A great way to add pops of colour to your space is to display colourful everyday objects. I gave my thread storage a makeover and added a rainbow of colour to my sewing room walls. Read on for other suggestions for turning ordinary objects into art in your own space.
Thread Storage – Better Function Needed
Sewing is something I do regularly. I love making items for our home such as curtains and pillows. I also sew clothes for myself and make lots of colourful quilts. Therefore, I have a lot of thread and in nearly every colour of the rainbow.
When I began sewing, I bought three hard plastic thread storage boxes from our local Fabricland. Unfortunately, the plastic corners broke easily and I had to use clear tape to hold them together. They were unattractive, but they did the job. The storage boxes stacked upon each other and I kept them behind the closed doors of my Billy bookcase beside my sewing table.
The problem with this set-up was that I simply had too many spools of thread. The storage cases had limited pegs inside, and I was often trying to squeeze skinnier spools in the empty spaces between other spools. This worked to a point, but they were difficult to get in and out. And furthermore, I was still acquiring more thread than they could hold.
Thread Rack – A Better Solution
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I researched possible solutions and decided the best one would be a June Tailor Mega-Rack. I got mine from my local fabric store on a Boxing Day sale. There are smaller sizes of these thread racks if you don’t have as big of a collection as I do, but I chose one that holds 120 spools. It has legs so it can stand on a table or work surface, or it can be hung from a wall by adding your own hardware. I didn’t have the surface space to devote to such a large piece so I intended to hang it.
For many months, it leaned empty against the wall in its original unfinished wood state. Since moving in, my sewing/craft room needed a lot of work, and I wanted to wait to hang the rack until the walls had been painted.
Painting the Thread Rack
I started my thread storage makeover project early on during the pandemic and I regret that I didn’t take great before photos, which means I don’t have a lot of progress shots to share.
When we moved in, the walls of my sewing room were a mustard yellow, and my new thread rack nearly camouflaged with the walls. But I had plans to paint my craft room Behr Falling Snow (PPU18-7), which is a really nice warm white. I thought about leaving the thread rack it’s natural wood colour, and letting the thread be the star. But, in the end I decided that was so boring! I don’t have an unlimited amount of wall space to display pretty things, so why fill it up with boring, utilitarian, or beige things?
So during the pandemic, when I needed to keep busy, I got a small paint sample of Behr Dandelion Wish (MQ4-12) I used a small brush and – very slowly – painted 3 coats on the whole thread rack, including around all 120 pegs. It was a little bit tricky to make sure all the sides were covered, and spray painting may have been easier, but I’m still more comfortable using regular paint.
Since I was intending to remove the legs to hang the rack, I did not bother painting them. But leaving them on so the rack could stand up helped me to paint it more easily. The rack looked so happy and colourful when it was painted!
Finished Thread Storage Makeover – Now Art!
After my loving husband painted my sewing room just after Christmas, I could not wait to get some pops of colour up on the walls. I got to do the honours of hanging the thread rack. This may sound silly, but I’ve never really used power tools before, (and so with a bit of guidance), I did all the measuring, drilling, and screwing myself. It was fairly simple and I was proud of myself. After removing the legs from the rack, I installed triangle ring hangers on each vertical post, and hung those on Hangman Bear Claw screws.
Now the thread rack is a bright riot of colour, popping off the wall and functions as a piece of art.
One of the best parts of my thread storage makeover was the fun I had arranging the rainbow of thread. My rainbow actually starts over again after the top three rows because I like to separate the cotton thread I use for quilting from the thread I use for garment and household sewing. The top three rows contain my quilting thread.
It makes me happy just to look at it! The thread may get a little dusty out in the open. But the rack is near my sewing table, and it’s easy to find what I need quickly. I will no longer have to squeeze spools into spots they’re not meant to fit in. Finally, and perhaps best of all, since I can quickly see what I have, I might realize that I already have seven spools of my favourite aqua colour and not buy any more! My thread storage makeover turned out even better than I had hoped.
Or keep reading for tips to turn everyday items into art in your own home.
Ordinary Objects Become Colourful Art
My thread rack makeover is just one example of turning an ordinary and useful object into something beautiful to enjoy. These objects can bring interest and colour to the rooms of your home, as well as showing your personality and interests.
I truly feel the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding colourful things to display. But here are just some of the ideas I have to turn everyday useful objects into art:
If you have lots colourful or beautiful jewelry, (or even just a few favourite pieces), why hide them in a jewelry box or drawer? You can display some pieces on a rack hanging on the wall in your bathroom or bedroom. Or how about laying them on a tray or in a dish on top of your dresser or bathroom counter? You might even be more likely to wear them if they’re more visible. I know I often forget about things that are tucked in my drawers.
Scarves or hats
Maybe you have a pretty scarf collection, or a bunch of hats. Why not hang them from a peg rail on the wall, or from a coat tree where they’ll be both handy and attractive. The patterns and textures will add interest to the room.
Cookbooks or other books
Display an open shelf full of vibrantly coloured cookbooks in your kitchen or in your dining room. Pull out groupings of books from your shelves in a few favourite accent colours, and then add them to any room for a pop of colour. Lay them horizontally and stack a decorative object on top to add more height and interest.
If you have an awesome record collection, why not choose a few to display on your walls? They make great graphic art.
Maybe you collect Jadeite, Pyrex, Fiesta Ware or other colourful dishes. Don’t hide it away behind closed cupboard doors. Find a way to display even a few pieces in your kitchen or in your dining room. Remove a couple of cupboard doors to create some open shelving if you need to.
Blankets, Pillows, and Quilts
Your blankets, throws, and quilts don’t need to be all boring, neutral colours. (Though if they are, displaying them still adds great texture). If you’ve got colourful throws, display them. Fold one up and drape it over the back of your couch, or lay a folded one at the foot of the bed. Roll up quilts and display them in a basket, or stack them in a cabinet with glass doors.
Pantry food and spices
Make those colourful food items do double duty in glass containers on shelves in your kitchen or pantry.
Colourful fabric, yarn, beads, paint or other craft supplies are just begging to be displayed rather than all hidden away. But be judicious with how much you choose to display so it doesn’t make your space look too visually cluttered.
What kinds of colourful ordinary objects do you display?
I want to hear from you. Think about your own house. Are there colourful and useful objects that you display that also add a pop of colour to your room? What kinds of things do you have hidden in cupboards that you could take out and display for a punch of colour? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,