Furniture made from recycled materials is an increasingly popular trend in interior design. One of the most creative examples is spool furniture – functional pieces like tables, chairs, shelves, and more created by stacking and arranging wooden spools. This DIY-friendly style is versatile, customizable, eco-friendly, and adds intriguing rustic texture and charm to any space.

Introduction to Spool Furniture

Spool furniture repurposes the wooden spools that cable and wire are wound around for industrial and commercial uses. They are often made of pine, oak, or other hardwoods. The spools come in a range of sizes from just a couple inches across to several feet in diameter.

When old spools are discarded, crafters and designers realized their potential for reuse as building blocks for furniture. The simple cylindrical shape conveniently stacks and interlocks to create endless configurations. Arranged cleverly, spools can become tables, benches, organizers, shelves, chairs, stools, and all sorts of unique statement pieces.

Upcycling the reclaimed wood aligns with eco-conscious values. It reduces waste by giving old materials new life. Wood spool projects are also budget-friendly, using recycled materials that are often easy to obtain for free or cheap. The DIY-friendly style allows for customization and creativity.

Spool furniture brings eye-catching texture and a conversation-starter industrial vibe to living rooms, kitchens, offices, restaurants, events, and more. The look feels vintage, natural, and hands-on, contrasting sleek or mass-produced modern decor. Integrating spool pieces into interiors adds warmth, casual flair, and rustic appeal.

Benefits and Advantages of Spool Furniture

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

One of the biggest advantages of spool furniture is its sustainability. Making use of discarded spools keeps them from ending up in landfills. Old wood is repurposed rather than wasted, reducing unnecessary consumption of new resources.

Choosing secondhand and recycled building materials is an easy way to be environmentally conscious. The eco-friendly reuse ethos of upcycling aligns with green, zero waste living.

Spool projects can even be designed for easy disassembly. That allows for further reuse of the materials down the road when tastes or needs change.

Customizable and Creative Potential

Part of the charm of spool furniture is that it lends itself to nearly endless creativity. The simple modular shape allows for stacking, arranging, and configuring the spools in whatever ways the builder can envision.

Every piece can be fully customized for size, height, layout, color, configuration, and more. Mixing and matching different sized spools adds variation. Painting them expands color options. The uniform shape makes designing and constructing your own vision simple.

This DIY-friendly flexibility fuels innovation. Spool projects are great outlets for makers to add their personal panache. There is plenty of room for customization to suit specific tastes or functions.

Budget-Friendly and Accessible Materials

Another major perk is that spool furniture can be very budget-friendly. If you have access to discarded spools, often through tradespeople or by keeping an eye out for leftovers, the main materials can be obtained for free. Even if you need to source spools, they can frequently be found inexpensively or affordably.

The DIY style allows you to customize pieces on any budget. Smaller projects take fewer materials and time. The modular simplicity also lends itself to beginner woodworking skills. You can start small and work up to more intricate designs.

The low-cost accessibility makes spool furniture a thrifty way to customize your space without expensive store-bought alternatives. A little creativity goes a long way.

Adds Texture and Character

Spool furniture infuses spaces with unique industrial character. The shape has an obvious functionality that feels grounded and craftsman-like. The textural wood grain and rustic whitewashed paint many spools feature add cozy vibes.

The aesthetic has a handmade artisanal quality, emphasizing natural materials and imperfections that contrast sleek modern homogeneous designs. Pieces feel nostalgic for the past and well-worn, telling a story of reuse.

Integrating spool elements brings delightful texture and conversation-starting personality to any room. The distinctive look acts as an interior decor focal point.

Versatile Functions

Spool furniture might have a specific pastoral vintage look, but its applications are widely versatile. The modular pieces can serve all kinds of purposes from seating to storage to tables to decoration.

Chairs, benches, stools, and ottomans provide stylish seating options. Stacked spools can be topped with a board to create tables at any height. Shelving units, organizers, drawer holders, and side tables optimize storage space.

Individual spools can also be repurposed as planters, end tables, stools, candle holders, clocks, and all sorts of home decor objects. Function follows your vision.

This versatility makes spool furniture a fun way to meet all kinds of furniture and organizing needs. Custom designs can be tailored to have any shape or purpose imagined.

