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Friday, April 12, 2024

Wood Spool

From Garage to Gorgeous: Upcycle a Plastic Spool into Rustic Farmhouse Decor

Don't toss that plastic spool! Breathe new life into it with this easy DIY project. Transform it into a charming wood-look spool perfect for farmhouse or industrial decor. Get inspired, use your creativity, and discover the beauty of upcycled home decor!

Upcycled spool
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Hello friend. This has been a whirlwind of a week. 
Between the awe-inspiring eclipse, a few plumbing appointments, and a few crafty endeavors, I haven't had a dull moment. Speaking of crafts, I recently received the question: "Where do you get your inspiration?" If only there were a simple answer! For those who've been following along for a while, you know we've tackled the emotional (and logistical) challenge of cleaning out two family homes in the past two years.

Cleaning out a loved one's home is a heart-wrenching process, especially for a sentimental soul like myself. My husband, ever the pragmatist, was eager to declutter, while I clung to memories woven into every object. It's hard to believe it's been two years since we tackled his childhood home – time truly flies.

Fast forward to today, and our garage and basement are overflowing with treasures (or potential trash, depending on your perspective) from those homes. Letting go of items from his parents' house was particularly difficult, but the "keep" pile grew mountains high. Remember, I'm only five feet tall, so the true scale of the situation wasn't apparent until we started filling tote after tote.

There was also an auction for my grandma's belongings. While browsing the "throw away" pile (much to my surprise!), I felt compelled to see if any treasures had been overlooked. Let's just say, "discard pile" was a major understatement! Had the auctioneers simply run out of steam by the end?

Among the "discarded" items was a set of milk glass dishes. Of course, I bid on and won the matching pieces – drinking glasses, teacups, saucers, salad plates, and bowls. But the dinner plates? Those were inexplicably stuffed in a cooler, destined for the trash heap. Thankfully, I found them, and since they perfectly matched my purchased set, they happily came home with me.

I found other stragglers, for instance this spool of wire. 

Grandpa was a bit of a hobbyist, a guy who knew his way around a wood shop, an electrician, plumber, builder, amongst other skills all rolled into one amazing human being. By trade, he was known as an engineer, but he knew all the things. I wish we could sit down and have a conversation about life now. I have a feeling I would get quite the education, plus one more day with him? A true gift.

Looking around my overflowing garage, I tasked myself with reclaiming some space. As I rummaged around, this plastic spool stood out. When you look at it, what do you see? Do you see a wood spool with wire on it? No? Take a closer look. Now do you see it? It has so much more character and personality as a wood spool, doesn't it? If it's still an enigma, then I will show you how you too can take a plastic spool and turn it into a "wood-like" spool.

When I saw this spool of wire in my mind's eye, that wood spool was perched on our china cabinet with perhaps a few other spools grouped around it. My decorating style swings between industrial and cottage chic, with a soft spot for masculine touches – think metals, wood, industrial labels, and plenty of drawers, are you drawing a picture in your mind? I was, and I think it was my future kitchen. 

Our home is adorned with heirlooms, thrifted finds, and well-loved pieces that have been passed down through generations. Shiny, new things hold little appeal for me. I'm drawn to items with history, a touch of wear and tear, and the potential for a new lease on life. In my world, very few things are truly beyond redemption.

Let's get into how to turn this oh hum plastic spool into the wood spool of our dreams!


  1. Plastic Spool
  2. Cleaner
  3. Cleaning towel
  4. Sandpaper or sanding disk
  5. Waverly Antiquing Wax
  6. Sponge Brush


  • Begin by cleaning the spool to remove any dirt or dust left behind
  • Sand plastic with sandpaper to provide a gritty surface so the antiquing wax can adhere to the plastic 
  • Apply the antiquing wax with a sponge brush, using side-to-side strokes to mimic the look of wood grain. Don't be afraid to get a little heavy-handed in certain areas for a more pronounced effect. Allow the wax to dry completely.
  • Repeat the waxing process, adding additional layers until you achieve the desired level of depth and color. Remember to allow drying time between each layer.
  • Once the wax is dry, display your newly transformed spool with pride! It went from garage castoff to china cabinet decor in a flash.

Plastic spool makeover

Farmhouse decor

Repurposed crafts

DIY home decor

Rustic decor

Industrial decor

This project is a testament to the fact that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can breathe new life into almost anything. Remember that cereal box makeover I shared recently? It's all about seeing the potential in everyday objects and giving them a new purpose.

Cottage chic decor

As a child, I possessed an uncanny ability to see things differently than others. This sometimes led to raised eyebrows and whispers of "odd." But you know what? I've grown to embrace my unique perspective. I am who I am, and I wouldn't have it any other way. This ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary fuels my creativity. Sometimes, a new purpose for an item reveals itself instantly, like this spool. Other times, it takes a little longer for inspiration to strike.

Creative crafts

Secondhand finds

Speaking of inspiration, remember the mixing bowl overflowing with old golf balls in my garage video? Those little spheres became charming moss balls thanks to some hot glue and Dollar Tree reindeer moss. The inspiration came from moss-covered Easter eggs I found earlier this year. A touch of greenery adds a pop of life to my dining room, especially with my recent spring refresh. It's a reminder that beauty doesn't have to be expensive or fleeting. Houseplants and other natural elements are budget-friendly and add year-round vibrancy to a space.

Upcycle golf balls

How to turn a plastic spool into a wood lookalike spool

So, the next time you encounter a plastic spool (or any seemingly ordinary object), will you see a potential wood-look treasure? I sure hope so! Your comments and creative ideas keep me motivated to dream up new ways to transform everyday castoffs into beautiful home decor. Until next time, happy crafting (and treasure hunting)!

Don't Forget to Pin for Later!

Wood Spool DIY



Would you like to comment?

  1. This is such a simple process with amazing results. You'd never know that it wasn't wood!

    1. Thank you Ann, I love the larger size of the spool. I am sure it will make many appearances here in our home.

  2. What a really cool idea to upscale something like this. It's amazing how we can give so many things we may overlook or throw out a new life. Love this!

    1. Thank you Molly, I am so pleased my idea turned out. I have had some less than desirable outcomes on a few of my projects lately.

  3. The power of paint is so amazing! I can't believe you made that plastic spool look like a vintage wood piece! Great job!

    1. Thank you Donna, it isn't perfect, but it looks much better as my wood look-alike than it did as a plastic spool of wire. I cannot wait to dig a bit more in our garage to see what more treasures I can find.