How to Make an Upcycled Cable Drum Table Planter
The Little Veggie Patch Co book – DIY Garden Projects is the Little Veggie Patch Co’s fourth book and is a little different from the others, because instead of focusing solely on gardening it covers a range of practical, DIY projects to make the most of your backyard. It’s in their typical fun, bright and entertaining style with a range of projects ranging from basic products to do with kids to more involved projects for the dedicated DIYer. We are sharing one of the great projects – how to upcycled a cable drum into an outdoor table.
How to make an upcycled Cable Drum Table Planter
Coming in third of the all-time most versatile recycled products is the cable drum. While its circular nature makes it less applicable to constructions than the pallet or fruit crate, one advantage over its counterparts is that it can be easily transported without machinery or a motor vehicle. And when you have finished rolling it to its resting place, simply tip it onto its side to convert it into a readymade table.
As with most things old and beautiful, they have gradually been replaced by something new and plastic. The wooden wheels, which will always be considered nothing less than works of art, have been phased out in favour of efficient and cost-effective plastics. But the durability of the wooden devices mean a lot are still in circulation today, being flogged off by wise guys who recognise things of value.
If you do your research you can come across cable drum cities – stacks of different-sized and coloured wheels – where, for a price, you can purchase the drum of your dreams. Perhaps before forking out cash on a cable drum for this activity, call around to some wiring wholesalers and see if you can intercept one before the wise guys come for collection.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED…
• cable drum
• circular saw
• rocks, scoria, offcuts, broken pots
• premium potting mix
• herbs and veggies of your choice
WHAT TO DO
- Hunt down and secure the services of a lovely, wooden cable drum. For the purpose of a table, it’ll need to be approximately 800–900 mm (2 ft 7½ in–2 ft 11½ in) in height when laid on its side. Anything smaller can be made into the kids’ table.
2. To avoid constantly hitting the base of the drum as you try to tuck in your chair, you need to trim this with a circular saw. Flip it over and make it a square large enough to SUPPORT the weight of the table. In this case, we cut it down to a 500 mm by 500 mm (1 ft 7½ in by 1 ft 7½ in) square base.
3. Some cable drums will have a hole in the centre, which makes planting simple. Our drum didn’t, so we used a circular saw to cut an opening in the top.
Any cable drum worth its salt will have more than a few splinters waiting to embed themselves in your delicate skin. Take a sander to it and with a little work the wood should look and feel REJUVENATED. A little sanding will also make the wood more receptive if you want to cover it in varnish, which will then help protect the table from the weather.
4. Fill the cable drum with a premium potting mix. Bear in mind that many plants don’t need much more than 300 mm (12 in) of soil to grow. So, feel free to chuck in some rocks, scoria, wooden offcuts or anything else that can fill the space and raise the planting level.
Plant the herbs and veggies of your choice. We find that something LOW MAINTENANCE and perennial is best. Give the plants a good watering in.
5. Pull up a seat and enjoy an afternoon chat with a good mate!
Don’t you LOVE it! The book is jam packed full of goodness like this, well worth a read
This is an edited extract from The Little Veggie Patch Co: DIY Garden Projects by Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchick-Reardon, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP$45, available now where all good books are sold.
Watching my one year old daughter’s delight as she stood amongst the pea plants opening pods and finding the sweet peas inside.
Love this 🙂
isn’t it gorgeous
Living on acreage we have so much room to do so many projects, time is the factor though lol 🙂
Sharyn Williams that is true – this is a great one though!!
I need a couple of these! I saw a huge one turned into a big bar table at a pub – looked amazing!
How wonderful. My favourite garden memory is being in the veggie garden with my dad. As a busy builder and father of nine it was precious time that I cherished. As we watered and weeded and threw the scraps to the chooks. Simple but beautiful times ❤️
I’ve had mine in the outdoor fernery for years, love it and lasts well. I like it better as it gets more weathered
My mil has this its stunning
Bianca Kennett need a table? Lol
My fav memory of gardening has to be picking peas at my nan’s! Nan asked me to harvest them for her and I picked away, but probably only ended up passing half along. It was more of a case of “one for me, one for the bucket”. At a young age I only liked the peas themself and there was an empty pods pile beside me. I love them whole now though! And the smell of the tomato plants just fredhly watered beside me comes to mind in this memory too!
