14 Creative Uses for Old Deck Spindles

Outdoor decor can take a beating from Mother Nature’s harsh elements. As such, your deck decor can age fast and break down. However, you don’t have to immediately trash it if you notice a bit of wear and tear on it. Repurposed old deck spindles make crafty home decor. 

You may no longer find deck spindles as desirable in the house as they once were. It doesn’t mean you can’t let your creativity roam and explore fun ideas. If you are looking to deck out your home with old deck spindles, you are in the right place. 

How Do You Repurpose Spindles?

Repurposing spindles is all about creativity. As long as your spindles are still structurally strong and undamaged, you can make fun functional decorative items around the house and for your exterior, too. 

The key to properly repurposed spindles is to ensure you remove your old spindles without damaging them. Have your handy tools ready. All you need are a power drill and a screwdriver if your railing is screwed down. 

Removing old spindles from the staircase

  1. Find the main screws that connect the railing to the top cap. Unscrew those first to remove the top cap and expose the metal rail. 
  2. The metal rail is likely connected to the newel post at the extreme ends of the railing. Unscrew the metal rail from the newel post. If the metal rail is attached to a wall, unscrew it from the wall. 
  3. You’ll see that each spindle is screwed to the metal rail. Unscrew each spindle. Hold down the metal rail as you unscrew the spindles to prevent any damage from shaking. 
  4. Once the spindles are exposed, gently pull each spindle up. Be careful not to damage them when you pull them up. 
  5. Now that you have your spindles ready and undamaged, you can use them for your creative projects. 

1. Use Spindles to Spruce up Tables

You can never have enough tables. However, you don’t always have to make the same tables. Every table you make can have a different purpose.

For this table, you need strong legs. Use newel posts instead of spindles. You’re using the much thicker newel posts since they are stockier and can handle more weight. You’ll need a tabletop as well. Use spindles between the newel posts to add detail. However, it’s optional.

You can use thick spindles if the wood is strong enough. Deck spindles will work if it’s for a coffee table or a corner piece table.

One of the best things about upcycling newel posts to make a living room table is you end up with a unique table. Tables typically have a straightforward approach to design. However, using newel posts for the legs means you get a rustic aesthetic and make the table a centerpiece. 

Once you make a table, you can explore other table ideas for indoor and outdoor use. These ideas have the same design principle but need different spindle sizes to get the right interior accessory. The spindles you use to make one item should be a similar size. Here are other things you can create using the table design. 

  • Coffee tables
  • Stools
  • Garden tables
  • Bedside tables

2. Spindles add Flare to Garden Decor

You can do so much with spindles with a garden as your inspiration. The garden isn’t just a place to plant your stuff. It’s also a relaxation area and a decorative statement about the home. For this, you might need a lot of spindles. 

If you are planning to use a lot of spindles, remove all the old deck spindles and replace them with a new deck railing. You can use the old deck spindles to make your garden decor.

3. Create a Stylish Garden Trellis

A garden trellis is a structure you use to help plants support themselves as they grow vertically. Climbing plants are popular in home gardens, making a garden trellis a helpful frame for home gardening projects. For this, use metal spindles. Paint the trellis in rust-resistant paint to get the best out of it. 

Wrought iron spindles make an attractive garden trellis. Still, you can go with wood spindles if they are strong enough to withstand changing weather. The best thing about reusing spindles as a garden trellis is you don’t have to limit the height. Use the length you have to plant short climbing plants such as rose bushes. 

4. Use Spindles to Hold Decorative Garden Signs

Garden posts are not only limited to the garden. Use spindles to make signposts all over your home. Hang signs with quirky notes on them to make a livelier space. Replace the mail sign upfront with a creative spindle stand post. The wood from the spindle is strong enough for a mail post. 

You can make welcome signs too. But if you want to up your decor game, try putting some lights on the posts. Not only do you make your garden and outdoor area light up, but you also bring a beautiful color contrast that makes your home stand out. 

