Tutorial: How to Make a Modern Coffee Table with a Wood Pallet

By Brittni • Updated on 02/22/2016

Guest post by Luisa of Happy Serendipity blog.

Hi there! Im Luisa and I blog at happyserendipity.com and Im happy to be here today showing you how I designed and constructed our new coffee table. Its a real low-budget project for which I didnt need much and that took about 3 hours of work.

What is needed:

  1. 1 euro-pallet from a supermarket (they throw those away anyway so I got mine here for free)
  2. 2 wooden plates in the right size for the top and bottom
  3. 2 square timbers
  4. 8 connecting bolts
  5. a grinding machine
  6. a power drill
  7. a box full of tools and screws
  8. some paint and 4 wheels (not in the picture)

I placed everything how I wanted it to be then screwed 4 screws into the plate to connect it with the pallet. That was pretty easy. I did the same with the plate on the bottom.


Then I placed the square timbers where they belonged and fixed them with the connecting bolts. The table was constructed in about 15 minutes.

After that I took some time to mend some parts with the grinding machine. The wood was very rough and split at some parts. With the machine it took 20 minutes to fix so the table would be ready to paint. (I have to add here that it would have been wiser to paint the plates BEFORE screwing them on the pallet. It was quite difficult to paint the bottom plate”¦Just in case you want to rebuild this table)

I decided on a dirty white paint with a turquoise doily pattern as a highlight. For that I painted a turquoise area on which I placed the doily while the paint was still wet, let it dry for 30 minutes and overpainted everything with white. Yes… because Im doing this for the first time and rather act before I think and because I learn while doing let me tell you ““ I should NOT have put the doily on the wet paint. Because it was a hassle taking it off again. It stuck on the plate like hell and some turquoise paint scratched off. Ill show you later how I fixed that.

But the result was pretty. Its just a small detail but it looks good on the rough construction of the table.

Back to peeling-off the doily. When I removed it some turquoise paint came off and the brown plate shone through. To correct this I dipped a tampon into the pain, dabbed it on the parts until the brown was gone.

After the paint dried for a day I screwed in the wheels to give the table an industrial touch and was done! Thats the result.

The constructing of this table took about 3 hours. The painting was the biggest part. But the costs are compensating for everything. Let me show you:

euro-pallet  free + 2 plates  9 € + 2 square timbers  11 € + 4 wheels  10 € + paint  8 € + screws  3 € = total: 41 €

joy after completing this – priceless

I can recommend this project to every one who doesnt want to spend a lot of money on a table. When you treat the wood with a water-repellent paint so it wouldnt mold when it rains it would be wonderful for a sitting area in the garden as well.

I hope you enjoyed this cheap and easy project.


About the Author: Luisa is the author of the Happy Serendipity blog, where you will find crafty diy projects and other inspirations. Read more about Luisa here.

32 comments | Click here to reply

I found it interesting when you said I spent considerable time using the grinding machine to repair several pieces. The wood was rough and cracked in places. I used to think differently about this and now it makes more sense. What you said about grinding machinery was really interesting to me.

Jeff Carbine

You can definitely use interior paint for the this project, Simona. Good luck!


Hi! What an excellent job!!! Can you tell me what kind of paint you’ve used? Is wall paint good as well?
Thank you 😉


Thanks for this post. I’ve always wanted to try this and we’re renovating a home. This is perfect! Thanks!


very nice! love the pallet look


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Love it!…thanks for the simple steps, very easy to follow and simply practical.


This is brilliant. I have this page bookmarked, I plan to make one mid July, before I move into a new place! So excited!

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[…] To make this modern coffee table you’ll need: 1 euro-pallet from a supermarket, 2 wooden plates in the right size for the top and bottom, 2 square timbers, 8 connecting bolts, a grinding machine, a power drill, a box full of tools and screws, white paint and 4 wheels. All these things will costs you about $50 so if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a modern coffee table for your living room you definitely should make it. You can use it outdoors as weel but the paint should be water-repellent then. For full instructions visit Papersnitch. […]

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The funniest typo ever: “I dipped a tampon into the pain”:)


I would be concerned about how the pallet was treated, some are heat treated, and some, the cheaper ones used for grocery stores and the like, are treated with chemicals. I think it’s important to note that if you don’t do your research and get a good pallet for this kind of project, awesome as it is, you could end up leaching chemicals into your home!
The best thing to do is ask around at department stores where they sell heavy appliances and things like that. WHen a company gets an order for a very heavy piece, they’ll need a custom pallet to move it. I work at a school and when we ordered new industrial sized printers for the print shop they came on pallets made of 10% wallnut. No joke. THese pallets are built into the price of the machinery so they just end up getting thrown out.


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How fabulous!!! I am so doing it!!

Tali Schiffer

What a fantastic job you did, Lou!! The table looks great and the feeling of accomplishment after a job well done must’ve been wonderful!


A friend of mine did one similar for her living room and is fantastic. Easy and cheap to make!

Carolina Bernardo

This is TOTALLY awesome! Love the doily idea!
Brava Lou!


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Fave 5! « Gina Hief

I love the idea and the effect, and the turquoise detail is so beautiful!


Happy to have you here Lou!


great diy project!


me like. no: me love. and I’ve seen it live already. it’s so gorgeous you would never think it was a diy-project. love love love this project, lou â¤


i’m glad you like it Twiggs and happy to be here today. 🙂


Exactly Twiggs. I am big on recycling discarded items as well. And I love this project. Thanks again Lou for the great tutorial.


now i love this!!! 🙂 i have been wanting these palets for a while, since i saw two (or more?) making a bed! 🙂 i am all for those old wood pieces that can be recycled and turned into something great and full with character in our homes!!! thank you for this idea! hugs, twiggs

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