One Cool Spool…Table

19 Nov

Disclaimer – I love coming up with titles. Just call me Leslie Knope (if you don’t watch Parks and Rec – start!). I wanted the title to be, “We don’t have a pool table…but we have a spool table!” but Ryan thought it was lame. I think every idea I come up with is awesome, but I guess that’s the difference between us.

Ever since I saw this idea on Pinterest, I thought, “I’m doing that one for sure.” It looked pretty easy, and we don’t have an interesting bookshelf to speak of. We’re not a real book-buying household, so we didn’t need much space, but I had “keeper” books tucked away in different places that I wanted displayed in one place.

(Photo Credit:

The biggest challenge of this project was actually getting my hands on a spool that was the right size and was all wood. I actually stalked one at Lowe’s for awhile until I finally just asked if I could have an empty one that looked to be the right size. Turns out they just throw those away when they’re empty! Travesty. Lowe’s let me have the empty spool; however, there were three problems with it:

  1. It was too small! Too narrow across, and too short. I’d barely be able to fit any books on it.
  2. The middle part was cardboard. I thought I could fashion my own little wooden facade, but I didn’t make it that far because…
  3. The top and bottom were plywood. Plywood is fine unless you can see the layers of…ply? Hm. Not sure what those are called but I’m going with it. I wanted solid wood.

Luckily, Ryan plays softball in the summer for Front Street Lighting/Seifert Electric. Yipee! An “in” to the world of electrical spools. I bugged him about it incessantly, so Ryan put in a word with one of his softball buddies to save a spool if one came through that was, oh, two feet across or so.

I waited…and waited…and thought I would have to give up on my spool table dream. (I wish I was being overly dramatic about this but no…just ask Ryan. I was sad about my lack of spool.) Then out of the blue, Ryan got a call that there were two spools waiting for me at Front Street Lighting! Long story short, one of them ended up being perfect…look at her. What a beaut.

I decided that I wanted it black instead of white, because our basement (where it would live) has a lot of black accents. I loved the rusted bolts on the top, so I taped them off.

Then I just spraypainted it black. I planned to distress it a bit, so I wasn’t too worried about being perfect. Once it was painted, Ryan helped me add the casters to the bottom so it could be rotated and moved around easily.

Seriously, this project was a piece of cake thus far. Next, I measured and cut the six dowels. Once I did that, I spraypainted those black as well and gave them a little bit of sanding, too. The dowels were actually pretty tight once I wedged them in, but just to be sure they didn’t shift, I added a long, skinny nail to the top and bottom. The table already had nails everywhere, so six more tiny nails didn’t make much difference.

Then I distressed it. I’ve never distressed anything before, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. I just got my trusty electric sander out and went to town. The table was uneven enough that it was very easy to distress. That’s it! Done! Here it is without books.

Here it is in the corner of our basement with books and some other things I added to the top. I actually used the hole in the middle to run the cord of the candle warmer.

To give you an idea of the size, it’s 30″ across and 21″ high.

This project was tons of fun because it was easy and fast. I pretty much did most of this on a Saturday, and didn’t even take all day! If you can get your hands on one of these spools, take it! Easy, fun and cheap. That’s how I roll…


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