A Thing for String

Have any of you ever read the vintage (1958) children’s story A Big Ball of String, about the boy who loved string so much he collected every piece he ever found?

You can imagine how large his ball of string ended up.

While I’m certainly not in that league… I admit, I am a collector and I definitely have a thing for string.

string colors

Yes, in addition to collecting dishes… I also collect string.

Lots of string and string of all colors.

string stand with feet


How cute is this little iron string stand?

I think the gardening scissors almost steal the show.

I love the little iron feet which give this dispenser even more rustic character and charm.

I think more than any string, I’m particularly drawn to jute which is sturdy with a rough texture that reminds me more of burlap than anything else.


Speaking of burlap, my affinity for jute and similar rough-textured string is rooted in my love of burlap of all shades.

Here a few yards of my burlap which I often use for crafting projects as well as for neutral-colored backdrops for photo shoots.

Ahem, I threw this burlap photo into this post about string because I just like the stacks of textured fabric and I thought you’d like it too. 


I’ve actually been collecting string for a quite a while.

For the record, I just don’t collect string for the sake of it.

I actually use it for various crafts, DIY projects and packaging efforts which makes collecting string a pretty useful hobby.

How cool is this wooden spool?

wooden string spool

This spool looks deceptively small in this photo but it’s a decent size at about 5-inches tall and almost as wide.

It has a very nice weathered and distressed appearance and looks like it could have been found in an old sewing corner in an an attic …  or perhaps tucked away in a dusty tool shed.

spool of string

As much as I use jute, sometimes a thinner string is what I really need for a particular project or for packaging.

I have no shortage of thin string either.

I’m partial to the more neutral tones, but this dainty type of string also comes in a variety of vibrant colors if you prefer more vivid hues.

thin burlap string

My mom (Nana Banana) recently reminded me of a funny quote from the 1997 movie Mousehunt, in which one of the main characters (who runs a string factory) declares, “a world without string is chaos”.

Food for thought? Perhaps.

string on cone dispenser

Here is another interesting, cast iron dispenser with a curved arm and a nostalgic appeal.

This reminds me of something you might have seen in an old-fashoned country store, back in the day when purchases were wrapped in brown paper and string-tied for the customer right on the spot.


Meanwhile, I think every crafter or baker should keep this particular type of supply on hand.

Baker’s twine comes in a variety of colors but I almost always use the red and white variety (it always looks so festive when used to tie-up homemade goodies and treats).

You can find baker’s twine on-line and in most crafts stores.

Baker's twine

Now, you may be asking yourself how any string lover could possibly use this much string.

Well, aside from thinking you can never have too much string, I must admit I also have an affinity for string dispensers.

  I’m always on the lookout for interesting containers like this old fashioned tin.

tin string container

OK, how could anyone possibly be expected to resist this cute little dispenser with it’s feathered sentinal keeping watch over all it surveys.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for dispensers.

string on bird dispenser

I  love the mini garden shears that hang from the side making them always handy.

mini garden shears

This little dispenser gets plenty of good use too.

It’s amazing how often I reach for string when it’s right in front of me like this.

string dispenser in kitchen

Well I think you can see, I definitely have a big thing for this sort of thing.

I’ll bet you didn’t realize string could be so cute, did you?

Careful, collecting dispensers can be addictive.  Really, I mean it.

So, do find yourself now starting to see string in a whole new light? 


  • Jennifer @ Celebrating Everyday Life

    Oh man! I love, love those dispensers!! I see a new collection in my future!! Thanks for the awesome inspiration Lisa!! ~Hugs, Jennifer

  • [email protected]

    Hi (tried to leave a comment earlier so sorry if it comes through as a duplicate)
    I have not heard of anyone collecting string either but your photos are so pretty, it doesn’t matter. I love to collect burlap, too, as there are so many shades and very inexpensive.
    Look forward to your string dispenser project. Very fun.

  • [email protected]

    I agree with the above poster, that I’ve never heard of anyone collecting string either. However, who cares! Your photos are beautiful and unique. I’m a collector of burlap, too, as it’s so inexpensive and in many shades.
    Look forward to your string dispenser project!

  • Rosalie

    What a perfectly functional item – a string dispenser. I’m going to follow your directions and make one for myself. I like to use jute string in my craft projects as well. It goes so well with nature/fall themes.

  • Linda

    Oooh! I love that iron string holder, where on earth did you find it? Cant wait until Monday to make one of those string dispensers. See you back then!!

  • Linda Rattie

    Well I have NEVER heard of anyone collecting string. And…I didn’t even know they made string dispensers! How cute are they??!! I just might try making a dispenser when you show us how. I enjoy your posts so much. Love the pictures….you really know how to display things. You have just made me smile on a Monday morning. ha ha

  • Thimbleanna

    What a fun post! I can’t wait for your 10/28 post — that looks like a super fun gift. I love string too — I have a few fun ones, including a pretty garden set that I received for Christmas last year that matches the gorgeous colors in your first picture. Do you remember where you purchased that adorable birdie twine holder on your kitchen counter? I’d love to find one like that!

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