5. Get Creative With Decorative Bird Feeders and Birdhouses

Birdhouses and bird feeders are a great fit in a garden. Birds are terrific seed spreaders and pollinators if you have the right plants in your garden. However, that doesn’t have to be the aim of your bird feeders and birdhouses. 

Deck spindles are great for birdhouses because they are thick enough as pillar structures in a birdhouse. Get four spindles and use one on each corner. You have to build the house as well to complete your birdhouse project. 

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You only need a long spindle to make a good bird feeder. You can DIY a feeding dish that you attach to the spindle on a raised surface, and voila…you have a feeder. 

6. Repurpose Spindles to Hold Garden Lights

It’s not uncommon to see garden lights outside a house. Most of these lights are encased in a glass box with a straight stand. However, what if you could make it artsy and combine the glass boxes with spindles? The best part about this project is that you can use spindles of varying widths. 

You can use long thin spindles and have two lights since they don’t weigh much. 

7. Use Spindles to Build a Garden Fence

A garden fence can be a big DIY project since you have the freedom to use an entire railing with the spindles or only the spindles. 

Using the entire railing means you might have to put in protective mesh behind the fence to prevent small animals from getting past the fence. Still, you can complement spindles with wood planks to make the fence functional and aesthetically appealing. Paint it white to complete the ‘picket fence’ look. 

8. Create DIY Decorative Candleholders

Indoor art with old deck spindles can upgrade your space from bland to beautiful with just a few art pieces. From the kitchen to the bedroom, these are some DIY projects you can put together with deck spindles.

Candle holders are one of the most low-effort yet rewarding projects you can do with spindles. The deck spindle has two flat ends. You can carve out some wood on one end to make a small hole that collects the wax drippings from the candles.

Alternatively, drill several deck spindles into a plank of wood and use the final item as a candle holder for multiple candles. 

9. Build a Personalized Kitchen Towel Holder

Take a couple of spindles. You can use as many as you want if you have a lot of kitchen towels. Take two straight wood planks and drill thin deck spindles into the planks like you are making a ladder. 

Add a little personality to your rug holder by putting in a couple of hooks on the top spindle where you can hang other things like light ladles, spatulas, and serving spoons. 

You’ll need to attach this to the kitchen wall. 

10. Add a Rustic Touch with an Overhead Kitchen Rack

An overhead kitchen rack is an ambitious old deck spindle repurpose DIY. You have a few options with the kitchen rack. You can either use the full railing or take a few old deck spindles and add the top sections that you will drill into your kitchen ceiling. 

If you use the entire railing with spindles, it will take up plenty of space. Still, you have leeway to use as much space as you’d like. It’s overhead, so it won’t affect your movement around the kitchen. It saves you space and gives your kitchen the semblance of a busy commercial kitchen. 

11. Display Decorative Plates with Style

While we’re still on kitchen pieces, how about a dish rack made from wood boards and spindles? You’ll need a baseboard, two verticle planks of both ends of the board, and then you’ll join the spindles to the planks. Now you have a nice rack where you can put decorative plates in the kitchen. 

However, it’s not just for plates. Take this idea and use it to make fruit trays or houseplant racks. You can also make a spice rack out of it. Connect other boards above the baseboard to make it an excellent spice rack. 

12. Create a Custom-made Cake Stand

Make an artsy cake stand where you can put anything that’s not cake. You can use it after you bake cookies, bread or put fruit on it. 

For this, you need two circular wood bases. The bottom wood base gives your spindle cake stand stability. You can use gorilla glue or regular strong adhesive wood glue to attach the spindle and the circular board. 

Get a smaller board and attach it to the upper end of the spindle. Ensure it’s centered. Get a food-safe plate preferably made from wood. Using the same glue, attach the plate to the top circle board.

Wait for it to dry. You can stain the top to make your spindle and plate cake stand look brand new. 

13. Create a One-of-a-kind Spindle Headboard

The bedroom is a private space. You are free to explore as many creative pieces with old deck spindles as you like. So here are some ideas.

