Modular Patio Coffee Table.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

wood block modular freeform coffee table patio pallet
Omg.  This thing is so damn cute, I can barely stand myself.

pallet wood square modular patio coffee table with nail legs
Omg.  So damn cute.  Freaking out.  Gave away ending at top.....doh.
This the fault of Keith, one half of Bothwell Farrington Design or hilariously, BFD.  Scrolling through Instagram one day, I about fell out of my chair when I saw these ridiculously adorable itty bitty tables he made.  Go look, so painfully imaginative.

I commented, essentially saying my brain is exploding over these, trying not to sound creepy stalker-ish.  He replied, stating how easy they are to make, and well, you're welcome to read the conversation there.

There was no way no how I was not going to make these, or a version thereof.

No doubt Mike walked by these in their various states of doneness in the basement thinking, whaaaaat thhhee she wow, making now?!

Ok, but first.  Keith's are perfect, I'm just doubled over googly-eyed dazzled here.  He created his due to limited space where tables were needed and these little guys fit the bill.  Extremely damn clever.

At the time I decided to fully rip off his idea, ahem, imitation is the highest form of flattery after all, I had zero clue where I was going to put my version but I did not care a zip, I had to make them.  Find a spot later.

I seriously sound like a deranged lunatic now, don't I?  I'm trying hard not to be, truly.

A quick trip to Menards and bingo, twenty eight bucks and I had a big heavy box of twenty five 12" nails plus a four pack extra.

These things are insane and a little, ok quite, terrifying, like who, what...where does someone...where...what would you need gi-gundo 12" nails for?  Maybe I shouldn't ask too many questions.

But who knew, 12" nails.*

Regardless, they're flippin' Cool.  And Menards had various sizes too like eight inch, seven, six I believe.  And now I want to make a bazillion projects using all the nails.  Like what?  I dunno.  I kinda don't care.  Gimme all the nails.

Right.  Ok.  I may need some help over here.


I priced out a 6x6 over 'dere on Menards' website and considering I'm elbow-deep in a huge project that is draining my wallet, drip drip drip, ah puns!, I was having trouble justifying the cost for a project that I had zero place for.

Granted, I didn't swing by the store (shock of all shocks) to shop in person so I'm not sure if there was a better offering.

Instead I visited Twitchy's place as the last time I zipped by there, I noticed the number of bins filled with scrap wood had reproduced like dust bunnies which reminds me I really need to clean the house.  Sigh.  Boring.  Having a German Shedder is a never-ending uphill battle.

But one of the last times I stopped, Twitchy gave me a bunch of 4x4's so hope springs eternal.  It was a long shot.

Digging around, literally climbing around, I finally found some beefier solid chunks, not 6x6's but definite winners and I about tinkled myself in excitement.  I stacked them up and swiftly hastened to the car.  Not like I had to scamper, no one was there, but you know how it goes when you get giddy.

pallet wood blocks and supplies
Ready for action!  Originally I thought to glue the blocks together to make taller blocks, hence the Liquid Nails,* but opted not to.
So ok!  Project underway!

I was soooo excited to do this, I could barely focus.  I dove right in sans pre-planning.  Not always the best course of action, but I couldn't stop myself.

Started by drilling about one inch deep holes in four corners of a block.

drilling holes in the pallet wood blocks for the nail legs
Tad bit outta order here with the photos but I imagine you'll be ok.
Bang in the nails.

12" steel nail for leg in pallet wood block
Bang bang bang.
Simple as that.

Hm, several ended up a little crooked.  I stalked poor Keith again like the nutcase that I am to see...ah his nails are the thinner twisty type, ah.  Plus, surely he was infinitely more patient and precise than I was about this.

So all right, I'll live with the slight crooked.

After that, I sealed up a wood block with that beeswax/mineral oil whoo-dee-do fancy blend, really gooping in on there as the wood is rough and thirsty.  Waited a day, sorta wiped it down.

sealing pallet wood block beeswax and mineral oil
Goopy goo.
Sure, I know it won't last but hopefully it'll last a lil' bit.  I better swing back by Twitchy's, see if he's got a few more blocks for back-ups (I did.  He did.).

More blocks drilled, bunches of nails pounded in....then it hit me.  The form, the direction, the point -- it's a coffee table!  For the patio!!  Ah ha!  Lots of little cutie cubes, modular freeform, assembled together!  As a coffee table!  Heeeeyyyy, got it!

