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How to Make a Holder For Twine

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Vintage looking twine holder

This is not just any holder for twine; it is, without a doubt, a fool-the-eye into thinking you’ve found a vintage holder for your twine. You might need to make more when you are done because your crafting friends will want some! Or better yet, and way more fun, have a crafting party with your friends so you can all make them together!

Hello! I’m Lisa from The Old Tree Cottage. Overall, creating rustic decor using upcycled materials is my favourite way to make the decor. The challenge and the fun when creating using upcyled pieces is to take something and give it a new purpose.

Gather the supplies needed to make a holder for twine

Vintage looking twine holder

Your spindles will probably differ from mine, but I’ll give you my measurements as a jumping-off point. Whenever creating upcycled decor, please think of the instructions as more of a guideline because, as I mentioned, what you have may be different than what I have.


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  • An old spindle, cut to 4 3/4″ in length. My spindle was 2 1/2″ square at the base.
  • 1/2″ dowel, cut to 5 1/2″ long. This will change depending on the size of the spool of twine or string you want it to hold.
  • One wooden knob (or any knob that you love). My wooden knob was unfinished.
  • A few drops of black paint or a craft paint watered down to age the wood.
  • Chop saw
  • Drill and 1/2″ drill bit to match the width of the dowel.
  • 5-minute Epoxy glue
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Heavy duty bolt cutter to cut the head off of the screw to the knob (optional)
  • Old candle to rub on the bottom of the spindle to make it slide in and out easier (optional)
  • Painter’s tape to hold the knob in place while the glue sets.

1. Cut the spindle & drill the hole for the twine holder

Supplies for a twine holder
  1. Before cutting the spindle, mark the top and bottom, stand back, look at it, and ensure that’s where you want to cut. I cut mine at the height of 4 3/4″
  2. Mark the center of the spindle where the dowel will be inserted.
  3. Drill a hole 1 1/4″ deep. This gives the dowel enough depth to sit without fear of falling out.
  4. Sand the edges of the ends to remove the sharp edges caused by the saw.

2. Cut the dowel

  1. I cut my 1/2″ thick dowel for this project to 5 1/2″. This allowed me 1 1/4″ of the dowel to sit into the top of the spindle and enough space for the knob to sit above the spool of twine. If needed, adjust the measurements to fit your project.
  2. Hand-sand just enough to remove the sharp edges of the ends of the dowel.

3. Antique the wood for the twine holder

If I’m not painting the twine holder, I’ll stain first before gluing the knob. Why? On the off chance that glue gets on the wood before staining, the stain won’t take. If you prefer to paint, then go ahead and glue the knob on before you age the wood with the black paint wash and then paint.

  1. I make a homemade stain to mimic old wood by using 1 cup of water with 2 tsp of black paint. I use this stain on all of my DIY projects. But if you don’t have a way to use it all up, try this instead: add a bit of black paint to your brush, swirling it for a couple of seconds in a cup with just a bit of water to water it down.
  2. Paint the dowel, along with the top and bottom of the spindle, with the homemade stain. When dry, the wood will look an aged soft brown colour. If you need the finish on the knob to match, hand-sand first and then add the stain.

3. Attach the knob to the dowel

Taping the knob on while the glue sets on the twine holder

When I attached my knob to the dowel, I used a heavy-duty bolt cutter to cut off the head of the screw. I then drilled a hole into the dowel to insert the screw into it, gluing it with 5-minute epoxy. However, I assume most people don’t have bolt cutters lying around to make this twine holder, so plan B is what I’ll show you.

  1. Lightly scuff sand the bottom of the knob and wipe off any residue.
  2. Mix a very small amount of 5-minute epoxy, following the directions on the package.
  3. Spread the epoxy onto the top of the dowel and centre the knob on top.
  4. Wipe off any glue that may have oozed out.
  5. Use painter’s tape to hold it while the glue sets. Double-check to make sure the knob hasn’t moved.
Vintage looking twine holder

4. If you’ve opted to paint, now’s the time

If you decided to paint the holder, you would apply paint now. Because I left mine with just the stain, I didn’t need to paint anywhere. However, it’s always a good idea to look it over and ensure there aren’t any areas that need touching up.

5. The finishing tip: apply candle wax

If you rub candle wax all around the part of the dowel that sits inside the spindle, it will help it move in and out easier.

All finished!

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about how you made and finished your twine holder. Leave a comment and let me know! Are you after more ideas? Check these out for more projects.

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