Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Fairy Tale Before And After

Note: This post was one of my most popular in 2011. This very clever use of an every-day item seemed to appeal to many of my readers - - it was pinned to Pinterest over and over again. I wonder how many of these have been made in the months since this post. :)

I’ve always been of the mind that if you begin reading to a child very early on, they’ll not only learn to appreciate books and story-telling, but that they’ll be more anxious to learn and ready to read by themselves when the time comes. In this electronic day and age, when computers, i-Pads and X-Box have captured children’s attention, sometimes at a very young age, it’s more important than ever to promote and share books with our kids. books Nothing can replace cuddling with your little one at the end of the day and reading a book aloud, page by page, over and over, until they know the words by heart.  And you don’t need batteries or a controller for that.

So where do you keep your collection of children’s books? I came across a great idea at for organizing and storing all kinds of books. And since handy I’m not, I do appreciate a before and after that makes such good use of the imagination. 

Here, they’ve taken an old wooden cable spool . . .

Cable spool

. . . and turned it into a very cute, and very functional, portable Bookmobile!  Wouldn’t this be great for a child’s room as an alternative to boring shelves or a plain cabinet?  Safe for young ones too, as it’s low to the floor for easy access, no reaching on tip-toes for books. Or a neat craft table. You could paint it to match the room’s decor and, even personalize it as well, by painting their names on the top or better yet, let them paint the top themselves. Pretty cool idea, huh?


There must be hundreds and hundreds of these old cable spools sitting in maintenance yards, salvage yards or maybe you’ve even seen them at flea markets. I’m guessing you could find them on eBay as well.  Wooden spools like these aren’t used as much these days for storing or spooling cable as they used to be, so what to do with them? 

Here’s the step-by-step if you’d like to try this project. 

  • Step One: To build this brilliant “bookmobile”, you’ll need a wooden cable spool. You’ll also need about 12 three-quarter-inch-thick wooden dowels that measure at least as tall as the spool when it’s lying flat on either wheel.
    Step Two Lay the spool on one of its wheels, then use a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the top wheel to the top of the bottom wheel. Use a handsaw to cut the dowels to this size, then sand the spool and dowels.
    Step Three Measure the distance from one wheel’s outer edge to the spool’s core. Divide that number in half.
    Step Four Beginning at the outer edge of the top of the top wheel, measure in the distance computed in Step Three. Mark with a pencil. Repeat around the spool’s circumference, spacing marks an equal distance apart.
    Step Five At each mark, drill all the way through the top wheel, using a three-quarter-inch spade bit. Then, with a hammer, drive a dowel into each hole, until the dowel’s bottom is secured against the bottom wheel. Paint spool and dowels, if desired; let dry.
    Step Six Evenly space three casters in a triangle pattern atop the top wheel, placing each caster about an inch in from the edge, and drill into place. Flip the spool over and you’re ready to roll.
    Read more at: DIY Home Decor Crafts - Easy Home Decorating Craft Ideas - Country Living

What do you think of this project?  Is this something you might tackle, especially if you still have little ones at home?  I can’t imagine there’s too much cost involved, except for the hardware and wheels. I would love to see your version if you do build one.

It’s so important that we read, read, read to our kids, or grandkids, if the case may be.  Follow this link to visit, Reading-is-Fundamental, a nationally-known non-profit literacy organization that “prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places, and ideas that books bring them”.

As Martha would say, that’s a very “good thing”.  :)


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Linking to:

Amaze me Monday at Dittle Dattle

Between Naps on the Porch

Tips & Tutorials Party at Home Stories A 2 Z

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Good Life Wednesday at A Beach Cottage

Inspiration Friday at At The Picket Fence

Potpourri Party at 2805

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Fridays Unfolded at Stuff & Nonsense

FFF at Miss Mustard Seed

Perfectly Imperfect

SNS at Funky Junk Interiors

Weekend Wrapup Party at Tatertots & Jello

Favorite Post Party at Home Stories A 2 Z


  1. How cute is that? I just love it. I used to be a Kindergarten teacher, I would have loved this in my classroom.

  2. I'm in love!!! My mother has a couple cable spools, and we have discussed for over a year what should be done with it: officially found! Thank you, thank you, thank you. So creative and unique.

    Your newest follower,

  3. I love this idea! If I can get my hands on cable spools, this would be a perfect project for me. I have a love for books and have tons of them and this seems like a perfect and neat storage solution.

  4. This is a good thing! Thank you for the tutorial.

    Please stop by and see the under $20 makeover I gave an ugly brass light fixture.

    Happy Monday!

  5. This is incredible! I'm so going to make one for my little boy. You are so creative to see what it could become. :)

    PS I have a $50 cash giveaway going on on my blog right now. Come by when you get a chance! :)

  6. I just love large old spools- I remember "riding" on them, like you would push yourself in a wheelchair, with my cousins as a kid! This is such a great idea- it would be neat to try stacking a few to create a taller bookshelf, then place on a heavy duty lazy susan to be able to spin in place! Thanks for such a great idea :)

  7. ooh! this is AWESOME! i am a HUGE reader and still read aloud with my kids...who can read by themselves!



  8. I LOVE cute and functional!!

  9. That is a great transformation!! What a cute idea! I love it!

    Saw you at WUW.

  10. It's nice to see a few original ideas, and this one is incredible! I love it! It's actually the perfect table for my husband, right now he keeps a basket of books beside his favorite chair. Thanks for the inspiration, tami

  11. This is such a cool Idea ! Looks great too!

  12. This is seriously amazing. I love how functional it is. And the look, and how it could be used as an ottoman. I'm in love!! Thanks for sharing :)

  13. A true booklover's piece of furntiure that is, a place for a drink and place to hold books all in one. Very clever thanks for sharing :)

  14. That is super cute! I just wrote a post about a library table I have, and how I haven't figured out how to make it perfect. Maybe white is just the color it needs, because this looks great!

  15. Seriously so neat!! Thanks for sharing this great idea with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  16. Great transformation. thanks for sharing at Wow.

  17. Oh my goodness--what a fun and clever idea! I want a bookmobile!

  18. How absolutely amazing. I'm always stunned by the thigns you bloggy ladies come up with! (new follower here ♥) xo

  19. it's certainly a lovely way
    to store and display all those
    wonderful books in my home
    i don't think
    i'm handy enough either
    to tackle it

    thanks for sharing at fridays unfolded!


  20. What a great idea! Very great way to display books. I would love for you to share this idea on my link party at

  21. You made this a reality and are so smart for doing it. I saw this in County Living had thought it was great looking, and you brought it to life! Fabulous job!

    Thank you so much for joinging Potpourri Friday. I appreciate you and hope you will make this party a weekly stop!

  22. I must say,,,a great job :)
    and do not miss.....




    WELCOME :)
    Håkan ( The Roseman)

  23. I am SO impressed with your bookshelf!!!! I love it! I just told my MR to look out for one! I love the way you styled it as well! I am going to check your blog out in mure detail now! X

  24. love this! Id love to feature it on my next revival monday, let me know if this would be ok with you

  25. This is great! I so have to find a wire spool!

  26. My husband and I were able to get our hands on one so once we get it finished i will post a picture.

  27. So amazing! How have I not seen this before? Love, love, love!

  28. Wish I had a reason to make this! How creative!!


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