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What To Make Of Empty Spools

Gather up all the spools you can find, big, little, thick, and thin; no matter how many, you can use them all. There is no end of fun to be had with these always-on-hand, easily found toys; they may be made into almost everything.

Spool Houses

are very simply constructed. Begin building by standing ten spools in a straight row for the front of the house. Make one side with seven spools placed at right angles with the front. This gives you one corner of the house. Build the back parallel to the front by standing nine spools at right angles with the side. You will then have two corners of the house and three sides. Add a row of six spools along the empty space between the front and back of the house for the fourth side, as in . Remove the third and fourth spools from the left-hand corner of the front of the house to form the doorway, and examine the foundation—see that it is even and straight before erecting the walls; then continue the building, placing a spool on top of each foundation spool . Build on another layer of spools, except over the second and third spools at the right hand of the doorway opening . Add another row of spools , and another . Lay a piece of pasteboard box over the top of the walls , and make the roof of a piece of almost any kind of paper by bending and creasing the paper down along the lengthwise centre and up along the lengthwise edges. Place the roof on top of the pasteboard ceiling . Do not have the roof project over the end of the house where you are to build the chimney, for the chimney must be quite close to the house. Select large spools for the chimney and build it by standing one spool on top of another until the chimney extends above the roof. You can top the chimney by laying a piece of cardboard over the last spool and placing two small spools on it side by side. Enclose the yard with a spool fence; standing the spools a short distance from each other, as in the photograph. Use spools of larger size for the gateway, topping them with two smaller ones .

Fig. 56—First row of spools. Fig. 56—First row of spools.
Fig. 57—Second row of spools. Fig. 57—Second row of spools.
Fig. 58—Third row of spools. Fig. 58—Third row of spools.
Fig. 59—Fourth row of spools. Fig. 59—Fourth row of spools.
Fig. 60—Fifth row of spools. Fig. 60—Fifth row of spools.

Fig. 61—A piece of pasteboard on top. Fig. 61—A piece of pasteboard on top.
Fig. 62—Place the roof on top. Fig. 62—Place the roof on top.

Make the yard into a cheerful

Sunshiny Garden

, with flowers and trees of paper and tubs and flower-pots of spools, where the clothespin people may go for recreation.

Fig. 63—Trees and flowers made of paper and spools. Fig. 63—Trees and flowers made of paper and spools.

Fig. 64—This is the way to make a tree. Fig. 64—This is the way to make a tree.

The trees are easy to make and are very effective; they are simply fringed strips of paper rolled like a paper lighter with the large ends stuck into spools. Cut a strip of green tissue-paper fifteen inches long and five wide; then cut one-third of the strip narrow, about one inch wide, and fringe the remaining two thirds . With the thumb and first finger of your right hand begin to roll the corner as shown at A . Continue rolling, and the fringe, which forms the foliage, will stand out on the outside of the rolled part or trunk of the tree. When you reach the solid, narrow part of the paper strip it will roll into a smooth, round stick, forming the lower part of the tree trunk. Paste the last wrapped corner of the paper roll in place and clip the tree trunk off even across the bottom edge; then press it into a hole in the centre of an empty spool of ordinary size, and there's your tree! You can vary the foliage by crimping the fringe with knife or scissors before the strip is rolled into a tree and by having the fringe of some much longer than that of others. If you use different tones, tints, and shades of green, running from very light to dark, and make a lot of them varying in height, the trees will look very pretty and they can form a jungle where toy wild animals can live; or a number of the trees might form a playground or a grove where dolls may go for a picnic.

In the photograph of the group of trees you will see a number of pots of flowers. The flowers are disks and squares of different bright-colored tissue-paper, each one with its centre pinched together and twisted into a stemlike piece, which is pushed down into a buttonhole-twist spool. Around some of the flowers a smaller square of green may be used for foliage.

You could make an extensive flower garden by using a great number of these short, flat spools and bits of gay tissue-paper, and they can be arranged and rearranged in many different ways.

