How to Make a Wooden Cable Spool from Scratch
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 leftover from when we used them as fillers for our gabion planters. Those leftovers would be the perfect starting point for making this wooden cable spool side table.
It’s not the first time we’ve repurposed PVC pipes to make a table. They were used to make this giant pencil-legged craft table too. Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
How to Make a Cable Spool From Scratch
An 11mm (4 3/8″) PVC pipe is just the right size 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 😀
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.
The small circles fit snugly inside the PVC 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) leftover from when we made Talea’s window seat. And as luck would have it, they were the right width to go all the way around the PVC pipe. I just had to cut the shiplap to the right height.
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 😉
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 “eyeball” method to make it a bit wider and cut two circles out of the hardboard using our jigsaw.
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.
Once the glue dries, 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 learned 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 pallet circles. You want to see the lovely grooves between the pallets when you’re done, not the boring, flat hardboard 😉
Add some glue all around that little circle and squish the PVC pipe on. Attach the shiplap, or tongue and groove, by screwing and gluing it all the way around the PVC pipe.
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 😉
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 right in the center of where that hole went.
I’m glad I waited before having another beer, the graphic just makes it looks so much more professional.
I’d love to know what you think.
Did I get it right?
Does it look cable spoolish 😀
If you want to make your own cable spool, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
BTW, 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 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY.
Wishing you all a beautiful, creative and crafty week. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
72 thoughts on “How to Make a Wooden Cable Spool from Scratch”
Going for this table at the weekend
Oh, Andy that’s great. Have fun and let me know how it goes if you get a chance.
What a lovely spool table! I`ll give this one a go tomorrow, have loads of old wood `n stuff knocking around. Thank you for the tutorial! Greetings from Crete, Greece
You’re so welcome and thank you very much for coming to visit us all the way from Greece Amanda
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
Thank you Steven, that really means alot
This is one of my favorite projects of the day, Michelle. I love everything about it! Rustic and artistic.
Thank you very much, I really appreciate that 😀
This turned out SO well!
Thank you Diana, much appreciate it
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.
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.
I always wondered if one could make a cable spool from scratch. I love the table!
Thanks so much Lina, and it was really so easy to do
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.
LOL, I’ll swap you a cable spool for some those beautiful photography skills of yours 😉
Bartering could work for you two, if you live close!
LOL, that’s so true Debbie
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.
Awww Linda, you’re making me blush. Thank you for those lovely words. I really, really appreciate it
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.
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
Cleverly done! Definitely putting this on my project list!
Thank you so much Alexa 😀
This is such a great DIY!
Thank you Diana 😉
Cleverly done! Definitely putting this on my project list!
Thank you so much Alexa, I’m glad you like it
This is so amazing! And so creative! The green plant looks perfect there!
Thank you Cristina <3
Truly a work of art!!
Thank you Jodie 😀
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 🙂
Thanks so much Maya, I remember that bookcase. It was super WOW
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
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 😉
Thank you for sharing with us this amazing tuto !
My pleasure, I’m glad you found it useful
Great project Michelle! I have seen a lot of spools done with Unicorn SPiT that were beautiful…..and I love The Graphics Fairy too!
Thanks so much my friend. I would have loved to use some White Ning on this one but I don’t have any, yet 😉
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!
They are so cool right? I just wish we could find them at a reasonable price here. Thanks Carolann
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.
We sure did Marie, once the stencil was done we opened quite a few beers to celebrate 😉
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!
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.
That table is really awesome! I’m loving the French-style wording on it. And I’m so into creme colored furniture. Great job!
Thanks so much Candy. The Graphics Fairy is the best place to find a whole bunch of those gorgeous French style stencils and graphics.
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!
Oh you’re going to love the Graphic Fairy Amy. I could get lost on her site for days.
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! 😉
LOL, Jas 😀 I’m not half as clever as I wish I was 😉
Ohhh ahhhh *pins*
Love it, how easy you make it look, love the styling, the stencil, all of it!
I’m actually surprise with how easy it was to put together. Glad you like it Dione
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.
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 😉
You are way too genius, Michelle. How do you come up with these things?!! It looks perfect and I love it!
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 😉
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
Thank you Anabelia, I really appreciate that
Dis soooo mooi. Maak julle dit omte verkoop?
Baie dankie Elize. Nie op hierdie stadium nie maar ons kan altyd praat 😉
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!
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
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!
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 😉
Wow great work! I wish I could send you a couple of spools! In my line of work there are always some laying around!
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 😉
Ek is verlief op dit!!!!!! Jy is my grootste fan!!!!! Love you
Ek so happy jy hou van jou tafeltjie Marisa. Ek sal enige tyd vir jou iets maak maaiki 😀
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!
LOL, Katrin she just commented. Looks like she does 😉 Thanks so much, I’m glad you like it too