♪♫ Two Dollar Table ♫♪

Sing that to the tune of “Five Dolla Footlong.” Do it. Dangit, I’m serious. Sing it!

I have this little landing at the top of the stairs, before you go into the boys’ room.


I also have three children who can’t seem to find a good home for their coats.

That was my motivation. Coat storage. And I wanted it to be cute, because you know…why the heck not?

You come up the stairs and can go right or left.


To the left is a built-in desk area and then the guest room. To the right is this open landing area that was a wonderful place for the boys to put their own tree at Christmas time. It has pretty much been holding shoes and coats and piles of DIY items/tools/junk since then. Maybe there was a basket of laundry for a while?

Anyway, I wanted to add functional storage but also make it pretty. I considered a bench there. Wait. I didn’t just consider it. I actually put a bench there when we first moved in, but then I moved it to the foot of our bed.

canopy bed

I considered a dresser, but decided I didn’t need drawer-type storage as much as something to hold coats…maybe shoes…maybe a basket for laundry waiting to go down stairs…

(Not to mention that I’m having a horrible time finding a dresser for inside their room as it is. I’m bidding on an auction that ends next week. If that doesn’t work out, it may be time to build. I’ll definitely keep you updated.)

I decided I needed a table that could have baskets or bins slide underneath it. That way I could have functional storage, and still decorate the table. Maybe even put a gallery wall above it??

You know those hollow core bi-fold doors? If your house was built in the 70’s or early 80’s, you might have them on your closet or laundry room. You know the kinds that pinch kid’s fingers and always fall off the track? Like these doors.

Do you know what a Parson’s style console table is?

walnut console tables

I wanted something like this sofa table. Or this console table. But um…you know…wow! I don’t have a grand to drop on a table. Even if I did, I wouldn’t. That walnut is gorgeous, though!

console tables

West Elm has a slightly more affordable version. Crate & Barrel has a concrete version. CB2 has a really fun clear version. There’s this one from Howard Elliott.

But anyway, let’s be real. I never shop those places. Amazon had one for $600. What?! Has everyone lost their minds? Even Ikea’s Malm was $129.

white console tables

Am I the only person who sees a bi-fold closet door when I look at these tables? A stunning bi-fold door, of course…but still.

So anyway, Habitat Re-store has bi-fold doors all the time. I’ve seen them for $1, $2, and $5. Depending on the width, I always assumed. Or maybe just depending on their inventory level? They had dozens the day I picked up two of them for a buck each.

(I am aware of them and the price, because I’ve been looking at them and seeing floating shelves for years, but we have a few Lacks, so we don’t need them.)

You could make this from one door if you wanted it a bit narrower, but I needed two doors in order to make this as long (wide) as I wanted and still have enough for legs.

Standard table height is 29-31 inches, so I used that as a gauge for my leg length. I made the length of the top based on the width of the space. Measure twice, cut once.

hollow bi-fold door

Since this is a hollow core door, it will leave an open space in the end where it is cut.

hollow end

This is where it gets comical. You could buy a small piece of craft wood and patch this end. Or fill it with a block of wood. I used shims and gathered up wood scraps from underneath the table saw. (By the way, I didn’t get the hubs a new table saw for Valentine’s Day. He insisted we didn’t need it. We’re still using the old one and I’m still terrified of that spinning blade with no power switch. I should say *he* is still using the old one.)

wood blocks blocks

The newly four-year old wanted to help, of course. There wasn’t a lot that he could help with on this project, so I decided we could turn this patch job into a puzzle. I could use up these scraps and not have to cut into a bigger piece of wood.

Yes, I’m that cheap. Or maybe I’m just a very creative mother? Maybe both. Quit laughing at me. Every penny I save is another penny I get to spend on the bathroom renovation we’re going to start as soon as we finish the semester.

glue the wood blocks

I would hold a piece and he would apply glue and we just kept shoving in pieces until we could fit no more.

wood block puzzle

He was very proud of his “puzzle.”

proud of his puzzle

When the wood glue was dry, I put wood filler in all those kajillion cracks and holes. After that dried, I sanded it smooth and it looked like this…

patched end

better than I expected…nothing a little paint can’t cover.

The legs are attached to the top with wood glue and L brackets.

L brackets

We already had these left from some previous project, but a four pack is about two dollars.

bracket on door

We attached the brackets to the legs and then applied glue to the under side of the top before attaching it to the other side of the bracket.

attach with brackets

I then applied more glue along the seam just in case. You can see in the pic above that we also added a scrap piece of quarter inch plywood to the back just to keep it square and sturdy. (Why yes, those are tree leaves. I’m convinced we’ll never have this lot cleaned. Hurry up, Spring!)