It is possible to make all kinds of toy furniture of spools. If you want

A Bedroom Set,

use four spools for the legs of a bedstead, place them in position and lay a piece of stiff white paper, bent up at one end, on top of the spools. The bed will then be ready for the doll .

Fig. 65—A little bedstead. Fig. 65—A little bedstead.
Fig. 66—A table can be made in a moment's time. Fig. 66—A table can be made in a moment's time.
Fig. 67—The lamp. Fig. 67—The lamp.

A little table can be made in a moment's time. All that is necessary is to choose a large spool and place a round piece of paper on the top . Make the bureau of six spools close together in two rows of three spools each, and cut the top of a piece of paper with a high extension in the centre, which you must bend upright for a mirror. The washstand can be four spools quite close together covered with a piece of paper. A piano is easily made, but you must think it out for yourself. Use a small spool for the piano-stool.

The Lamp

is a spool with a little roll of white paper shoved into the hole and a circular piece of paper crimped around the edge for the shade. Unless you need the spool to use again in other ways, you might paste the paper on and make a lamp which will not come apart.

You can glue the tops on the table and washstand and the mirror on the bureau also; though this is not necessary, for if you are careful and do not knock against the furniture it will remain secure.

Now make the toy


with empty spools, and the entire kitchen will not cost one cent of money.

Fig. 68—Just like a kitchen. Fig. 68—Just like a kitchen.

Fig. 69—The stove without the stovepipe. Fig. 69—The stove without the stovepipe.

See how firm and substantial the little kitchen furniture looks in the photograph with its fine stove, dresser, and wash-tub . Use four spools for the feet of the stove. Over these lay a piece of pasteboard about six inches long and four inches wide, allowing it to project beyond the front feet to form the apron; then build on the body of the stove, making it of spools two layers deep, as in . Cut a piece of pasteboard to fit over the spools for the stove top, and have it long enough to stand out a short distance at the back; then you can build on the stovepipe .

Fig. 70—The finished stove. Fig. 70—The finished stove.

Fig. 71—The kitchen dresser. Fig. 71—The kitchen dresser.

Make the dresser of spools and strips cut from pasteboard boxes .

For the tubs stand four spools close together, and set a little round box on top of them. Make the washboard of a piece of paper folded many times backward and forward, fan fashion. After carefully creasing the folds, pull the paper out slightly and put it in the tub for the next washday .

After cooking,

A Dining Table

will be needed. With eight spools and a piece of pasteboard cut from a box you can make a fine dining table; the legs of the table are four columns of two spools each, as you see in , and the chairs are made of spools with bent pieces of cardboard pasted on top. The decorations of the table are small spools with bright tissue-paper for flowers arranged at the four corners of the table, and the plates are the round pasteboard tops from milk bottles.

Fig. 72—The dining table. Fig. 72—The dining table.

When enough furniture has been manufactured, build

A Wagon

Fig. 73—Pattern of little wagon. Fig. 73—Pattern of little wagon.

Cut from heavy paper or cardboard that will fold without breaking. Bend all the dotted lines and cut all the heavy lines in the pattern. Push a burnt match, or a wooden toothpick through one hub, then through an empty spool and the second hub. The spool forms the wheels. Screw a small pin cautiously through each of the two projecting ends of the match, piercing the wood and leaving the head and point of the pin standing out . Tie a knot in the end of a string to prevent its sliding out and thread it through the hole in the dashboard.

Fig. 74—The wagon of cardboard with spool for wheels. Fig. 74—The wagon of cardboard with spool for wheels.

By laying narrow strips of paper on a table or on the floor to form a boundary line, you may make a

Sunday-School Room

Fig. 75—A Sunday-school room made of spools. Fig. 75—A Sunday-school room made of spools.

Leave an open space for the doorway at the opposite end of the room from the organ. Build up a column of four large spools at each side of the space and connect them with a strip of paper laid from the top of one column to the top of the other.