If you have a platform bed, line up the spindles and nail them to the head side of the bed. Plug some decorative LED lights on them and set an ambiance every time you go to sleep. You can even make bedside furniture or a bedside lamp that matches the spindle headboard. 

Note: this might take up a lot of space, so feel free to use long or medium-thick spindles

14. Display Your Fashion Jewelry and Watches

For this unique dressing mirror piece, you will need a baseboard. Drill holes in the board where you will have vertical spindles. You can have only vertical spindles, and the holder would be complete. Alternatively, you can use the vertical spindles as the pillars for your horizontal spindles. 

You can decorate the baseboard with your custom designs, or you can paint it to match your bedroom’s theme. Hang the ear, hand, or neck jewelry you use most on this spindle piece. Replacing Your Old Deck Spindles

Old deck spindles get weaker every year from sun and water exposure. Consider repainting them to keep your deck looking pristine. However, you can upgrade and have a new deck and stronger deck spindles that are more in touch with your present house design and in line with modern building standards. 

Wrought iron as deck spindles will never be out of fashion. Wrought iron spindles provide a contrast with wood that gives your house a classical back-in-time look. For a modern take with wrought iron deck spindles, choose straight spindles with minimal decoration on them. 

If you want to replace indoor wooden spindles, make a bold statement and go for glass. However, glass spindles on the railing work if the place has minimal foot traffic. A house with kids might not be the best place to have glass spindles. 

Pro tip: Keep the distance small between your spindles to make sure pets, and kids don’t accidentally get stuck

Other Inspirational Ideas

  1. Decorative indoor tree
  2. Use them as climbing aids for your climbing plants
  3. Add some wood to it and make artsy garden decor
  4. Upcycle them into lampstands
  5. Make a shelf
  6. Picture frames
  7. They’re great for vision boards
  8. Support posts for mini fences
  9. Use them for kitchen racks
  10. Decorative ladder

What Do You Mean By Spindle?

Every era of house design has specific markers. Some markers carry on for years because of their charm and functionality. Spindles are one of those markers. You can find spindles on the staircases of old-style houses. 

Spindles are wooden support beams placed at equal distances apart from each other to support a staircase. In indoor decor, they are not only used as support. They are also a decorative statement that allows the homeowner to bring in some style to the house. 

You can also find metal spindles. Metal spindles on wooden railings make beautiful staircases. The combination allows you to explore high-art concepts that you can only implement with wrought iron. 

The most popular spindles are made from wood. Wood spindles in the housework are best compared to metal since they blend easily with wooden floors and railing. Metal spindles, on the other hand, are great for outdoor decks. 

While outdoor metal spindles are more susceptible to rust, they might last longer than wood spindles. Unfortunately, with new housing concepts and designs, it looks like wood and metal spindles might be getting phased out. 

Are Spindles Outdated?

Spindles are a classic feature in houses and deck decor. They’ve been a mainstay in building for years. To that extent, some people adopting a newer building standard say spindles are a relic of the past. However, that is up for debate. 

Like other aspects of old-style house interior decor, spindles are not outdated. Some homeowners still find them useful. Most houses have wooden stairs. As such, wooden spindles that support wooden stairs only make the houses more beautiful. Wooden spindles will likely stay a classic in homes for a long time. 

You don’t have to stick to one spindle design. There are modern spindle designs that will give your house a modern touch while retaining that classic aesthetic. Also, you can experiment with paint on the spindles to create color contrasts between the railing, stairs, and wooden floors. 

Still, if you choose to get rid of old spindles and put in new ones, here are a few ideas on what to do with the old ones. 

Conclusion

Deck spindles are a great substitute for store-bought wood pieces for DIY house art. Don’t toss away your old deck spindles or house stairs spindles. Stock up on small hand tools and use them when you want to give your deck a makeover. There is no limit to what you can do in every room of your house or outdoors. 

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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