DIY Coffee Table Made With a Washing Machine Drum

4 Materials
3 Hours

A couple of years ago a friend kindly gifted me an old washing machine drum which she had removed from an unrepairable washing machine. The washing machine drum moved house with us whilst I contemplated what to upcycle it into. My husband kindly transformed it into a coffee table, using wood we had to hand.

To make you own washing machine drum coffee table measure the diameter of the drum and add at least a couple of inches. Divide in half to establish the radius - tie a pen to one end of a piece of wire and wrap the other end around a nail to draw a circle the size required for the table top.

Drill a hole just to the outer edge of the circle. This enables you to place a jigsaw through the wood and cut out your table top.

Add any supports required to the underside of the table top. As our top is made from a former shed side the planks are prone to separating.

Measure the desired height ff the finished table. Cut three lengths of wood to size to form your table legs ( you can read my precise measurements here).

Using nuts and bolts secure the legs to the washing machine drum.

Our legs stand proud of the top of the washing machine drum

Place you lid on top and screw the top to the legs to secure.

Give the wood a quick sand. Paint or stain the wood to protect it, I have used two tester pots from Cuprinol in a charcoal color. The completed coffee table is exactly the right height for my husbands garden rocking chair.

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  29 questions
  • Marilyn Girardin Marilyn Girardin on Aug 10, 2019

    When will stage show Alexander Hamilton be in Omaha.?

    • Mamma Mamma on Aug 12, 2019

      what does this have to do with a washing machine drum makeover?

  • Lja23984216 Lja23984216 on Aug 12, 2019

    I know this may sound crazy but, I think putting a light inside to turn on/off so it could shine through the holes would be cool.

  • Ken Ken on Aug 12, 2019

    What can i do with a. round thing that used for wrapping wire + other stuff

    • Amanda Amanda on Aug 12, 2019

      Do you mean a spool? Most ideas I've seen involve turning it into a table, but it depends a lot on size.

    • Hb Hb on Aug 12, 2019

      I saw one made into a book shelf . Was very nice .

    • Sharon Rose Sharon Rose on Aug 12, 2019

      Make a nautical table out of it. Wrap rope around the spool section, white wash and sand the top a bit to age it a bit, then stencil an anchor on that...seal it when you acquire the look you want

    • Em Em on Aug 12, 2019

      Not for this post. Pose you question on the forum.

  • Regina Regina on Aug 12, 2019

    Does the wood top seal the opining of the drum? What if it gets dirty inside?

    • Joe Jones Joe Jones on Aug 12, 2019

      No it doesn’t seal the opening and if it gets dirty inside take the nuts off and then the drum will slide out the bottom and clean it. It’s pretty easy or just use 1 screw in each leg through the table top and you can remove the top whenever you want

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 12, 2019

    Would it be possible to make the center pieces into 3 to 4 narrower pieces, tie them together and hinge them so you could open the table and perhaps store things like throws, etc. in there?

    That would be a great place to roll them an store them for the summer!

    Just a thought!

    • CapnChaos CapnChaos on Aug 12, 2019

      That was my thought too! At least make the top so it can be removed. Looks like wasted space if not. I could soooo see this in an industrial decor, guy space or sooo cute in a laundry room!!

    • Jody Jody on Aug 12, 2019

      You could make the top so that it sets on top and you can lift it off. You would have to secure it in a way that it wouldn’t slide around. Then you could put things inside. It might be cool to put lights inside.

    • Wendy Baldwin Wendy Baldwin on Aug 12, 2019

      If the laundry room was large enough, it could be a folding table! 🥰

    • Joe Jones Joe Jones on Aug 12, 2019

      You could put a hinge on one of the outer pieces of wood that would keep the seam from separating and you could put a locking hasp of some sort that you think looks good on the legs opposite the hinge side and then it will be held closed and secured and you can store stuff

    • Jeanne Standerford Jeanne Standerford on Aug 12, 2019

      This a is a SMART idea! otherwise you just have an empty "thing" takes up space.

    • Vickymcreations Vickymcreations on Aug 12, 2019

      I love all these ideas

  • Sandy Fenter Sandy Fenter on Aug 12, 2019

    Are the outside edges of the drum rough or sharp? Just think about little ones around it.

    • Joe Jones Joe Jones on Aug 12, 2019

      No it’s not a cheese grater feel it’s a smooth one you can reach in your machine and feel it and the outside of it can be felt by reaching under the bottom or through the back

    • Vickymcreations Vickymcreations on Aug 12, 2019

      Looks rougher than it feels, I don’t think you could cut your fingers on it

  • Dana Marshall Postil Dana Marshall Postil on Aug 12, 2019

    Coffee table or end table (or plant stand, in this case)? This probably wouldn't be used as a coffee table, right?

