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How to Make a Wooden Cable Spool from Scratch

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A good friend of mine really wanted a wooden cable spool to turn into a side table, but those things are as scarce as hen’s teeth. I looked everywhere but sadly finding a discarded spool that didn’t cost as much as a small car wasn’t on the cards. I guess everyone wants one after seeing all the amazing things you can make with them.

She’s a really special person, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could help her out. And then I remembered that we had some PVC pipe left over from when we used them as fillers for our gabion planters. Those leftovers would be the perfect starting point for a wooden cable spool side table.

How to Make a Cable Spool From Scratch

A 20″ PVC pipe is just the right diameter to form the bit where they normally wind the cable onto the spool. Can you see it? That’s the joining middle bit of the spool right there 😀

The poop flow PVC pipe

It doesn’t look pretty yet, but it will soon. I promise. Okay so I’ve got the middle bit sorted, now all I needed to do was figure out how to make and attach the top and bottom circle bits. I figured the best way to do that was to cut two small circles from thick bits of wood using a jigsaw.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Figuring out the little circle

The small circles fit snugly inside the PVC pipe.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Looking down the pipe

Right I think that could work. Next thing was to come up with some kind of plan to make that PVC pipe look a little less PVC-ish 😀 We had some shiplap (tongue and groove) left over from when we made Talea’s window seat. And as luck would have it, were the right width to go all the way around the PVC pipe. I just had to cut the shiplap to the right height.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

The middle bits

Now to find out how big the top and bottom bits should be. I’m not very scientific when it comes to something like this. I just eyeballed the PVC pipe and drew a rough circle on our patio to get a feel for how wide the top and bottom of the wooden cable spool should be. And they say that only crazy people can draw a perfect circle 😉

I have traveled through madness to find me 😉 Click To Tweet

I ran around the house until I found a tray that was about the right size and used it to trace two circles onto some hardboard. The tray was a little smaller than I wanted so, once again, I used the “eye ball” method to make it a bit wider and cut two circles out of hardboard using our jigsaw.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Highly scientific drawing

We glued and screwed the hardboard circles onto some pallet boards that never made it past an idea stage. Does that happen to you too? You get this thing in your head and then it just fizzles into nothing. Oh well, whatever I had planned for these pallets clearly didn’t happen.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Gluing the hardboard template onto the pallet board

Once the glue had set, the pallet boards were cut, using the hardboard circles as a template. After applying a coat or two of paint, the top, bottom and middle pieces were done. Time to put this baby together and see if it works.

Putting the Wooden Cable Spool Table Together

Find the center of all the circles using this handy tip that I learnt from Handan over at the Navage Patch. Glue and screw the smaller circles that fit inside the PVC pipe to the center of the bigger circles. Make sure that you glue one of the small circles to the hardboard side and the other one to the pallet side of the bigger circles. You want to see the lovely grooves between the pallets when your done, not the boring, flat hardboard 😉

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Screwing a little circle

Add some glue all around that little circle and squish the PVC pipe on. Attach the shiplap, or tongue and groove, by screwing it on in all the way around the PVC pipe.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Add the shiplap

Stand back and admire your work in progress. Then squish the other big pallet circle into the other end of the PVC pipe and do the same. Open a beer and do a happy dance coz it looks like a wooden cable spool. Add a beautiful graphic from The Graphics Fairy to take it to the next level or have a few more beers and call it a day 😉

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

Thank you Graphics Fairy

Don’t you just love all the beautiful labels and pictures you can download for free from her site? Hubby said I needed to make a hole in the top, because it looks more authentic. I think he’s right and wouldn’t you know it. The “O” in the graphic was slap bang in the center of where that hole went.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

A distressed stencil

What do you think? Did I get it right? Does it look spoolish?

If you like the idea or want to make your own cable spool, don’t forget to pin it for later.
When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own

A wooden cable spool side table

I’m glad I waited before having another beer, the graphic just makes it looks so much more professional.

When you can't find a wooden cable spool to re-purpose into something awesome, why not make your own #DIYHomeDecor #farmhousestyle #DIYCableSpool #MakeYourOwn

Pinny please

I really hope she likes it. I’ve sent her some teaser photos, but she hasn’t seen it all dollied up yet. If you’d like to make something similar I’ve added some affiliate links below.  Disclosure: If you click on them, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you 😉

Wooden Circle Sizes Woodpeckers (18' Inch)
Genova 700412 Schedule 40 Pvc Dwv Pipe, 4' X 2'
BarnwoodUSA | 100% Reclaimed Wood Bundle for DIY Projects | Pack of 6 (8 inch Planks)

Wishing you all a beautiful, creative, wacky week, with love as always

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

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Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: August 26, 2017 10:28

    Steven

    Michelle, You are a great idea maker. I'm a DIY lover but have never made a wooden cable spool but after seeing this I have decided to try make a one. Thanks
    • Posted: August 27, 2017 05:28

      acraftymix

      Thank you Steven, that really means alot
  • Posted: July 17, 2017 16:51

    Heart

    This is one of my favorite projects of the day, Michelle. I love everything about it! Rustic and artistic.
    • Posted: July 18, 2017 05:51

      acraftymix

      Thank you very much, I really appreciate that :D
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 16:54

