Styling Tips: Vintage cotton reel hooks

We are all about home projects here at YVL at the moment with Kate and Adam finishing off the renovations to their home and me moving to a new house last week.  There is always something great about making something useful out of a lovely object that you want to display.  Vintage cotton reels are lovely to look at whether small sewing size or larger industrial size – there’s just something about the wooden reels, faded labels and beautiful coloured thread.   I have seen great examples recently for the wall almost using them as art –



Todays blog is about how to make gorgeous coat hooks or drawer handles from vintage cotton reels – perfect for the vintage modern home.


To create your hook first choose your reel – choose a small sewing version for a little hook or drawer knob or a large industrial reel if you want something more dramatic.  Either pick colours that will stand out and really make a statement or tonal hues and can work in a group, alternatively use an empty reel so the knob is just wood.  We have chosen smaller cute reels in a simple black thread for this project –

Use a long flat head screw, long enough to go through the entire reel with clearance and a rawlplug (a minium of 2 inches long to go into the wall ie into the plug).  Mr YVL chose a 100mm plaster board screw as its black with a smaller head (can choose silver/gold but we felt black is best as matches the font on the label).  If you are screwing into a stud or wooden built wall, screw into the wooden upright for maximum support, if you do this you wont need a rawlplug.  If drilling into plasterboard with no support, use a plaster board fixing rawlplug otherwise the hook wont hold any weight.

You will need to drill a hole for the plug – if its a masonry wall use a 6.5-7mm drill bit with a brown rawlplug or use a 5.5-6mm drill bit for use with a red rawlplug.   This will create a great fixing to hang whatever you like on.  Screw the screw through tightly and turn the reel so the label is the right way up.  Your hook (or handle) is complete!

For any further advice ask your local hardware store.

There are so many different versions of this idea you can use in your vintage inspired home.  How about creating a set of hooks for a bedroom?


Or use some large industrial size reels for bigger items such as coats and bags in a hallway or cloakroom?


Or finally, how about as cute handles on a vintage drawer unit?


For more styling tips and ideas Kates book ‘Style Your Modern Vintage Home’ is now on pre-order at Amazon and on release will be available on our website at the end of the month.

Enjoy being creative in a vintage style this week and don’t forget to tweet us photos of your creations in your own home – we will be blogging (with permission) the best we receive in a future new blog,  so go on, impress us!





Competition time!

Would you like to win this gorgeous hamper, perfect for summer picnics?  Inside the vintage wicker hamper is a hand crocheted rug, a 1960s yellow insulated jug, 2 Tupperware style beakers, a 1970s Thermos soup jug, 4 1960s yellow plastic eggcups, 4 1970s yellow melamine bowls and a retro board game.   What you have to do:

1.Follow our blog.  This can be done by subscribing or by following via BlogLovin (see links on side of page)

2.Also you need to leave a comment to any post throughout the month (you must leave your email address so we can contact you if you win (this isn’t shared with our readers)

3.Share the competition with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.

The winner will be drawn on the 20th August and will be notified that week. Good luck!


Written by Sarah Gorlov

Sarah is a stylist, writes fashion blog Always a Blue Sky Girl, is owner of creative consultancy Blue Sky Visual Merchandising and was the stylist on ‘Style your Modern Vintage Home’ by Kate Beavis.  Brought up by antique dealer parents and starting her career as a Harrods window dresser, her passions include fashion, interior design and collecting 1960’s vintage.  An Instagram addict, you can follow her Blueskygirlie posts here for more inspiration every day.



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