary. Getting it started is the hardest part, go slow. Once you get past the edges it cuts very easily. You could do this step using clamps and a power saw if you felt uncomfortable with the handsaw method.

Step 2

Saw all the way to the middle and make the opening large enough to fit the mounted photos. Sand the wood down. Insert your mounted photos and enjoy.

Final Product

About the author: Ashley Cambpell is a photographer and blogger who writes at Under the Sycamore

  • schneidan

    This is a wonderful idea. If a person had a coping saw or dovetailing saw, the finer cut might help preserve the spool a bit better and provide a narrower slot to keep photos a little more entrenched. I think I’ll give this a try!

  • Jenny Bolech

    I love this idea! I have tons of wooden spools from my grandmas stash. They are all still full of thread though, but it’s far too brittle to use for anything. I might have to do some spool unwinding this weekend!

  • Diane McKinstry

    Food for thought……you could leave the thread on the spools and after putting your slit in the spool use some glue or Fray Check (it stops fraying on fabric). That way you would keep more of the vintage look of the spool intact. However before cutting the spool I would maybe put some tape over the thread so it doesn’t unravel before you get the glue or whatever on the edges. Just an idea.

  • Erf

    wooden spools? what? Who the hell has tens of empty wooden spools lying around? I’ve never even seen one since I was a kid, over 40 years ago. What an obscurist of the obscurist tip.

  • Elizamccall

    My grandmother just sent me a bag full of them. Some still have thread on them.

  • Valerie Randall

    My mom had tons of them, now they are mine, with thread and without. Great idea.