{DIY} Crate Coffee Table

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We’re slowly starting to get more furniture to fill up the house, and I built my very first piece! This coffee table (that I spotted here ages ago and have planned to make ever since) was a great starter piece – considering I have absolutely no experience building anything beyond Ikea furniture, this was surprisingly easy!


  • 4 crates (I used these),
  • 4 furniture legs (I used these)
  • Wood stain (I used Varathane in weathered gray), brush/applicator, & cloth
  • Polyurethane
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Thin sheet of MDF*
  • Jigsaw*
  • 1.5″ screws
  • L-brackets
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Decorations for center of the table (in my case: plastic plant tray, potting soil, succulents, & stones)

*I used the jigsaw to cut the MDF, which I placed in the center of the table as the base of the little garden, but you could easily improvise this step if you don’t have a jigsaw.

Start by sanding the crates (the ones I ordered really needed it), then stain them. Once they’ve dried, arrange them in the pattern you’ll use for the table but upside down, so the top of the table will be completely flat. Use the L-brackets in the center of the table, and screw all the crates together. Once all the crates are securely attached, add the legs. My legs had screws sticking out of them, so I drilled a hole in the table slightly narrower than the leg screws, then screwed them on. Flip the table so it’s upright. Cut out the MDF so it’s slightly smaller than the hole in the middle, then attach it in the middle of the table – I put mine where the first slat in the crate ended, so it was a couple of inches down.

There are tons of possibilities for what you could do with the center of the table. I chose to make a little succulent garden – I planted the succulents in a round plastic planter tray that happened to fit perfectly in the table, then filled it in with stones. Unfortunately, most succulents are toxic to dogs & cats, and our critters have a tendency to get into everything! I’m planning on covering them with a glass cloche (but currently have a casserole dish over top of them; pretty fancy!)

I know I didn’t get very specific directions and the lack of pictures doesn’t help, so please let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Hi,

    Great work! Will try to do one myself. Just one question; how did you secure the MDF-part? I mean, it mus be attached to something, right?



  2. I’m new at this, so here goes, how many L brackets did you use and exactly where all did you use them? You said at center of table, so does that mean there were 4? How are the outside edges of the table holding together? And just how big are the L brackets? Sorry to seem so dumb about this. I can make Benches, bird houses etc. But when it comes to this, I think I just lost it. I’ve got the crates already, so I need to know how big and how many of the L Brackets to get., Thanks again.


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