Being a student makes it difficult to afford nice, expensive furniture, so I have learned to be frugal and creative throughout my university career. Ever bought one of those Ikea coffee tables that everyone has? They’re cheap and simple to put together. I bought one for around $20, but soon got sick of the straight black lines and wanted something different so I built this DIY Wooden Pallet Inspired Coffee Table.
While visiting my sister, I came across an old, wooden blue pallet skid and thought it would be neat to bring it home, rip it apart, paint it and voila: a brand new table top! In my head, I could see how awesome it would look, that “shabby chic” kind of feel I love so much.
Unfortunately, these skids weigh about 70 pounds, and with no car, it made it difficult to bring home… but I did it. This project involved a lot of physical labour, as I took the skid apart pallet by pallet and had to ensure I did not break any pieces.
For this, I needed a hammer and a crow bar. The skid was really old, and the nails were long and rusty, which made it difficult to remove them. To get the pallets off, it was a trial and error kind of job, because I didn’t need to use all of them. What worked best was to wedge the crow bar under the pieces of wood near where the nails were and pull it upwards. This loosened the nails, and the hammer took care of the rest. Once the pieces were off, the rest was easy. I put some wood glue down on the table’s surface and laid out the wooden pieces. I put some heavy textbooks on top of the wood to ensure that there was enough pressure.
After the glue dried, I painted the wooden pallet pieces antique white, let them dry, then screwed them down with deck screws to ensure that the table top would be indestructible! I loved the way the tabletop looked, but something seemed to be missing. I decided to paint the shelf of the table teal, and then I later glued down some transparent Ikea place-mats as a runner to protect the shelf.
I’ve got to say, this project was quite trans-formative and nobody would ever guess that it was once an Ikea coffee table. If you have a base structure to work with, it is so easy to come up with awesome ideas to make it unique. I couldn’t be happier with my wooden pallet table!
Sarah is currently studying Anthropology at McMaster University. She enjoys up-cycling, creating customized furniture, decorative furniture painting and any do-it-yourself projects, big or small. She is passionate about creative sustainability, by breathing new life into items destined for the land-fill.