Do you have an awkward little space in your home that’s not big enough to fit a standard-sized side table? Welcome to my world. Lucky for me, though, we have a stockpile of pallets and a “What the heck, let’s make our own” kinda attitude 😀 So in this tutorial, I’d like to share how I cobbled together this small, rustic pallet side table with zero woodworking skills.

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

It’s not much, but I’m super proud of myself. Before making this, I had never used a jigsaw or belt sander. In my mind, those were manly tools best left to the experts.

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

And I can’t tell you how much fun I had. But, before I get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

The awkward space problem

The main bedroom in our little round house is odd. It’s shaped like a 1/4 slice of pizza, with a sliding door that leads to the lounge on the straight-cut edge and a window on the round edge. A double bed fits if you squish it in the only corner of the room. Those darn round walls. With a wardrobe on one side of the bed, the available space on the other side is only 23 cm wide or 9″.

Bedroom layout - top view with awkward spot marked

I must have gone to 7 different swop shops but couldn’t find anything. All the side tables and nightstands we looked at were too wide to fit in that space. I really, really needed something long, thin, short, and rustic with enough room for my kindle and other bits and bobs.

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

I considered using a pile of books as a little table, but the thought of unstacking and restacking them every time I swept the floor put me off. So the only option left was to make one.

Making a pallet side table

Using the 23 cm we had to work with as a guide, we found three beautifully worn pallet planks. Side-by-side, they were the right width and roughly the same thickness.

Three pallet planks side-by-side in a vice

But roughly the same thickness meant the tabletop wouldn’t be level, and we don’t have a planer. So, the best idea we could come up with was to level the top as best as possible in a vice before drilling a hole right through the planks and inserting a thread bar.

Joining the pallet planks to form a tabletop

After cutting the thread bar with a hacksaw, it was secured with a washer, nylock and some wood glue. The hubby did the tricky hacksaw bit for me.

A close up view of the nylock and threadbare

The tabletop was pretty level after adding the thread bar, but there were still a few wobbly areas, and it was full of splinters. Time for the man tools – bring on the belt sander 😀

Using a belt sander for the first time

I started with 80-grit sandpaper and worked up to 120-grit to get a beautifully smooth surface. The short ends of the tabletop were trimmed with a jigsaw. According to the experts, a jigsaw isn’t the best tool for cutting along a straight line. They suggest using a circular saw instead. We don’t have one of those either, so semi-straight cuts with a jigsaw will have to do 😀 That’s the great thing about making something rustic, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Three pallet planks joined together to form a tabletop

See that funny-looking wormhole towards the top. That’s an ooopsie. The drill went all wonky when making the first hole for the thread bar. Oh well, that also adds to the rustic character IMHO.

Adding the legs

To make the legs, I carefully measured and cut two pieces using one of our thicker pallets. The legs were positioned and braced onto the bottom of the tabletop with square offcuts. That’s the little bit you can see on the side of the right leg.

A view of the bottom of the pallet side table before adding the legs

The braces are glued and screwed on either side of the legs, and then the braces are glued and screwed into the bottom of the pallet tabletop. Finally, a support beam (is that the right word) was glued and screwed between the legs to keep them from kinda collapsing in on themselves.

The pallet side table before painting

Isn’t she pretty? To whitewash, we diluted Linen White Chalk paint with water and, using just the tip of a cheap brush, brushed the mixture on, following the grain of the wood. Once the paint had dried, I applied a layer of clear wax with a lint-free cloth.  

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

Don’t you love, love, love the silky feel of the wood after the wax has gone on?

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

The perfect pallet side table for our pizza slice bedroom.

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

Have you got any awkward spaces in your home that you’ve tackled? How did you do it?

And if you like the idea of making a pallet side table with limited woodworking skills, don’t forget to pin it for later.

How to make a small, rustic pallet side table for an awkward space. Absolute beginner project @ACraftyMix

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

M12x250mm Fully Threaded Rod Studs Long Metric Threaded Screw 304 Stainless Steel Right Hand Threads All Threaded Rod Studs for Anchor Bolts Clamps Hangers U-Bolts 5 Pack
Rustic Farmhouse Reclaimed Barn Wood Bundle | 12 inch | Wood Plank | Wall Panels | Remodeling| DIY | Repurposed | Decoration | Shiplap | Natural Weathered Gray | Pack of 6 Planks
Sale Rust-Oleum 1 qt Brands 285140 Linen White Chalked Ultra Matte Paint, 30 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then perhaps these beauties will appeal.

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And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix