$50 instead of $200

That’s how much I spent on a blending board.   Spinning has opened a whole world of possibilities for me in terms of color play and one of the ways to do so and play with a mixture of fibers is by custom blending on a blending board.  I wanted this one (which incidentally is the cheapest on the market) … at a price of $195 + tax.

Ashford Blending Board

I think it can be found on Etsy for $175.00 but that price tag is still too high for me.  So I decided to make one.  This is what I did:

  • Bought carding cloth at 72 tpi (tines per inch) on Etsy for $49 (inclusive of shipping)
  • Used an old butcher’s block that I had previously.  It cost $13.
  • Used my trusty staple gun
  • Stapled the carding cloth to the butcher block
  • I couldn’t stand looking at the staples, so I framed the cloth and covered the rest of the board with my trust “Flower Power” duct tape I bought at Michaels 2 Christmases ago for a whopping $0.99 cents.
  • I also got two paint brushes free from my building super to “paint” the fibers onto the board.
  • And I’m using 2 old knitting needles as dowels to roll the fiber off the board.
  • And I had a blending brush that I bought to use as a flicker brush.

I ended up with this:

I might go to the beauty supply store and get two boar bristle brushes of different firmness to add to my kit but there it is … in all it’s flowery glory.   Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.  If I was working, I probably would have bought the Ashford board, but living on a budget while still wanting to grow in my skill-set allowed me to think of things differently.  Even if I calculate the cost of the stuff I had before, the needles were .79c for the pair and the board was $12.99.  Even if I add that to the $49 I paid for the cloth, I’d still come in under $70 for a board that works pretty well.

Wanna see what it did?

I used all the miscellanous fiber I got in various spindle kits — bought and gifted — to create these sea inspired rolags and a gradient mini batt.  I ended up re-processing the batt; I found it thin in spots.  So I now have a set of rolags from my DIY board to practice my long draw drafting on.  Win, win, I’d say.  😀

Have you diy-ed any tools for your hobbies?  Tell me all about it in the comments.  😀

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15 comments

  1. Most of the ready-made blending boards have a keel underneath so you can use it on your lap – do you think it is necessary? If you were to make another board, would you try and include a keel? The rolags you have made are beautiful.

    1. Honestly, I know people like the convenience of the keel and if it’s easier for the crafter to use the board from their laps, I’d say it’s necessary to stop the board from moving around. Even standing on a table, the keel is helpful.

      Because mine doesn’t have one and I use it on my sewing table all I do if I’m not standing is prop it up on a weighty book. Because the board I used is heavy itself, it stays put. If I make another one, I’ll definitely do a keel then I’ll be able to compare if I need it or not. The bigger thing for me if I make another board is to use lighter wood, especially if I make a keel.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Hope to see you again! 🙂

  2. How brilliant are you!!! Nicky that is amazing! I am not organically good at diy ideas like this so I find it very cool and how beautiful is that yarn you colored? The answer is very beautiful!

    1. Thanks friend! Those rolags gave me a life lesson. I made them from scraps of stuff I got in spindle kits. Scraps, that with some work, turned out to be amazing.

  3. You are a woman after my own heart Nicky! I have made my own spindle, cable needle, knitting needles, ect . I love DIY projects. Love your board.
    Have a beautiful weekend.

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