Crate Coffee Table




About: I don't have special tools, just some simple ones I think everyone should own. Most everything I put up can be built using either a regular saw and/or jig saw, a power drill, a tape measurer, and a good ham...

Saw this on the internet, but had to figure out how to do it myself.  So my plan is to show you all how to do build this awesome movable coffee table you can build for under 100 dollars, but looks like you paid big for it.  Only really takes an afternoon, tools, stain, and some screws!

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Step 1: This Crate Though

Look at this bad boy!  Individually, completely useless!  Okay, maybe not completely, but still, four of these make for one sweet table.  I got mine at a Michael's craft store, I've seen them at some Walmarts as well.  Check around for the best price that suits you. 
The crates I purchased were about 12$.

Step 2: Stain Those Jokers

Lowe's Home Improvement store has an impressive line of stains.  You could also paint it, but staining wood, to me, brings out more of a rustic look.  Depending on the space you wish to put it, base your decision on the color of stain by the color of the furniture that will surround it.  The furniture in the room this table went into had dark brown tones with light accents making this dark stain perfect.

Step 3: Assemble Them Properly First Son!

Screwing everything together is so much more simple when you arrange them in this fashion.  Due to the planks being 3/8 in. thick, thin screws in the center of each one will prevent cracks.  Two screws on every other plank separated by about 4 inches allows for a very solid structure in the end. 

Step 4: You Need a Base

3/8 inch plywood is a good fit for this job.  It is just thick enough to endure the stress of use and thin enough that it isn't super heavy.
Since the crates are not created perfectly, it was most accurate to outline the crates on the plywood.  Make sure to give a 1/2 inch border to the square drawn on the plywood.  It brings the whole thing together.  Make sure to stain the cut out piece, only one side though!  Only one will be visible when finished.

Step 5: Time to Mobilize!

These were inexpensive, but very solid!  Based on the color you choose you may want to go for a different wheel.  Although, you can't really see them when fully assembled, it may not be the biggest deal to you.  Make sure to keep them equally spaced in all the corners.  No one likes an off kilter table!

Step 6: BAM! Enjoy Coffee!

With some decoration it looks right out of some interior design magazine!  Everything seen on or in the table was purchased at Michael's, besides the bonsai in the center, that was purchased at Lowe's.  When all was said and done it was all under 100$!

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12 Discussions


Question 1 year ago

My question is - I have the crates, and I have inserts to close the top with antique pieces - but I need to know which hardware is required (I dont want mine to roll) to connect them, and approximately how many of each type of screw etc....also what do you advise as far as staining products? I have been waiting to put mine together because of this. Every page I have found gives no instructions for what hardware is necessary.




Question 1 year ago

PLEASE.... Help me! I am going to be (finally) making this coffee table within the next couple of weeks. I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago and fell in love with it immediately and now I am finally going to build it. But, what I need to know is, what size are the crates? I know that one can use any size they wish, therefore, sizes will vary. However, I want to duplicate the exact table that I see in all the pictures pertaining to this project, they all seem to be pretty much the same size, abd it looks to be the perfect size, so I need to know, WHAT IS THAT SIZE?! I have scoured the internet for the answer, I see many other people asking the same question but I can not find where anyone has actually answered it. Please help! Thank you!


1 year ago

What size are the crates that you used


3 years ago

How big are the crates?


3 years ago

What do you put in the middle of the coffee table to be able to place centerpieces?


4 years ago

This is such an easy project & it looks great. Thank you for the easy instructions.

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Maybe I'm just old and too much of a nomad but I would use 1/4 X 20 carriage bolts, fender washers and chrome wing-nuts so the crates could be separated and used to move records and such-these crates are exactly the right size for 225 albums, uh, oh, forgot...well, they will hold several hundred CD's or your dishes the next time you move. Now the person who manages to make those plastic milk crates look attractive will really clean up...meantime I'm turning two 27' pieces of 120 year old redwood flooring into an 18' Adirondack Guide boat! I'll post video later on...