Unique coffee table?

bettydeeMarch 15, 2005

Has anyone ever recycled something for use as a coffee table? I'm looking for ideas for something really different. Saw a picture of a small canoe with glass placed on the top. It made an adorable coffee table, but I don't have an old canoe. Also I'm not sure if it would fit in my country cottage type home, anyway. Suggestions, or better yet, photos?

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I have seen an old wooden wheelbarrel and an old wooden wagon with the glass top used for an coffee table. Also, long time ago, I saw one of those big wooden spools that cable comes on, they had painted the top to look like a sunflower and the round middle part they had drilled holes randomly all around and put a dowel rod under each hole to make it look like a bird house hotel. This was really cute. I always wanted to make one, but never did. Good luck on creating your "unique coffee table."

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 12:49AM
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ours is a cut-down conference table (round, pedestal) that I dress with layered cloths to help it blend in with the 'harem' look in the living room.

that replaced the shockingly gaudy 'baroque' coffee table with the top made out of crushed shells and chunks of rock in acrylic...which actually found a new life as the 'bench' section of a low garden wall (weathering helped immensely)

but let's see- we've painted or fabric covered over the big tin popcorn buckets, and topped them with whatever came to hand- actually, that was fun, once we did a collage on a piece of plexiglass, and then laminated another piece over the top- kept it from bending in half when you put a cup of coffee on it.

two orange crates (milk crates, cinderblocks, whatever) work out pretty well...

so does a 'muck' bucket (big heavy ones, usually seen on farms) with a top- not to mention useful storage!

by far my favorite is a hollow section of tree trunk (there's always SOMEONE cutting a tree down around here) but that takes a fair bit of wire-brushing the inside, lest you wind up with ick all over the rug.

I've also always had luck trashpicking, or at worst, hitting the local starvation army...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 10:51AM
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These are some great ideas. Thanks, all! I'm going out this afternoon to prowl around and see what I can find. Crafting Momma, thanks for the links. I like the wagon, too.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 12:21PM
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Crafting Momma,
Love all the links you posted. Junk Market had a lot of neat stuff. So many ideas, so little time!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 9:15PM
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Don't know if it's unique but we have my old toy box as one right now. I have always loved the look of a trunk or chest for a coffee table and I was on a hunt for one. I never really thought of my poor toy box that my Dad made for my 1st birthday. It's as big as our coffee table was, but a little higher and I absolutely love it! The toy box was in our shed filled with junk that I went through and got rid of what I didn't want to save for DD. I wish I did this YEARS ago!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 7:49AM
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I love the idea of the toy box ... especially since it was handmade for you. That makes it so personal ... and definitely unique.

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the links I posted. There were more ... I was especially looking for the ones made with old windows and came across all the others. So I figured I'd share those as well.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 8:05AM
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For years, we used a giant wooden spool, the kind that the telephone company uses for cable. They're very sturdy and very versatile. If you throw a tablecloth over them, there's plenty of room for storage. For a while, we used ours to support a very heavy birdcage.

The price was right, too, altho' I don't really remember how it jumped into my hatchback all by itself...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 9:46AM
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Well, after having visions of coming up with something really unique that no one else would have, DH and I went to the furniture store and bought a coffee table. Maybe I'll put our old one by the curb....

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 2:42PM
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I used a chicken crate I picked up at a auction. Placed a large piece of glass on for the top. It was great for the room it was in. Best part was the price. 3 dollars for the crate, the glass was free..previous owner left it behind in the house we bought.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 6:46PM
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I have an old wooden door in the basement that I've always thought would make a great coffee table. I just don't have anywhere to use it!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 8:49PM
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I have hunted everywhere for an oval table--would like a wood frame with a glass insert. My latest idea is to buy an oval mirror that had a wood frame-reinforce the mirror with plywood or something--but what to do for the legs?? I think I would like the mirror top.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 8:04PM
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hi, anything stacked up , when I was a kid our neighbor had a table that was penzoil oil cans with a shop roller on top.
my next shop project is a table that was my g ma,s wood floor for the top , I have always wanted a wood floor as a coffee table and ended up with some of her floor for the top .
a lot of memorys. I made a table from street brick a single stack about 3 by 2 heavy but it got a lot comments ,oh yeah a pc. of glass on top. Rick

