With just an old drawer, some reclaimed wood and a bit of imagination, it’s easy to build your own console table or desk. With many of us working remotely or home schooling, creating a dedicated space for studying or business is a great way to separate your work from your home life. Additionally, you can never have too much storage – especially in the hallway where keys, letters, loose change and newspapers can quickly clutter up the space.
In terms of materials, you can use any reclaimed timber you have to hand, such as plywood, pallet wood or scaffold boards. For the drawer you can recycle one from an old, tumble-down chest like we have, or you could use a storage basket or two. The dimensions of this piece of furniture will depend on the size of the drawer you’re upcycling and the length of the legs. So, because you’re making it yourself, you can always customise the design to suit your needs. You could make it lower to create a child’s desk for homework or, rather than using a drawer, you could make a narrow cubby hole beneath the desktop to store your laptop, or you can use taller legs to DIY a narrow console table to keep your entryway organised.
Check out the guide with step-by-step photos to make this handy DIY console table here. Enjoy!
Tired of stepping on small bricks every morning and picking them up every night after the kids are tucked in? Have you had enough of seeing them in tears when one of their incredible masterpieces has toppled in a heap on the floor? Now it’s your turn to get creative! We’re not joking… Start by stealing 4 large base plates and get to work laying the groundwork for your kids very own Lego® table, which should take no longer than 20 minutes to make. Your kids will be so thrilled they won’t miss the stolen pieces! 🙂
Things you’ll need:
a coffee table (we used 55 x 55 cm, the perfect dimensions)
large Lego® base plates (for us, 4 plates each measuring 25 x 25 cm)
joists (2.5 cm wide on one side and at least 220 cm long)
suitable glue (we used “All Purpose Adhesive”, which can be used for both the corner strips and Lego® plates)
The Lego® table is made up of base plates and a wooden frame. The latter is made from wood corner strips to make an edge that’s comfy for little arms and aesthetically pleasing as well. Before you start to panic, don’t worry: making the frame is child’s play!
Step 1: Measure and calculate the length of the frame
For this first step, we must return to primary school because it requires a bit of maths. Measure the table width and add the thickness of your wood corner strip + 1 mm. Our table (seen here) measured 55 cm and our wood corner strip, 3 mm. That gave us 55 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 55.4 mm.
Step 2: Cut bevelled edges for your frame
Use the mitre box to cut the ends of your strip at 45° angles. The measurements, which we calculated in step 1, correspond to the outer edge of the strip (where the angle is) so the inner edge will be smaller.
Step 3: Sand the strips for your frame
Sand the corners of your strips with sandpaper so that they are smooth and splinter-free.
Step 4: Glue the strips on the edge of your table
Add a line of adhesive along the edge of the table and glue each strip on top. Adjust the ends of each strip so that the connection fits together as tightly as possible.
You can use a clamp, which is a great way of keeping your strips in place while the glue dries.
If your connection doesn’t fit together perfectly, add some matching wood filler.
Step 5: Glue the Lego® base plates onto your table
Glue the base plates together edge-to-edge. Add glue beads at all four angles of each plate and one in the centre. Leave the whole thing to dry and place a weight on each plate.
Presto: your table is finished, and the fun can now begin! Unless you want to turn the project into an art class too, in which case you can paint it in your little one’s favourite colour.
Level up! Want to keep playing? Take your skills to the next level with more tutorials! Check out our fun articles for children for lots of inspiring ideas!
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Dry pasta is packaged in a variety of ways. We tend to buy pasta in cardboard boxes, which then end up in the recycling bin. And so, as dedicated DIYers, we finally looked at our used boxes and wondered if there wasn’t something more useful that we could do with them. That was the moment it came to us: an alternative way to upcycle old pasta boxes!
With just a few tweaks and some minor adjustments, it’s possible to transform these empty containers into practical organisers for your desk drawers or any drawers around the house. And, of course, to make your DIY organisers, pasta boxes aren’t the only option. You can use any cardboard packaging for household products such as tea, cereal, biscuits, crackers, toothpaste and even feminine hygiene products, just to name a few!
So, let’s find out how to give them a second life!
Set aside a few old pasta boxes that best fit the space you want to organise and take a moment to plan your project out. For example, if you would like to organise a narrow drawer that is rather long and deep spaghetti packaging may be better suited vs. penne boxes.
To measure the drawer and sketch out the compartments on paper, take a sheet of paper and pencil and sketch out an interior view of your drawer. Using careful measurements, plan the compartments you want to build and determine the number and arrangement of items to be stored. That way, before you get started, you’ll have a clear idea of the boxes you need and the approach you want to take.
