Make your own wooden pallet coffee table & planter

This genius wooden pallet coffee table features a stylish planter in the middle. Here's how to make it!

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Set a relaxed scene on a patio, balcony or lawn with this coffee table-turned planter, crafted from pallet wood and fence posts. House hardy succulents, flowers or fragrant herbs in the trough, which you can line with a plastic sheet to protect the roots – remember to snip some holes in the liner for drainage.

Preserve your coffee table with wood varnish or give it a bright coat of wood paint as a colourful base for your plant tablescape.

You will need 

  • 2 x square pallets, at least 90cm
  • 1 square fence post, at least 150cm
  • Crowbar
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Set square
  • Wood saw
  • Screwdriver or electric drill
  • 35mm wood screws
  • Work bench
  • Jigsaw
  • Palm sander or belt sander
  • Wood oil

Step 1

Carefully dismantle the pallets with a crowbar and remove the nails. For the base, cut the pallet slats to the following lengths: four x 80cm; two x 84cm; two x 20cm; two x 28cm; two x 58.5cm. For the tabletop, cut the following lengths: eight x 88cm; two x 17cm. Measure and cut four 36cm lengths from the square fence post to make the four legs.

Step 2

To make the table frame, place one end of an 80cm slat onto a leg, with the top of the slat flush to the top of the leg. Secure in place with four screws. Attach a leg at the other end of the slat, flush with the top. Repeat this with another 80cm slat and the two remaining legs.

Step 3

Position the slats of wood with the two legs at either end of an 84cm slat, aligning the edge to be flush with the edge of the leg. Secure in place with four screws. Repeat with the other 84cm slat to complete the frame.

Step 4

To make the central trough, mark the middle point on both 84cm slots. Mark 10cm either side of the two central points. Place the two remaining 80cm lengths between the marked points and secure them in place with two screws at each end. Measure 11cm in from either end of these central struts. Position a 20cm slot at one of these marked points and secure in place, as shown. Repeat with the other 20cm slot on the other end of the table.


Step 5

Mark the centre of the 80cm side slats and the centre of the middle 80cm trough slats. Take the two 28cm slats and secure these in place with screws, flat-side up.


Step 6

To assemble the top of the table, refer to the main image for slat placement. Place the two 17cm slats in the centre of the table, with a 2cm overlap off the outside edge of the table. Position four of the 88cm slats either side of the central 17cm slats. There should be a 2cm overlap around the edges of the table over the frame. Once you are happy with the placement, screw each of the slats in place.

Step 7

Flip the table over and mount on a work bench. Measure 1cm inwards from each of the inside edges of the trough and draw a rectangle. If you would like curved corners, use a roll of masking tape to draw a curved corner. Use a jigsaw to cut out the trough aperture.


Step 8

Lay the two 58.5cm lengths across the bottom of the trough and secure in place with screws. Sand the entire table and legs to remove any splinters for a smooth finish. As this is an outdoors piece of furniture, preserve with two coats of wood oil. Once fully dry, line the trough with plastic liner with drainage holes cut into the bottom. Fill it with soil then add your plants and gravel to cover the soil.


Project and step photos Wayne Earl Main image Dave Caudery Styling Tricia Ball and Beth Charlton Lucas