I turned an end table into a desk!

I am so happy to FINALLY post this project!

It was completely built 2 & 1/2 weeks ago....but getting it finished well...

I am blaming it on the weather...because truly it has been way too winterish.  Staining wood and below freezing temperatures don't mix...and making my family high off of fumes....not happening.

So I waited, and waited, and waited.  Then on a 48 degree temp day I braved the freezing wind to get this baby finished.  I am from Vegas, and I don't like to be cold.

OK enough talk, meet my oldest son's new desk!

MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Eeekk!  I truly LOVE it!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!

MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
What is even more cool is that it used to be this:
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
We might need a side by side...
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
This poor sad end table, can you believe it?  I was about to work on a project and remembered I had moved this to my back patio.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
 I loved the thickness of the wood, so I brought it in and took it apart.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Then I went to work repairing the damage that occurs when kids jump repeatedly on something.  I wood glued and clamped it together.

I started to get an idea...I had this amazing old wood that was given to me.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
These beauties were once benches around town and the "soon to be Eagle Scout" that replaced them happened to know I like to build....of course I couldn't refuse his offer!  I have had them since last fall and it was so great to think that I finally had a project for them.

I ran went to the shed to see if I had a piece of plywood that would be about the same size as the end table piece I had glued together.

The stars were aligned, I had the perfect size scrap piece!  So I set to work and grabbed some scrap 1x4's and cut them to fit.  I ended up with a box like this:
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
It was decided, I was going to build a desk.

(Please ignore the late night photo, and the dishes, our dishwasher is broken-of course).   This was my dry fit and obviously I sanded the heck out of the end table pieces, they looked so much better.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
To start I took my top and put it upside down.  Then put my 1x4's where I wanted them and traced lines all around them.  This helps when I actually screw them together I know if they are in the right place.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
I drilled pocket holes into all the 1x4's then glued and screwed on the back piece.  Remember this is the desk top flipped upside down.

MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Next I glued and screwed on the side and middle boards.  Last, I screwed from the back into the long boards.  The arrow is showing my pocket holes, gotta love my Kreg Jig!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Next up was making drawers.  As luck would have it I had taken apart some old bunkie boards (the best way to describe them... they were once a frame and wrapped in cardboard and covered with a material that was all stapled on).  Being the cheap person I am I keep the wood that was still in good shape after I demoed them and I am so happy I did because there were 1x3's the perfect size for my desk drawers.  So here I am removing all the staples, that was fun...
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
I slid in the 1x3 scraps and measured where I would need to cut to make the box for all three drawers.  I measured the very end, and then made a mark back 3/4 of an inch to make room to add a drawer front.  I also measured the distance for each drawer end.

Then I went out and cut every thing and built the boxes with my nail gun.  I used scrap wood for the bottom of the drawers as well.  You might have caught on by now that this desk was totally and completely free....my most favorite thing in the world!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
And I now had drawers!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
They are so cute!!!!!!!!  This is so much fun, don't you think?

Are you wondering why the drawers are upside down....I was just testing them out.  Now I needed to attach the bottom.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
I glued and screwed it on.  Notice how I drew lines, it helps so I don't screw in the wrong place...I always pre-drill my holes too, and I might have gone overboard on how many screws, I tend to be a better save than sorry kind of gal.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
My desk top was done.

On to the legs.  I cut them the height I wanted with a double bevel at 10 degrees, ends parallel.  Then I used some more scrap wood from the bunkie boards that were 1x2's for the aprons.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
After drilling pocket holes I turned the desk upside down and drew out where I would attach everything, this pictures is where I drew lines around the wood pieces.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Then I glued and screwed everything on in a circle.  Not the normal way it is done, but this way I kept it level!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
All done...now the magic moment...did it work?
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
This is where I squealed so loud my husband and kids came running to see what was wrong!  Insert happy dance!

I have to explain why I was so excited, I have followed plans before, but this was my first time just winging it....just me and my "make it up as I was going plan!"  Pretty exciting for my first time!

Anyway....I then got the top part of the end table...
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Cut it to make a square for my stool.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
I learned this trick from Ana White when I build my Child's stool.  I marked the center for the legs so I don't put them on wrong, trust me you want to do this!MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
This is a picture of when I made the stool, it was done the exact same way as the table legs, just smaller scale.  The numbers were helpful, because the legs were not the same width on all sides, that way it was like a puzzle and everything went where it was supposed to.  You can also see the center mark right in the center.MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
My stool was built!  
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
On the right above I am showing how I cut the wood (same as the legs) to make my two side drawer fronts.  At first I was going to attempt to paint wood to match legs, but decided my painting skills are not up to par with that kind of project, so I opted to make it out of the same wood.  Then I took two cut pieces and screwed them together with pocket holes and glue.  (once it dried I removed the middle screw, just incase I ever decide to add knobs or something...)

And then everything was on hold until the sun finally peeked from behind the clouds...
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
and I could finally stain!  I did several test stains to see what I wanted to use.  I ended up using 
Rust-oleum's Summer Oak.  It turned out darker than I wanted but it was so rich and pretty I ended up loving it!

I didn't stain the legs at all, I had gotten clear lacquer at the restore for $1 a long time ago.  It is that gallon can in the above picture.
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Can you see the results?  The legs on the right have one coat of lacquer and it brought out all the rich rustic goodness that this wood has.  I ended up doing only one coat over the whole desk, because it was getting too cold....

I swear I am almost done with this marathon tutorial!   Last up were the drawer fronts:
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
I just glued and taped them on!  So easy! (once they dried I drilled screws from the inside of the drawers to make sure they stayed on tight)
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
For the middle drawer I used 1/2 ply-wood stained in Rust-oleum's Dark Walnut and glued and taped it on.  Then for the fun part!  Did any of you guess how I got the decorative front?