Step 2: Remove surplus cardboard
After you’ve planned it all out, it’s time to trim your boxes based on the measurements you’ve determined.
To ensure your lines are straight, use a ruler or set square for added precision. This step will get you a clean result instead of lopsided compartments.
Step 3: Open the boxes
Cut off any surplus and carefully pull the boxes apart from the area where they’ve been glued together.
That way, instead of having a 3D box that is hard to decorate, you’ll end up with a flat piece of cardboard, which is definitely more practical and easier to handle.
Step 4: Line the inside of the boxes
Next, line the inside of the boxes. For this step, we recommend using kraft paper. It’s very thin and will make folding and unfolding easier, especially when working on the inside of the box. That said, feel free to use other types of paper.
To carry out this step, apply the glue stick on the inside of the box and glue a sheet of kraft paper on top. With the scissors, cut the paper between all the flaps on your box and fold the remaining edges of paper inside to finish the job. Use the glue stick to secure these edges.
Step 5: Line the outside of the boxes
Once you’ve finished lining the inside of the boxes, put them back together by gluing the areas that were initially attached.
Next, in order to upcycle old pasta boxes you will need to line the outside of your boxes with decorative paper as if you were wrapping a gift.
If you want the paper to ensure the paper sticks to the boxes properly, use the glue stick again. You can also use Sellotape or any clear tape. To make your drawer more stylish, choose different decorative paper that matches, complementary colours or line all the boxes with the same paper. That way, your drawer will be both organised and nice to look at!
Step 6: Organise the drawers!
After you’ve made enough boxes to organise your drawer, you simply need to position them inside and fill them up with items.
We used the boxes to organise office stationery at our desks, but you can adapt the project to any kind of drawer and items. The boxes will help you create separate compartments for a specific category of objects. As a result, you’ll find it much easier to keep everything in order.
In short, you’ll discover a new, user-friendly and practical approach to keeping things tidy that is also affordable – you just need to reuse some old boxes you’d otherwise put into the recycling!
Looking to upgrade your sofa but don’t have a big budget? Save money by making your own DIY Pallet Sofa with this handy tutorial! See for yourself how to turn old pallets into your own personalised and comfy sofa, a perfect match with your living room or garden!
DIY Pallet Sofa Tutorial
Tools and materials
The tools and materials that you’ll need to make this DIY pallet sofa are as follows:
This project is rated medium difficulty as it requires a certain level of skill when it comes to handling the electric tools. If you use manual tools to cut and dismantle the pallet, it will be easier.
The approximate price of the materials is around £100, if you already have the tools needed to make the sofa. This biggest expense is mainly for the cushioning for the sofa seat and backrest, meaning it will be reduced if you use something you already have! You can find the other tools in this suggested basket here.
On another note, to make this sofa from pallets as per the tutorial, you will need a couple of days work to complete everything, including assembly and varnishing. This time may even increase if you use manual tools, or pallets in a particularly bad condition. The more deteriorated these are, the longer it will take you to get them fit for purpose.
How to make a DIY Pallet Sofa
Step 1: Cut the pallet to the size of your cushions
This first step is important if the pallet you have found or bought doesn’t match the size of the seat and backrest cushions. You won’t need to do this if you’re using custom-made cushions.
In our specific case, the pallets measured 120 x 100cm, so we cut the one for the base to fit the size of our cushions. To do this, we followed these steps:
Mark the size the pallet will be cut to.
Cut the pallet slightly bigger using the reciprocating saw.
With a circular saw, cut the pallet’s crossbeam to the desired size.
Screw the extra boards that you cut in step 2 to the edges of the pallet, as well as to the front and back.
Step 2: Dismantle the pallet
The next step is to dismantle the pallet using the reciprocating saw or the crowbar or lever (the first option will be quicker than the second)
Step 3: Sand and plane the pallet and boards
Next, sand the pallet using an orbital sander. This type of sander is the most suitable when it comes to sanding pallets, as its rectangular shape is ideal for the boards that make up the pallet.
However, if the wood is very rough or has many imperfections, it will be a good idea to use a plane instead. This allows you to file down the boards, and after a couple of strokes with the plane, the wood will be completely smooth and flat.
It’s extremely important that before you use the plane, you remove all nails that may remain in the boards, to avoid damaging the plane’s blade.
