15 DIY Pallet Coffee Table Ideas for Woodworking

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Creating your own coffee table from pallets is a really popular and easy way to create your own personalized coffee table without breaking the bank or needing a high DIY skill level.

Most all of these coffee tables only require sanding, using nails or screws and painting– In some of the more complicated designs, a couple of sockets may be useful. Check out our picks for some of the best DIY pallet coffee tables that you can spruce up your home with.

Beginner Level Pallet Coffee Tables

The following DIY pallet coffee tables are a great place for beginners to start. You can always build upon what these basic designs offer once you have understood and created the simple pallet coffee table design.

1. Basic Pallet Coffee Table

DIY pallet coffee table ideas and projects

When it comes to creating a pallet coffee table, there are so many different variations that you can try. You can add wheels, opt for metal industrial legs or you can stay 100% pallet only pieces and create wooden legs from the pallet wood.

The choices are endless from what you can create, as you will see with all the different types of DIY pallet coffee tables that we have listed in our article. However, you must walk before you can run which means that you should take a look at the basic build of a pallet coffee table before you decide to create one.

Diy pallet table on wheels

This tutorial takes you through the bare bones of making a simple pallet coffee table, which is actually the perfect lead in for a lot of the lower glass top or drawer variations that we will talk about a little lower down.

Check out the basic tutorial here: www.instructables.com

2. Seven Step Pallet Coffee Table

If you enjoy following simple broken down steps when you are crafting then this might be a great option for you to try. This 7 step instruction on how to create a DIY pallet coffee table takes you from gathering scrap pallets to sanding, then screwing the pallets together and finally onto painting the pallet itself.

This pallet coffee table also sits on castor wheels to give it the normal height as well as make it a little more mobile.

White pallet table in a living room

While the instructions don’t state that you should use a glass top, due to the standard holed pallet top, you would be wise to add in a solid glass top so that your drinks and other items don’t slip through the wide cracks.

Take a look at the 7 step plan here: www.scraphacker.com

Pallet Coffee Tables with Wheels

These coffee tables were designed to be mobile. There is a great DIY project for you here, whether you like wheels that are just for a rustic look, or if you think you will be wheeling your coffee table forward to that certain friend who can never reach the table.

3. Small Personalized Pallet Coffee Table

Small personalized pallet table

Just because it is a pallet coffee table doesn’t mean that it has to be rustic looking. We love this personalized twist on a pallet coffee table because it creates a more modern and chic piece of furniture that would looks great in any style home.

Apartment dwellers take note, this is also a great smaller size coffee table for people who aren’t looking for a large size due to lack of space. The personalization is also a great touch to this table. You can either paint on the table, stain it, or add whatever finish you prefer. Download the stencil from the creator or create your own custom personalization.

This is a great first time DIY pallet coffee table craft since it is smaller and gives you full reigns for creative design.

Get the plans to make this stylish coffee table here: www.divaofdiy.com

4. Reclaimed Wood Pallet Coffee Table

This is a great pallet coffee table to consider, even if you don’t like this design, it is worth taking a look at the instructions since they delve treating the wood.

Most pallets you encounter will have some level of dirtiness to them. The author of this website talks about the best way to clean the wood, as well as how to ​sand it down and accepting that every ding and knick in the wood only add to the character of the coffee table and is not something to be sawed off with your ​hard tools for wood.

Reclaimed wood pallet table

The coffee table has been made from the wood in pallets and does not have the normal pallet design, instead the nails have been removed and a new design was created.

Check out this highly detailed tutorial here: www.instructables.com

5. Rustic Coffee Table

The top of this coffee table takes it from simple pallet coffee table to a well designed coffee tables that won’t allow any drinks or crumbs to slip through the open cracks.

You will follow a simple design to put two pallets on top of one another, add wheels and connect it all together. The tricky part is going to be finding the right size to cut each board for the top and fitting them all together. Just make sure that you measure to makes sure that everything will fit before you start cutting and nailing it all together.

Wooden table in the living room

The finished staining on this coffee table is really dark, but once you have the completed build you can decide on a lighter finish or paint it a bright bold color like turquoise or white to better fit your style.

Get the plans here: www.homefixated.com

Glass Top Pallet Coffee Tables

A great way to add a touch of class to your pallet coffee tables while also adding a barrier of protection to the wood is by adding a glass top. This works out great if you already have a glass top that you aren’t using. All you have to do is cut it to the shape you like. If you need a new glass top then you can easily get one cut for you at a local home store.

