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From Junk to Funk | Part 1 DIY Side Table

In a serious effort to de-clutter our house I have been running into, what seem to be at first sight, pieces of junk. It has become a bit of a hobby to upcycle these pieces into meaningful, unique items that get a second chance at life in my house. Today I am sharing the first of these “junk-to-funk” creations.

A few weeks ago, I ventured into the spider-infested crawl space under my front porch (a place I have not dare to go yet since we bought the house 3 years ago). The very dusty treasure I found was a box filled with wooden shims. Imagination sparked, determination fierce, I set to work and created a small, custom side table I had been looking for but not found for our new beach cottage.

By: LiesbethProject Time:

2 hours (excl. paint-drying time)

Project Costs:

$3.50 (don’t you LOVE it!)

  • Wooden legs: 2x2x8 pine wood at Home Depot for around $1.50
  • White paint & varnish & screws: free (I had those in-house already)
  • Wooden shims: free (prize for my spider-daring adventure) but you can buy these in hardware stores for $5-8 dollars
  • Wooden Tray: $2 at a garage sale

Required Tools and Materials:

  • Sanding Paper
  • White paint suitable for wood finishing & brush
  • Varnish
  • 2″x2″x8′ piece of pine wood
  • screws and screw driver
  • drill
  • wooden tray
  • wooden shims (I used 84 pieces for my table but it depends entirely on the size of your tray, so do a bit of math before you buy your shims to make sure you have enough).


I went to Home Depot and got my 2″x2″x8′ cut for free (first 2 cuts are free at Home Depot) into 4 table legs of 2 feet each.


Sand the legs, especially the edges, making them slightly rounded which will make them look nicer and more expensive when you are done painting. Also, sand the ends well that will be the feet, slightly rounding the corners to give them that more finished look.


Get your tray and screw legs onto tray. Do not use nails as they create a wobbly table. Screws are much better in creating a very snug connection between wooden pieces. If your tray is made of very thin wood, I would recommend you pre-drill the holes for the screws to avoid the wood from splitting when you put your screws in. I secured my legs on each surface that had contact with the tray, so on 3 surfaces (2 on the side and one on the top) — see sketch.


Now, put your table upside down and it will be very easy to paint the legs. I used a nice white as I like that wood & white look, especially for my cottage. Apply a second layer if required and if you have used a flat paint or simply want extra protection or sheen, also varnish the legs.


When the legs are dry, put your table upright and let the fun begin. Use a good quality carpenters glue and start gluing your shims on the tray. I did the top first and let those dry for a good hour before doing each side and letting each side dry first before starting on the next. So the whole shim gluing portion will take a few hours, mainly dry time.


Last but not least, varnish the shims (twice to create a good protection) and voila! A custom shimmy of a table!


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I LOVE the look of this table. Definitely looks like it could have been purchased at a store like West Elm or Crate & Barrel.

    August 29, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Junk to Funk part 2: Kitchen Side Table | themotherboards
  2. Trailer Reno | Nightstand make-over | themotherboards

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