Build the fine, large pipe-organ close to the edge of the back room. Stand eight spools in a row tight to each other at equal distances from each boundary side line. Build the row up three spools high, then skipping the end spools, build on two layers of six spools each; again skip the end spools and build on a layer of four spools. Crown the last layer with two top spools. Across the centre front of the organ stand a row of spools, two high and three long. Over them lay a piece of paper bent lengthwise through the centre for the key-board and music-rack. Bend another piece of paper for the music and stand it on the key-board against the rack. Make the organ seat of two spools placed side by side in front of the organ with a strip of paper laid over them. Let the seats for the doll children be rows of three spools each. Place the seats one in front of another in parallel lines a short distance apart and allow a wide, lengthwise central aisle between them. All this is shown in .

Trolley Car

Fig. 76—The spool trolley car. Fig. 76—The spool trolley car.

Hunt up an old pasteboard box, for you will need a box lid about fifteen inches long and eight inches wide as a foundation for the realistic trolley car . Use eight spools for the wheels; place two spool wheels near the front and two near the back on each side. Lay the spools down flat and rest the edge of the box lid on the body of the spools; then stand a row of eleven spools on each side of the top of the box lid. Beginning at one end of the row, build up every other spool into three-spool columns; the intervening spaces form the open windows of the car.

Leave windows on the opposite side of the car in the same way, and place a row of spools close up against the bottom spools of each side of the car to form the car seats. Roof the car with a piece of cardboard cut off square at one end and rounded at the other. On top of each side of this roof place one row of six buttonhole-twist spools, the spools of each row separated equal distances . Stand a spool on the front of the car platform for the motorman's wheel and you have a car like that in the photograph.

When the trolley is taken apart use the spools in building

A Bridge

shows that the piers can be built to a good height and be solid and substantial.

Stand three large-sized spools together, forming a triangle, with one point turned to face the opposite pier. This group of three spools is the foundation of one of the two columns, which together form one pier of the bridge.

Fig. 77—The spool bridge. Fig. 77—The spool bridge.

About two inches distant and on a line with the triangle of spools stand a group of three more spools, and build up each group into a column four spools high. You will need two more columns for the opposite pier of the bridge; build them as you did the first, and place the second pier exactly opposite to and as far from the first as you desire the span should reach—say about fourteen inches.

Lay a strip of pasteboard six inches wide across from pier to pier, allowing the ends to rest on the piers, but not extend beyond the outside end edges of the piers; then if your span is fourteen, inches long, cut from a pasteboard box two more strips fourteen inches long and of the same width as the span; score each strip across one end, one inch from the edge, bend slightly and fit the bent edge of each strip on one end of the bridge, allowing the other end of the strip to extend away from the pier and rest on the floor, forming an inclined approach to the bridge proper as in .

When your pasteboard strips are well settled in place, continue building up the piers on top of the pasteboard, making each group of three spools two layers high; then build up one spool two layers high on top of the four columns.

Fig. 78—Span the two columns with this. Fig. 78—Span the two columns with this.

Complete the archway by spanning the two columns of each pier with a narrow strip of stiff white paper bent up into a point at the centre and out into a flap at each end . The flaps rest on top of the spools. The photograph shows how the entire bridge should look, and in the photograph you will find a little lady hurrying across the bridge on her way home, and following in her wake Mr. Clothespin and Mrs. Clothespin. A paper boat under the bridge would make the scene more realistic.

Next build

A Memorial Arch

, something like the one which was erected in New York City. Commence with two groups of spools a short distance apart; have three in each group, two in the back and one in the front. Build up columns four spools high; then lay a strip of pasteboard across from one to the other. On top of the pasteboard place two more groups of smaller spools a little nearer together than the first groups. Make these columns two spools high and crown each with a single spool decorated with a bright-colored paper flag fastened on a stick pushed down into the spool. At the base of the arch add three more spools on each side, o and o , and the structure will be completed. This is not exactly like the original, but for a spool arch it is fine, and a spool procession will feel honored to march through it.

Fig. 79—A spool memorial arch. Fig. 79—A spool memorial arch.

The Parthenon

Fig. 80—The Parthenon made of spools. Fig. 80—The Parthenon made of spools.

If you have enough spools, you can make a miniature representation of one of the most beautiful temples ever built. Begin by standing four spools in a row for the first end of the building, allowing about the width of a spool between each two. Place eight in a row for the first side, four for the other end, and eight for the second side . Have the spools all of the same size, that the walls may be alike and perfectly even, because, as you know, the walls are to be formed of columns, not as many as in the original, but enough to give an idea of the Greek temple. Build up the spools three deep into pillars; then lay a piece of pasteboard on the top of the columns for a ceiling. Bend another piece of pasteboard lengthwise through the centre for the roof, and stand it tent-like on top of the ceiling. You can measure the correct size of the ceiling by laying a piece of pasteboard down flat on the floor along the eight-columned side of the Parthenon to obtain the length, and placing it flat on the floor across the four-columned side to mark the width. Make the roof the same length and a little wider than the ceiling, to allow for the height of the bend through the centre.

You must imagine a space immediately beneath the roof of the little Greek temple filled in with the most beautiful statuary, and think of the spools as white marble columns, and you should see, in fancy, another row of stately columns inside the ones you have built. Tell all about the real Parthenon and hunt up a picture of the temple that all may see just how near you came to making the little model look like the wonderful Parthenon on the Acropolis, in Athens.

After admiring the building for a while, pretend that a left-over spool

Is a Venetian Shell

shot from a cannon, and toss it gently against the roof at one end of the temple, then see the columns totter and fall, leaving only a portion of the Parthenon standing, in the same way that the real marble columns fell when the original structure was shattered and practically destroyed by the soldiers.

You can

Blow Bubbles with a Spool,

beautiful bubbles, which float and glide in the air with all the charm of clay-pipe bubbles. Mix strong soap-suds, dip one end of a large spool in the water, wet the spool, then blow. If the bubble refuses to appear, dip the spool in the water again, put your head down to the spool and blow a few bubbles while the spool is in the water, then quickly raise it and try again. Nine times out of ten you will succeed, and a bubble will swell out from the spool as in . These wooden bubble-blowers last a long time, with no danger of breaking when accidentally dropped on the floor, and you can always find enough to provide one for each of the players who meet for a trial of skill in bubble-blowing.

Fig. 81—You can blow bubbles with a spool. Fig. 81—You can blow bubbles with a spool.

Now try

Pretty Butterflies

which fly from spools. Cut a butterfly from bright-colored tissue paper or thin writing paper, bend at the dotted line and paste on the large end of a very small cork. Fit the small end of the cork into the top of the hole of an empty spool . Then blow through the spool and see the butterfly ascend rapidly to the ceiling and float down again. A number of different colored butterflies in the air at one time fill the room with charming bits of fluttering brightness that will delight the children.

Fig. 82—Pattern of butterfly. Fig. 82—Pattern of butterfly.
Fig. 83—It will fly from the spool. Fig. 83—It will fly from the spool.

Take another empty spool and stick a common wire hairpin partially into the hole, bend the hairpin slightly down against the edges of the hole, do the same with three more hairpins, and you will have a spool with a funnel-like opening of hairpins at the top . In the funnel place a small, light-weight ball made of a crushed bit of bright paper wound around with thread. Raise the spool to your lips and blow gently . The ball will rise and fall in mid-air, in the same way that you have seen one of rubber dance at the top of a small fountain or jet of water.

Fig. 84—The ball is placed on top of the spool. Fig. 84—The ball is placed on top of the spool.
Fig. 85—The ball will rise and fall. Fig. 85—The ball will rise and fall.

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