Making a quick-and-dirty side table out of a plant stand


The reading chair a neighbor gave me for the new bedroom is quite low. I needed a book table, but a conventional side table wouldn’t do. Ian and I found this plant stand in a local thrift store…

…and it’s the perfect height. Couldn’t do with that mesh top, though. That way lies teacup-related disaster. So I cut a piece of 1X12 scrap and lived with that all winter. Worked fine, except for the loose top.

So I brought some small, longish bolts home from town, drilled and countersunk the top, and drilled corresponding holes in a piece of scrap from yesterday’s work…

Bolted it all together.

A little wood putty to fill the countersunk holes…

…and really we’re already getting fancier than I usually bother. But since we’re going there, break out the sandpaper…


And there you go.

Yeah, I’ll probably paint it at some point soon. I’ll be painting lots of trim this summer, may as well do this. But really it’s fine for the purpose the way it already is.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Making a quick-and-dirty side table out of a plant stand

  1. Judy says:

    I like the wood top. The customary glass top is a pain to keep respectable because breathing on them attracts dirt and smudges.

  2. coloradohermit says:

    Very stylish! Nice find.

  3. Mike says:

    Very nice and a great addition to the room. One thing before you paint it, give some thought to simply sanding the top down and giving it a couple of coats of varnish. It will preserve the wood better against spills and will give it a nice finish.

  4. Judy says:

    Or rub mineral oil in for a butcher-block finish.

  5. Norman says:

    Way back when I made a couple speaker stands out of 3/4 plywood, two 24″ lengths of scrounged 1 1/2 inch pipe, a few matching pipe flanges and a can of spray paint. They endured well beyond the point I was tired of looking at them, and at last report, were still in use decades later, now as end tables, in a different post-college environment. Simple and cheap works quite well if one doesn’t mind looking at it.

  6. Ben says:

    Nice job Joel, but I find myself lamenting the waste of potential book storage space underneath it, and I don’t see an easy cure.

  7. It is amazing to me sometimes the beautiful figure you find in pallet hardwoods. Becuase they use the weird twisted bits that aren’t lumber grade, you get some really neat patterns for knife handles or rustic furniture. It looks like some stain would really bring out the rippled grain pattern in that scrap.

To the stake with the heretic!