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Painting bobbins

I have seen some painted bobbins on a website and they are lovely. As if I need to take up ANOTHER hobby, I am interested in painting some of my bobbins. All of mine are plain wood bobbins, but have been spangled. Do any of you know which kind of paint is best? Most I have seen have left the shaft (where you wind the thread) unpainted, but I saw some where they are ALL painted. What kind of paint can be used which won't rub off or discolor the thread?

Martha J.

I'm not sure where you live, Martha, but in the US we have craft stores that sell acrylic paints in bottles. It is marketed for ceramic and tole (wood)painting. The only two brands I can think of at the moment are Ceramcoat and Apple Barrel, even though neither is a brand I've used much. Michael's Crafts and JoAnne Fabrics are places that carry them. I cover the paint with several coats of polyurethane sealant, bought in the same department as the paints. My bobbins are only a year or two old, so I don't know how well the paint job will stand up over time, but so far no problem. I believe the polyurethane would protect thread on the neck but I am paranoid so I leave it plain. Besides, that part gets covered by the thread.

Most of my designs have been simple and easy. The only really fancy pair was of a dragon and a phoenix. I donated them to the raffle that raised money for the Luton lace dealer's sample book so I don't know how those have lasted.

I use cheap, unfinished bobbins. I figure that, even if the paint doesn't last, I've had fun painting and using them. Go for it!

Robin Panza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

I will be teaching 2 bobbin painting classes at The Land House Lacers in Virginia Beach is hosting the North Carolina Regional Lace Guild (NCRL) fall lace day this coming October 21st here in Virginia Beach if that's possible for you.

Lori Howe
Arlington, VA
Handpainted bobbins - www.lbobbins.lacefairy.com

Jacki Southworth did a bobbin painting workshop at my local lace guild in November. I had a go and proved that anything subtler than rainbow stripes is beyond me. Jackie McDouall produced one depicting a frog jumping over a lace pillow as prize for our leap year competition. As I dragged an artistic friend along, who enjoyed painting on bobbins, I did eventually get some beautiful handpainted bobbins as a Christmas present.

The important thing I learnt is that the bobbins must be UNFINISHED i.e. no sealant, lacquer or wax on the wood. After painting the bobbins are then sealed in your preferred manner. To get unfinished bobbins it is normally necessary to ask when ordering them, as bobbins are sold finished in order to protect the surface of the wood. To paint on a bobbin that has been finished the wood must be sanded to remove the finish in the area to be painted.

Steph Peters Manchester, England

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