Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ballard Inspired Spool. But smaller. And cuter. Maybe.

Am I the only one who signs up for catalogs from Ballard, knowing that I'll never be able to afford buy anything from them, but just want to see what I can copy be inspired by? Today I'm showing you how to make this.

The latest thing to catch my eye was this table. I mean, cute, right? But at $199, I don't think so. Plus, even though it's supposed to emulate a spool of thread, I get a nautical vibe from it. Doesn't work in my casa.

So I wanted to see if I could make one on a smaller (and way cheaper) scale. I hit up Hobby Lobby. The wood was $1.50 a piece, and the cylinder was $3.47 (but use those 40% off coupons). I already had the rope stuff.  I took the lid off of the cylinder, poked a hole in the bottom along the edge, threaded the rope thru and tied a knot in the rope (I didn't want the cut edge of the rope to be visible)

And then started wrapping. I would put on some hot glue, wrap, hot glue, wrap, rinse and repeat.

Then I used my Silhouette and made the stencil for the top out of vinyl. I just tried to keep it as close to the original as I could.

Pretend I have a picture of the wood after it's been stained (I used a dark walnut color). Place your vinyl on top and spray paint it black. I used the transfer paper to cover the areas that I don't want painted. Just like I did with my UFC pillow, I made sure to not spray at an angle. Don't want it bleeding underneath. 

When it's dry, peel away the vinyl, and bask in it's loveliness. Looks like it was stamped on there, huh? Booyah.

Then say a few curse words when you realize that you should have had your hubby drill a hole in the wood BEFORE you stain and paint.

Next, anxiously wait in the garage and remind your husband 4,763 times to please be careful while he drills out the holes.

Then carefully stain the inside of the hole. I did do a few LIGHT layers of cream colored spray paint on the rope since I really liked the contrast of the dark and light on the inspiration piece. I also cut out a hole on the bottom piece of cardboard so you can see through the spool. Then bust out your trusty E6000 and stick them all together.

I heart it. It's right outside of my bedroom door. Final size is just under 7 inches tall. But I did see larger sized discs there if you want a bigger spool. Instead of using the store bought cylinder, you could use an oatmeal tube, a concrete form, etc. Your options are even greater if you have a router and a way to cut a big circle out of wood.

  • Yeah, I know you'd think that if your stain is too dark, that you can just add water to it. Ummm, yeah, it didn't work. Take my word for it. 
  • Make sure you check your wood before you buy it. I've bought one before that was warped. One of my pieces had a huge knot on the top, which wasn't a big deal since I just used it on the bottom. But just something to keep in mind. 
  • Unless you really like cursing, don't use a baby wipe to brush off the sawdust after drilling. It was not fun having to try and pick off all the fibers that clung to the wood. 

Love it? Hate it? If you hate it, please lie to me. I'm fragile.


Party up in here...

Lovely Crafty Home

39 people love me:

jandjhome said... [Reply to comment]

Super cute. Love yours better, for sure.

SkinnyMeg said... [Reply to comment]

That is adorable!! I like yours better :)

Kristen @ Who's Watching the Baby? said... [Reply to comment]

Aw, I like it! I would want some crazy ass colored thread. You're right about the nautical vibe.

Jen @ Domesticated Nomad said... [Reply to comment]

I get Ballard and Pottery Barn and a few others for that exact same reason! I was smitten with the spool table too, and I've been thinking about trying to make it even though it would be kind of random for the rest of my decor.

I was thinking I'd use one of those sturdy cardboard tubes for making concrete columns. Do you know what I mean? I don't know the actual name for them. But I thought that might make it big enough to be a table.

Yours looks great. Your stencil came out awesome!

Tai Bender said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE it! You did a really fantastic job. adorable!

Lesley said... [Reply to comment]

Great job! That looks fantastic!

Handkerchiefgal said... [Reply to comment]

That's awesome!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

This is fabulous! Great idea and you make me laugh too. This would also look great in a craft room. (The one I only dream about) Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

This is fantastic! A great knock off, even better than the original!

Dragonfliez Made said... [Reply to comment]

I love it!

Janice said... [Reply to comment]

Love it! Way cuter than the original. The Ballard one makes me feel like a land Yours is adorable!

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! You did a great job. I LOVE IT! You are very creative.I would like the file for the top if you could e-mail it to me. Thanks!

Megan Gunyan said... [Reply to comment]

Love it!! It looks great! I love your ideas for making it larger as well...I never would have thought of those!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

love it! a lot, actually!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Great job! It looks amazing.

I clean my wooden thrift shop items with a cotton ball and am always picking the fibers out. I'll never learn, I guess.

