Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to make your own family table out of an old door.


I am new to the game when it comes to up-cycling. But I have dreamed of making this project for years since I saw it on one of those DIY shows. So here is my version of the door table. We spent around $60 for the whole thing and it took only 3 days (much less time if you don't paint and you don't have toddlers). So lets get started:

The first thing you need is a door. I recommend you using wood only, a metal door would be very heavy and my carpentry skills are not good enough to tell you how to secure it. I also recommend you putting the word out to friends, family, and co-workers to get your door. The whole point of up-cycling is to reuse trash and create less waste. Craigslist is also a great place to find a door. Be patient, if you do the right looking you can get this for free and help someone else get rid of junk.  

The first thing you need to do is remove all hardware on the door. (You will notice Mr. Badger using all the power tools. He says he was concerned about my safety, I think he just wanted to use the power tools! Either way him helping me made this table even more special.)

We are using plexi-glass on top of our table, if you want to spend the money you can easily go to a glass shop and buy a custom piece. I priced them at our local shop for $150. We have three badgers under three years old at home and glass scares me. At Lowe's they had a sheet of plexi-glass the perfect fit, except for a few inches. If you go the plexi-glass route you will need to measure and if the door is too small some minor sawing is needed.

Now you need to sand the big boy. You don't want your family getting splinters while you play Boggle! After sanding you can paint the door or leave it kind of rustic looking. We liked the look of a worn door, so we took a dry brush and lightly put a thin coat of white to it. You will then need to paint (or not) your table legs. Lowe's has table legs for as low as $4 a leg up to $12 a leg. We just used the legs of an old yucky table we found. (FREE!)

Now you need to secure the legs to the table. We were really concerned about how secure it was because of the kids, so we really went above and beyond. First you need to figure out where to place them. If your door has the indentions like this one does DO NOT attach legs to that thin wood. Use the thicker wood and try to place legs a few inches in. Sometimes the wood will break if legs are right on the outside corners. When securing wood, the holy trinity is; wood glue, screw, and nail. Always use your wood glue, it seems silly but thats some strong bonding. We went a little further and use L brackets (see above picture) to really secure those legs. (L brackets are $1.47 for a 4 pack at Lowe's)

Now flip that puppy over (give it half an hour to let wood glue dry) and check it out! (Had to include my two cute badgers, baby badger was sleeping.)

Now if your door has cut outs/inserts like our does, here is your chance to get crafty. You can leave it plain, paint it another color, use scrap booking paper to decorate (just use Elmer's glue to glue paper down), or you can use fabric. I found this fabric for $6.50 a yard at Wal-Mart, you only need one yard (I bought two, the other yard is going to be a skirt). Like I said before, this is your chance to be as creative as you want to be.

If you are using fabric, you can just hot glue it down. Just flip the ends in, so it will look more finished.

Nows the time to add the plexi-glass. Some MAJOR tips before you start with the plexi-glass. It comes with a protective sticker, leave it on until the very last minute! When drilling plex-glass you HAVE to drill pilot holes. It will crack if you don't. When drilling the pilot holes use a drill bit designed for metal or glass and you need to put a piece of tape over the area where you intend to drill (at this point the protective sticker is still on). So lay the plexi-glass on the table with sticker on, mark the areas you want to drill with tape, use a drill bit for metal/glass, and drill SLOW. If you go crazy it will crack!

After you drill the pilot hole, remove the protective sticker. You can now secure the plexi-glass to the door with a screw. Easy!

Now the plexi-glass we bought was two inches too short length wise and we had to shorten the door. Well the plexi-glass was too big width wise. So if you run into this problem here is what you do: SCORE! Get you a really sharp utility knife and score it many times where you want to cut it. We scored it 25 times. Then with the help of someone evenly place your hands on the plexi-glass and snap it. It is good to have the glass against something sturdy and flat when you do this, that is why we screwed it to the table before we cutted the plexi-glass. 

And you are done! If the corners are too sharp you can use a polishing bit and your drill to dull the ends, but other than that you have a handmade table! 

This was Poor Badgers first blog of many. I just want to help others know you two can make it with a little time and effort. Hope you enjoy your door as much as our family is enjoying it!

You can find us on facebook for more crafts and tons of pictures!



  1. Excellent. Now try doing it with everything re-cycled. It feels even better.

  2. Thanks Kyle! The door and table legs were re-cycled. But sadly we bought the fabric and plexi-glass. It would have been AWESOME if the whole project was 100% up-cycle. :)

  3. This is so great and I am very proud of you, it is nice to know that we have someone creative in the faimly

  4. Oh thanks Shannon! I am glad to make the family proud. :)

  5. That is such a fun table! Thanks for linking up to my party. I just featured your project! :)

  6. Oh Megan I about DIED when you featured this! Proud to wear my 'I was featured by Polish the Stars' badge proudly! =)

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