Blocks & Spools

I bought some vintage blocks and wooden spools on eBay to test out my idea and see how they’d look in the shelves.

I love it.

Blocks & Spools

I don’t know about you, but I remember playing with spools as a kid at my grandma’s house. Seeing them all jumbled together with the blocks makes me happy.

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  • danielle
    November 12, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    i love it! and i’m sure your little one will too!

  • Nancy Kay
    November 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    It looks great!

  • Lili
    November 12, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I like it too!

    Are the smallest spools a choking hazard?

  • Lisa Golightly
    November 12, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    love the spools!

  • Nicole Balch
    November 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Oh, good point Lili. I’ll probably have to remove those when the baby is old enough to actually start playing with them.

  • Concha
    November 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Oh… this looks fab!

  • molly
    November 12, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I used to play with spools as well! Looks great!

  • luuvely
    November 12, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    cute!!!!! :)

  • tm
    November 12, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    i have a necklace that my aunt made me when i turned 1, out of spools. and my mom just made my son one to play with. he is 20 months, and loves it. if you put it on a really thick string, you should be ok. you just want to make sure if you paint them, or if they have paint already on them, that the paint is safe (lead-free) for them if your little one starts putting them in their mouth. :)

  • Julie Anne
    November 12, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Yes! My Grandma’s used-up wooden spools were an integral part of our wooden blocks set when we (my sister and I) were kids.

    Plain wooden blocks in several shapes, perfect cube alphabet blocks, and wooden spools — the mighty triumvirate of childhood construction and building adventures!

  • Jules
    November 13, 2008 at 12:44 am

    I love it! When I was a little girl, I use to play with a Vienna Cafe can of buttons my mom had in her sewing kit. I would pretend they were jewels although, oddly, my favorite button was one made of wood.

    And I love that spool necklace idea. I may have to copy that and use it for one of Mr. Nico’s Christmas stocking stuffers.

  • Me? A Mom?
    November 13, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Delightful! Put a smile on my face. Thanks.

  • Marybeth at
    November 13, 2008 at 9:00 am

    So cute! I love those little blocks. Your baby will, too :)

  • Andi
    November 13, 2008 at 9:43 am

    So cute.

    Have you thought of painting just the back of the shelving a contrasting color so the blocks POP?

  • susanj
    November 13, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Andi’s thinking what I’m thinking! And for less commitment, instead of paint, you could tack up strips of any paper (wall, scrapbooking etc.) that you like and neatly fit it in on the back wall of each shelf…image the fun!

  • Breakfast for Dinner
    November 13, 2008 at 10:43 am

    So very cute! I love the whimsy of it all. :)

  • Christy
    November 13, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Love it!

  • casafroggy
    November 13, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    My Grandmother had blocks for us at her house. She scooped them up and placed them in a large empty quaker oats container when we were done playing. I wonder if she still has them…

  • Erin
    November 13, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Ah, so cute! The spools are a nice touch. I adore the teal ones.

  • The City Sage
    November 13, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    This is an absolutely charming arrangement. Kudos for making it happen using reclaimed materials! I just adore the worn, pre-loved look of the blocks, especially in contrast to the glossy white of your shelves. Terrific job!

  • Christina
    November 13, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I love the idea, but wanna see more shapes. Mayeb a cute vintage doll or something? It’s getting there though… lovely.

    (btw, I ADORE the mad scientist blocks.)

    Also, i like the frigality of these as well; do not spend a fortune on baby toys. My 5 yr old son does not remember anything he used to have or play with as a baby! I remember buying this really expensive activity playmat…. nothing!


  • Monica A.
    November 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    The blocks look so cute mixed with the spools!

  • Jerry
    November 14, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    The spools are awesome & the old letter blocks are delightfully old-school… it just goes to show that the best toys don’t require dumping a lot of money into whatever Toys-R-Us is selling – rather, they require imagination and ingenuity. When my daughter was about a year old, her favorite thing to play with was a set of old measuring cups! No need to cash out the retirement annuity for a Barbie Dual-Action Swingset Chateau Princess Cookie Baker Deluxe (or whatever) when there are SPOOLS on the shelf!!!

  • katiedid
    November 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    First of all CONGRATULATIONS! I am a little late to the party, but wishings you all the best. The blocks are adorable. (Make sure you don’t get any made in China….I know, but seriously.) I have had fun going back through your posts. Love the garden reference page, and the pink patio chairs, AND your staitonary suitcases….perhaps a couple for my girls this Xmas.

    Best wishes-

  • Elissa
    November 15, 2008 at 9:20 am

    These are adorable! I love the simplicity of it. Besides, I think the simple, old fashioned kids toys inspire more creativity than the ones today where the toy does everything for them.

  • daisy mae
    November 15, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I love the way the blocks and spools look! I stumbled upon these blocks as well. Perfect for an inquisitive little boy like my son will be soon.

  • joanna goddard
    November 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    LOVE THIS!!! :)

  • Fiona
    November 16, 2008 at 7:27 am

    It’s very cute, but it’s lacking…something. I think the idea of background paper is a good one.

  • lauren
    November 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    this looks great – I love it!