Monday, June 12, 2017

Two Bedside Tables for Under $29**

We'd squeaked by for years with just a tiny bedside table in the guest room. It's a singleton from a vintage Oriental-style nesting table set. I still kind of love it, but it isn't super practical. By the time you get a lamp & alarm clock on there, a guest would have to choose carefully between a book, water glass, or phone.

I couldn't find a picture of this in place beside the guest bed which I was sure I would have. Oh, well. Here it is on the balcony doormat.

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a couple of small tables at a crazy-low price in a non-crazy style that I could refinish, but nothing ever appeared. So after poking around the internet and pinterest, I decided I could just mount some crates to the wall and call it good.

Well not just, of course. That is not my way, for better or for worse. These are the standard crate available at craft stores that usually run around $15 each. They just happened to be on sale for $8.99 each when I decided to go this route AND I had a 20% off regular and sale merchandise coupon, so they ended up being $7.19 a piece!

I already had the stain which is the same I used on the crates I made for the Dr Potter's Medicine Show photo shoot which is made from soaking rusty metal bits in white vinegar. And varnish that was leftover from refinishing the main bathroom cabinetry.

After a pretty quick image search for "vintage wooden crates" to find inspiration, I was able to put together replicas (the words, not the typography) of a couple that I especially liked using Photoshop. I did need to print them with a laser printer, which Eric could do at the office, but 2 black/white copies at the copy shop would still have kept the total under $15 for the project, especially as I already had the solvent to transfer the image to the wood.

Just to give them a little bit more authenticity and a cool detail, I added metal brackets to all the corners. Of course, I couldn't find something suitable in the right size with a couple quick looks, so I got longer pieces of extruded aluminum ($12.44), and cut them down with a hack saw.

Then I made a template to mark holes and drilled them out. Eight holes in each of eight corner brackets which is sixty-four holes for those of you keeping track. Why do I do these things to myself?

I used cut tacks ($ 1.30, used about half of the package) to attach them. The heads looked crude and nails would be so much faster than screws. Cheaper, too.

Finally, I filled down the sharp edges left by the hacksaw. I didn't worry about the holes since they'd be covered with the nail heads.

Attaching them was the quickest part! Afterwards, I realized they will probably add some stability, too. However, I don't expect to add much weight to them once they're installed. I like a nicely styled bedside table as much as anyone, but what I like more is enough room for my book or magazine, my glasses, and maybe a glass of water.

The slats are just a little too close together to help with cord management, so I used my trusty, slightly rusty, rasp to widen one spot on the "top" and "bottom" of each crate. Both will have a lamp* and one will have an alarm clock, but I want guests to be able to charge their phones or other devices, too.

Because of how they're installed, the labels are not super obvious, but I like how they're a little detail that a guest might not notice immediately.

* Total spent: $28.12; combination of sales, coupons, and having a fair number of supplies and tools on hand made this low cost possible.

**Stay tuned for a fun and funky lamp project, hopefully coming very soon! 


  1. Love it! This is one thing I admire about you. Your creativity. The small details, while everyone might not notice them, make them extra unique and fun.

    1. Well, thank you! You are such a detail person, too, we just do different details! It's fun to see how others express a similar tendency.


It feels so good to read comments! If you're leaving one (or more!), THANK YOU! If you're not... c'mon, already!