How to Make Darling Bottle Brush Tree Christmas Decorations

[Updated February 2020] Hi there!  In today’s post I’m going to show you how to make thread spool and bottle brush tree Christmas decorations. They are easy as 1-2-3, I promise! I sell them in large quantities every year at the Shaker craft fair. They make great additions to booths at antique shops, vintage shops, and flea markets, as well as craft shows.

Related posts: 10 Bottle Brush Tree Decorating Ideas & a Guide to Collecting Vintage Thread

thread spool and bottle brush tree decorations with textI have seen variations of these bottle-brush-trees-on-spools-of-thread Christmas decorations around the web and at vintage fairs for a while now.

Materials for Making Bottle Brush Tree Christmas Decorations


  • Vintage thread spools (with thread or bare)
  • Small bottle brush trees (1-2″)
  • Tacky glue & toothpick
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Hot glue
  • Sand paper
  • Ribbon
  • Buttons and/or other embellishments

How to Make Vintage Style Bottle Brush Tree Decorations

decorated thread spools: how to make bottle brush tree Christmas decorations

Step 1: Using a toothpick, dab a tiny spot of glue onto the end of the thread and press it down to glue it in place.

Step 2: If you are using a spool without thread, cut a piece of scrapbook paper to wrap around your spool.

Step 3: Wrap a piece of color coordinating ribbon around the spool and use hot glue to hold it in place.

Step 4: Using hot glue, attach a button or other embellishment to the front of the spool.

Step 5: Sand the bottom of a bottle brush tree.

Step 6: Apply a dab of hot glue to the bottom of the tree and press it into place on top of the spool of thread.

vintage-thread-spools-with-bottle-brush-trees-6-1280x853Aren’t they cute as can be??

vintage-thread-spools-with-bottle-brush-trees-1-1280x853I haven’t decided which I prefer–those with thread or those with scrapbook paper. What do you think? 

vintage-thread-spools-with-bottle-brush-trees-1280x844I wish I had a source for the metal numerals, but alas, I’ve not been able to find them. (And I can’t remember where I bought them in the first place, LOL.)

vintage-thread-spools-with-bottle-brush-trees-2-1280x853Matching ribbon and buttons to the various colors of thread and scrapbook paper is not rocket science, but boy did I make a mess in the process(!). 

I pull out all sorts of supplies, laying ribbon on paper and buttons on ribbon before I finally settled on the “matches” that I preferred.

UPDATE [2020]

a collection of vintage thread and bottle brush tree decorationsI’ve been making and selling these little darlings ever since I first introduced them in this post back in 2016. This year (2020) I raised the price from $3.50 to $4 and sold 19 of them–that’s $76! And they’re as much fun to make  now as they were back then. You should really give them a try 🙂

You may also be interested in:A Cool Collectible: Vintage Thread

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  1. Hi…what a darling idea….as usual, Diana! I just ordered some for myself. I have quite a few of the antique ones but I could use more for gifts enhancers etc. Thanks for posting….always joyful to read. 🙂

    1. So glad you like the idea, Fonda 🙂 I bought them at Consumer Crafts [dot] com. If you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll get announcements about their sales.

  2. Very cute! I recently bought a whole shoe box full of vintage wooden thread spools, the majority are empty. I’ve been in a quandry about what exactly to do with them. I just know I like them as they are, probably because they remind me of my grandmother who taught me to sew. Anyway, I like your idea and it sounds like quite a few others do too!

  3. Really cute Diana! I host a stitching group at my home. At Christmas time we exchange a little something. Last year I made them all a spool with a bottle brush tree and they love them. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  4. I inherited a lot of fabric and thread and my faborite wood spools are from the Belding Corticelli thread. I just went through my collection of empty spools and decided to look up the company. Thank you so much for your informative information on the spools and the thread companies. I quit using thread from wooden spools (even though I have 2 boxes full) since I realized just this last year (2021) that using thread from the 1970’s or earlier might not the best choice. P.S. I love your little bottle brush trees!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Jean! Thanks for taking the time to write an encouraging comment–it means a lot 🙂

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