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:09AM
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I bought an antique wooden piano bench for $5 at an estate auction that we use as a coffee table. We don't have much room in the living room, so I needed something smaller than the traditional coffee table and this works very well.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 6:53PM
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Lobster traps make great tables, wicker trunks, side table- take a file cabinet or trashcan and put a top on it (glass or wood) .Check out christy crafton.com she has a lot of good ideas. Also cut down a book case and turn it upside down,add legs cover if you'd like or kitchen table cut down, hassocks piece of furniture cut down with a piece of round ,square or rectangular wood for the top covered with batting and fabric.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:44PM
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When I purchased this farm, it had been used as a small dairy farm, lots of farms stuff left behind including a 3'diameter watering trough. It had been partially buried in cow manure/muck and the bottom 1/3 of it had rusted, but was still intact, just discolored a beautiful golden red. I sprayed it down with the hose to clean it, took it into the house, inverted it and placed a glass round on it. It never fails to bring comments.
I actually think there is a product that is made for use on metals to rust them.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 2:07AM
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Dan your table sounds wonderful! Wish we could see a photo of it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 12:06PM
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Check out the BHG(Better Homes and Gardens) site. There are some really neat ones there......one using bowling balls, and some industrial ones......some made from old pallets......just some really cool ones!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 2:44PM
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My best friend has a white claw-foot bathtub with a glass top as her coffee able.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 12:53PM
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stack suitcases, instant storage....or take 1 suitcase and put a piece of wood in the bottom to stabilize and add legs.

Today I saw a large terracotta pot and saucer. the rims were painted....the tray was put into the top of the pot. Two of these in front of a large courch would fit a cottage theme..could also dry brush out in white, light blue or green paint.

A table cut down is nice....a height a little higher than a normal coffee table is possible then...it is an european look that way.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 7:47PM
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I have a 6 gallon crock. I got a round piece of wood at Lowes. Painted it green, then wiped most of the paint off, and sealed it. I screwed pieces of slats on the bottom to hold the top in the crock It looks good. If I get the mess off the floor, and get the top cleaned off, I will post a pic.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 9:45PM
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DixieRedHead, how tall is your 6 gallon crock and what is the diameter of the round piece you got at Lowes? I may be able to do the same thing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Old Algebra, the crock is about 15 inches high, and the round disk is 28" in diameter. When you get it all together, it's about 16" high, just about right.
We have really enjoyed it, and it never fails to get a compliment.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:12AM
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Coffin dolly.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 4:57PM
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I placed the business part of an old ironing board on top of a tin tub and it was great in a long and narrow room.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 7:14PM
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My neighbor made a nice coffee table out of an old window. She stained it, and attached spindles for legs. She did a great job. Alice

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 8:12PM
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I had a friend who actually used a casket for a coffee table. It was an old, hopefully unused.... oak one and it looked cool.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 9:24AM
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I used a mossy concrete bench for a garden themed room.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 3:24PM
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did anyone miss this board? there has to be at least one hundred ways to transform objects into a coffee table.even an old tree trunk. and they are all wrong. a coffee table is only useful for two things. dust and bumping your shins.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 9:07PM
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I use an old old flat top trunk for my coffee table. It's been there for at least 16 years. It has photo's and other "un-replaceables" stored in it, and I've always joked that if there's ever a fire, that trunk better be the first (even if the only) thing taken out of the house!!!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 1:11PM
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In my LR i've used a very large brass tray~it sets on a wrought iron black base from a table that had a glass top. In my sitting room, i've use a large rectangular wooden(looks like teak) tray picked up from an estate sale. It has three oriental letters in one of the corners. I'm thinking it was personalized for someone. I've used an old wooded table base, painted black, for it to set on.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 8:40PM
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When I was young and very poor, I had an old wooden cable spool for my coffee table for years. I painted it white and painted designs on it. It was large enough for all of us to gather around to play games or just chat. I miss it.

Isn't it funny that when you have nothing, you want all new stuff, but after you get it, you wish you had the old, simpler life and stuff?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 10:36AM
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