Turn a boring wire spool into creative home decor.

How to Make Stools From Wire Spools

by Eric Jonas

Whether you're looking for an inexpensive stool for your youngster's playroom or dressing up the living room with some creative seating, you can show off your recycling savvy by transforming an empty electrical wire spool into a brand new cushioned-top stool. Just make sure it's clean and in good condition, and then let your creative side loose to use color and fabric to help your new stool blend in with the room's decor.

Clean the spool. Sand down any rough areas with medium-grit sandpaper and use a lint-free cloth to wipe off any dust and dirt.

Place the wire spool on sheets of newspaper outdoors or in a well-ventilated area and cover the entire spool with spray paint in the color of your choice. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then add a second coat if you’d like.

Place a piece of scrap paper on top of the spool and trace around the circular top. Cut out the circle from the paper and use it as a template to cut out a circle from the foam padding. Place the foam circle on top of the spool.

Cut the paper template circle to make it about two inches smaller and use it as a template to cut a piece of cotton batting. Place the batting on top of the foam. Cut the template circle another 2 inches smaller and cut out one more piece of cotton batting. Place it on top of the batting on the spool. The varying sizes of padding will create a mushroomlike top for the stool. If you’d prefer a flat top, make each layer of padding the same size.

Cut a circle from your choice of fabric, at least four inches larger in diameter than the top of the spool.

Center the fabric right side up on top of the padding and stretch the edges of the fabric underneath the spool top. Staple the edges of the fabric to the underside of the spool's top, working clockwise. Insert about four to six staples as you work around the top, and then work clockwise again, filling in the gaps between staples.

Measure the circumference of the top of the spool and add an inch. Cut a piece of ribbon, lace or other decorative trim to this length. Attach the trim around the top outer edge of the stool with a hot glue gun.

Items you will need

  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Spray paint (with built-in primer)
  • 1-inch foam padding
  • Cotton batting
  • Fabric
  • Stapler
  • Ribbon or lace trim
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks


  • If you don’t have an empty wire spool, you can try asking around at home renovation stores for their empties.


  • Junk Beautiful, Outdoor Edition; Sue Whitney, et al.

About the Author

Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images