Ideas and Inspiration for Spool Furniture Projects

Spool furniture might seem like a niche trend, but it allows for remarkable flexibility. Once you start thinking through the possibilities, captivating projects ideas abound. Here are some top spool furniture forms and functions to spark inspiration:


One of the most common ways to utilize spools is stacking them to create table surfaces at various heights. This can be indoors or outdoors.

  • Coffee tables – Shorter stacks topped with a circular board make relaxed rustic living room coffee tables. An example uses spools of different sizes layered unevenly for visual interest.
  • Side tables – Single large spools standing vertically make cute eco-friendly end tables to place alongside chairs and sofas. Smaller versions can be clustered to hold drinks.
  • Dining tables – For the bold, try a spool dining table on a grand scale by arranging with a large reclaimed wood board on top. Add spool benches or stools for cohesive style.
  • Outdoor tables – Take the look outside with taller cafe-style bistro sets, side tables for porches, or even DIY backyard picnic tables using spools for the legs.


The cylindrical shape of spools naturally lends itself to seating possibilities when oriented horizontally or stacked.

  • Stools – Individual spools become instantly stylized one-person stools, great as spare seating.
  • Benches – Line up spools side-by-side and top with a long plank to make benches. Anchor them together for stability. Get a tutorial.
  • Chairs – More intricate chairs can be created by using spools for legs and arranging angled pieces for seatbacks and arms. Add cushions for comfort.
  • Bleachers-style benches – For communal seating, design bleacher-style rows of backless benches by stacking spools in ascending heights and topping with boards.


The structured shape of spools is well-suited to shelves and storage units. They instantly bring organization and display space wherever needed.

  • Open shelving – Arrange spools in cube shapes or staggered rows, then lay long boards across them for instant DIY bookshelves. Leave open or add baskets.
  • Cubbies and dividers – Split a large box frame made of spools into cubby hole compartments using more spools as dividers. Finish by nailing boards across for a custom organizer shelf.
  • Media stands – Entertainment centers are easy by stacking spools in a wide square to hold TVs, then adding more rows of spools below to hold media components in divided sections.
  • Kitchen organizers – Bring functionality into the kitchen with spool pot racks, utensil holders, knife blocks, towering spice racks, or a shelving unit for cookbooks.

Decor Accents

Don’t overlook the decorative possibilities of upcycled spool pieces. A touch can personalize any area.

  • Side or end tables – The perfect bedside table might be a lone painted spool with a lamp on top. Cluster three together in a living room to hold drinks and remotes.
  • Plant stands – Let your greenery shine by perching plant pots on top of stools made from spools. The nature theme suits the rustic wood.
  • Coat racks – Screw some hooks into a cut spool positioned horizontally on the wall for a relaxed entryway place to hang jackets and bags.
  • Candle holders – Adorn your dining table with impromptu candle lumination by resting glasses around a stack of staggered spools. The varying heights add dynamism.

The options for upcycling wooden spools are endless. Let your needs and imagination run wild.

How to Make DIY Spool Furniture: Materials, Design, and Process

The recycled simplicity of spool furniture makes it an extremely approachable DIY project for all skill levels. You don’t need prior woodworking experience to make basic pieces.

Follow this guide to fundamental materials, preparation, design principles, and construction steps:

Gathering Materials

First, the essential spool supply. Look for discards or leftovers from contractors, electricians, cable companies, and anywhere wire is spooled. Ask if you can take them off their hands.

You’ll need varying sizes for diversity, anywhere from 4 inch diameter up to 1 foot or more. Go for the largest available since big impact comes from sizing up. Often you can get them free for the taking.

Beyond spools, basic additional materials include:

  • Wood boards – Reclaimed scraps or new boards to top spools for flat surfaces. Plywood, dimensional lumber, or slabs.
  • Screws – Wood screws in a variety of lengths to attach components. Longer ones (+3″) helpful.
  • Nails – Optional for attaching wood boards to spools if not using screws.
  • Paint or wood finish – To seal spools and optionally color them. White and light wood tones recommended.
  • Sandpaper – To smooth spool edges if desired.
  • Tools – Drill, drill bits, screwdriver or driver, hammer, saw for trimming boards.

Keep costs low by sticking to essentials. Shop secondhand stores and reuse old wood.

