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Everyday Inspiration

Creative Coffee Tables

Give your living or family room a fresh look for the new year with the addition of a distinctive coffee table made from new or reclaimed goods. A homemade coffee table can start with many different recycled articles. Some of these might be ready to use as is, some may serve as a stable base for a glass or wood top, and still others may be perfect fodder for a DIY project. Read on to discover some options sure to give any space a style update.

Alter Egos
Nearly any item with a fairly flat top and the appropriate height can find renewed purpose as a coffee table. An antique sled, a dough box, an industrial cart or a bench are all solid alternatives and make interesting conversation pieces. Some objects, such as a galvanized tub, might serve as an attention-grabbing base when matched with a wood or glass top. Two smaller furnishings, such as side tables, tray tables or garden stools, placed side by side can also fill in for a traditional choice.

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Door Belle
A solid-wood door can be made into a one-of-a-kind accent. Depending on the size of the door and the size of the area where the table will be placed, the entire door might serve as a tabletop fitted with legs or another type of base. Based on the look and condition of the original finish, the door could be stained, painted or left as is. A cut-to-size glass top might be in order to preserve a chippy finish or provide a flat surface if the door features panels. Alternately, a solid door could be cut into sections and assembled into a new piece. For instructions on how one blogger did this, check out the tutorial Joan from Scavenger Chic shared in a guest post on My Repurposed Life.
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  Photo Courtesy of Scavenger Chic
Crate Expectations
Inexpensive wooden crates, readily available at crafts stores, are popular for many DIY projects, but they make a particularly solid starting point for a homemade coffee table. Position some of the boxes so they face outward to provide extra storage shelves. You can find instructions for a pallet and crate coffee table on
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  Photo Courtesy of
Trunk Show
An old trunk is a functional alternative, as it also offers supplemental storage. Whether wood, metal or leather, vintage or antique trunks or chests are often attractive left sporting their original finish. If you find a newer example, like the one shown here, or one with a damaged or unattractive finish, you may wish to apply a coat of paint and decorative detailing to give it a new lease on life.
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Ottoman Empire
An ottoman is useful both for resting your feet and providing room for decorative goods, books, or food and drinks. If you donít want to purchase a new piece, consider turning a dated coffee table into an ottoman by upholstering the top with foam, batting and decorator fabric. A wood or metal tray can contain items on top of the ottoman, making it easy to move them out of the way when necessary.
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Window Dressing
A reclaimed window can be transformed into an attractive coffee table, with the added function of a display case, thanks to the glass panes. Find or make a base that fits the size of your window and attach hinges and a handle so that you can open it up and change the contents within to suit the seasons. Check out the tutorial from blogger Marty Walden of Martyís Musings to see how she and her husband created a table from an old window.
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  Photo Courtesy of Marty's Musings

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