Design your own totem pole with this fun painted spool keychain project! It’s a great way to carry around some handmade icons that mean a lot to you. Just choose some of your favorite animals (or invent your own!), then get making!
Use the clips to hold your keys or decorate your backpack—or simply clip these spools anywhere you like!
Traditional totem poles are usually a way to remember a person or an event, or even tell a story. The different creatures on the pole each have special meanings. These stacks of painted spools can tell your story when you choose real or imagined creatures or designs.
You can even paint some animals that make you feel safe or strong so when you look at them you remember those things.
Now, let’s start building these totem poles!
what you need:
- Small Wooden Spools
- Small Wooden Beads
- Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set
- Key Clips or Key Rings
- String or Twine
Think about what kinds of animals or creatures you want on your totem pole.
Start painting the spools with different base colors. You can paint the entire spool or only the indented part. You can also paint it in a solid color, or fill in some parts with one color and other parts in a different color.
As you work, it’s best to paint with lighter colors first, and then add darker colors.
After the first layer of paint dries, start adding some details, and then add some more. A toothpick helps with the tiny details, like eyes and mouths.
This is where your imagination comes in handy. For example, this is a unicorn zebra. With maybe a little bit of kitty cat thrown in for good measure!
Paint a bunch of spools, including some in different sizes. On the tiny ones (or even on the regular spools) you can paint a few abstract designs for variety.
Cut a piece of string or twine to about 16 inches long. Fold the string in half and slide the key clip to the middle of the string.
Thread a bead onto the two ends of the string and slide it to the top. Add a few spools and then finish with another bead. Tie a strong double knot in the end of the string and close to the bottom bead. Trim the ends.
Your first silly spool totem pole is done and now these funny friends can follow you everywhere you go.
Use the tiny spools to make a totem pole of their own, or mix the different sizes on one tall totem pole!
You can use one keyclip at a time, group them together, or give them to friends!