Sarah Louie MissMac Mac
Luke Herrington – i want one!
That cool as
Matt Amato this could be you buddy
they are so cool!
And I know where the perfect one is!
It was always your dream though…
I’ve just moved to Belair, SA. The soil is terrible but I’m continuing to plant an orchard and veggie garden. Many summer nights coming up in my ‘happy place’.
Brings back memories. Had one on the front verandah painted orange…in the ’70s
Where at mum
Naomi Harrington didn’t you make a cable drum coffee table?
Yeah! I like the idea of having a garden in the middle U0001f44dU0001f3fc
Tayla. Now please.
Recycled Interiors my favourite garden memory – seeing my children in the garden as they learn so much from being outdoors, looking for worms/bugs, getting their hands dirty digging in the soil, making mud pies, seeing how a seed grows and produces yummy food for us to eat, harvesting fresh food and eating it as soon as it is picked, playing with their ducks/chickens in the garden etc – being outdoors in the garden gives our family hours of enjoying and fun and memories 🙂
my favourite garden memory – seeing my children in the garden as they learn so much from being outdoors, looking for worms/bugs, getting their hands dirty digging in the soil, making mud pies, seeing how a seed grows and produces yummy food for us to eat, harvesting fresh food and eating it as soon as it is picked, picking and smelling flowers, playing with their ducks/chickens in the garden etc – being outdoors in the garden gives our family hours of enjoying and fun and memories 🙂
Oh, I’ve just started looked for an old wooden cable reel to use as a coffee table outside! Hoping I get lucky in a salvage yard.
Sheldon John Clark James U0001f602U0001f602U0001f602 even wearing a panama ffs U0001f602
Wicked idea! I wonder why the crates are made sideways?
My favourite garden memory is picking fresh veggies from mums garden. We would always go nuts over picking and shelling the fresh peas, sitting on the grass next to the veggie garden and eating them all straight away. Poor dad would always end up with packets peas as there were never any fresh ones left for him. U0001f602
I would add some height to that table
Todd Pilkington here’s a comp for you!
Wonderful! Love it there
That is beautiful x
I would love one!
Will let you know if I find some, Helen U0001f60a
Telstra used to have them.Years ago they were quite common but I dont know if they still use them.
Sue McDonnell & Tash Richie Attiwill this is where my random pic come from x
How funny we were only talking it abt it today.xx thank you for such a great day xx
Always lovely seeing your beautiful face Shell. If I see the guy who owns the big wheely thingy I’ll ask if he wants to get rid of it.xx
Narelle Petersen Julia Furneaux. Love these ideas ❤️
That would be wonderful my darlind.hv a nice morning catchingvuo with your friendvover a cuppa
My favorite garden memory is pulling weeds and picking berries with my Grandma 🙂
Love this! What a great idea! U0001f44fU0001f44fWhere can you get cable drums from?
That’s awesome… I’m on to it.
Bliss I would suggest salvage yards ☺
Ok thanks for that! U0001f609U0001f60a
I really want some!
Me too! And Kicking myself for not picking up a small one left on the side of the road for kerb side pick up, by the time I was going back past short time later it was gone! U0001f62d
Heather S beautiful Heather
thank you Cate Pearce
@Ami that is just the most beautiful memory, thank you for sharing
definitely and would love to see what you do
Sharyn W oh that is wonderful, such an important thing to teach children
Sharyn Williams that is just wonderful! thank you for sharing
@KChap wonderful memories, so important to spend time with grandparents and learn from them
isn’t it fantastic!
Pete Goodlet that is beautiful Pete
heidijg so much lovely!
Heather S can you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect your prize!
Not the best pic but I nabbed one a while back and took the easy out of some paint on top and whacking some plants on top. It’s now my outside coffee table. And a pop of colour in my bland rental backyard.
Jobs on! Monica Kane U0001f44dU0001f3fd
We have one.
Would love to get my hands on a couple of these!
Let’s do it!!
me too have seen them at the salvage yards