Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interchangeable Ottoman to Pallet Table Top

reclaimed wood table top by pbjstories
When I revealed our patio makeover, I mentioned I tried to do it all on a budget so I did as many DIY projects as possible.  The furniture set that we bought for outside came with two ottomans, which is great when we have lots of people over and either need additional seating, or more comfort for feet.  But one thing I was lacking on was tables and with limited space left over I didn’t want to fill the whole area with a big coffee table. 

The cushions of the ottoman just tied on so they’re easy to take on and take off which makes my new table solution easy to go back and forth between the two. 
See that ugly yellowish stain in the “before” picture?? Yeah I’m hoping my next BIG DIY project takes care of those ugly spots.  Anyways back to the table.  Of course my first go to idea is to use reclaimed pallet wood because I always have so much on hand….

You can see how I cut apart a pallet here, and that’s how I got that big beautiful pile of reclaimed wood.  Not to mention all the other pallets that need to be attacked some weekend.

Here’s how I made the table top and measure out my pallet pieces. 

I measured both the length and width of the table base (which is that piece in the upper right of the last picture).  I searched through my pile of wood for pieces that fit well together.  This part is kind of a miss match pattern that I do.  I look at each piece look for curves, big cracks, and type of wood.  I’ll play around with the pieces until I have them put together in a way that I like.

Then I use a T-Square ruler to help draw straight lines.  You can’t necessary use the first board as an exact line because your pallet pieces probably aren’t 100% straight.  I just use it as a guide to help and eyeball what looks best.  Because I wanted some of the pieces to have the original nail heads in them I chose which pieces I liked the ends best and used those as the very edge pieces.  Then I just lined up the other pieces and used the ruler to draw a cut line with chalk.

Then I always use a circular saw, work table and clamps to cut my wood because (ever so sadly) I don’t have a miter saw.  (#1 on my Christmas list – hint hint wink wink nudge nudge).  Reminder – safety first!  Always use clamps, always wear safety goggles, always be aware of hand placement.

Then once I have all my boards cut to size, I cut two more pieces which will be the vertical support pieces on the back. 

This is what I checked first before starting my project and knew it was fate I made this table top – my pallet support pieces were like 1mm smaller width than the open gap sections of the table base.  So I lined everything up so the support bars would fit perfectly in between that gap and hold it secure so wouldn’t slide off.

Now it’s time for a crazy Pam picture as it was like 105 degrees out this day and I was WORKING UP A SWEAT!

Next is the staining.  I always use a staining pad when I’m staining reclaimed wood.  I also ALWAYS use Minwax Provincial stain.  I big puffy heart it for reclaimed wood.

Then after drying time, I just sealed it with a polyurethane so it’s suitable for outdoor use.  And simple as that I have an interchangeable ottoman to table.
Comfortable, convenience and rustic…. it’s the perfect addition to our new outdoor space!


reclaimed wood table by pbjstories
What do you think?? Are you still a fan of the rustic wood tables for outdoor spaces, or are you over the fad of them??


  1. I'm a fan! I look forward to having a big ol' reclaimed wood dining table someday. I love the contrast of the black ottoman base with the roughed up wood. You did a great job!

  2. Ummm I love this! I want to make one asap!


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