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Wooden Cable Spool Garden Table

Updated on March 25, 2014
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.

I don’t know a self-respecting, card-carrying red neck that doesn’t have one of those cable spools in the back yard doing service as a table. I had one until it finally fell apart of old age.

I have not had a spool table at my current residence, and I really have missed it, especially during family cookouts. But I have not had access to wooden cable spools and since I no longer drive a pickup no way to transport one. So, a few months ago when my landlord asked if I wanted one I jumped at the offer. He brought me two!

Then I remembered an idea I had some time ago for upgrading the spool table and I was in an artsy/crafty mood. I thought painting the spool and decorating it with flowers on the core would be a pretty addition to my garden.

I chose outdoor enamel paint for the base coat and acrylic artist paint for the design. I coated the whole spool, top and bottom with the enamel.

To make my sunflower motif I cut stencils from cardstock paper. I cut a circle for the flower center, another stencil for the petals and one for the leaves. I painted the stem free hand. I used a white sketch pencil to trace the patterns onto the spool’s core, and then painted the design freehand.

I do have some art background so this was a simple project for me, but anyone can do this. If you don’t think you can make your own stencils buy them at a craft store. You can go even simpler by using decals.

I was warned that I should cover the hole in the center of the tabletop. My friend said bees might try to nest inside the core of the spool. Well, it was only a week after putting my new table in my garden when I was sitting there with a glass of lemonade and I soon noticed several wasps flying into the hole! I fixed the problem easily by placing a pot of flowers over the hole.

When my friend, Jeany, saw my finished table she commissioned me to do one for her. She chose red for her base color to match her barn. I gave her sunflower a double row of petals. I plan to decorate the next one with sea shells for my front porch.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i have the top of the table with the twelve signs of the zodiac carved around the sides

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      My landlord got mine from his neighbor who worked for the phone company. You can ask when you see road crews out laying cables, etc. They will usually let you have one when its empty.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi, do you know where I can get the wooden spools from ?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Pliz i request for more ideas on recycling wooden spools. i have a bunch of them and needs to recycle email is

    • Cdejarnatt profile image


      10 years ago from NE Florida

      Very nice! I live in the boonies and would love a table like that for my back porch. I'm going to have to keep my eyes out for some.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a great idea! How cute is that!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Beautiful job; they look really nice. Looks like you might have a sideline business going there.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      They look so nice!! I had one for a while too!!

    • GiftedGrandma profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      What a great idea! Love the flowers...I have a ton of shell I should do something with :O)

    • myra636 profile image


      10 years ago from Viginia

      Love the nice touches there much better then basic brown lol I can never find them around me.


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