Marlene
Marlene
  • Hometalk Helper
  • Canada

Make an Easy Outdoor Side Table

5 Materials
$16
2 Days
Easy

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.
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!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

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

Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Kay Muenzenmeyer Gill
    on May 20, 2018

    Couldn’ you use a serving tray/plate without the handles? I’ve seen those at Dollar General. It wouldn’t allow you to take in and out but it could be sealed and then rain wouldn’t go in the top.

    • Marlene
      on May 20, 2018

      I've done that, Kay, using slightly smaller pots, so the trays fit snugly in the top. This was the only tray I could find that fit this size pot.

  • Sharon Welton Anderson
    on May 20, 2018

    Wouldn't the try fill up with rain water?


    • Marlene
      on May 20, 2018

      In this case, because of the handles on the tray, the water goes into the top pot. I simply drain it after it rains, however, it was suggested that you could drill holes in both the top and bottom pots to let the water drain away out the bottom.

  • Delwanda rowell
    on Jan 21, 2019

    I want to know can this project work as end tables

    • Marlene
      on Jan 22, 2019

      I don't know why not! You can sprat paint the pots any colour you like or use them as is, depending on your decor. The only suggestion I'd make is to glue the tray top on. That will keep it from slipping and give it more stability so you can sit a lamp and other items on it.

Join the conversation

4 of 98 comments
Your comment...