Milk Crate Table

In an effort to save money and start doing cheaper projects, B and I created a weekend project that involved spending zero dollars and turned out to be very useful. We came up with a plan for a new side table involving a couple of milk crates we had lying around.

One of B's side projects is redoing my mom and dad's kitchen. They live in a 120 year old house, which is full of surprises. When he opened up a wall, we found this old wood behind the plaster. B saved all the wood, because you never know if you'll need it. Why waste good material, right? We decided it would be fun and special to use this as our table top. Pay homage to the place we called home.

I love the color of old, worn, wood

We decided on a very simple design for the actual table top. B cut two scrap pieces that set 'in' the top of the milk crate to keep the actual top from sliding around, like so:

We would have used one piece, but we didn't have anything wide enough. I really doesn't matter- two pieces worked just as well. Side note: The pieces above are braced up by other pieces of wood, because they would have fallen through when trying to take a picture. Then B cut the top part. I let him choose the design since he was doing all the work. He cut three total pieces from the old wood: One wide piece, one slightly smaller, and one skinny strip, which he turned on it's side for a different color stripe.

The color of the wood looks different because it's turned upside down.

B glued the three pieces together with wood glue, then clamped them together while they dried. He used pieces of scrap wood as a buffer between the clamp and the tabletop, so he didn't dent the wood.

Once that dried, he glued the bottom part to the top.

Making sure it fits and it's centered
Here's a more detailed photo of how the top works:

Then he screwed it together (from the bottom) for added security. He marked the drill bit with Frog tape as a guide for how deep to drill, so he didn't drill through the top of the table.

The top turned out great. The wood isn't perfect- it's slightly warped and dingy looking. We might seal it to bring out the sheen, but that would involve spending money we don't have, so we will live with it for now. I like the imperfectness, so I'm happy to keep it as is.

Then, we simply stacked two milk crates together for the finished product.

Everything is removable so we can eventually fill the milk crates with something. I'm thinking a bunch of gourds and pumpkins for fall and ornaments and lights for Christmas.  Not bad for a free table. I guess technically it wasn't free since we bought the milk crates months ago, but whatever. I'll be back tomorrow to show you where our new table and our new chair ended up!


  1. hahah apparently i missed quite a few posts. do you mind if i post this on r/p with a link back to you guys?

  2. Wow I love this idea. I first saw it on apartment therapy and then google searched "milk crate table" and found you guys back here. I used to have a couple vintage milk crates and ended up throwing them out because I didn't know what to do with it. Wished I had saved them now.

    Do you mind if I post the final product and link back to your blog on my blog (dritgirl.com)?


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