I let the glue dry over night in the garage, but then I brought the table in to the living room to paint…’cause dang it got cold!

two inch roller

I was going to use a foam roller at first, but then I decided to use a brush so I would have more control over how much paint was applied.

paint brush

As I got out my supplies and started to paint, I decided not to prime. I was thinking/hoping that this raw “wood” (it’s veneer…very thin wood…but it counts) would soak up the paint but still show a lot of grain. Priming would have prevented that.

Normally, I would just stain, rather than paint, if I wanted the grain to show through. Since this is hollow and the end had to be patched, I couldn’t use stain without it revealing the hot mess that was underneath. If I used paint, though, I could apply it more heavily around the edges but still have all that grain coming through on top, and the color would be the same.

I had the worst time getting a photo of this. If I didn’t use the flash, it looked like a black hole. When I did use the flash, you could see the grain but it washed out the color. This is black. I promise. I love how it turned out; I wish I was a decent photographer so you guys could appreciate it also.

wood grain

I let that dry over another night (dang, it got even colder!) and then carried it upstairs. By myself. Because I’m super strong. And it is hollow.

console table

Since I had the brackets and the paint on hand from previous projects, this table cost me $2 out-of-pocket. But even if I had to buy a $2 pack of hardware and a $2 sample of paint, that’s still a $6 table. Worse case scenario: you don’t have a Habitat nearby and you buy brand new doors, this is still a $40 table. Way cheaper than West Elm! (No offense, West, you know I love you!)

Then came the best part. Decorating!

You’ll have to forgive the horrible lighting that follows. We have this light that casts all these weird shadows.

weird cast light

And we have this light in the stairwell that casts…wheat? Is that wheat?

wheat light

And this area to the left here overlooks the formal dining (our classroom) and there is a huge window in there that lets the sun shine through all these balusters.

balcony over classroom

Put all that together with my photography skills and it is a nightmare.

Anyway, I brought in these baskets for storage.

laundry bins

This is actually a set of laundry hampers with the labels turned backwards.

laundry delicates bin

I gathered up some things from around the house that I thought I might want to use here.The It Is Well With My Soul typography is from Hobby Lobby recently. Are You My Mother? was on the stairs waiting to be brought up to the boys’ room. I just tossed it here because it matched. Ha.

I love the color seafoam/mint, but I have issues mixing it with turquoise. You can do whatever you want in your house. Break all the rules if you love it. Since I have turquoise throughout the downstairs, I saved all this color for up here. I just feel like the green in this color is trying too hard to work with the bluer turquoise. I’m a weirdo. But anyway…

seafoam accessories

This is when I spray paint things. (Well, there are other times, too.) That lamp is about eight years old and has been a few colors, most recently baby blue.

baby blue lamp

The M was from my much-too-large collection of monograms.


I taped off the cord and socket and sprayed both of these before it turned freezing cold.

tape cord and socket krylon sea glass

I chose Seaglass by Krylon, mainly because Valspar didn’t have any spray paint options in the seafoam/mint family. Weird. They rarely let me down. Valspar is my preferred spray paint. Rustoleum is second, and Krylon is probably third. Definitely above Colorplace. I was pleasantly surprised. In the past, I’ve found Krylon to be really thin. It takes several coats and drips easily. But this worked very well. Maybe because it is “color master,” “paint+primer,”  “durable,” “covermax”?? That sounds like a lot of improvements. Whatever they did, I’m impressed. Good job, Krylon.

I grabbed a black and white shade from the garage. I’ve had this one forever. I liked it for this space because it casts a very pretty “natural” color when it is on. It goes well with the natural and black bins/baskets/hampers…whatever we’re calling those things.

lamp shade_1

(I’ve always thought “natural” was a weird name for a color. Natural what? But the tags on these hampers say “natural/black.” I would have gone with oatmeal, since I love food-named colors.)

I used candlesticks on the other end for symmetry. I’m big on symmetry. It’s not a rule or anything, but it’s definitely one of my favorite ways to do things.

lamp and candlesticks

This is usually the point in the process when I decide if I want to add coordinating or contrasting colors, or keep it monochromatic+neutrals. I love coral/orange with this color, but I’m not wanting to get too crazy right here. I’m liking the oatmeal and black, with just one pop of color.

If someone wants to buy me this book set, I’ll definitely display it here though.

mcm ads

I played around with the other items until I decided that I can’t decide until I determine what I’m doing with that wall space first. So I edited down a few things, piled the rest on top, and walked away. For now.