How to Make a Table Using Old Wood Soda Crates

Learn how to make a shadow-box-style table using antique printer boxes and wood soda crates.


Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

We found four wood boxes at a resale shop, attached them, then added a table base. The boxes were filled with trinkets and mementos, then topped with tempered glass.

Materials and Tools:

drill and 1/8" for counter sinking and a Phillips-head bit
chop saw
jigsaw or circular saw
tape measure
clamps (small and large)
(4) vintage wooden soda boxes (same height, width and length)
scrap piece of plywood
(4) 2x2s for the legs (hardwood)
(4) 2x4s for table rim
wood screws (2", 1" and 1/2")
red paint and paintbrush
tempered glass top
clear pads for in between glass and wood boxes
scrap wood pieces for clamping

Find the Pieces

Lay the wooden boxes together and measure to determine the exact size of the table. Cut a scrap piece of plywood to be 1 inch less (on all sides) than the boxes.



Attach Boxes

Using 1/2" screws, attach the plywood to the bottom of the wooden boxes. They may poke out a little inside the boxes, but you can cover them up later. Do not screw in the corners where the legs and skirt will sit.



Make the Legs

Cut the 2x2s to the desired height for the legs. Hold them in place at the corners of the plywood to measure the length of the skirt (which goes in between the legs). Cut the skirt pieces (2x4s) to size. Sand, prime and paint all the pieces.

Attach the Legs and Skirt

Clamp the legs to the skirt, with the legs protruding a 1/4" to 1/2" from the skirt pieces (Image 1). Pre-drill holes at an angle from the skirt into the leg from both the top and bottom of the skirt (Image 2). Make two holes on the bottom and one hole on the top, slightly offset so the screws don't interfere with one another (Image 3). Then glue and screw the pieces together.








Fill the nail holes with wood filler, then sand smooth and touch the paint if necessary.

Attach Boxes to Base

Place wooden boxes onto the table frame and screw down from inside the wooden boxes into the skirts. Add your memorabilia in boxes and cover with tempered glass top.



Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.

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