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Make an Easy Outdoor Side Table

This is the time of year when we may yearn for new outdoor furniture, a dream that is too often out of reach for the budget-impaired. Still, never say die! I’ve “designed” an outdoor side table that’s super easy to put together using only three main items from the dollar store.

Regular readers of Dollar Store Style may have seen an earlier version of this idea on the Dollar Store Style website. After being out in the weather all summer, a couple of issues popped up, which I’ll talk about as we go on.
Time: 2 Days Cost: $16 Difficulty: Easy
  • make an easy outdoor side table
Just ignore the electric drill. After I took this picture, I discovered that I’m no great shakes at using the Black and Decker, so I defaulted to using a simpler method to make holes that’s just as effective. (I’ll explain about the holes later.)
  • make an easy outdoor side table
Turn one of the planters upside down and apply silicone to the bottom.
  • make an easy outdoor side table
Line the base of the top planter up with the base of the bottom planter and press down. Let the silicone dry for at least 24 hours. (I discovered, with last year’s table, that using hot glue isn’t a good idea; it melts in the heat. Oops!)
  • make an easy outdoor side table
In the earlier incarnation of this side table, I used a patterned tray but, over the course of the summer, the colours faded, so I recommend using a white tray like this one. Push it down into the top of the planter until it feels stable. This tray fits very nicely just below the edge of the planter. You don’t need to use glue here.

Please note that, because of the tray’s handles, the planter will fill up with water when it rains, if it isn’t under shelter. Otherwise, you could use the space underneath to store small outdoor items.
  • make an easy outdoor side table
Because plastic pots are so lightweight and because, I will be using my new side table on the lawn mostly, I put four holes around the bottom rim on each of the four “sides” using a small pointy screwdriver and a hammer. If you have an awl, that’s even better. A couple of good whacks for each hole did the trick. 

These four holes will allow you to anchor your new side table to the ground using the lawn staples. Barring gale-force winds, the lawn staples should keep the table from toppling in the summer breezes.
  • make an easy outdoor side table
If you’d rather use your new side table on a deck or patio, prevent it from tipping in the wind by placing something heavy on it, like this homemade garden light.
  • make an easy outdoor side table
Use a small glass bowl, clear glass stones and the top off of a small floral garden stake burrowed into the stones. All of these materials were found at Dollar Tree. This light looks even better at night after it’s been filled up with rain!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Two 15 ½-inch round plastic flower pots   (Dollarama)
  • 15-inch round tray   (Dollarama)
  • Silicone   (on hand)
See all materials

To see more: http://www.dollarstorestyle.com/ontheside.html

  • Olivia Caagbay Clarito
    Olivia Caagbay Clarito
    on Jul 14, 2017

    Thats a great idea for my backyard.. Would like to try it. Thanks for the tips..

  • Pat Gainey
    Pat Gainey China Grove, NC
    on Jul 14, 2017

    Might try this

  • Sherry Golick
    Sherry Golick Paulsboro, NJ
    on Jul 20, 2017


  • Ginger Holtkamp
    Ginger Holtkamp New Knoxville, OH
    on Jul 23, 2017

    Also like the fish bowl idea. Solar light or floating candle. Great ideas.

  • Donna Rowland
    Donna Rowland Cookeville, TN
    on Aug 5, 2017

    I made a table like this years ago....I used clay pots....I had an old butcher block chopping block I used for top ...I stain and seal the top periodically, for protection...and painted the pots.....plenty heavy not to turn over.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!