My Craft Room: Arty Abacus

My Craft Room: Arty Abacus

What, you might ask, does an abacus have to do with a craft room? Nothing, really. If any ciphering is going on in there, it’s on a calculator. But I digress. The abacus idea came from a basket of antique spools. I knew I wanted to display them more prominently in my new craft space, but how? String them, letting them dangle from someplace? Naw. Some sort of peg board display dealy-bob? Nope. It finally came to me last weekend. An abacus!

MWT started by ripping down two scrap pieces of 3/4" oak to 2" x 17". Next he drilled six 1/4" holes evenly spaced on one side of each of the scrap pieces. We dry-fitted six 36" oak dowels, purchased at the big box store for about 50 cents a piece. MWT sanded the individual pieces up and then, to set the wood off on my blue walls, I decided to apply a pickling gel to them.

When the pieces were dry, I slipped the spools on the dowels and fitted them into the side pieces.

If you don’t have a hundred antique wooden spools laying around, this could work with large beads or whatever else you can find with a hole in the center. If you made the side pieces wider, you could even string old CDs for a funky ancient technology meets modern technology art piece.

Tomorrow’s post: the completed room...finally.

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Anonymous on Dec 04, 2009:

oH if I would have only kept all the neckleces my grandmother made me and my sister out of those spools!  She did quilting and would sell them to people at her church and I have a few of her's there were made just for me.  Seems these are getting harder and harder to find in my area!

baconthecat on Jul 24, 2007:

Nifty! For some reason, I also think this would be great in a child's room (I have kids on the mind... Hm!!! *alert*)! Teach them how to count using an abacus... Heh! At school, for a short-lived period, they wanted to teach us how to use an abacus... God those things were confusing!

jasimar on May 24, 2007:

I think it's really pretty, but if I were to do this I would use tension wire things to keep the line from sagging in the middle.  A brace would interrupt good abacus flow, though.

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