I’m Calling It: This Is Going to Be the Hottest DIY Material of 2024

published Jan 6, 2024
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Couple painting wooden table by recycle, donate and thrift furniture for a new home improvement project in new apartment.
Credit: Yuri A

Every year, there are at least one or two materials that seem like they’re at the top of everyone’s DIY list. The past couple of years have brought both pole-wrap and reeded glass to the forefront, and while those materials are still very popular, there’s another material that I think will be everywhere in 2024: bobbin trim.

You might not know the name offhand, but you’ve definitely seen this material before — it’s the name for that cute bubbly wood trim made up of half-rounds. The material itself is definitely not new, having first popped up in the 17th century, when wood remnants were used to carve legs for beds and chairs that had a bubbly, rounded pattern. Because the spindles resembled sewing spools, the “bobbin” name for them stuck.

Since those days, the bobbin style has grown to include not just furniture legs, but also rows of half-round wood trim (like what I used for my mirror!). It’s a cottagecore favorite, but the trim can look shockingly modern, too, with the right finishes. My prediction? Bobbin trim and bobbin-style details are going to surge in 2024. Here’s what to know if you want to hop on the bobbin train this year.

What are bobbin details?

Bobbin-style details have a signature bubbly shape. In furniture legs, they’ll look like stacked spheres; for trim around mirrors, picture frames, and other decor, they’ll look like half spheres that are lined up in a row.

“Bobbins are reminiscent of classic English style, which is closely tied to grandmillennial,” says DIYer Alissa Bovino of A Glass of Bovino. The cottagey, vintage-y look is a no-brainer for this material, but it’s surprisingly versatile. In soft colors, it looks delicate and retro; with a high-gloss finish and a bright color, it’s a perfect fit for maximalist “dopamine decor” spaces. And kept in a natural light wood tone, it feels very Scandi-modern.

Where can I buy bobbin details to use for my DIYs?

If you’re looking for bobbin legs, you’ll need to shop specialty wood shops or places like Etsy. Search for “turned bobbin legs” and you’ll dig up lots of options that you can use to upgrade a boring desk, coffee table, or nightstand. 

For bobbin trim, your best bet is an architectural supply store. In addition to “bobbin trim” look for terms like “pearl beading,” “half round wood bead,” and “wood bead molding.”

You can also make your own bobbin trim by using individual wood half rounds. Those are available on large-platform retailers like Amazon — search for words like “half round wood beads” and “split wood beads” to find these.

Are bobbin details available in different colors?

You’re most likely to find bobbin trim and wood half rounds in their natural state — unstained and unpainted. You’ll have to add your own paint or stain to get your desired look.

Where can I use bobbin details?

Everywhere! That’s the beauty of this material. Bobbins are easy to paint and adhere to furniture, mirrors, and accessories, and they instantly lend a professional, detailed look to even the plainest of IKEA pieces. Follow these four tips from DIY experts to get the most out of your upcoming projects. 

Use a primer, and paint before gluing.

A primer will get you a really smooth finish, which is essential if you’re going for a sleek, contemporary look. “I’d recommend using a primer that protects from knots,” says DIYer Gem, the content creator behind @gems.cottage.style. Additionally, paint the item and the bobbins separately to ensure full coverage and a more seamless look. If you try to paint the bobbins once they’re already adhered to the surface, you’ll find yourself looking for a tiny brush to try to get in every crevice.

When possible, reach for spray paint.

When tackling her green frame DIY, Bovino painted the frame and bobbins with a brush. While she loves how her frames turned out, if she were to do it again, she’d reach for spray paint to make the job even easier.

Credit: Jaharn Quinn

Use less glue than you think you need.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of loading on the glue when attempting any DIY that involves adhering trim to a surface. If a little glue is good, a lot of glue will last forever, right? Not so fast. Resist the temptation to overdo it and, instead, go lighter on the glue. You’ll avoid pooling glue around the edges of your bobbins and your bobbins won’t slide around as much once you put them in place. 

Credit: Jaharn Quinn

Think beyond bobbin accents.

Jaharn Quinn of Smor Home believes bobbin is here to stay, and she’s shared several of her bobbin DIYs on her website (including the sleek, minimalist mirror shown above). But a standout is a bobbin-inspired lamp where the bobbins weren’t just an accent, but the structure itself. It’s an updated version of those century-old bobbin styles — and with an all-white, glossy look, it feels totally fresh and totally 2024.