Step 4: Cut boards for the legs, back and armrests
Once you have sanded all the boards, use the mitre saw to cut them as the legs, back and armrests. The sizes are as follows:
Use cross beams from the pallet to make the legs as these are the sturdiest and strongest. You will need 4 measuring 50cm long.
2 pallet boards measuring 84cm will be joined to the top of the legs as armrests.
3 pallet boards measuring 75cm long will be screwed to the back of the pallet. You will use two more boards measuring 120cm long to complete the backrest.
Step 5: Varnish the parts
Before assembling the legs and backrest, varnish both the pallet and the loose boards. In this way you can more easily reach all the nooks and crannies, because once everything has been assembled, it will be a lot more complicated.
For this, you should use an oak stained varnish. Not only does this help to protect the wood but it also adds a nice touch of colour.
Step 6: Assemble the legs, backrest and armrests
Once the varnish has dried, assemble the various parts of the sofa.
Legs: screw the cross beams using a couple of coach screws to the 4 edges of the pallet. To ensure all of the legs are the same length, and the sofa isn’t crooked, we used a block of wood as a guide.
Backrest: screw the 3 boards measuring 75cm to the back of the pallet. The ones for the sides should be screwed to the legs too.
Armrests: attach a board measuring 84cm long to each side, joining the top to the legs.
En la siguiente imagen se puede ver el resultado final una vez se hayan montado todas las piezas.
Step 7: Add the cushions
Fnally, add the cushions to finish the transformation of a pallet into you very own DIY pallet sofa! Note that the cushions we used for the backrest have ties at the rear to allow you to attach them to the wooden slats.
This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!
If you enjoyed making your own DIY pallet sofa, why not have a look at our other pallet DIY tutorials?
If you fancy creating a summery beach style in your bathroom, why not have a go at making this upcycled pallet cabinet? The wood we’ve used is reclaimed from an old pallet and is sanded down to create a smooth driftwood-like finish. You can scale up the pallet cabinet to whatever size you’d like for your bathroom. We have used the sides and planks of the pallet to determine the overall size and this finished cabinet is 430 x 325 x 110mm.
Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial
By Cassie Fairy
Tools and Materials
To do this DIY project you’ll need the following tools:
The approximate cost of materials for this project is £15, depending on the tools you already have. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used through this link.
This project is quite simple and is therefore suitable for beginners. Depending on your DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer 4 hours to complete.
Step 1: Cutting the planks
Use a handsaw to cut the surface planks away from the sides of the pallet. Cut across the first plank parallel to the inner edge of the supporting beam at the side of the pallet. Measure 322mm from the first cut and mark a line across the plank. Saw off the plank at this point to create a piece that measures 322mm x 73mm. Repeat until you have 6 planks. Finally, cut one or two extra pieces at 270mm long to use as shelves inside the cabinet. Use a palm sander to sand down all the planks until the edges are smooth and it resembles driftwood.
Step 2: Cutting the edges
Use a wrecking bar to prise the remaining ends of the planks off the supporting beam. This beam will become the frame of the bathroom cabinet so pull out the nails or hammer them in. From this piece of wood cut two pieces 325mm long and two pieces 430mm long. Use a mitre box to cut the ends at 45 degree angles with a handsaw. Use a palm sander to smooth all the surfaces.
Step 3: Cutting the back and front
Measure out two rectangles on your plywood sheet. The back piece should measure 320mm x 422mm and the front piece should measure 260mm x 370mm. Use a saw to cut out these pieces and carefully sand around the edges
Step 4: Making the door
Lay out the driftwood planks side by side. Apply wood glue to the front piece of ply and place on top of the planks to create a door for the cabinet. Use small nails to hold the back in place and allow the glue to dry thoroughly. Once the glue is dry, drill a hole in the centre of the door to hold the router guide arm in order to cut a circle. Use the router to cut away a circle from the centre and sand down the inside edges.
Step 5: Assembling the cabinet
Apply wood glue to the angled corners and use a metal brace in each inner corner to support the frame. You can add one or more shelves inside the cabinet frame using more metal corner braces to support them. Apply wood glue to the back edges of the frame and position the plywood backing before nailing into place.
Step 6: Attaching the door
To finish the pallet cabinet, attach a square mirror tile (or use a recycled mirror from an old frame, like we have) to the inside of the door, behind the circle, using mirror corners. Add magnetic catches to the inside edge of the frame and add the magnets to the back of the door in the corresponding positions. Attach the door to the frame using two butt hinges.
Finished pallet cabinet:
This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts about her home DIY projects, upcycled finds, low-cost recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a low lovely life on a budget.