    204 Park

    This turned out SO well!
    • Posted: June 20, 2017 06:04

      acraftymix

      Thank you Diana, much appreciate it
  • Posted: June 19, 2017 00:58

    Yeu Doi

    Some very cool transformations there! Thank you for the great ideas. We are re-decorating and landscaping our front and back yards, so these tips may come handy. Will share post with friends.
    • Posted: June 19, 2017 06:06

      acraftymix

      Thank you Yue. The friend I made the cable spool table for is using it in her backyard as a side table and it fits so nicely with her decor. Good luck with the redecorating, you're going to have so much fun.
  • Posted: June 5, 2017 11:06

    Lina

    I always wondered if one could make a cable spool from scratch. I love the table!
    • Posted: June 5, 2017 11:55

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Lina, and it was really so easy to do
  • Posted: May 31, 2017 15:03

    Tiara Wilson

    I really enjoy your crafts. I, in a sense envy you because you are so amazing and these are so beautiful. I wish. Can I just hire you? Haha.
    • Posted: June 1, 2017 06:03

      acraftymix

      LOL, I'll swap you a cable spool for some those beautiful photography skills of yours ;-)
      • Posted: June 7, 2017 01:54

        Debbie

        Bartering could work for you two, if you live close!
        • Posted: June 7, 2017 05:43

          acraftymix

          LOL, that's so true Debbie
  • Posted: May 30, 2017 11:15

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    Oh wow Michelle! You are so clever, it looks just like a spool. You did an amazing job, but that doesn't surprise me. Everything you do is amazing. Your friend is going to love it!!! I love it!!! The graphic is perfect, I am going to have to check them out.
    • Posted: May 30, 2017 11:37

      acraftymix

      Awww Linda, you're making me blush. Thank you for those lovely words. I really, really appreciate it
  • Posted: May 28, 2017 23:32

    Leanna

    Hi Michelle: I actually have two spools in my junk pile waiting for me to fix up. I like this diy version though because my spools have a bunch of odd sized holes in the ends. Love the graphic you added to this. The project is beautiful.
    • Posted: May 29, 2017 13:35

      acraftymix

      That such great things to re-purpose, I really wish we could find some here, although maybe not with odd holes all over. I'm glad you like our version Leanna, thank you
  • Posted: May 28, 2017 22:02

    Alexa

    Cleverly done! Definitely putting this on my project list!
    • Posted: May 29, 2017 04:36

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Alexa, I'm glad you like it
  • Posted: May 28, 2017 22:02

    Alexa

    Cleverly done! Definitely putting this on my project list!
    • Posted: May 29, 2017 13:29

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Alexa :D
  • Posted: May 28, 2017 20:44

    204 Park

    This is such a great DIY!
    • Posted: May 29, 2017 13:33

      acraftymix

      Thank you Diana ;-)
  • Posted: May 28, 2017 18:35

    Cristina

    This is so amazing! And so creative! The green plant looks perfect there!
    • Posted: May 29, 2017 13:30

      acraftymix

      Thank you Cristina <3
  • Posted: May 26, 2017 16:09

    jodie

    Truly a work of art!! Jodie www.jtouchofstyle.com
    • Posted: May 27, 2017 04:58

      acraftymix

      Thank you Jodie :D
  • Posted: May 26, 2017 15:50

    Maya

    Absolutely gorgeous shabby chic table out of a cable spool!! I would love to have this in my garden for sure. There was a bookcase made out of such a spool I found on the internet what feels like eons ago, but the photo was so powerful, I cannot forget about it after all these years. A bookcase I would certainly have at home :)
    • Posted: May 27, 2017 04:59

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Maya, I remember that bookcase. It was super WOW
  • Posted: May 26, 2017 12:48

    Diane

    Wow, you have one lucky friend! You did an amazing job on this table. It definitely looks like a spool. How could she not love it??? xo
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 13:32

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Diane, she's only seen the photos so far. I think she'll pick it up this weekend, so I hope the pictures live up to the reality ;-)
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 20:30

    Flambok

    Thank you for sharing with us this amazing tuto !
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 05:33

      acraftymix

      My pleasure, I'm glad you found it useful
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 17:04

    Laurie Brennan

    Great project Michelle! I have seen a lot of spools done with Unicorn SPiT that were beautiful.....and I love The Graphics Fairy too!
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 05:38

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much my friend. I would have loved to use some White Ning on this one but I don't have any, yet ;-)
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 17:00

    Carolann

    Oh my gosh, this is absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about it. Next time I spot a cable spool, it's coming home with me!
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 05:39

      acraftymix

      They are so cool right? I just wish we could find them at a reasonable price here. Thanks Carolann
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 16:54

    Marie|The Interior Frugalista

    Michelle, this is so cool! I hope you had a toast with that beer when you were done. Old spools are expensive to buy and so I love this idea of making one instead. Pinned to share and refer back to.
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 05:41

      acraftymix

      We sure did Marie, once the stencil was done we opened quite a few beers to celebrate ;-)
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 16:45

    rk

    Really gorgeous table! May I ask what method you used to transfer the image to the top? Is it decoupage since the image doesn't seem to be reversed? Thanks!
    • Posted: May 26, 2017 05:43

