The finished product
It’s not much, but I’m proud of it and wanted to share it. I worked with a pretty limited amount of tools and supplies. Probably took me about 15 hours or so total and set me back $50. The succulents were the most expensive part.
Grabbed a couple of old pallets from a store by my work. Explore some stores or businesses in your area and you can find some pallets easily. Most places are happy to give them away just to get rid of them. The wood is pretty crappy on these, but free is free.
Tear down of pallets
I pried the other two pallets apart using the leverage from a flathead screwdriver. Once I got some planks off I started using them to pry off other planks. This one was held together a lot firmer so I ended up just sawing the planks off.
I did everything using handtools except for a small battery powered drill. I had to improvise many times.
The idea forms
When I first started I wasn’t positive how I was going to build the table, I simply knew that I wanted a succulent garden in the middle. After seeing the wood I had to work with the idea started to come together.
The pallet wood deconstructed
Taking the pallets apart was probably the most time consuming task. It was very slow going using a screwdriver, I would recommend using a crowbar if you have one. It was also challenging not destroying the wood. Lots of it cracked and broke, but you just have to keep at it.
Forming the top
I used wood glue to glue the top pieces together in a square formation.
My next makeshift sawhorse
Not the best but it’s all I had to work with after taking apart the pallets.
It was important to utilize every piece of wood so I used the scraps from what I had cut off of the top pieces to form the garden. The walls are 7 inches deep. I screwed them together first and then screwed the square on down through the top.
Screwed some planks on the side going through the top once again.
Bottom of the first shelf
I hand sawed a bunch of planks to the correct length (phew what a workout) and then pieced them together so that they fit together nicely. All of the wood was warped or cracked differently or whatever so I just had to mess with it. Also, note that I attached a lip of wood on the side planks on order to have something to screw into easier. I wood glued together the pieces underneath the garden in order to hold them tighter together. I also filled in any cracks or old nail holes with wood glue to plug them up.
The top view
I used a clear silicon sealant inside the garden. I covered any holes/cracks and where any pieces came together that would provide a chance for water to get through.
The bottom tier/shelf
I repeated the process again running the wood perpendicular to the top shelf. I ended up having to unscrew the planks on each end of the top shelf because I didn’t think ahead. So screw down the side planks for the bottom shelf before you secure the the ends of the top shelf.
View looking through the bottom shelf
This was midway through securing the planks. Those diagonal criss-crossing pieces were eventually put flat like the rest to form a solid bottom.
From from the top
The two tiers put together. Bonus feet.
Screwed some legs to the bottom since I wanted the table a little bit higher than it ended up being after the two tiers. Once again I had to undo planks to screw down through the top. Think before you act.
Construction complete. On to the finishing touches.
Stained the table with miniwax special walnut 224. I think it would also be cool to paint it and distress it in areas. After staining I covered the top with two layers of polyurethane. I’m too lazy and cheap to do the full table, but probably should.
I layered the bottom of the garden with two trash bags because I was feeling too cheap to buy plastic sheeting. I then filled the garden about halfway with vermiculite in the hopes that it will soak up any water that penetrates all the way to the bottom. The rest was then filled with planting soil for succulents. I don’t think it’s going to be foolproof waterproofing, but the idea will be to water very, very little and not saturate all the way down.
My expert advice is to stick them in the dirt with the roots down.
Plants and fun stuff
Some goodies for the garden.