The Eclipse and a Spindle Frame

Improvised Solar Eclipse sun glasses, upcycled slides

Have you ever wondered what would a scavenger/ upcycler use for solar eclipse sun glasses when said scavenger did not plan ahead and buy the specialty glasses.  Well yesterday I found out.  This scavenger would first try to pile a bunch of sunglasses together…6 to be exact and take a look thru those.  That plan actually worked pretty well, but it was kind of hard to keep them all lined up.  And, not to take a chance on burned retinas, which doesn’t sound too nice, we only glanced at the sun for a second at a time.

Plan B (there is always a plan B) was to stack photo slides together and look thru those…6 per eye to be exact.  If you looked thru the slides with no sun, all you could see was black.  With the slides, the sun was a dull red.  Even though we only had a 80% eclipse, it was an awesome sight to behold.

You now have until  the next solar eclipse, 2024, to find a stack of grandmas old slides or buy the glasses.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

A couple years ago my brother was cleaning out his storage locker and brought me a bunch of architectural salvage treasures.  Among the haul were a stack of spindles.  At the time, I asked my brother if he had any upcycling ideas  for  the spindles.  His idea … a spindle frame.  A great idea, even if I am 2 years late.

Make sure you keep reading until the end of the post for the rest of my spindle projects.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

For this project I’m only using 2 of the spindles sliced in half lengthwise.   The inside frame is an inexpensive, very plain,  RIBBA frame from IKEA  which all sit on top of a scrap piece of plywood.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Cut the spindles so that they are centered around the frame and mark the plywood for cutting.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Sand the edges of the spindles to soften the cut line.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Center and trace around the frame onto the plywood.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Cut out the center frame with a jigsaw and attach the spindles to the plywood.  I used wood glue and nailed from the back.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

An additional frame of pallet wood hides the rough edges of the plywood.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Set the IKEA frame into the opening.  I used scrap wood (a ruler) stapled into the frame and the plywood to hold the frame in place.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

My plywood was really rough but some paintable caulk fills in all the gaps.

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

Paint as desired.  This is white chalk paint with a little distressing on the spindles and around the frame.

DIY Spindle Frame

DIY Spindle Frame-001

DIY Spindle Frame-

DIY Spindle and IKEA frame


DIY Spindle and IKEA frame

I still have a bunch of spindles and I welcome any and all thoughts, suggestions and brainstorming on what the heck to do with them all.

Have a great week, stay inspired.


Shared at Talk of the TownSalvaged Junk Projects,

Metamorphosis MondayWow us Wednesday,




  • MAUREEN says:

    Love this Joan! I came across this post the other day… a quilt rack.

  • Ann Davis says:

    I thought I had read about every do-it -yourself eclipse watching contraption. Apparently not!
    Your makeshift glasses are terrific. The frame looks amazing.

  • Cecilia says:

    Wasn’t the eclipse cool? I didn’t know you could use those to look through!
    I love the frame! Perfect amount of rustic and old. The spindles really add a great touch. Wow!

    • Joan says:

      We didn’t either. We thought we were going to get a thunderstorm and suddenly the clouds cleared. A mad dash to see what we could use.

  • I really like the frame with the texture the spindles give it. It looks very nice.

  • Mary G. M says:

    Love your projects. You have the most creative mind!
    How do you cut the spindles? Do you use a chop saw? or a band saw? How do you keep them in place and not move while you cut them? The surface is uneven so I find this a challenge to try to slice them lengthwise, and do so evenly. Do you have any tips that I can use to help me get straight lengthwise cuts. I do not have a bandsaw, but many other tools. Thanks.


    • Joan says:

      What I would have liked to use and what I actually used are two different stories. I would have like to have used a table saw and just feed the spindle through. What I did use was a tabletop scroll saw which, like a band saw, leaves a little bit uneven cut but nothing a little caulk can’t disguise.

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