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much. I used carbon spray, which is similar to carbon paper just not as messy, to trace the image and then colored the letters in with paint.
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 15:31

    Candy

    That table is really awesome! I'm loving the French-style wording on it. And I'm so into creme colored furniture. Great job!
    • Posted: May 25, 2017 15:47

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Candy. The Graphics Fairy is the best place to find a whole bunch of those gorgeous French style stencils and graphics.
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 03:10

    Amy

    I love it! I had no idea that you could repurpose cable spools in that many ways. Now I want one of my own... The table turned out great! I love the stencil. It was the perfect touch. And now I'm going to go look up The Graphics Fairy. Thanks so much for all the info!
    • Posted: May 25, 2017 06:51

      acraftymix

      Oh you're going to love the Graphic Fairy Amy. I could get lost on her site for days.
  • Posted: May 25, 2017 00:35

    Jas @All that's Jas

    How is it possible that you can handle all those tools and make scrap wood into something that beautiful but supposedly don't know how to use a wooden spoon? I think you're pulling my leg, ha! ;)
    • Posted: May 25, 2017 06:55

      acraftymix

      LOL, Jas :D I'm not half as clever as I wish I was ;-)
  • Posted: May 24, 2017 17:16

    TwoPlusCute

    Ohhh ahhhh *pins* Love it, how easy you make it look, love the styling, the stencil, all of it!
    • Posted: May 25, 2017 06:54

      acraftymix

      I'm actually surprise with how easy it was to put together. Glad you like it Dione
  • Posted: May 24, 2017 15:05

    Sadhna Grover

    Hi Michelle, you always surprise me by making some new things, which I can only buy from the shop. I am glad that I have few friends like you who are making lots of new things like this one and I improve my knowledge. Well done dear and hats off to you.
    • Posted: May 24, 2017 15:18

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Sadhna, I so wish we were not so far away. I'd love to make things for you and pop around to taste all the delicious food you make. I'd be as round as a house though ;-)
  • Posted: May 24, 2017 01:20

    Angie ~ ambient wares

    You are way too genius, Michelle. How do you come up with these things?!! It looks perfect and I love it!
    • Posted: May 24, 2017 07:55

      acraftymix

      LOL Angie, they say there's a fine line between genius and madness and I think I wobble over to the mad side more often ;-)
  • Posted: May 23, 2017 21:44

    Anabelia

    What a wonderful spool table! It's really amazing how you were able to make this for your friend!! Lovely graphic on top as well. Your friend will love it! Have a nice day! xxx
    • Posted: May 24, 2017 07:56

      acraftymix

      Thank you Anabelia, I really appreciate that
  • Posted: May 23, 2017 16:28

    Elize Badenhorst

    Dis soooo mooi. Maak julle dit omte verkoop?
    • Posted: May 23, 2017 16:29

      acraftymix

      Baie dankie Elize. Nie op hierdie stadium nie maar ons kan altyd praat ;-)
  • Posted: May 23, 2017 13:48

    Keri Roberts

    Michelle, this is such a wonderful spool table, so glad you were able to make this for your friend!! She's going to love it for sure!! The graphic on top is beautiful! That's amazing that you built a spool!
    • Posted: May 23, 2017 14:19

      acraftymix

      Thank you Keri. All the videos I looked at on youtube involved metal work and my soldering and metal bending skills are nowhere close to trying something like that
  • Posted: May 22, 2017 14:50

    Mary

    This is really beautiful Michelle. And I love how when you can't find one you can just turn around and make your own! That's why you have such a fantastic bog! Always coming up with the best solutions to problems!
    • Posted: May 22, 2017 15:08

      acraftymix

      Awwww Mary thank you so much. We have a saying here in South Africa - 'n boer maak 'n plan. Which basically means a Afrikaans person always makes a plan ;-)
  • Posted: May 22, 2017 12:38

    Katerina

    Wow great work! I wish I could send you a couple of spools! In my line of work there are always some laying around!
    • Posted: May 22, 2017 12:57

      acraftymix

      Oh yeah that's right Katerina, your an electrical engineer. Wouldn't it be lovely if we were closer, I'd love to take quite a few of those babies off of your hands ;-)
  • Posted: May 22, 2017 12:12

    Katrin

    Your friend will be amazed I'm sure! I'm speechless and just in love with this beautiful piece of art Michelle! You are so amazing, this is priceless!
    • Posted: May 22, 2017 12:33

      acraftymix

      LOL, Katrin she just commented. Looks like she does ;-) Thanks so much, I'm glad you like it too
  • Posted: May 22, 2017 11:36

    Marisa van deventer

    Ek is verlief op dit!!!!!! Jy is my grootste fan!!!!! Love you
    • Posted: May 22, 2017 11:53

      acraftymix

      Ek so happy jy hou van jou tafeltjie Marisa. Ek sal enige tyd vir jou iets maak maaiki :D

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