Electrical Spool Bookshelf/Table

9 Materials
2 Hours

I've seen tons of ideas floating around online for repurposing electrical spools and with Rob working in construction, he can always get his hands on them so I was happy to finally make Bo a little activity table. It was surprisingly easier than I thought and I think it came out really cute and functional!
-wooden electrical spool
-closet dowels (1-1/8"x48")
-Behr flat matte paint (colors: Cozy Cottage and French Colony)
-2" paint brush
-Everbilt 2" wood screws
-3 swivel casters with brake
-DeWalt drill

Not pictured:
-measuring tape
-chop saw

STEP 1: Measure
The first thing I did for this project was measure the height of the electrical spool. This is the measurement I went with to create my spindles.

STEP 2: Paint
Next, I painted my electrical spool with Behr flat "French Colony" matte paint. You don't have to paint the bottom side of the spool but I chose to go ahead and paint everything.
I decided to paint my spindles a different color than the spool so I went ahead and did so before cutting the closet dowels into spindles. I chose Behr flat matte Cozy Cottage paint.
STEP 3: Cut dowels
After everything was painted, I used a chop saw (you can use a manual saw if you don't have power tools), I cut my spindles at 16".
STEP 4: Attach spindles
To attach the spindles, I screwed a 2" wood screw in just enough to where I could see it through the underside of the spool where I wanted to place each spindle.
Then, I placed the spindle directly under the screw...
...and finally, I finished drilling in the screw. Once all of the spindles were screwed in place on one end of the spool, I flipped the spool over and secured the other end of the spindles with another screw.
STEP 5: Attach casters
Finally, I attached 3 casters, {roughly} evenly spaced on the bottom of the spool. I used 3/4" screws I had on hand to secure the casters.
With the casters installed, this little bookshelf/activity table is the perfect height for Bo! He loves having a spot that he can work on puzzles and play with toys (he was always using the coffee table in our living room!).
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Resources for this project:

Cindoco Upcr11848 Ramin Dowels, Pink, 1 1/8" X 48" (Pack of 10)
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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Mau23829020
    on Jul 1, 2017

    Where should I check for an ectrical spool
  • Sarge
    on Jul 5, 2018

    In the first photo, the top is delaminated on one side, how did you fix this?

    • Deb Johnson
      Deb Johnson
      on Jul 5, 2018

      You can use wood glue and a clamp to fix this or just flip it over to the other side.

Join the conversation

2 of 56 comments
  • Carol Jollymore
    Carol Jollymore
    on Jun 17, 2019

    I really like this project and it inspires me as these spools come by from time to time and even thought their shape suggests, no screams 'TABLE' I never thought of a good way to implement it. However I was thinking of a change that I would use. I would want a smoother finish for the top and I would like to have a top that extends a bit so that a chair would fit under it better because a spool has the same dimension top and bottom normally. That's how I will do it. Thank you for inspiring me!

  • Linda Abate
    Linda Abate
    on Jun 17, 2019

    What a great idea. Love how you turned this boring wire spool into something so useful. A great way to keep little ones interested in reading, especially when they can see their collection of story books. LOVE IT.

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