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Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Mobile Coffee Table


It's coffee table time!   As I've said before, we've been looking for the right coffee table for a while now.  We needed it to be narrow & long, but not too long.  We wanted it to be a natural wood of some kind because the wood texture will balance out the more modern pieces we have.  Also, I wanted it to be easy to move {the "table" we had before was really a trunk with furniture sliders to keep from scratching the floor}. 
Lucky for us, on our shopping trip to "Good Finds" we found THE BEST find!  We saw potential in this little puppy as soon as we laid eyes on it, but it needed a little redesign.  It's good, but it wasn't PERFECT.  However, with a little imagination it wouldn't take much to make it just what we wanted.  Plus, at $20 how could we say no?!


I'm love with the latest trend of tables designed with casters instead of feet.  I love the look {industrial}.  I love the mobility {necessary in our house as the coffee table needs to move for dance parties & not scratch the wood floors}.  I love the different use of materials {usually casters are paired with wooden tables}.  So, it was a no brainer to add some casters to this bad boy.  
Then, we got to thinking that we'd love to have some storage under the table.  The only problem was, with the casters how would we store the baskets underneath?  The table would move, but the baskets would stay stationary.  The solution: add a bottom shelf to the table!  Ah Ha!  Super easy.  Here's how we did it {in 25 minutes!}...
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Step 1 - Find the right table
This is the table as we purchased it.  Super cute.  Just the right size.  Made of light wood {I'm guessing oak} with two cut outs on top layered with woven wicker.  On the ends of the table are pieces of honey-colored leather stretched across the legs & held in place by a metal tack {*added bonus* - the leather covered the sharp corner of the table so there's one less place to lose a tooth!}.  I loved this feature & it's what made this a definite "must have".  
I love honey-brown leather.  It reminds me of my old softball glove...

 
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Step 2 - The tools
Here's what we needed...
1. Drill {had it}
2. Drill bits {had them}
3. Screws {had them}
4. Casters {$14.36} 
5. Wood for shelf {used MDF - 4.80} 
6. Fabric to cover shelf {$6.00}
7. Fabric Glue {had it} 
8. Staple gun & Staples, not pictured {had them} 
9. The table {$20}
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Grand Total - $45.16

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Step 3 - Prep it!
First thing you should ALWAYS do when finding a vintage/older piece of furniture is check it out & make sure there isn't any damage.  Do this BEFORE you buy the piece, of course.  When you get it home tighten the screws & add a little wood glue to any parts that are loose.  If necessary, add a few extra screws to the parts that are super wobbly.

 
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Step 4 - The shelf
One of the best tips I could ever give you is to have your wood precut at the store!  If you are using wood you already had, then it's not an option, but if you need to buy new materials always pre-measure & have the dudes at Home Depot cut it for you! 
Once the wood was the right size we wrapped it in burlap.  I chose this fabric because I wanted something that would compliment the natural top to the table.  I thought about painting it, but I knew that it would look mismatched.  Instead, choosing another natural fabric made it all feel like it's part of the same design.  
The first thing we did was spray the wood with fabric glue, then wrapped it like a present.
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Step 5 - The Staple Gun
I have to admit.  The staple gun is by far my most used tool.  In a perfect world, I would buy an air compressor/gun.  But, to be honest the hand-propelled staple gun is way more portable & it helps to define my Popeye-sized forearms.  Plus, it's way quieter & c'mon... you know these projects usually happen when the kids are in bed.  
So, after wrapping & smoothing the fabric we flipped it over & stapled the seams.  The trick to covering with fabric is to start at the middle of the side you're working on, add a staple, then move to the corners, then between the middle & the corners, & so on.  This helps to keep everything even & tight.  At the corners you need to fold over & staple right next to the edge.  Remember to pull tight, but not too tight because it will make the fabric stretch & look uneven.
 
 











  
The final product.  This was the underside, obviously...
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Step 6 - Positioning, Pre-Drilling, Screwing
With three small, insane people running around we have to make everything very sturdy!  So, this was probably the most important step. 

First, we flipped the table over & aligned the shelf where it should be on the legs.  
Then, we pre-drilled holes through both the MDF shelf & the wooden leg.  Pre-drilling is important for a few reasons. One - MDF is hard to screw into, two - it insures alignment for the screws, & three Chris insists on pre-drilling everything ;).  Next, we screwed a 1.5" screw through both the shelf & the leg to lock it in place.  

After the shelf was secure to the legs it was time for the casters.  This was as easy as placing it, pre-drilling, & screwing.  We decided to screw the casters into the legs as well as the shelf.  However, the caster base was wider than the leg of the table.  So, we screwed two of the four screws in the shelf/leg with 1.5" screws & we used 1/2" screws to secure the other side of the caster to only the MDF shelf.  It was plenty sturdy.  Nothing's going to break this thing.  Not even Cameron's head!




















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The Final Product
Here it is!  I really love this table & how easy it was to redesign. We made it exactly what we want & need which is design rule #1 for me.  Now, we just add a few baskets {you're gonna LOVE what we put in one of them in a later post}...
And Voila.  The perfect, portable coffee table.


 {Closeup of the leg, shelf, & caster.}

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3 comments:

  1. From what I saw of those models, they are straight up hot. (just saying)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks so good! I love it. Great idea to add the shelf. You are gifted at seeing the potential in things.

    ReplyDelete