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End Table – Stacked Crates with Storage and Lamp

Welcome back and thanks for visiting!  I am working my way through the living room, one piece at a time. We finally have an end table, which is very nice!  I am excited about this piece because I made this one up all on my own.  Usually, I work from a plan, or at least start with a plan and modify it to my liking.  But, this piece I built from scratch and was able to do exactly what I wanted with it.

UPDATE: Jamison from Rogue Engineer was kind enough to write plans for this project.  Check them out HERE.

I read a lot online about finding and re-purposing wood and other items into furniture.  It always seems like a good idea, but I’m really bad about finding those things to re-purpose.  I had an idea that I wanted an end table that was basically two crates stacked on each other and I looked around for crates, I did!  I went and asked at liquor stores, groceries, shopped for them at antique stores.  But, much like when I shop for clothes, I have a hard time when I have something in mind and I start looking for that exact thing that I want.  I wanted some crates that were just the right size and cheap, but I couldn’t find ones that were both.  Honestly, I couldn’t even really find ones that were the right size.  So, I decided to build them.

There were a couple of things that I wanted this end table to do.  First, I wanted some sort of storage for my remotes and computer.  My computer is always on my coffee table (see that piece here) and I wanted someplace to stash it in a hurry if I needed to clean up quick.  But, mainly, I just wanted a place for the remotes to go so they would stop getting lost.

I also wanted a lamp, but something that wouldn’t be knocked off and the cords would be hidden.  I hate cords showing.  Drives me crazy.  So, I took those things into account and came up with my new end table.

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

I love it and the great thing about making your own furniture is that you can customize it any way you want.  If you are interested, read on for the what not and how to.  But, you could leave the lamp off, or the hinges could go inside, or they could go away and you could just make the top completely removable.  Plus, you can stain it any color or paint whatever you want on there.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

It actually has quite a bit of space inside!

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

 

UPDATE:  Jamison from Rogue Engineer was kind enough to write me some plans!  Woo-who!  I was so excited to work with him on this project.  If you want detailed instructions on how to build this end table, check out his plans HERE.  I’ve Kept the original post below, but the plans he wrote are SOOO much easier to follow.  My original build was slightly different, I was making it up as I went along, but he did an awesome job of simplifying a bit and making it much easier to follow.

So, here’s the dets…

I started by looking at a little crate I had and basically did some math.  I actually love algebr & use it every day.  When I hear teenagers say “when am I ever go to use this”?  I say “Every day!  At the grocery, home decor, finances, everything”!  Then they usually look at me like I’m crazy.  Spelling?  Well, my computer can do that for me :).

Anywho, after figuring out some dimensions, I started to build.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

I got some help to see if the size I figured out was going to work.  Child labor?

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

See how my computer is there?  And I didn’t stage it, but did notice after editing that this exact website was up.  Weird ;).

 

First, I built the bottom crate.  It was pretty easy, I used 1″ pocket hole screws and 1″ wood screws to hold it all together.  And wood glue.  Always wood glue.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

Then I used a stack of 3 pennies as a “spacer”.  

I put lots of spacer pennies all around.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

To make the bottom crate a little more stable, I added a brace across long ways.  Then I added the two bars on top using a pocket hole on both sides and then attached them to the brace.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

Then I screwed the top boards on with 1″ wood screws, countersunk.

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

There is the first crate, and here are the dimensions I used.

For the bottom

3 pieces of 1×6 cut to 21.5″ each

2 pieces of 1×2 cut to 19″ each

For the sides

6 pieces of 1×4 cut to 21.5″ each

6 pieces of 1×4 cut to 17.5″ each

4 pieces of 1×2 cut to 13″ each

For the top

Brace – 1×2 cut at about 20″ (cut to fit)

2 pieces of 1×2 cut to 15.75″

3 pieces 1×6 cut to 21.5″

 

Then I started on the top crate

I did want it a little smaller, so I used different sizes, I wanted it to look like a different crate.   I also wanted the top to only be two pieces, so the opening would be big enough to shove my computer into.  I used 2 1x10s across the bottom and top.  The sides are 1x6s and 1x4s.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

I also put some of the 1x2s on the inside of this one to even it up and give a little more support.

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

Then I added a brace on the side where there would be a stationary board.

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

And then I added the board top board that would be stationary, 1″ countersunk wood screws and that was it.  I didn’t do anything to the board that would flip open for now.  I brought it in to make sure it fit.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

Here is the breakdown for the cuts for the second crate.

 

4 pieces 1×10 cut to 17″ each. (for top and bottom)

2 pieces 1×6 cut to 19″ each (side)

2 pieces 1×6 cut to 15.5″ each (side)

2 pieces 1×4 cut to 19″ each (side)

2 pieces 1×4 cut to 15.5″ each (side)

4 pieces 1×2 cut @ 10.75 (outside vertical boards)

4 pieces 1×2 cut @ 8.5 (inside vertical boards)

I decided to make it a little taller, so after this I added two 1x2s across the bottom of the top crate and then I attached the two crates together using glue and wood screws. That completed the building part.

