$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.  😀