You can find wooden wire wheels in several sizes. Some jewellery wire is sold on wooden reels. Utility companies at times have empty wooden reels that are rather large. These large reels can occasionally be purchased or may be given away by the utility company. Craft and floral wire may be found on smaller wooden reels, or wooden spools, as they are sometimes called.
The large wooden reels or spools can be turned into garden or picnic tables with very little work. Sanding and painting, if desired, may be all that needs to be done. The centre hole can be covered up or left open to store gardening tools or cookout supplies. The hole is also convenient for inserting a table umbrella. A flowerpot can be inserted in the centre to create a centrepiece, or a large circle of plywood can be nailed over the entire top.
Santa and Soldiers
Four or five of the smaller wooden reels can be glued together and stacked to create a colourful Santa or soldiers. You can follow a picture to paint the facial features. Use cotton for Santa's beard and hair and make Santa's hat with red and white felt. Both figures could be dressed in costumes made from felt rather than painting them. Two smaller reels glued side by side on the bottom of a larger reel creates the legs. Use a smaller reel for the head and cut the arms from felt.
You can make a child's abacus toy by placing small reels on a short length of rope. Sand and paint the reels in basic colours. The child can learn her colours and learn to count at the same time. Tie a knot in each end of the rope to secure the reels. The smaller reels are also suitable for making wooden doll figures with dangling legs and arms; knots are tied in between each reel to secure them.
Any of the small size reels can be made into tables to be used in dollhouses. Two reels glued to a small circle of wood becomes a dining table. The reels by themselves can be single tables or a covered footstool. By gluing a piece of cardboard around one-half of a wooden reel, it becomes a chair that you can cover in fabric or paint. Very small reels can be made into dollhouse table lamps.