Make a niddy noddy for cheap:

Make a niddy noddy for cheap

Okay, so most of you know that I hand dye yarns and I also recently started spinning yarn with a drop spindle. I’ve been making do with a yarn swift for winding yarn into skeins, but ohhhh man is that annoying. Don’t even get me started on how enraged I get when my yarns tangle in the ends of the swift arms! New year’s resolution: get a nice wooden swift and ditch the metal swift of doom that I currently own.

So, I needed a niddy noddy: a simple tool for winding yarn into skeins that apparently and inexplicably costs an arm, a leg, and most of my left hand to get from Ashford. If you live in the US there are several Etsy sellers that make them with PVC pipe: but if you live over here in Europe the shipping charges will eat you alive.

And then I found this post over on Simply Notable.

“Hmm,” I thought: “I could probably do that.”

I wrote down all of my measurements and headed to the nearest hardware store. They didn’t have the sizes recommended, so I improvised based on what I could find. I wanted to make a full size niddy noddy for normal skeins, and a smaller one for sample skeins and 25g skeins.

Make a niddy noddy for cheap


Large size

2 copper “tees”, 15mm (mine came in packs of two, you can find them in the plumbing section)

One large 15mm dowel, cut into one 11″ piece and four 5″ pieces


Small size

2 more copper “tees”, 15mm

Another 15mm dowel, cut into one 6″ piece and four 3″ pieces


At most home improvement stores, they will cut the wood for you at no charge. I availed myself of that benefit while I squealed over glittery wood finish (I regret not buying that).

Niddy Noddy avengers, Assemble!

Make a niddy noddy for cheap:

This is the basic setup for both niddy noddies. Long piece in the middle, short pieces fit into either side of the copper tee. HOWEVER: one arm of the noddy will be facing up towards you. Like this.

Make a niddy noddy for cheap:

I used Gorilla Glue to glue my pieces together for both noddies. Gorilla Glue needs a little bit of moisture and several hours to set. After setting, mine are perfect!


Cost for an Ashford  standard sized niddy noddy: £20
Cost for an Ashford sampler sized niddy noddy: £18.90

Cost for materials to make both yourself: about £12 if you don’t already have adhesive, and about £6 if you do. Sandpaper is also useful, but also very cheap. Making only one size will cost you £3-£4.

I’d say that’s a solid win, wouldn’t you? I’m off to wind some yarn!

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