Quick and Cheap Rustic End Table

Introduction: Quick and Cheap Rustic End Table

I got tired of balancing my beverage on the arm of the couch, an accident waiting to happen.  I needed an end table, my style is old, rustic and primative.  I couldn't find any out that I liked so I decided to build my own.

(1) 10 gallon metal milk jug                    $15 Swap meet

(3) 2”x4” x15” salvaged lumber               Free scrap pile

(1) 2”x4” x6” salvaged lumber                 Free scrap pile

(1) ¼” x 6” x 8” Plywood                           Free scrap pile

(8) 1” sheet rock screws                           existing supply

Wood Glue                                                existing supply

80 grit sand paper                                    existing supply


Screwdriver  (electric makes life easier)

Some way to cut wood, hand saw, table saw, whatever you desire.

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Step 1: Cut the Wood

1.  Measure and cut your salvaged 2”x4” wood into 4 pieces, three 15” and one the exact size of the neck of your milk jug.   My neck was slightly less than 6”.  You want it to fit snugly in the neck of the jug.  I started at 6” and nibbled it down until it fit exactly.

2. Cut your ¼” plywood into a 6”x8” rectangle. I used ¼ inch, only because that’s what I had laying around.

Step 2: Building the Table Top

3. Using wood glue and 2 screws attach the 8” plywood square to the 6”ish stud.
4. Now, on a flat surface lay your three 15” boards face down.   I chose the roughest parts of the boards to be the top, I wanted it really rustic.  I love the funky knot hole.
5. With your "top" face down apply glue to the 6”x8” plywood base and center it on the table  top.  You could use a clamp at this point to hold the boards in position, but I just had someone hold them for me.
6.  Take the remaining screws and from the underside screw through the plywood into the table top.  At least 2 for each board.

Step 3: Putting It Together

7.  Now you’re ready to put the top on your milk jug.  The table top should rest on the rim of the jug and the 6”ish stud should hold the top snugly in the neck.
8. I then used the 80 grit sand paper to “smooth over” the sharp edges left by the table saw and add a worn rustic look to the top.

Step 4: Finished!

9. Enjoy your New/old Rustic Primitive Milk Jug End table.  

Depending on the age and condition of your Milk Jug  you may want to either seal the “patina”(rust) with a can of spray lacquer or sand and paint it.  

**Warning*** as with any antique item there is a potential for the item to be contaminated with Lead based paint so be sure and do your research before you bring any item into your home, especially if you have small children.

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