Are you interesting in learning to spin but not sure you’re ready for the investment? You are in luck, friend! Today we are going to make a drop spindle using things found around the house. It’s easier than you think!
How to Make a Drop Spindle
A spindle is made up of three components: a stick (shaft), a circular weight (whorl), and a hook on one end. Let’s go on a scavenger hunt through our junk drawers, pantry, and tool box to see what we can find.
The shaft (stick) needs to be about 10″ long. It can be as short as 6″ for a mini spindle, or as long as 12″. A dowel rod from the craft store would be perfect (and I just so happened to find one in my garage from some other projects presumably years ago), but so would a fresh pencil found at the bottom of your junk drawer.
The whorl can be anything from a piece of cut-out cardboard, to a CD, to the jar off of a seasoning in your cupboard. Note that most drop spindles have a notch in the whorl, so finding something grooved would be advantageous! Here are some great options I found in my pantry. The optimum width is anywhere between 2.5″ to 3.5″ diameter.
Tip! I used acetone nail polish remover to remove the date from the top of my beef bullion container.
You will need a hook on one end of your spindle in order to suspend the spindle while you spin. This could be an actual hook if you’re lucky enough to find one in the toolbox like me, or you could use a paper clip gently manipulated into shape and some electrical tape.
One thing we must also remember is that the weight of your spindle makes a difference. If you have a scale (I have one that I use specifically for spinning fiber and for crochet) you should aim for the completed spindle to be at least 1 oz if possible. Consider weighing all components together before assembling. You may need to add something or change out the whorl for something heavier. Both of my homemade drop spindles pictured here are just shy of 1 oz. More on the weight of your drop spindle here.
You want the shaft of the spindle to be snug in the hole of the whorl.
Make a hole in the direct center of the whorl that is the same size as the shaft you intend to use. Depending on what material you are using for the whorl (cardboard could be simply – and carefully – pierced with an awl), a drill bit in the same size as the stick you intend to use may be necessary. Here we started with a small drill bit, increasing the size until the circumferences matched as closely as possible.
Hot glue on the underneath of the whorl will add weight to the spindle while also providing stability to the whorl. Just make sure it dries as straight as possible!
Next you need to attach your hook. If you have an actual hook, drill a tiny hole and simply screw it into the end of the stick. If you are using a paper clip, carefully and securely tape it to the top of the stick. I found electrical tape to be sufficient.
Voila! You now have a fully functioning drop spindle, ready for drop spinning! Let me know what you used in the Heart Hook Homespun Spinners group on Facebook!
Great tutorial Ashlea! Thank you!