Design Principles

Many approaches work, but certain fundamentals lead to sound spool designs:

  • Stability is key. Wider bases prevent tipping through strategic stacking. Keep center of gravity low.
  • Layer largest spools on bottom, smaller toward top. Provides natural staggered shape.
  • Stack methodically in geometric shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles. Keep orderly.
  • Allow space between spools for storage or gripping to move them. Don’t jam pack.
  • Attach boards to multiple spools for leverage. Long screws reach through several stacked spools for security.
  • Add wood glue between flat spool ends if permanent, or keep dry for disassembly.
  • Consider finishes – paint, stain, or wood sealants to protect and beautify.

Start modest in scale. The simpler the better til you get the hang of interlocking shapes. Skyscrapers of spools take more precision.

Construction Process

Follow these basic steps for foolproof fabrication:

  1. Design and plan – Sketch out shapes and dimensions. Calculate how many spools needed. Recruit help for heavy lifting if giant pieces.
  2. Prep spools – Lightly sand rough edges if needed. Add color or sealant finish. Allow to fully dry.
  3. Build foundation – Start by stacking the largest spools in the configuration designed. Focus on centering weight above the stack below. The bottom is the base everything else layers on.
  4. Add middle levels – Continue stacking in your pre-planned shape. Fill out the middle section toward your target height. Check stability and straightness as you go.
  5. Attach top boards – Once spools are stacked, place board(s) on top, centered over stack. Mark where screws/nails will go.
  6. Attach boards – Drill pilot holes through boards into spools if using screws. Drive long screws through boards into multiple stacked spools beneath for a firm hold. Or use hammer if using nails.
  7. Finishing touches – Add any extra design details like trim or sealant. Once assembled, carefully move furniture to its final location.

The beauty is in the simplicity. Let creativity guide the construction process for whatever you envisions

Spool furniture stacks up style in any space it inhabits. The eco-friendly recycled wood warms interiors with rustic sustainable charm and gives inventive designers an outlet to craft conversation pieces from scratch.

Upcycle discarded spools into your own customized creation and bring out your inner woodworking artisan. The results will furnish your home with an added dose of cozy eco-chic style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spool Furniture

What are spool furniture projects best for?

The simple modular shapes of stacked spools work great for tables, shelving, organization, seating, accent pieces, patio furniture, and more. The sky’s the limit for customizable repurposing.

How many spools are needed?

That depends on the scale and complexity of the project. You can make end tables with just a single spool, while room dividers or dining tables may use 30 or more. Gather a variety in small, medium, and large sizes.

What tools do I need?

A drill/driver and driver bits, saw (jigsaw, circular or handsaw), measuring tape, level, wood glue, clamps, sandpaper, and safety gear like gloves and eye protection. Have both longer and shorter wood screws on hand. Basic DIY toolkit items.

How much weight can spool furniture hold?

It varies, but pieces can be incredibly sturdy when stacked properly so larger columns or wide bases carry heavy weight. Shake tests help gauge durability. For heavy-duty furniture, choose dense hardwoods.

Can you paint or stain spools?

Absolutely. Paint is commonly used to add color and seal the wood. Follow directions for proper priming and prep. Stain can accentuate the wood grain. Top coat for protection. Whitewashed and light driftwood look popular.

Is spool furniture only for rustic decor?

Not at all! The modular pieces fit well for industrial, shabby chic, farmhouse, eclectic boho, nautical and many other styles. Painting bright colors makes them pop. Mixing natural and colored spools adds fun.


Spool furniture neatly stacks eco-conscious style, sustainability, customization, self-expression, and function all into one charming interior trend. Salvaging and repurposing worn materials fits perfectly with the upcycling ethos and reduces waste.

The versatility to become tables, shelves, organizers, seating and more makes wooden spool projects useful across the entire home. Their distinctive shape effortlessly draws the eye.

This beginner-friendly medium allows limitless creativity. Any DIYer can shape handy home furnishings from the recycled building blocks according to their own vision. Bringing new life to what was once discarded aligns with mindful living values.

Whether you favor a faded whitewashed patina, bold bursts of color, or simple natural wood, spool furniture infuses spaces with rustic warmth and handcrafted originality. The aesthetic possibilities stacked up in your imagination are the only limits.