6. Upside Down Pallet Coffee Table

The magic of this coffee table is that it is upside down with a piece of glass on top. There aren’t any instructions on how to make it, but we loved it too much to not include it in this list.

You don’t need to do too much work to create this DIY coffee table from a pallet. Simple take the one layer of wood off of the pallet, leaving the bottom and the middle support pieces. Make sure that you take a moment to sand down all of the wood before you start putting the table together.

Upside down pallet table

Screw in some industrial metal legs to the bottom planked wood, leaving the middle support pieces on top. The final glass top will sit on top of the supports, leaving a large open area underneath.

This raw, and rustic look would definitely look great against a smooth, ​damage-free wall.

Take a look: www.1o1pallets.com

7. Glass Top Pallet Coffee Table

If you want a glass top pallet coffee table without creating an intricate design, then this is a really simple yet elegant coffee table that you can make. It pretty much only requires that you sand then paint​ or apply thin wood stain on the pallet, add wheels and finally lay a piece of glass on top.

White pallet coffee table with glass

The only real problem that you could run into is finding a piece of glass to fit or getting one cut to the right size. This is a really simple yet elegant looking pallet coffee table that any DIYer (new and old) can create in an afternoon.

Check out the easy to follow instructions here: www.planb.annaevers.com

8. Pallet Coffee Table with Wooden Drawers

We absolutely love this chic idea of creating little wooden drawers to go into the open area of the pallet’s basic construction. This is a simple two pallet attached design with castor wheels on the bottom and a glass top.

The real magic of this piece are the super cute little drawers that are accentuated around the coffee table. You can easily make these little drawers by nailing a few pieces of shorter boards together and adding a cut piece of plyboard to make the bottom.

White pallet table with drawer

Just don’t forget to add in some functional drawer pulls to really make this piece shine.

Check out the plans here: www.palletfurnitureplans.com

9. Workspace Coffee Table

This is a really nice large top area coffee table that you could easily spread out your books and paperwork on while you are studying or working.

Man working on a pallet coffee table

Even though they do not tell you to put on a glass top, with the open wooden plank design stained or finished with the coat of your liking, we would really suggest getting a nice glass top cut for it so that you could take full advantage of being able to work on this large top coffee table.

See the instructions here: www.diyprojects.com

Unique Pallet Coffee Tables

These pallet coffee tables stand out thanks to their unique designs and eye catching details. If you are looking for a coffee table that is one of a kind, then these ideas below will help you find the right fit for your home.

Headphones on top of a wooden pallet

10. Industrial Pallet Coffee Table

Metal and wood never looked so good before this coffee table. Despite the pricey looking appearance, it is actually fairly easy to make and shouldn’t cost you too much.

Black metal legs and nice detailed silver corner castings give this table the industrial upgrade it needs to set it apart from all of the other coffee tables. There is also a thin plyboard top applied so that you have a smooth, flat work surface.

Long pallet table

We love the open storage underneath that using a pallet frame gives to the piece, and we think it will look good beneath some honeycomb shelves in your room.

Get the plans for the table here: www.diycartel.com

11. “W” Legs Coffee Table

The legs on this pallet coffee table really make it a great statement piece for your home. The original creator left the coffee table a natural wood color, but we think you could really make the legs stand out more by painting it a great contrasting color.

The addition of the legs also help pull the pallet body of the coffee table a little higher off of the floor so that it is easy to vacuum underneath.

Folding pallet table

This is also a quick coffee table to construct, boasting that it only takes about 30 minutes to create. However, It may take a little longer if you choose to paint the coffee table, but you can definitely use some left over paint from your picture frame painting project.

Take a look at the plans here: www.instructables.com

12. Multi-level Coffee Table

If you love taller coffee tables then this may just be the one for you. The simple elegant design will keep your guests in shock that you actually built it from pallets, while you can enjoy the simplistic beauty of this pallet coffee table, as well as the three tiers of storage for odds and ends. If your colorful storage cabinets are running out of space, you can always turn to your coffee table!

White pallet table in a living room

This coffee table was a variation of a basic build design, proving once more that you can start with a basic build idea and then create something one of a kind that best suits your home and style.

Check out these easy instructions here: www.ana-white.com

Reclaimed Wood Top Coffee Tables

These coffee tables have a great flat wooden surface. You can change up the color of the surfaces to by alternating stain colors before you attach them or keep the wooden planks all the same natural wood color.

13. Pallet Coffee Table with Storage

Pallet table in a dark window lit room

As an adult, you learn that there are only a few things better than having extra storage spaces in your home to help you organize, store things or just to hide a mess when company comes over unexpectedly.

