I am SO happy with this project! It has been in my house now for a few weeks, and I still LOVE it!!
It is functional, and a cool upcycled piece which I had fun modifying myself.
You might have seen this project before - it can be found here at Country Living - and there is a tutorial there as well. I used the tutorial, and modified it slightly for my needs.
I got my spool the very easy way. A friend was getting rid of it - I shouted from the rooftops "I WANT IT!!!" - and she dropped it off at my house the next day :) It is so charming, I giggled for hours.
Following the tutorial on Country Living, I measured the circumference, divided it by 12, and made 12 marks around the outer edge using that measurement (so they were equidistant from each other).
I connected the marks that were directly across from each other to make 6 lines (seen above as the red dotted lines).
I then measured up each line, from the edge of the spool, about half way to the middle. This is represented by the blue dots (3 of the 12 marks are shown with a blue dot above). These blue dots became the places where I drilled my dowel holes (as seen below).
I used a 3/4" drill bit to make the holes (be sure to dodge the nails that hold the spool together!), and then inserted 3/4" dowels that I had cut to the correct height. I also used putty/wood/liquid nails sort of glue to secure the dowels in the holes.
To be clear, the dowels are not attached in any way to the other side of the spool. They are held in only by the stability of the hole that they stick through at one end. Because of this, I really felt like I needed some glue too. The side with the holes becomes the bottom - so no dowel holes show on the top.
Then, I added the casters to the same side that the holes were drilled.
Word to the wise: If you want to use yours as a stool too - USE 6 CASTERS!! I started with 3, as the tutorial suggested, and as soon as I sat on it, it tipped :) Of course! 6 was the magic number. Since I already had markings at intervals of 6 (because the dowels are placed evenly 12 times around the circle, which is divisible by 6) I placed the casters in line with every other dowel hole. Again - watch out for the nails in the spool when screwing in the casters!
I rolled it into my daughters' room, and filled it with books.... SO COOL!! We now use the extra space where the books were for other things that didn't have a home - like a basket for shoes and tubs of toys.
I even added a home-made cushion for the top, so that I can sit on it comfortably while I am helping put clothes on, or put clothes away, or read stories at night, or dictate the room cleanup :)
It is such a great addition to the room (despite the fact that it takes up half of it. It is worth it!)
So, I hope you can all get your hands on one of these versatile, gigantic, totally awesome wooden spools! I would definitely take another :) And maybe make this.