DIY Old-Fashioned Miniature Spool Beds

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       Spool dollhouse furniture is very vintage indeed. It was most popular when threads were commonly wrapped, packaged and sold to ordinary folk who made their own clothes, quilted etc… 

       So little people have been recycling unwanted trash to outfit their dollhouses forever, it seems. But now, you have to purchase wooden spools to return to the craft; it is not expensive if you are patient to acquire these wooden parts through second-hand vendors. 

Supply List: 

  • a variety of wooden spools small, medium and large
  • a wooden platform length cut to fit your sleeping doll
  • paint (spray acrylic or acrylic in a tube)
  • wood glue
  • clear varnish or Mod Podge
  • scrap fabrics and notions for the bedding

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. You will need to collect quite a few spools, smaller ones, for this craft. 
  2. Cut a thin wooden platform for the mattress of the bed to lay on. Make sure to measure the platform to fit the height of your doll. You can see that I planned the larger of the two doll beds to fit a standard size six inch dollhouse doll below. The shorter spool bed was designed for a child doll.
  3. You may glue the spools to stand upright or plan to attach them by stringing a long wire through the spool holes and bending it around the spool bedposts. In the end I decided to leave the bedrails off.
  4. Attach the spools using wood glue and let the glue dry overnight. 
  5. Use acrylic paints or enamel paint alternatively to finish the spool beds.
  6. Because doll beds like these were popular before the world wars and during, I chose to sew very old-fashioned bedding from lace trims and doilies.
Left, I’m thinking about the arrangement of spools for me dollhouse beds. Center, wooden spools
 may be found at resale or purchased online or maybe you could find them in your grandmother’s
sewing kit. Right, the platform for your doll’s mattress needs to be long enough to accommodate
it’s height and wide enough so that he or she won’t fall out of bed at night!
Left, I made two beds in different sizes from wooden spools. These stack neatly together for
storage purposes. Center, see the felt bedding with attached bed pillows. Right, the lace dusters 
are sewn directly onto the mattresses so that these won’t be lost during play or storage.
Left, old lace trims were collected at estate sales and used to craft vintage looking bedding.
Center, use darker colored silks beneath the lace trim to emphasize the decorative designs.
Right, the old-fashioned dollhouse beds are finished for our bookcase dollhouse.

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