  • Lucy Marie Bernier Lucy Marie Bernier on Aug 12, 2019

    Now that’s a repurpose job... 👍👍👍👍 Ever think of putting lights in there ? Would be a nice diffused lighting... Hmmmm

    • Teri Teri on Aug 12, 2019

      My thoughts exactly!

    • CJ Mac CJ Mac on Aug 12, 2019


    • AndradeTea AndradeTea on Aug 12, 2019

      Oh that would be cool!

    • Jan Elizabeth Jan Elizabeth on Aug 12, 2019

      That would be awesome! So pretty.

    • Joanie Joanie on Aug 12, 2019

      Great idea!!

    • Chris Chris on Aug 12, 2019

      That is very awesome it would look awesome wit a blue or a purple Christmas tree lights

    • Janice Janice on Aug 14, 2019

      That would be neat! I have used old gas and kerosene stoves for light holders they look neat. The smallest gas stove was in my grandmothers bathroom when I was growing up and the lights I put in it I got around Halloween they are small orange/red and twinkle. There are also some steady burning orange in it. The bigger kerosene stove has small clear and blue lights in it. Personally I like the ones that are orange because it looks like a fire burning. But they are both pretty.

    • Lisa Sinclair Lisa Sinclair on Aug 14, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing! How clever!

  • Debra Debra on Aug 12, 2019

    Is there any way to have the drum as storage?

    • Kas Kas on Aug 12, 2019

      assemble with drum on its side and add a shelf in the center. Assemble as shown and hinge table top to make a section open or not secure the top and lift it off when needed

    • David David on Aug 12, 2019

      Yes instead of screwing top to legs, put a hinge to one leg and the top

  • Susan K Susan K on Aug 12, 2019

    I just replaced my washer, bummer! Do you think it would hold up if I used one for a small fire pit?

  • Lonette Lonette on Aug 19, 2019

    Absolutely love this!! Great job!

  • Beth Beth on Aug 19, 2019

    I don't understand what the point in using the drum? It's not a functional addition and you have a table without it.

    • Glenda Frost-Greer Glenda Frost-Greer on Aug 19, 2019

      so you could put led lights in it of course lol

    • Cindy Cindy on Aug 19, 2019

      This is much more pleasing and interesting to look at than just a plain wooden table. Plus if she made the top removable and it is placed in a sheltered area she has extra storage. Very creative idea to give an industrial look. Great job!

    • Jim Laughner Jim Laughner on Aug 19, 2019

      I had the same thought Beth.

    • Myron Myron on Aug 19, 2019

      I'm sure it's more for "looks" not function. It gives you something a little more different than just a table.

    • Matty Matty on Aug 19, 2019


    • Kay Drakakides Cranor Kay Drakakides Cranor on Aug 19, 2019

      I love it, I would put the lights in it and maybe make it shorter and use it on my screened porch.

  • Sharon Murdock Sharon Murdock on Aug 19, 2019

    Is this item purly aesthetic or does it have a purpose?

  • Karen Karen on Aug 19, 2019

    Why not leave the top off an make it to a planter?

  • Cynthia Cynthia on Aug 19, 2019

    Couldn't you put lights in the tumbler. They would show through the holes?

    Just a thought.

    We use the tumblers for fire pits outside, the heat comes through the little holes.

    • Lori Lori on Aug 19, 2019

      I like that idea...

    • Steffanie Steffanie on Aug 19, 2019

      Great idea...or make it so the table top comes off because I would assume lint, etc would collect inside the drum. How else would you clean it out?

    • Sherry Sherry on Aug 19, 2019

      That was my first thought...then yes a planter with plants that hang to take away the abrubtness ( if that is a word) of this project

    • Lois Lois on Aug 19, 2019

      Cynthia, great idea about the lights.

  • Maria Salcedo Maria Salcedo on Aug 19, 2019

    Are the drums from dryers capable of being used this way, or, are they different? I have a washer and a dryer and wondering if I can use both for this purpose?

  • Movita Movita on Aug 19, 2019

    Here is a pictureof mine I did last year.

  • Anita Snider Anita Snider on Aug 19, 2019

    Could you use a dryer drum instead??

    • I would think you could!!! But I am not a professional!!!

    • Lalaine Felix Lalaine Felix on Aug 20, 2019

      I dont see any strange idea using drum as table. Whats the use of drum under the table itself? Does it hold something in there for the drum to be useful? I might Use it as a big plant vase for big space to hold enough soil togrther with composted organics.

    • Lalaine Felix Lalaine Felix on Aug 20, 2019

      That drum would be a beautiful center figure with a very lovely plant in my garden, probably standing two light poles on each side.

    • Lalaine Felix Lalaine Felix on Aug 20, 2019

      That drum would be a beautiful center figure with a very lovely plant in my garden, probably standing two light poles on each side.

