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Every boy has right at hand the materials necessary for making splendid Christmas gifts, in the empty spools from mother's work-basket, boards from grocery boxes, nails, and one or two other things that are to be found in every household.

A handful of spools of assorted shapes and sizes will suggest a hundred possibilities for suitable gifts for each friend and relative whom you wish to remember. The illustrations in this chapter show a variety of useful articles, in the making of each of which one or more spools were used, and, once you start work upon duplicating these, you will discover quite as many more ideas for simple gifts.

The Candle-stick in Fig. 53 is made by mounting a small silk-thread spool upon the end of a large ribbon spool, then mounting the ribbon spool upon a small square block. The base block may be cut from a box board. Make it about 1 inch wider each way than the diameter of the spool end, and nail it to the end of the spool as indicated in Fig. 59, with an equal projection all around the spool. Fasten the small spool to the end of the large spool with a short piece of pencil, or a round peg whittled to the same size. Coat this piece of pencil or peg with glue, than push it through the hole in the small spool and down into the hole in the large spool, allowing about 1/2 inch of its end to project above the top of the short spool. A hole just large enough for this peg to fit snugly in must be cut in the end of the candle (Fig. 59). Heat the top of the pencil before pressing the candle upon it, to make the candle stick.

Finishing. A brown stain produces a pretty finish for articles made of spools. A small quantity can be purchased from a paint dealer for ten or fifteen cents. Follow the directions that accompany it. An application of nothing but boiled linseed oil also makes a pretty finish.

After staining the candlestick, glue a piece of felt to the under side of the base to prevent its scratching surfaces that it is placed upon. The Desk Calendar shown in Fig. 54 requires a small calendar-pad, a block upon which to mount the

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Fig. 59. - How the Candle-Stick is Put Together pad, and two short silk-thread spools for feet. A calendar-pad 2 inches wide and 3 inches long will cost five cents.

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Cut the back block out of a box-board, enough larger than the pad to make a 1/2-inch margin all around it. Nail spool feet to the lower edge of the back (Fig. 60), and fasten the calendar in place with small tacks.

The Stationery-rack (Fig. 55) is built up of four cotton-thread spools of equal size, four short silk-thread spools of equal size, and a piece of a box board 3 inches wide by 5 inches long. First, nail the piece of board to the ends of the four long spools, then nail the four short spools to the other side of the board, directly under the long spools, for feet. Bits of felt may be glued to the under side of the feet, to prevent them from scratching.

The Pen-rack shown in Fig. 56 is made of a strip of wood 6 inches long, 3/4 inch wide, and 3/4 inch thick (Fig. 61), with a medium-sized spool mounted upon each end. Cut the strip slanted on the ends, and nail to the sides of the spools in the manner shown in Fig. 61.

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Fig. 60. - How the Spool Feet are Attached to the Calendar Board

Only one spool is used for

The Desk Blotter (Fig. 57), that one forming the handle (A, Fig. 62). The base block (B, Fig. 62) is a piece of a box-board 2 1/2 inches by 5 inches in-size, and the block C is 2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Get a screw long enough to extend through

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Fig. 61. - Nail the Base of the Pen-Rack to the Sides of the Spools, like this

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Fig. 62. - Block C holds the Blotter of the Blotter-Pad in Place handle A, through block C, and part way into base block B (a screw with a round head will look neatest,) and screw the three pieces together. If the screw-head is smaller than the hole in the spool handle, support it by a small metal washer slipped over the screw.

Figure 62 shows how the blotter is cut to fit the bottom of the base block, and folded up over the end to the center of the top.

The ends are held to the base by block C. To release the ends for changing the blotter, it is only necessary to give block C a half turn, so that it extends lengthwise of the base block. Pad the blotter with an extra piece of blotting-paper slipped between it and base block B.

One end of the spool used for the handle of

The Paper-knife (Fig. 58) must be whittled down until even with the sides. Cut the knife blade from a stick, and make it about 7 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, with its edges whittled thin and sharp. Cut the handle end to fit the hole in the spool handle, and fasten it in this hole with glue.

The Paper-spin-dle (Fig. 63) is of a convenient size for a desk. A 4-inch wire nail, a short silk-thread spool, a base block 2 inches square, and a piece of felt for the under side of the base, are the materials you need to make it. Enlarge the opening in one end of the spool so the head of the nail will fit down

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Fig. 63. - A Paper-Spindle into it. Then drop the nail through the hole, nail the base to the under side of the spool, and glue the felt to the base.

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Fig. 65 - The Ripper Fig. 64 - A Toothpick Holder

The Toothpick Holder (Fig. 64) is large enough for eight or nine toothpicks. After staining the spool, glue felt or cardboard to one end to form a bottom to the holder.

Every woman needs

A Ripper for the sewing cabinet, and Fig. 65 shows one that is easily made. One of father's safety-razor blades, a short piece of pencil, and a spool (A, B, and C, Fig. 66) are required to make it.

Split the pencil into halves, remove the lead, and notch the edges in two places near one end, spacing the notches the same distance apart that the holes in the razor blade are spaced (Fig. 67). Slip the blade between the pencil halves, and bind in place with strong linen thread passed through the holes and around the notches in the pencil. Then glue the free end of the pencil into the hole in the spool handle, and the little knife will be ready for use. The end hole in the blade may be used as a means of hanging the knife on a nail in a sewing cabinet.

The Hatpin-Holder illustrated in Fig. 68 is made of

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Fig. 68. - A Hatpin-Holder

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Fig. 69. - A Necktie-Rack three spools of equal size, fastened end to end with brads. Tie a loop of narrow baby ribbon to the top spool, in the manner shown, to provide for hanging the holder upon the wall.

The Necktie-rack (Fig. 69) is made of a ribbon spool slipped over a stick 16 inches long, with a piece of ribbon tied to each end of the stick. The stick will be held far enough away from the wall by the spool flanges, so that neckties can be slipped over it easily.