This DIY pallet coffee table is the perfect addition to any home that just needs a little more tucked away storage space.

You will create a simple small pallet coffee table and then cut the top in half, leaving one side not nailed down.

Add in some hinges to create the stable open and close action, then viola, you have more storage space for papers, books, blankets or just a safe place to keep the remotes.

You can also keep this outside by your string lights for some ambient lighting.

Take a look: www.easypalletideas.com

14. Diagonal Design Coffee Table

This might be the most difficult project in terms of how much designing, measuring and cutting has to go into it. The actual pallet coffee table body build is pretty easy, but to achieve the beautiful diagonal cut top, you are going to have to put in some time.

Diagonal pallet table

To achieve the multiple wood color you can use reclaimed wood, or do a little staining yourself before you add in the pieces, staining a few pieces of lumber a darker color while leaving others in their natural state.  

In the end, the result is a stunning coffee table that you will end up cherishing for many years to come. If you have any leftover pallets, you can easily transform them into creating a dog fence for your furry friends.

See the plans for this coffee table here: www.themerrythought.com

15. Uneven Ends Coffee Table

This is a really unique way to create a coffee table. Instead of keeping the wood pallets basic shape, you will break the wood down with ​a good jigsaw and then turn the wood planks on their sides to create uneven ends on this table.

Uneven pallet table

This design will also give you a flat surface without having to add a glass top or build a top over the wood pallet. You will want to take the extra step of sanding down the top once all of the pieces have been put into place, this ensures that you will have a flat, non-lumpy top.

Check out the tutorial here: www.instructables.com

How to Make a DIY Pallet Coffee Table

While each coffee table project has its own unique specifics, every DIY coffee table project follows the same general steps:

  1. Plan your coffee table: Before you start cutting and assembling, take a few minutes to plan out the design you’ll be using. Ensure you have everything you need, so you don’t have to start and stop the project in the middle. Review your project specs to ensure the size is best for your living room.
  2. Measure your wood: The old adage is measure twice, cut once. Before you start cutting, measure your pallet for the cuts you need to make, and mark the pallet wood. Do the same for the wood you’ll be using for the legs.
  3. Make your cuts: Now is the time to get started, and you’ll want to make all of your cuts at once. A convenient cordless circular saw is typically the tool of choice, and once you get going, this process should be relatively quick.
  4. Assemble the table top: Depending on the project, this can be as simple as taking a pallet as is, or you might need to assemble the different wood you cut into a table.
  5. Assemble the ​frame: Put together the coffee table frame and legs. Once ready, you’ll add the pallet coffee table top to the frame and affix.
  6. Apply paint or finish: You can leave your coffee table as is, or apply paint or a stain.

How Big to Make a Coffee Table

Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no standard for how big to make a coffee table. However, here are a few guidelines you can follow:

  • Your coffee table should fill 60-70% of the total length that your sofa or couch is. So, if you have a 5 foot couch, aim to have a coffee table that is 36″-42″ long
  • Your coffee table height should be the same as the height of your couch or chair cushions. In other words, the table should come up to the top of the cushions you sit on around the table.
  • Most sofas have cushions that sit 17-18″ off of the floor. So, in most cases, you coffee table should be 18″ tall.
  • If possible, your coffee table should be large enough to allow for at least 12″ between it and the couch and chairs that it sits in between.

What Kind of Wood to Use for a Coffee Table

Using pallet wood for your coffee table is the cheapest and easiest option. Pallet wood is plentiful and usually free. In addition, it is really easy to work with. Pick from one of our pallet table plans above to get started.

For a nicer coffee table, you can opt for hardwoods such as oak, maple, mahogany, cherry and walnut. These woods are a lot more expensive, and will be harder. This means that they will be more difficult to cut.

However, the end product from these types of woods will be much nicer.

Something To Build Upon

These DIY pallet coffee tables vary in degrees of difficulty. If you are new to using power drills then this could be a great project to experiment on since pallets pretty cheap building materials.

In the end, it’s best to start with a basic plan and then build upon that to create something more varied that is uniquely you.

Allen runs a popular home website, and understands what it takes to educate audiences through online content. Through his focus at home, Allen developed an insatiable appetite for home improvement projects that he could do for cheap on weekends. Over the years, he has gained valuable experience, which he shares in detail in articles like How to Build A DIY Dining Room Table. His ability to clearly share these DIY ideas is a huge asset, and he is a valuable resource to the home improvement community.