  • Lisa Kyner Sullivan Lisa Kyner Sullivan on Aug 19, 2019

    This gave me the idea to use one for a fire pit! Of course, remove all the plastic parts. I wonder if the metal would withstand the temperatures?

    • Carol Carol on Aug 19, 2019

      The metal is too thin for a fire pit. It would not last long.

    • Marcia Marcia on Aug 19, 2019

      I once rented a place that had a fire pit made out of the guts of an oven. They removed the door, put the oven on its side so the opening was at the top and dug a hole for it to fit down into.

    • Patti Patti on Aug 19, 2019

      My family. Has used one for 10yrs. Awsome portable fire pit, weld legs on it.

    • Holly Holly on Aug 19, 2019

      They make awesome firer pits

    • Janet Janet on Aug 19, 2019

      Yes! My friend did that and it was sooo pretty when the light of the fire was a beautiful sight!

    • Brenda Brenda on Aug 19, 2019

      Works out good, I have seen them

    • Susan Perron Perez Susan Perron Perez on Aug 19, 2019

      Only if they don’t contain magnesium, magnesium will explode I’d over heat

    • Jane Fisher McRoberts Jane Fisher McRoberts on Aug 20, 2019

      I would think it would rust quickly being outside

    • Gina Yarber Gina Yarber on Aug 20, 2019

      I used to work for a farmers' market type event that took place at a fairgrounds. No open fires. Someone had an old wasker drum on legs for a fire. Worked great and was pretty! I wouldn't think it would rust - it doesn't rust inside the washer.

    • Esther Stieger Esther Stieger on Aug 20, 2019

      Great idea!

    • Marian Marian on Aug 20, 2019

      Yea it does. I use the. For burn barrels

    • Kareema Griest Kareema Griest on Aug 20, 2019

      My mom & I have been looking for cool & unconventional DIY firepit ideas...knowing that this could work is awesome!

    • Janet Elizabeth Lee Janet Elizabeth Lee on Aug 21, 2019

      Ive got one as a fire pit in my yard and it has worked perfect for 4 years now and still going strong

  • Deborah Hatch Deborah Hatch on Aug 19, 2019

    What is the point of using the washing machine barrel? Maybe if you put it in a fish pond to hold live plants that allow the water to travel through the holes yet keeps the plant in check from spreading growth of the plant. That would be a good use of the the "Holy Silver Pot".

  • Shirley Shirley on Aug 20, 2019

    The wood makes the table, why use the metal piece?

    • Peggy Moore Peggy Moore on Aug 23, 2019

      The interesting look of the silver with holes makes the tub the desirable main element of the table. She chose the dark paint to contrast.

    • Catherine Catherine on Aug 07, 2020

      love it, the drum makes it interesting ..

    • Tish Ann Tish Ann on Aug 07, 2020

      I disagree, the drum 100% makes the table!!!! I think it looks amazing and it’s 1 of a kind!!!!

  • Allene Allene on Aug 22, 2019

    What about lights inside the drum? Like a big strand of white lights from x-mas? Or the icicles from the outside of the house that your no longer using on the house?

  • Ruth Saldana Ruth Saldana on Aug 06, 2020

    Could you fill the drum with something and use it as an outdoor fire pit?

  • Rubyskye Rubyskye on Oct 20, 2020

    I can see several different uses that others have listed. It is a FUN idea. It may be too late, but perhaps you could create a hinged 'door' to allow depositing lights? Or even if leaving top off it would be a great planter!

  • Diane Diane on Jun 10, 2021

    You are amazing! Love your creativity.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 10, 2021

    This is an attractive piece of furniture?

  • John Cokos John Cokos on Jun 10, 2021

    Does the drum ACTUALLY serve any purpose other that ornamental ?

  • Michele Venice Michele Venice on Jun 17, 2021

    I bet you can drill a hole and put lights in it to use as ambiance or a night ligh. This project im surely going to try. Thank you

  • Joseph V. Jaeger Joseph V. Jaeger on Jun 17, 2021

    Can you use the drum to make an outdoor fireplace for the patio

    • Kimberly Kimberly on Jun 17, 2021

      I'm sure you could.. I'd be sure to put a good distance and height of a diameter around it for safety reasons as you wouldn't want anyone to get burned

    • Carrie Waeldin Buchanan Carrie Waeldin Buchanan on Jun 17, 2021

      Those steel drums are ideal for a fire pit. We have made several with steel pipes for legs or a stand with a steel wheel rim. You definitely don’t want it too near a flammable surface!


Join the conversation

3 of 158 comments
  • Ma Kettle Ma Kettle on Jun 17, 2021

    This is beautiful. I see others suggested putting lights in the drum. How lovely that would be.

  • This is the most creative coffee table I have ever seen! Love that it's made from a washing machine drum! Stained wood or painted I could see this project in my living room! This is perfect for smaller spaces too!