Time to stain!  For this color, I brushed on one coat of Minwax Special Walnut and let it dry overnight, then I mixed Rustoleum Weathered grey with water (about half and half) and brushed it on.  As soon as I brushed it, I took a paper towel and wiped it until it blended.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

I found this great stencil on Amazon and spray painted it on.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

Then I added the hinges and built the lamp.  For the lamp, I bought a lamp kit at Lowes and a 30″ iron pipe from the flooring section along with the floor piece.

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

I would recommend NOT plugging it in and then threading the wire through the metal pipe.  That was…fun.  Once I did get the lamp put together I spray painted the entire thing with Rustoleum Flat Iron Metallic spray paint before attaching it to the crate.  I used the same spray paint for the stencil.

I drilled a hole large enough to fit the end of the cord through, then attached the foot plate over the hole. The end of the cord fit through the bottom of the crate, which was perfect because then I could just run it under the couch. And it was done!

Here are my kids realizing there is a “secret compartment” in the end table.

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com


DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

DIY Crate End Table with storage and built in lamp - Http://uncookiecutter.com

 

 

That was pretty much it!  It was actually a very easy project.  Let me know if you want to give it a shot and the instructions aren’t clear.

update:

I wanted to add a new picture of the end table now that the walls are painted and not so bare!  Check out the wall color decision in my post The Greige Movement, and how I created the gallery wall HERE.

DIY Build Your Own Stacked Crate End Table - Uncookiecutter.com

Thanks for stopping by!

April

Stacked Crate End Table

Pin for later!

DIY Build Your Own Stacked Crate End Table - Uncookiecutter.com

 

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56 Comments

    1. Thank you Meg! I wasn’t sure about it, but I always second guess my stain color so I appreciate the vote of confidence.

  1. April! What a fantastic table …. I love it. The stencil touch is amazing. The lamp?!! Perfect!!! Come make me one!!!!!

  2. Wow, I really love how this turned out! The position of the two crates together, the lamp, the the stain, and especially the storage – I love it all! So very creative of you!

  3. You are so creative. I love working with wood but just don’t have the time or equipment. I was proud of myself because I finally made the extra shelves for my bookcase that I needed. I guess I have quite a way to go to catch up with you.

    1. I started with a shelf too, a couple of years ago. I asked for a miter saw for my birthday that year and a kreg jig for Christmas, haha. Haven’t stopped since!

  4. You built it yourself (amazing!) and made it look vintage! You also make it look easy although it would NOT be for most people. I love the look.

  5. The lamp you added. Is that 1″ iron pipe? and can you tell me what all you bought to put the lamp together? What kit did you get? Was there anything other than the kit you needed to finish the job?

    1. Hi Ed, thanks for stopping by! It is a 1 inch iron pipe from the plumbing section at Lowes and foot plate to go with it. I bought a very basic lamp kit in the lighting section and there was some stuff called “fiber fix” (I think I got it at Wal Mart) to attach the lamp kit to the pipe. It’s like a mesh tape that you get wet, then you can mold it and when it hardens and dries, it holds everything together. Let me know if that makes sense!

      1. Brilliant. I can’t wait to get started on this. I went to Amazon and found the stencil section. Another great idea. Thank you for the inspiration.

          1. HI April,

            I think I finally have it done. I would be happy to share some pics and how I made variations. Where would you like me to put them?

            –Ed

          2. I’m sorry I’m just now getting back to you, I’m on vacation. I would love to share it on my FB page if you don’t mind!

  6. Hi April,

    I uploaded these pics to my website. I didn’t do as good of a job detailing shots throughout the build. I didn’t put a switch on my lamp, but rather purchased a touch sensitive adapter to plug the lamp into. This way, you can turn the lamp on and off by touching it. Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions or comment. Hope you are having a great weekend, and thanks again for everything.

    1. Thanks Ed! It looks great, I love how you did the lamp. Thanks so much for visiting! I love that we have the same coffee table too :).

  7. This is awesome April; I LOVE it! Thanks so much for the great tutorial too. You were our most popular link at last week’s Talented Tuesday Party! I hope you can stop by today and share more of your projects 🙂

  8. Great step by step instructions and love the photos to correspond with the steps. Great job! Your finished product is awesome! I really love that you can open the storage and still have your coffee mug sitting on the table (a very important feature… Coffee!)

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  10. Now that’s what I can uncookie cutter 🙂 Ingenious idea and I think that everyone needs some box like this in their living room, I am going to try to put some of my wooden pallets into use now. Thanks a lot for sharing the idea April. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

    Cindy

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