One thing missing from our garden is a decent table for outdoor dining. Now the weather is warming up, we wanted to source a piece of furniture that would be robust enough to live outside all year round.
Somerset Wood Recycling is one of our favourite places to mooch around on a Saturday morning. I blogged last year about the wood we bought to make Magoo's upcycled garden swing. They have so many pieces of wood in all shapes and sizes at SWR. I don't have any carpentry skills, but I love looking at the wide range of patinas and grains on display.
However, Mr M does see himself as something of a woodsman. This year he bought himself an axe which we used to break up our allotment shed back in February. I think he has visions of living in the woods, carving his own bow and arrows. At Christmas I also bought him some wood whittling tools and a 'how-to whittle' book. Working with wood seems to be his thing, so he doesn't need much persuading if I suggest visiting Somerset Wood Recycling.
Last time we visited, a large pile of wooden cable reels stacked up outside caught our eye. We have considered making a table from one of these reels for quite a while now.
We decided a few weeks ago to buy the largest reel we could fit in the car. Once it was home, Mr M set about sanding it down. It was always going to be a rustic table so we weren't aiming for a perfect finish. Even so, the reel still had some very rough edges, we couldn't use it as a table until it was smoothed down.
After the sanding, Magoo wanted to pitch in and get involved with the project. Magoo and her dad set about painting varnish onto the wood. This table will sit outside all year, so we want to try and preserve it as much as possible.
And that's pretty much all we did to create a strong, wooden dining table. Over the past few weeks we have used it for meals, playing board games and outdoor colouring sessions. It really adds an extra dimension to our garden and it was a bargain at only £20.
One of the best things about the wooden cable reel is there is a pre-existing hole right down the middle. Perfect for putting your sun umbrella in and no drilling required.
The next stage is to install a patio in the corner of the garden where the upcycled table will sit. We managed to get hold of some amazing slabs from FreelyWheely and they didn't cost a penny.
All in all it has turned out to be a thrifty DIY project. Since getting hold of our reel I have looked online to see how other people have upcycled theirs. There are so many fantastic example out there. We quite like the rustic look of the plain wood, but there is plenty of scope to get more creative with the cable reels. Some ideas include adding mosaic to the top, whitewashing the wood and wrapping rope around the central column.
I love these cable reels so much I'm going to go back and buy a smaller one for the allotment. It will be perfect for putting our cups of tea and sandwiches on...
I'm linking up with these lovely blogs:
"Trash 2 Treasure" over on www.coombemill.com
"Making Home" over on www.mrscraftyb.co.uk
"Let Kids Be Kids" over on letkidsbekids.co.uk
"Country Kids" over on www.coombemill.com
"Sweet Inspiration" over on repurposingjunkie.com
"Home Etc" over on www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk