Chippy Patriotic DIY Spindles

Wood spindles cut from an old chair are painted with a chippy technique to age them and tied with a hand stamped tag and a homespun bow for easy vintage inspired decor!
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Making seasonal decor that costs less than a Starbucks, and can be used in my decor for years to come, brings me great joy!

These little patriotic chippy spindles were a free find. They started life as a curbside chair. My eyes zoned in on the spindles and I knew they could become something great!

To remove spindles from a chair is as easy as using a Dremel Max or a Sawzall (your husband probably already has one of these tools in the garage!). Mr DIY took care of this chair for me, but I've also done it myself. In Texas, I turned another old chair into a pile of perfectly vintage looking chippy spindles in just a few minutes and I've also cut the spindles off a vintage wood crib rail to make the cutest unique tree.

Have you tried my chippy paint technique?

The legs and rails of a chair can be turned into chippy candlestick holders, or cut down and used as unique tree ornaments. Or turn them into the sweetest chippy spindle tree! You see where I'm going with this? There are so many ways to DIY and decorate with chippy spindles, especially if you're a fan of vintage and rustic decor!

These smaller spindles used to be the back of the chair, where your back would rest. I love the size, not only because anything petite is so cute, but because they took no time at all to chippy and turn into a patriotic design element for my home.

How to Make Chippy Patriotic Spindles

Supplies Used:

Let's take these discarded chair spindles from this... this!

Aren't these patriotic spindles so stinkin' cute? I'm definitely going to be on the hunt for another chair to chop up because in my opinion, you can never have too many chippy spindles!

Before we start...

If for some reason you're starting off with natural wood spindles, I highly recommend taking a few minutes and applying a dark stain. Whatever color the spindles currently are, will be the base coat that will peek through the chipping, and it's nice to have contrast. I love using these stain cloths that make staining almost mess-free!

My spindles were a chair and they already had a dark base coat, so I was ready to move on.

Step One - Wax

I love this wax-resist technique when you want to make something look chippy because it's so easy and foolproof!

Simply rub the candle over the spindles, all over. Don't worry about getting in the grooves, just rub the wax over the spindle and a thin coat of wax will be left behind. Don't rub any excess wax off, that will help to create an authentically chippy look!

Step Two - Paint

Give the spindles a coat of paint. I used my current favorite creamy white chalk paint as well as red and navy blue acrylic paints to create the patriotic look I was going for. Make sure you have something down to protect your work surface, and just paint thin coats. The paint will dry much faster that way, and you can quickly recoat if you need to.

I painted just one coat of the white chalk paint, but two coats of the red and blue.

Step Three - Scrape

Now, grab your scraping razor and lightly scrape it on the spindle. It effortlessly removes a little bit of the paint, giving a chippy look. Try to go in various directions, heavier in some spots than others, for the best results.

Add the spindles to an old mason jar or glass along with a simple fabric scrap flag, or continue to the next step to create an optional tag.

Step Four - Stamped Tag

I like to coffee stain neutral fabrics like muslin and drop cloth, and keep them in my stash for projects just like this one.

I simply ripped a piece of fabric to the size I wanted and cut some notches at the top to create a tag. 

Then, using clear alphabet stamps I stamped the word USA along with a little star. I tied a piece of red checked homespun around three spindles, and attached the DIY fabric tag with a rusty safety pin for more vintage appeal.

Note: if you don't have fabric, or don't want to take the time to coffee stain it, you can simply use cardstock paper!

That is it friend, it is that easy to create the cutest patriotic chippy spindles on the planet!

Who else is planning to "shop the curb" for a unique chair or crib rail with spindles?

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