I have been struggling to find a coffee table for weeks now. I’ve checked every story imaginable, trust me, but everything was too expensive for my limited budget or just wasn’t what I had in mind. I decided it would be more cost efficient for me to just create my own! It’s a bit too small for my massive sectional, but would work great for a regular sized couch or dorm room. Follow me as I create a customized coffee table!
What you’ll need:
- 3-4 Crates (I got mine from Michaels for like 10$)
- Spray paint (I used a grey for the sides and a metallic silver for the top)
- 2 Pieces of thin plywood (also purchased at Michaels)
- Decorative thumbtacks (I found a box of 60 at Home Depot for under 2$)
- Optional: One inch nails
First, I took my crates outside and arranged them into the shape I wanted. I’m using three crates and arranged them on their sides so there are two open shelves at the ends for storage. I then took each one and spray painted them my base coat (grey). I added a few coats and sprayed the inside of the ones which would be facing outwards to function as shelves. I unfortunately ran out of the grey spray-paint half way through covering the inside of the second crate (oops!) and improvised with black paint I had on hand.
Next, I sprayed the tops of the crates with the metallic paint (the plywood I have leaves a little of it exposed). Finally, I sprayed both pieces of plywood. Wait 30 minutes to an hour while they dry.
Step 2: Nail the crates together (optional)
I originally intended to nail the crates together, but I quickly realized I have zero hardware skills and this was just not going to happen. If you can figure out a way to accomplish this then have at it! The guy at Home Depot assured me it could be done, but he is clearly far more advanced.
Step 3: Arrange your crates in your living room
Because I opted to not nail the crates together, I simply arranged them in front of my couch how I wanted. I added the plywood to the top and used books to hold it in place. You can add a layer of wood glue to add some extra security between the plywood and the crates, but I think the thumb tacks are sufficient. My plywood pieces overlapped a little bit, but I covered that later with my table display so no big deal.
Step 4: Attach the plywood top with thumbtacks
I purchased these wonderfully shiny thumbtacks to attach the plywood, and I’m glad I did. It’s really my favorite part of the whole thing. I added mine every other plank of the crate with two at the ends, but I you can add as many as you’d like. I found it was easiest to push the thumbtacks in with my thumb to stabilize it, then lightly push it in all the way with a hammer. Be gentle (try not to smash your fingers like I did) and try not to kill the thumbtack. I had a lot of thumbtack casualties, they simply went in the wrong way and completely bent. That’s why it’s good to have plenty extras.
Add a pretty candle, a plant, magazines, or whatever you want to personalize your new coffee table. I added a table cloth to prevent stains from condensation, a book, and a matching candle. I put my textbooks in the ends for easy access. I really like how this turned out, let me know if you try it!