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DIY Pallet Coffee Table

April 8, 2013


Lets get something straight before I begin this post: I would never describe myself as a crafty/DIY-type person. Michaels and Hobby Lobby stress me out and I let my mom make 90% of the decorating decisions in our home. And I’m totally okay with that. The closest I get to being crafty is making unique and delicious recipes. And I know how to crochet, so there’s that. But for the most part, my crafting skills are limited. However, now that we own a home I have started to read a few more home design blogs and have become obsessed with Houzz. Anyone else?

Two weekends ago, my mom came to visit for Easter weekend. Joe and I had been looking for a coffee table for our basement living room since we moved in, but hadn’t been able to find anything that was durable and didn’t cost a fortune. Since our downstairs living room is also going to be a bit of a guy’s hangout area, I wasn’t keen on spending a bunch of money on a nice coffee table only to have something spilled on it down the road. My mom, who is equally obsessed with Houzz and other design sites found a post that suggested a beautiful coffee table could be made fairly inexpensively by using pallets.

A quick Google search will render dozens of ways you can make a pallet coffee table. Turns out, unbeknownst to me, that they are pretty popular. And after making our own pallet coffee table, I can totally understand why! In one weekend and for about $75 we made our own pallet coffee table that not only looks great but is extremely durable and guy-proof! I didn’t do a great job of taking step-by-step photos of how we made our table, but I do have a few shots to show you that should give you an idea of how easy it is. And if you have any doubts, just remember: If Madison can do it, so can I!

Here’s how it went down:


1. We started by sanding down two pallets that my mom got from her company’s distribution center with a hand sander loaned to us by my brother-in-law, Jake. These were really nice looking pallets as far as pallets go. Some are much more weathered and worn. They would work, too, but we were going for a bit more of a polished look for downstairs.


2. More sanding! This was my first time using a hand sander and it totally made the whole process go a lot faster than doing it by hand with pieces of sand paper.


3. After sanding the pallets we stained both of them with Minwax stain in Red Oak color that we purchased at Home Depot. We went through two small cans for both pallets together. I would recommend just buying a large can to save yourself the trouble. After leaving the stain on for about 5 minutes, my mom followed me and wiped off the excess stain. Then, we allowed the stain to try on the pallets for 8 hours in the sun.


4. After the stain had dried completely, we finished things up with three coats of polyurethane. We used Minwax Semi-Gloss Fast Drying Polyurethane and waited four to five hours between coats. After we put on the final coat, we let it dry longer to make sure it was really set up well.

5. Finally, we used large screws and a hand drill to fasten one pallet on top of the second pallet. After the pallets were secured into a single coffee table, we put 4-inch casters (rolling wheels) on the bottom of the coffee table. We purchased four casters from Home Depot, two of which have locking wheels in case we want to keep the coffee table in one spot. The wheels are a great addition. Although they cost about $12 each, they really are worth it! We love being able to roll our coffee table around and move it closer to the couch as needed.

And that’s it! It seems super simple and that’s because it is. Although I’m not a pro yet, I think I’ve caught the bug. It was incredibly gratifying to make a coffee table that looked like something I would have paid good money for at the store. I’m not a huge fan of small crafts that I will eventually just toss in the trash, but making furniture? Now that’s something I can get behind!


Okay, now it’s your time to confess: Are you the crafty type? Have you made something like furniture or a home decor item that I should know about? I would love to know!


Craft Project: Cookies

January 21, 2010

Anyone who knows me would be able to tell you that Hobby Lobby is the bain of my existence. I have a very passionate love/hate relationship with the place. Sure, I find myself spending hours browsing through aisles upon isles of paper, fabric, stickers, and ribbon. In my mind I am Martha Stewart. I will buy those craft supplies, hurry home, and any number of beautiful hand-made cards, floral arrangements, and customized lamp-shades, after which I will step back, admire my work, and say, “It’s a good thing.” Yes, Saint Martha would be pround of the self I invision while in Hobby Lobby.

In reality, I lug home more than I even know what to do with, spending too much, and getting frustrated when I realize that not only have I wasted money, but valuable time as well. But despite all of this, I still get that craft bug time and time again, so I’ve developed coping mechanisms: easy craft projects that take little skill to accomplish, just a bit of time, but not too much.

Over in my neck of the woods, we’ve been bombarded with heavy fog for two straight days, followed by an ice storm, neither of which really inspire much of anything other than that ‘blah it’s winter’ feeling. So today I will be bringing a smile-inducing treat to work with an extra bit of presentation added in.

You can buy these plastic treat bags pretty much anywhere. I picked mine up at Super-Target, which had a large variety to choose from. Inside, I’ve placed one over-sized oatmeal-golden raisin cookie, just make sure they are completely cool. I used this recipe with a healthy twist. I added in two tablespoons of ground flax seed, and made the cookies with whole wheat flour, figuring they could serve as a breakfast cookie if people ate them in the morning.

I folded the top of the bag down, and secured it with a piece of tape. On the front side I cut a piece of ribbon, about six inches in length, and made a simple loop shape, secured with a piece of tape. Then, I used my circle-punch (yes, one of those impulse Hobby Lobby buys) and punched out a couple dozen circles from craft paper. Because of lack of creativity, I hand-wrote “Happy Thursday,” I’m sure you have something better to say. :) And that’s it! Easy to transport, practically fool-proof, and 100% delicious. Something I think even Martha would say is a good thing.

Happy Baking!


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