My excitement sharpened, if that was even possible.

On two blocks I smoothed on blue and yellow stains* I had leftover from the kitchen drawers gift pack, oh and also the first floor bathroom cabinets, then sealed those up with the same goopy goo.  I know, indoor stains.  See paragraph above.

After wandering past these little cuties a few times in the basement, d y i n g to get them outdoors for their photo op but can't because the rain just will.not.stop around here I realized oh, doh, I should probably put something on the nail head feet to slow down rust.  Doh, that's probably why Keith originally painted the feeties on his.  Doh.

Dug out my gallon can of black Rustoleum and uuggh, not freakin' again, the can dried out.  Twice I've purchased gallon cans for repainting the massive amounts of metal out front and twice I've wasted a sh*t ton of paint and money.

But I did find a tiny can of yellow that I purchased for uh, can't remember, hoping it comes back to me, oh the outdoor dining chairs, and the leftover aqua from painting the wood patio chairs.  Two sets of feet went yellow, one aqua.

painting the head feet of the nails with Rust-Oleum
Again with the frustrating camera focusing issues, grrr.  But you get the gist.
For some reason the paint never stuck to those wood chairs, vvrrrtt tangent, so they were a giant ugly chippy disaster; we ditched them this year and went Ikea.

I mean, let's talk desperation here for a sec....Mike actually went to Ikea with me.  On a Sunday.  To buy chairs.  In order to avoid using my favorite black ones.  Hm.

He was a crabby pain about the excursion but he was happier after some flavored soda water and a pack of cinnamon buns.  (Mine are better he said.  Smart man.)  And luckily I still love him.

We got the Overallt rocking chairs.

patio before
Patio before.  Well, after new Ikea chairs but before the crowning glory, sooo, heh, middle.
Anyway, right, the table.

I had to purchase more black Rustoleum as the front stair just will not stop rusting, this time just a mere quart, so the rest of the feeties received black.  I feel like I need a different brand for the outdoor metal, a la the back door closer lesson.


It was time.

Time to assemble!  clap clap, let's do this, rawwrrr!

Moved the old nondescript tables out which were free-to-me oh some uh mmph mmph decades ago, preeetttyy sure I got my money's worth there, and tada, voila, oooh-eee, I'm as happy as can be!

pallet wood coffee table after
Isn't it....isn't it just the neatest lil' thing?!  How 'bout them ferns, pow, holy cow!!
Mike saw the table and after a moment of hesitation, he connected all the weird along-the-way dots, put it together in his head and said, "oh.  Ok, cool.  I get it.  This works."

modern modular patio coffee table of pallet blocks and nails
Heh, zillions of little legs.  Kinda crooked legs.  Ah well.
Ya know what the bestest most coolest part of it all was though?

view of modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table
Arrgg, I love it!
For the first time in a mighty long time (probably mostly mosquito related but still), we actually sat on the patio for the better part of a day, rather than the deck.  We made great use of our cutie new coffee table!

Finn the dog checking out the modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table
What dis?
Even Finn approves.  Look at him sniffing the yellow, goooood boy!

top view of modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table
Oh I know, I took way too many pictures.  I have more if you want.
Yay, what fun!  Thank you, Keith!  Keep the cool ideas coming so I have lots to do!

patio view of modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table

modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table
Ok, getting gratuitious now.

finished modern modular pallet wood patio coffee table

*The 12" nails, Liquid Nails construction adhesive, and Pure Color eco-friendly stains are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. They are so danged cute! I love the pic with your dog, shows the size better. They are like a little army of teeny tables about to take over. This inspires me to make some too. My cats would have a field day with them.

    1. Thank you so much! Haha, Finn is extra giant so that's a tricky one, but yes, he does lend some perpective. I hope you make them and your cats have a field day! Thank you!

  2. Looks top-heavy and unstable, especially if you put something on top of them. Just saying.

    1. Ok. They’re not though, the wood blocks are pretty lightweight and we have no issues setting things atop.

  3. Love these, thought they were full size to start till you mentioned 12" nails. I so want to make some. Love your Finn,we also have a German Shedder.

    1. Thank you very much! Yes, they’re pretty small individually. I hope yours turns out super fun! Finn says thanks! German Shedders are the best, right?! Thanks for taking the time to write!


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