Sometimes, when I least expect it, a project will just appear to me out of a dumpster. I wasn’t looking…well, I must have looked at some point…but I definitely wasn’t looking on purpose. I was on my way to one of my favorite stores…no, not the shoe store…the Home Depot, when I spot this great wire spool just peeking out of the top of a dumpster.
Actually they had quite a few, they must have been doing some major rewiring, but all I wanted was one. I had never worked with a wire spool before, but I know it has been done.
Was the coast clear? I do have some dignity. I don’t mind fishing something out of a dumpster just as long as no one sees me.
Not a soul around, that baby is mine.
Now onto Home Depot where I’m really surprised they don’t know me by name.
As for the wire spool, it has been sitting in the garage for a few weeks now. The time has come for a transformation.
I gathered up a few supplies I had around the house that I thought I could use to construct the ottoman. A 4×4 for the feet, the wooden back of an old picture frame whose glass had broken and some leftover mdf from the sides of the mismatched metal file cabinets.
The feet were made from four, 3 inch pieces of the 4×4. The 4 corners were trimmed with a chop saw then sanded smooth.
The feet were positioned on the bottom of the spool then screwed on from the inside of the spool.
For structure, I used 1 inch strips of mdf and the back of the picture frame nailed all around the outside of the spool. You may want to get these even closer than I have here… I found out when I pulled the fabric taut, that you can see a bit of the edges on the bottom.
For the feet, I used 2 coats of a dark walnut Varathane…polyurethane and stain in one application. I use this stuff all the time, it dries really quickly and it cleans up with water (no more stiff brushes). For a smooth finish, use a fine steel wool or sandpaper in between coats.
For the top, I used a 2 inch piece of foam. Turn your spool over to use the top of the wire spool as a pattern.
By the way, the feet still only have one coat of the Varathane in all these pics.
While the spool was still upside down, I also used it as a pattern to cut out the fabric for the top of the ottoman. This time the fabric was about an inch wider than the spool for a nice seam allowance.
The foam was cut out and the top edge trimmed just a bit so it doesn’t have a hard edge.
The ottoman was wrapped with quilt batting and that was tacked into place with a stapler.
Cut another piece of fabric a few inches taller than your ottoman and a couple inches longer than the circumference.
With the wrong side out , pin the fabric into place exactly how tight you’ll want the fabric on the ottoman. These pins will be your sewing line.
Do the same with the top…wrong side out, pin exactly where you want to sew.
When all the pins are in place, take the cover off the ottoman and sew. I sewed the side seam first, followed by the top circle.
After sewing, turn your fabric right side out, and pull back over the spool. Staple from the bottom.
This wire spool was 2 feet in diameter so it would make a great coffee table for a small space or for a family with toddlers…no pointy edges.
Feel free to have fun with your fabric. I loved this fabric as soon as I saw it. It has a nice weight since it’s upholstery fabric, it’s neutral enough to go in any room in the house and at $3.50 a yard, a great price. Actually, it had me at $3.50 a yard.
Hard to believe this wire spool had dumpster origins, but now I kind of wish I had retrieved more than one.
For another junky ottoman idea, make sure you check out these two made from discarded fruit crates.