Michell @ Girl In Air said... [Reply to comment]

Oh I LOVE this!!! First of all my hubby has all these giant stools from his work but refuses to let me bring them in the house because they smell and are full of oil...but seeing yours has inspired me to make one!!

I made a bookcase out of a cement form and have some left over AND I just made some new wood look old with a vinegar and steel wood solution and I think I even have rope in the garage....

Can't wait to make one I will for sure link you...I'm pinning this now:-)

Great job!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I'm loving your tutorial! I've seen these spools sold several places, and like you said, they are terribly overpriced. Thanks for sharing how to make an inexpensive version.

Katherines Corner said... [Reply to comment]

I love it, thank you for sharing! I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. I'm following now. I hope you'll stop by Katherines Corner and say hello and maybe even enter my latest giveaway. Hugs!

Jessica@SewHomegrown said... [Reply to comment]

Very nice - I loooove that spool look ;)

Ashh10 said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE IT!! I saw that i the magazine and wanted to copy it also!

Laura Everyday Edits said... [Reply to comment]

Love this! Thanks for the awesome tutorial. New follower from linky party. Visiting from


Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said... [Reply to comment]

Haha! the end of the post made me laugh! I love it..reminds me and my husband! Dont you love when the hubbs pitches in? I DO!

Delighted Momma

Amy Gilman and Emily Lee (Sisters of the Wild West) said... [Reply to comment]

this is FANTASTIC!! You did an amazing job!! I feel the same way about the ballard catalog. We would LOVE to have you link this up at our link party going on NOW.. so we can feature you on Saturday.
Amy and Emily

I {heart} Nap Time said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness I LOVE this!! So so cute!!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

@Jen @ Domesticated Nomad
For Jen @DM: The concrete form tube you would look for to make this table size is called "Sonotube", also I believe Quickcrete makes one now called.......guess?? You're right Quicktube!! The quick may be less expensive since the Sonotube is made for heavy constuction. Sonotube sells at HD & Lowes also Ace Hardware i believe. Good luck with the table.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

For Jennifer: Your version looks sooo much better than Ballard's they may come to you for project plans if they see it !!!! No joke, your tiny spool table looks so much more like the real deal...B's looks like they couldn't decide between a thread spool and a mooring bollard for a ship!! love yours and have bookmarked it!! Thanks for sharing. Take care, VBg

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said... [Reply to comment]

This really is soooo great!! I made the large version - but I think I really need this small version too!!
I'm so glad you linked it up to Think Pink Sundays - I featured you today!!

James and Summer said... [Reply to comment]

oh! I L.O.V.E. it!!! Thank you for inspiring us all over and over again!

Katy @ Lolly Linens said... [Reply to comment]

I love this. My house is all nautical and this would be perfect in it. Thank you for sharing.

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said... [Reply to comment]

It turned out very cute.


The Farmer's Wife said... [Reply to comment]

Super cute!!! I have a concrete form in my garage....I think I know what it will become!!!!

LindaMar1 said... [Reply to comment]

Hey, it looks great! I like how you write- ex: Pretend I have a photo of it already stained. Ha-Ha-Ha! It's like I know you already.. Anyway, Very clever idea and thanks for posting it.

Jolara said... [Reply to comment]

I just LOVE your tutorial! Very clever idea that I just might have to try myself. I'd like to make a bigger one that I can put my small stash of yarn in for my craft room. Thank you for sharing! :0)

Jenny C said... [Reply to comment]

Saw the same thing at Ballard, sometimes they do have great
Sales. Love your version. Im not nautical and I love knock offs.

Lo said... [Reply to comment]

As soon as I saw this in the catalog I started dreaming knock offs too!! I love yours! Fab job! And we all forget steps lol, thank goodness for hubbies : )

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE! Very cute. I don't really have room for another side table... this might be a great idea for me too!


Dixiejet said... [Reply to comment]

I made one those spool tables like you see in Ballard. My son in law got me a wooden electrical spool & it just so happens that my living room theme IS nautical & it works WONDERFULLY & turned out GORGEOUS ! I also got him to bring me a LARGE one I use for a work table outside. Those spools are awesome ! Gonna get ANOTHER one an turn IT into a picnic table for the back porch !

Sew Lambitious said... [Reply to comment]

I think it is a fantastic project! I have had my eye on that table for a long time. I'm thinking about getting some huge spools from the cable company to make similar ones to be used outside of my sewing studio to set plants on (large spools of thread). I think the size you made would make great display risers when displaying my products on a table at a craft fair. Kuddos on your project! Looks fabulous!

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