Introduction: Shelf to Succulent Coffee Table Conversion.

Cleaning out the basement and garage i had an old wood bookshelf (with some damage) and a set of kitchen table legs. With no current use for another bookshelf, but down a Coffee Table i figured i could make something happen here.

Pretty basic tasks here, this required a few re-cuts after that fact. So the whole "measure twice cut once" rule was more like "measure once, cut once, measure again, cut again" also being being new to "making" furniture. Getting this level was tedious, then again... there is probably a more efficient way to do that... Like cutting accurately. ;)

What you will Need:

  • Shelf
  • Something for the legs, either off the shelf or repurposed from somewhere else
  • Some scraps laying around for a make shift planter
  • Circular saw
  • Sander
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Plants
  • Plant Soil specific to what you will plant
  • Decorative stones

Out of pocket cost for this was around $30 for the Cactus Soil and Succulent clippings. I had everything else already.

Step 1: Step 1: Disassemble

I took the Shelf and went ahead and took all the screws out. Some of these were stripped and required a little extra motivation to let go of the bookshelf. I did not want to damage anything too much as generally aside from some of the existing damage on the shelf the finish was generally in pretty good shape. Plus, any screws you can take out easily can be reused later. Tip it onto its side and start dismantling.

Step 2: Step 2: Reassemble

The two long sides will serve as our coffee table top. I took the 3 shelves out of the middle and used as follows to make a Box.

  1. Cut one dead center, use each half as ends to your table
  2. the other two uncut shelves as the longer sides

clamp them together or drop 1 screw in at each corner to ensure you have a (mostly) square box. I cut the decorative ends off the sides of the shelf and then laid them over my box.

I then got out my kitchen table legs and cut them down to a more appropriate size for coffee table legs. Coffee tables come in all different heights, so just go with something your comfortable with, typically i like to keep them slightly below the knee.

This is really where i made my mistake. I had to re-cut the legs a few times because for some reason i kept ending up with them being slightly mismatched. I made up for any slight discrepancy when it came to mounting the legs to my box.

I clamped each leg onto the table, grabbed my level and pre drilled screws into the table, I then made minor adjustments to the leg and then re-clamped that leg tight and drilled 1 screw in. Once i had done this to all 4 legs, re checked all sides level as well as moved the table to a different part of the floor to make sure i wasn't compensating for any unevenness in the area of the basement floor i was on.

With that done i then fully secured the legs to the box.

Step 3: Step 3: Build the Planter, Bottom Mount It.

I grabbed what i had laying around for wood, a leftover long piece of 1x6 i used for kick board in my house. i then made a rectangle box out of this that would fit inside my table.

I forgot to take pictures of this. Essentially after i had built my wood planter box, with the table flipped over i positioned it center, Traced it with a Sharpie. I then drilled 4 holes through the bottom to the top, then flipped the table over again, laid the planter on top, positioned the planter at the 4 corners of my drill holes, traced again. Then took a small circular saw, and cut through the top of my coffee tabletop. flipped the table back over again and then bottom mounted the planter

Because Felt like the dampness if any as using unfinished untreated wood might be, i lined it with Duct tape on the inside!? seems like a good idea at the time. We will see how that works out.

Take it outside for a quick cleaning and a simple 1 coat of Black Cherry Stain and then a layer of Poly. I wanted to maintain some of the wear and not completely mask it with stain. I also left all the screws visible slightly sunk into the wood.

Sure this will probably make it difficult to clean later, but i did like the more rough industrial-ish look of seeing all the screw heads.

Step 4: Step 4: Finish!

  • I filled the bottom of the planter with stone
  • Fill the planter with the Soil
  • top the soil with decorative stone

I used specific soil for Cactus and succulents, which allows for better water drainage, hence the stones at the bottom. with the decorative stone laid across the top, this will ensure the soil stays in place, not all over my table and gave me something for my Succulent clippings to rest against as they rooted.

This is my first time planting succulents. Go big or go home right? there are about 24 different kinds in here. I hope they Root and i do everything right, because this could grow to be quiet the display!

Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Participated in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016