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DIY Rustic Pallet Coffee Table

By Dana Fox

When I started the project I’m about to share with you, I had no idea what I was doing or how it would turn out.  Luckily, I am thrilled with the results:

This rustic looking coffee table was made with just two pallets.  There had been a bunch of pallets stashed next door as they had just finished hauling new building materials in on them.  I walked by them for a couple of days, with ideas stirring around in my head.

Last weekend I convinced Dustin to help me craft a table with them. I pretended to know what I was talking about when I explained my idea to him… but let’s be honest, I was totally making it up on the spot.

(^ haha).  He willingly started to help me, which kind of surprised me because he usually thinks my ideas are ridiculous.  So, we started out with two pallets. I knew that I wanted to stack them to make a little magazine shelf and I wanted the gaps in the boards closed up. So first things first, we had to tear those babies apart.

Step 1: Obtain Pallets
Step 2: Remove boards from the top.

D hammered the boards off from the opposite side.  We had a nice collection of rusty nails afterwards.

While he was doing that, I was giving them a light sanding.  Once all of the boards were off, we had to put them back on, only this time they would be side by side.

Step 3: Place boards back on frame, side by side.

Since the boards were now side by side the width was smaller, so we just cut the remaining frame off of one side, which worked well because the size we ended up with was much better.  Then we screwed the boards back in, using the existing nail holes.

Step 4: Cut off excess frame
Step 5: Screw boards down

We did this to both pallets. (Remember, we are using two so just do the exact same thing for both.)

This is where D started to doubt me and wanted to give up on the whole project. He said it was looking horrible and “wasn’t cute”. *gasp* how dare he!  After a lot of arguing about what exactly “rustic” is, he agreed to finish helping me.

Next came the legs. I just used the scraps of wood we had chopped off from the frame and cut them to size. My legs were about 8.5″ tall.  Then they were simply screwed into the bottom pallet.

Step 6: Cut legs to size and screw into bottom pallet

Then came more sanding. Being that these are pallets, they are super rough and need lots of sanding.  I used an electric sander for this part. Once they were nicely sanded, I stained them! The hardest part of this project was getting the stain right.  I originally tried using an ebony shade and it just turned out super black.  Then, I tried a reddish cherry stain (I wanted it to match my existing furniture) and again, it turned out super black.  I opted for a lighter red oak shade and it seemed to do the trick.  Just remember that if you’re making one of these, the wood is untreated and soaks up the stain, so go a few shades lighter than what you really want.

Step 6: Sand and Stain
Step 7: Varnish

After the stain was dry, I covered it with a clear varnish. Once it was all pretty looking, all we had to do was put it together. We brought it into the house first (because this thing is HEAVY and it was easier to take it in 2 pieces).  Then we just set the bottom half down, and placed the other pallet on top of it. You can screw it down but we left it for fear of having to move it again in the future.

Step 8: Put top pallet onto bottom pallet and you’re done!

I am so happy with how it turned out. I love how it’s not perfect and has a bit of rustic charm.  It also perfectly fills the large space we made it for, and the stain matches our existing furniture! D also instantly changed his mind about my “ridiculous idea” once he saw it in the room. I told him he needs to learn to trust my furniture choices 😉

My favourite part is the little “B” detailing on the wood… and of course the magazine shelf!

What do you think of our table project??  The best part? It was completely free!!!!

*Note: If you have purchased this table off of a seller named Old Bits of Wood or oldbitsofwood on Etsy, you have been scammed. He has been selling my table and using these photos in his listings for over a year. It blows my mind because he is not even showcasing the actual item his sellers will receive, and yet my photos have been the whole source of his business for years. After contacting Etsy’s legal department they had all been removed, however, he’s back at it again with no shame.  This table is NOT sold anywhere as it is a FREE d.i.y. project and profiting off of it defeats the entire purpose. Any table purchased from this seller will NOT look the same as the wood and detailing is unique to this single table. Using this project concept for profit is strongly prohibited, and the design and all photos belong to myself, © 2011*

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Dana Fox
Dana Fox
About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends and follow along on Snapchat: wonderforest.


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