Thursday 19 May 2016

DIY project to make you fall in love with wooden cable reels

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

"Making Home" over on

"Let Kids Be Kids" over on

"Country Kids" over on

"Sweet Inspiration" over on

"Home Etc" over on


The messy brunette said...

Love it!! You did a great job. Must finish mine now

Coombe Mill - Fiona said...

Such a great idea and a sturdy hard wearing bargain for just £20. It looks perfect for that corner of your patio. I like your simple varnished version and the decorated ones, they look like they would be perfect in so many places upcycled to suit the surroundings. I think it will be very handy on the allotment too. A great find. thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

What a brilliant idea, I like that mosaic one too :) xxx

Sum of their Stories said...

I love these wooden cable reel tables but I would have had no idea where you could find such a thing. I love the simplicity of yours, but that yellow one is pretty lovely too.

vicky myers said...

Looks great:) I have one the shed waiting to be upcycled... I'm just being too indecisive!! #makinghome

Coombe Mill - Fiona said...

A perfect way to extend outdoor fun time. Thank you for sharing on #CountryKids

Unknown said...

That looks fab. Lovely to see everyone helping.
Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids

Mrs Crafty B said...

haha I am already trying to find one for myself online! Great job #MakingHome

Keri said...

This cable reel table is awesome!! How nice that Magoo got to help seal the table, what a nice memory for her. I'm so glad that you're getting plenty of use out of it. I hope you share the smaller cable reel you get for tea and sandwiches; I would love to see it! :)

Unknown said...

I've been wanting to do this for a while now but have never seen any available!! It looks FABULOUS! You must be absolutely thrilled with it! I think I'd cut a top, slightly larger than the one it has, so you don't bump your chair legs on the one beneath. Love it :) Thanks so much for linking up with us on #HomeEtc — Caro xx


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