Recycle Plastic Cotton Reels – Upcycled Christmas Decoration

December 8, 2016

I’ve finally hit upon an idea for recycling cotton reels… upcycled Christmas decorations. I hate throwing cotton reels away, but generate quite a few over the course of the year. I have to admit I love this idea!


You will need:

  • cotton reels
  • double-sided tape
  • scraps of wool
  • embroidery floss
  • beads
  • spray paint

To make:

Spray the ends of your cotton reels to cover up the writing.


Once dry wrap double sided tape at the bottom and top of the barrel. Cut lengths of wool and place along the barrel.


Thread beads onto your embroidery floss. Wrap this around the barrel, spreading the beds our randomly as you go.


Using invisible thread or whatever you have to hand, thread a needle through the middle of the cotton reel, through a large bead and then back through the cotton reel. Thread the second bead on at the top and create a loop to hang the Christmas decoration.

Upcycled cotton reel transformed into upcycled christmas decoration, click through to the blog for the full tutorial

What colours will you choose? Do you have a favourite upcycled Christmas decoration?




14 comments so far.

14 responses to “Recycle Plastic Cotton Reels – Upcycled Christmas Decoration”

  1. Donnalee says:

    Cute idea, but they’re plastic and plastic can be recycled in most places. Maybe you do not live in a place that has that but could send a packet of them to someone else who can recycle them, if you use so many…?

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks for your comment, I have limited plastics I can recycle locally:( You’ve prompted me to contact the thread supplier and find out the type of plastic they are made from and were they can be recycled:) I have no idea why I didn’t think of that before!!

  2. Jill says:

    Oh they are so pretty Vicky! Great idea! You could have a whole tree decorated with those – or string them together to make a pretty garland! Great upcycle! – if they can be reused – then that’s better than recycling!

  3. So effective and without the tutorial here I would never have guessed it was a cotton real! You have such a great mind for using things creatively. I love the silver and turquoise colour, I think I’d like a whole tree of these with plain white twinkle lights.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

  4. Claire says:

    Great upcycle idea. I think they would also look great in a garland.

  5. Zdenka says:

    Another thing I didn’t think of upcycling 🙂 thanks!!

  6. Helena says:

    These are lovely. Thank you for sharing with us. #Trash2Treasure

  7. What a creative way to use up something you have! Trees always look better with some bling baubles! Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

  8. Stephanie says:

    I saw this on pinterest and couldn’t figure out what the heck it was, now I realize reel = spool, haha!!

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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