Reusing wood pallets is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to redecorate your space in a variety of ways! You can find wood pallets at local businesses, and the good news is if you ask nice enough, they will likely give them to you for the best price of all…free.
Speaking of pallets, I found an assortment of wood pallets that someone left at the curb. It always makes me sad when I see things in the trash that could be repurposed, so I knew I had to do something special with them to bring them back to life. One of the pallet bases was a bit smaller than the rest and instantly I knew it would be the perfect size for a small coffee table or end table. As an added bonus, the varying colors and textures were beautiful and would fit right into the style of my home.
So buckle up, hunker down, or whatever you must do to follow this tutorial, and you will have your own DIY pallet coffee table in a weekend (or less if you are Bob Vila status) for under $25! Honestly, what is better than that?!
REMEMBER: Always follow standard safety guidelines when using or operating hand and power tools!
For this project you will need:
- Pallet wood
- Thin plywood, 1/8 inch thick
- Straight top plates table leg hardware (4) $8
- table legs (4) $16
- Nails and staples
- Wood glue
- Tools: Saw, hammer, staple gun, screwdriver, drill, clamps, measuring tape, sanding block, pencil, and safety glasses
Assuming you’re following this tutorial step-by-step means that you now have all of your supplies gathered and are ready to get going! Here we go.
Step 1: Remove Wood Planks
To start this project, remove the wood planks from the base of the pallet frame. Using a saw to cut the pallet planks, cut as close as possible to the edge to maximize how much wood you can save. Once both edges are cut, use your hammer to wedge the center nails out from the pallet base. Then, use your hammer to remove all the nails/staples remaining in the wood, and a sanding block to smooth any rough edges out.
Step 2: Find Planks to Form Bottom of the Table
Once you have your wood detached from the pallet bases sanded and ready to go, it’s time to start constructing the bottom frame of your table. Taking one side of an existing pallet base, fill in any missing gaps with pallet wood planks. It’s a good idea to lay the wood out before making any cuts so you can see what all the planks will look like next to one another. Note: It’s ideal to use multiple pallets for differentiating colors and sizes.
Step 3: Cut Wood Planks to Size then Nail into Place
Using a pencil, mark your saw cuts and then cut each wood plank to size. Next, nail the planks to the pallet base. Once you have completed this process for each plank, you should have a continuous surface; this will be the bottom of your end table.
Step 4: Form a Plywood Top and Pick a Tabletop Design
The next step is to create the top of your end table! Start by cutting a piece of thin plywood to the proper size for the top of the pallet base. You will attach this to the table frame later.
Here, you have the choice of what you want your table top design to look like. Whichever pattern you choose, make sure that the thickness of each piece of wood is similar so that in the end, your table top has a flat surface for use. This tutorial shows you how to create a “V” pattern.
If you’re following the same pattern, be sure to use the same width wood plank for each side of the “V.” This will help the design look symmetrical and it will also make the measuring process MUCH easier.
Step 5: Cut Wood Planks to Size and Adhere to Plywood
Using a pencil, mark the dimensions of the wood planks and use a saw to cut the wood to size. Then, apply a generous amount of wood glue to the back side and attach the wood planks to the plywood with clamps. You will want ample time for this to dry, so depending on how many clamps you have available to you, you may have to wait a couple of hours to complete the second half.
After the table top wood design gluing process is complete, flip it over (right side down) and use a staple gun as an additional way to attach the wood planks to the wood. This will make your table top stronger and will prevent the planks from popping up.
Step 6: Reinforce Table Top
When you are finished with the wood design, attach the plywood and pallet top to the base of the table. To do this, simply place the top face down and set your base on top of it. Then, using wood screws and screwdriver/drill, screw into the base of the frame. You will need to use screws long enough to go through the base of your frame as well as a bit into the top pallets. However, be sure the screws aren’t too long or else they will poke through the top of your table design. You definitely don’t want that! Note: depending on the condition of your pallet wood (some wood is softer than others), you may want to predrill holes to make inserting screws easier.
Step 7: Attach Table Legs
For the final step, screw the table leg hardware onto the bottom of the table base. Once you have all four brackets attached, screw in each leg. Now, you have your very own reclaimed wood end table! Halleluiah!
Finished Product: Your Very Own DIY Pallet Coffee Table!
Let’s just take a minute to marvel at its reclaimed beauty! The lesson here is that every time you see a pallet, take a tiny minute to pull your car over and pick it right up. After all, you could end up with something special…just like this.
Have questions or comments about this project? Leave them below! I would love to hear from you!