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Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Warrior: DIY Pallet Table

I remember growing up watching home improvement shows religiously! I would get home from high school, turn on "Trading Spaces" or "Interior Motives with Christopher Lowell" and I would call up my best friend, Kayla, and we would sit on the phone for hours discussing the projects that we were watching. I remember seeing whole rooms transformed in the matter of a 30-min show and thinking, "I could so do that!" I had always romanticized the idea of home improvement because, to be honest, these shows made it look so easy. They would go to put together a custom made chest of drawers and everything would already be magically prepped and ready to just hammer/screw together. 

Fast forward about 10 years to me discovering the cold hard truth that creating something one of a kind for your home, can not be created in 30-minutes... there is not a magical gnome who comes over at night and preps everything for you {bummer}. One of a kind takes work, and sweat, and tears {at least for me}. However, the end result is so worth it. To know at the end of the day that the kitchen table you are eating at, or the head board you are leaning against is 100% original and made by you! 

This weekend James and I embarked on a little project that I have been wanting to do for awhile, but had not gotten around to it. I saw a patio table {well, it's more like a coffee table for outside} that was made out of a pallets and I fell in love! I had to have it! 

Here is the whole budget breakdown:
{4} casters {we bought two with locks and two without}: $12
{2} 42"x42" pallets: FREE {we just drove around an industrial park till we found two that we liked being ready to be tossed}
Wood Stain {we used coffee colored}: $14.70
{1ish} 2"x4": FREE {we had enough scraps that were long enough to work}
{1ish} 4"X4": FREE {gotta love lots of scrap wood}
{7} 2"x1"x42" wood pieces: FREE {my dad had some 2x1's that he did not need anymore that we used}
Total cost: $26.70 

We started by pre-cutting all the pieces we {thought we} needed. We cut the 2"X1" pieces to fit between the large spaces between the pallet boards {we did this for the top only}. We also cut 4 4x4x17" pieces {these will become the legs}. Then, we sanded everything down and got to staining it all. 

The one thing that I wish I would have thought of was to have borrowed from my dad some stands that I could have propped the pallets on when I was staining. Crouching down for 3 hours staining and re-staining makes for some sore legs the next day. OYE~

After staining, we started putting everything together.... Let's just say we had to change our plan of attack a few {dozen} times. I was all set to have this swift and easy tutorial that was going to tell you how to magically do it, but now that it is done, I am not quite sure all that we ended up doing. 
Here is the main gist of it: We used a nail gun to nail in the slats on the top pallet. Then we flipped the pallet over and screwed the legs into the sides of the top pallet {Side Note: After we did this and flipped it over we almost just added the casters and called it a day because we like it just as it was, but I did not have the heart to leave out the other pallet that we spent all day sanding and staining, so we forged on}. 
Things get a little hazy after that! On the bottom pallet we cut out 1 hole in each corner the size of the post, so the legs from the top pallet would fit down into the second pallet {does that even make sense?!?!?!} 
In our minds that was going to work perfectly! We would fit the table down inside the other pallet, reinforce a couple areas, throw some casters on, and then throw some high fives and tell each other how awesome we are! 
Uhhh.... instead it went something like this: Realize the table legs don't fit, cry a little, re-cut so it does fit, screw everything in, make a bunch of little filler pieces to try to cover up our mistake of cutting wrong the first time, re-stain new cut pieces, screw those pieces in, add 3 casters to the bottom, when adding last caster run out of power, hand screw last caster in, flip table over.... then throw some high fives and tell each other how awesome we are! {At least we had the same end result}
It really was not a difficult table to make {the prep was pretty time consuming though.... but not hard}. 
We were thrown for a loop that our careful planned way of building the table did not in fact go off without a hitch, but in the end I think the only people that will know about that is us {and whoever reads this post... promise not to tell?}

Next weekend I want to attack these little beauties and pretty/de-uglify them. They are super functional but up against our new table they are looking pretty sad and tattered! 

This week I linked up to:

Check them out for more inspiration!


  1. Love this project!!! The trial and error part sounds a lot like our sewing project. :) Can't wait to see this table in person and I loved all the pics of each step!!

  2. I love your table. ! genius to fill in the spaces with the small strips!
    super job!