Fiber Arts Friday: Make Your Own Niddy Noddy

19 Mar

So, I have a swift and a ball winder, which I love. But as I branch out into more yarn sales, I found I also wanted a way to re-skein yarn after dyeing. Sure, I could buy a fancy skein winder, but I’d have to win the lottery first. A niddy noddy seemed much more within my price range.

I wanted one relatively quickly and as cheaply as possible. So I figured someone had already figured out a DIY niddy noddy method and posted it online, and I was right. I found this great tutorial and took my newfound knowledge with me to the hardware store. Here I present to you the process for making your own Niddy Noddy:

Step one: Go to the hardware or home improvement store and buy 1/2 inch PVC piping in the following dimensions:
– One 18″ length
– Four 6″ lengths

I got the friendly man at the Home Depot near me to cut it for me, and there was so much pipe left over that he cut me enough for a 2nd Niddy Noddy. You will also need to purchase the following PVC connector pieces (for each Niddy Noddy you make):
– Two T-Connectors, also 1/2 inch
– Four end caps, 1/2 inch
(NOTE: I bought 4 T-connectors and 8 end caps b/c I was making two Niddy Noddies).

Check out and realize that you’ve spent approximately $5 on supplies in order to make yourself TWO Niddy Noddies. Smile with pride at your frugality and ingenuity.

Here’s a picture of what you should have when you get home:

Parts for one PVC Niddy Noddy

Now, if you’re me, you have an extra step here. If you’re not me, hopefully you learn from my mistake and eliminate it.

STEP TWO: Realize you bought the wrong type of T-connectors. Yours have these little grooves in the bottom portion of the “T” that seem to be appropriate for fitting a pipe inside. Unfortunately they don’t work at all for fitting PVC inside. Go back to a 2nd home improvement store (Lowe’s this time) and buy the right ones.

Here’s a photo of the different types of T-connectors I had after step two:

Not all T-connectors are created equally.

The one on the right is the one I bought first. As you can sort of see in the photo, there are grooves inside of it. This is NOT the type you want. You need the type on the left, which is smooth inside. Make sure when you buy a T-connector for this project that you buy one with three normal 1/2 inch branches. Sometimes they have a third branch that is odd like this one or that is smaller than the other two: don’t get those.

Anyway, moving on. STEP THREE: Attach two 6-inch pipes to the T-connector and add two end caps. Now you have this:

Cross piece for a niddy noddy.

Do this again so you have two like this. STEP FOUR: Insert the 18-inch pipe into the cross pieces and then turn one cross piece at a 90-degree angle so it looks like a Niddy Noddy. You should have this now:

DIY PVC Niddy Noddy

To make your Niddy Noddy a different size, simply lengthen or shorten the center PVC section. I like this one b/c it makes a skein that is easy to measure, since 18″ is half of a yard.

If you don’t know how to use a Niddy Noddy, check out this great website which will teach you how to wind a skein using one. When you’re finished, you’ll have pretty skeins like these, which I sold as a custom order in my shop:

House of Night Yarn wound on my new Niddy Noddy.

Happy Winding!

Be sure to check out the other great Fiber Arts Friday posts at Wonder Why Alpaca Farm’s blog.

7 Responses to “Fiber Arts Friday: Make Your Own Niddy Noddy”

  1. Holly B March 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    What a great idea! ‘Thanks for sharing!

  2. wonderwhygal March 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I bought a PVC niddy noddy at Fiber Fest last year and I love it. Thanks for the instructions because I have thought about making another one in a different size.

    Great post for Fiber Arts Friday!

    • jessecreations March 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks! I’m thinking about painting this one; eventually I’m going to buy a Babe wheel and paint it, so when I do that I’ll paint this to match. 🙂

      Jessica Cook Visit my blog at

  3. Kate March 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Those are the best – cheap, and easy to customize the size.

  4. Kathryn | Alpacamundo March 20, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Don’t ya know? Every “home improvement” project requires 50% more trips to the home store than you think it should. 😉

    Thanks for the detail, it looks like it shouls work great.

  5. AllyB March 21, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    Nice tutorial and the yarn is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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