Plastic Spool Toy Beads

I have an abundance of plastic spools and while doing some rearranging I found a huge container of them (head over to the Facebook page to see a photo) and decided that I needed to come up with some ways to use them or *gasp* get rid of them.  So here is the first project of what I hope will be many using plastic spools: 
You will need:

empty spools

scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or fabric

Mod Podge (I used glossy, oooh shiny)

crochet yarn chain, shoe string, or cording

brushes, scissors/paper cutter, pencil, and ruler

Start by cleaning the labels off of the ends of the spools, most of my labels peeled right off, but you may need to soak them and use some goo gone to get rid of the sticky.spool beads 1 Measure the height of the spool, just the flat area where the thread was, in this example 1 1/2” is the height.  Spool sizing is not standard, mine ended up being three different heights (this is the point where I sorted all my spools out by type).  Cut your paper into strips the proper height for your spools.spool beads 2 I wrapped my papers around my spools and marked where they met.  Some of my spools were 4 1/8” around, I made all my strips 4” long so I could get three covers from a strip of 12” scrapbook paper.
After cutting all my papers I used the Mod Podge to glue them onto the spools.  Don’t be stingy, you want to put a nice coat of Mod Podge on the spools and then carefully smooth the paper down, pay special attention to the ends and make sure they are stuck down good.  Once all the bubbles are out coat the top of the paper with Mod Podge too, I went over the edges onto the spools to really seal it in.
I made a crochet chain for the string part, dip the ends of the yarn in Mod Podge while you have it out, it will seal them and keep them from fraying.spool beads 3 Little Miss loves these beads, she wears them as a necklace, makes them into a snake, stacks them up and knocks them down, uses them as little dolly stools, and has a lot of great fun with them!
Obviously the string could be a choking hazard, if it were wrapped around the neck by itself.  If you are concerned about this the spools could be permanently attached to the string instead of leaving it loose for stringing.
I used black spools, but you could also paint them any color you want with the new plastic paint (I want to make some lime green ones next) before Mod Podging the paper on.
You can use fabric instead of paper.
A shoelace would also work great for stringing the beads.
Since is used leftover paper from my Holiday Photo Ornaments, I’m thinking about making this into some sort of garland to hang them on.  I know that sounds kind of lame, but really, it’s cool in my head (I’ll keep you posted if I decide to give it a try).
Have a super crafty weekend!

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