Reuse a Cable Reel to Make a Table

15 March, 2019
You can use a cable reel for various projects for a perfect home decor.

Recycling materials can have all kinds of outlets for decor. In today’s post, we want to show you a great home project idea: reuse a cable reel to make a table.

How many times have you seen something in the dumpster that could have a second life? In the world of interior design, you can transform anything to give it a new look and an entirely different function.

From a decorative perspective, when you reuse and restore something, you give it a new character and an innovative style. Recycling and reusing is actually a process where creativity takes a leading role.

What’s a cable reel?

cable reel 1

You’ve probably seen a cable reel on a construction site, laying around on country roads or in a dumpster. Have you ever thought about the different decor possibilities that it could offer?

It has the perfect shape to become a decor element: cable reels have a central cylinder tube with two giant circles on each end. They’re used for organizing big cables, usually electrical purposes.

Cable reels have a solid structure and are made of wood. They’re very stable, making them appropriate furniture pieces. Additionally, they have a simple appearance and fit easily into any kind of decorative style.


Recycling has become a fundamental activity for our current society.

Cable reel au naturel

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Our first idea for reusing a cable reel is simply reusing it just as it is. In other words, set it up in your home without altering its appearance. You can also try the following:

  • Decorate its exterior with varnish for a nicer visual result and better-protected table. The varnish will also help eliminate any impurities and smooth out the surface.
  • Another idea is using a round, glass tabletop. It’ll protect the wood, provide a smoother surface and nail an elegant look that boasts practicality as well.

Table with magazine rack

table magazine rack 2

Cable reels have a wonderful advantage: they have space in between their circular sides. It makes for a great magazine rack. But how can you make it?

  • Fit in boards in between the sides, protruding from the central cylinder. Space them out to create a space to store books and magazines.
  • On one of the sides, try placing a glass tabletop on top that will protect the wood and convert it into a table.
  • You can paint your cable reel, or apply varnish and other products as well. An aged finish is another option you could try if you want a more original product.
  • They’ll look great in front of a sofa. But cable reels come in different sizes so try to find one that has an appropriate size for your living room furniture.

Different ideas for cable reels

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As we mentioned before, the shape of cable reels boast all kinds of possibilities; you just need to let your creativity loose. Here are more interesting ideas:

  • If you want to make a table, try getting creative with your project. For example, a colorful mosaic could create dynamism and a really interesting setting.
  • On the other hand, if you want it to stand firm and need to fix it to a wall, cut it in half and fix the straight side onto your wall, using the curved side as a table.
  • Cable reels also make great stools. You can find smaller ones that’ll be perfect for the job. In any case, make sure that they’re a good fit before starting your project. Attach a soft material on top to make it comfortable.

You can reuse a cable reel however you want. You can give them designs, colors or any other element that’ll add more originality.

Careaga, Juan Antonio: Manejo y reciclaje de residuos y envases, Sedesol, 1993.