They are 5 gallon paint stick ends!  I had 80 of them from making paint stick ornaments for a church craft activity.  They were actually the true beginning to this project, I was going to use them for something else when I remembered the end table and everything kind of morphed from there.

I love them!  They add a fun touch, and make me happy!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!

MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
  Maybe this shot will give you a better idea of how pretty the legs are....swoon!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Lots of storage options, and I made sure the middle drawer could fit papers...
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Is it possible to be too obsessed with wood grain?  
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
And why not...one more before and after,
MyLove2Create, I turned an end table into a desk!
Thanks so much for stopping by and please come again!  

Mindi

Creating with the Stars
I will be linking to these parties.

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52 comments

  1. Wow!! You did all that? That's amazing!!! You're definitely craftier than me!! Your son's desk is full of character..love it!
    Selene @ restorationbeauty.com

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  2. I am SO impressed with this makeover. My husband is the handy-man between the two of us, so this really amazes me. Clicked on this project over at East Coast Creative and was delighted to end up here. I thought, "I know Mindi!" Hope you get selected for Creating with the Stars! You'd have me in your corner.

    Warmly,
    Lauren

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  3. Oh my gosh. I am so excited the post is up and Linked at Creating with the stars. You already know how I feel about this super awesome desk, but I have to tell you the tutorial is super good too. Even I, the space challenged and tool frightened, understood it. So freakin awesome! I am pretty sure you'll one of the twelve...not apostles, but creative geniuses to win Crafting with the Stars!

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  4. I am super impressed with this project and your skills with using tools. I am afraid of tools other than a basic hammer, lol. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking a look at my bathroom transformation.

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  5. How amazing of a repurposing.... Love it!

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  6. you really did WONDERFUL. thanks for the detailed post and pictures!

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  7. Wow! What a fantastic transformation. Thanks so much for linking up at One Creative Weekend! Enjoy your week.

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  8. You seriously rock! I mean come on! I took a woodworking class in college but man I have never been able to put something like that together!! Bravo on re-purposing! It is so stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should be so proud!

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  9. wow this is quite the transformation! i love the little desk.

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  10. I am blown away, what a awesome transformation! Love it!

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  11. that's seriously amazing, even more so when you show the side by side. i would never have thought that was the before. you did an awesome job!

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  12. This is amazing! I love everything about this project! Really great job!!! Good luck on CWTS!!!

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  13. This is the most gorgeous piece of furniture. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I am in awe of your creativity!

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  14. This desk is amazing!!! I hope you make it on crafting with the stars... You totally deserve it for this project!!

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  15. That is UH-MA-ZING! You made it totally different and it's beautiful! You rock, I adore it!

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  16. Wow, great project and great how-to photos also. Thank you for this post!! What an awesome project! :)

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  17. Wow! I found this on Hometalk and it is so fabulous! I can't stop looking at it! I happen to have 2 of those very same end tables in my shed right now and you have inspired me to do something with them. Pinned this project! Your blog is new to me, and it looks like a fun one. Happy to be following you via GFC and looking forward to more!

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  18. This is beyond repurposing - it's art. Awesome!

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  19. Your vision and craftsmanship are amazing. I am truly blown away.

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  20. WOW! That's all I can say..........WOW! What a transformation! You are awesome!

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  21. WOW !!!! You did one heck of a nice job !!! Love it !!! Esp love the paint stick front !!! I didn't guess until the last minute !!! Great to have all the right tools to use, too !!! Have seen those pocket drills on TV a few times.
    Again, great job !!!!!!! Nice work. :)

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  22. Congrats Mindi! I'm passing the Liebster Blog Award to you which honors new bloggers. Get the details at http://www.laurieslittlebitsofcreativity.com/2013/02/liebster-blog-award.html

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  23. Absolutely amazing! I loved this project. Your photos just add to the awesomeness! :O) I love to do woodworking. Check out my site too.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Pam @ The Patriotic Pam

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  24. You are unbelievable. That is truly unique! I would love to have you link this super DIY project at What to do Weekends. Following on twitter and Pinterest. Linda

    http://www.craftsalamode.com/2013/02/what-to-do-weekends-7.html

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  25. I love this AND I have an end table exactly like the one you used! I am going to try and persuade my hubby to help me. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea!

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  26. Really amazing transformation! And I love the paint stick ends detail! Pinning it!

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  27. LOVE YOUR LITTLE TABLE TURNED DESK, WHAT A GREAT IDEA, I WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE IT, IF THAT WOULD BE OK PLEASE LET ME KNOW,
    LAUREN

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  28. Wow! You did an amazing job! I found this via the Diana Rambles Pin It Party, and I'm definitely pinning this! Gorgeous desk!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ http://usscrafty.blogspot.com

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  29. I love this, what an amazing transformation! Thanks so much for the great tute on drawers--I have decided it is time I build some so this will definitely help.

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  30. That is one heck of a transformation! You've got a great eye; I would never have thought to transform that side table in such a way. I would love it if you shared this great DIY at Thrifty to Nifty Thursdays at A Jennuine Life. http://www.ajennuinelife.com/2013/02/thrifty-to-nifty-thursdays-8.html

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  31. Holly Cow!! This is A-mazing, Mindi! I love that it was free, the way you re-purposed things, and the pretty design! The paint sticks detail is AWESOME! I love it all!

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  32. This is an amazing transformation! Great work :)

    I wanted to invite you to our weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop! It runs Friday nights till the end of Monday, come stop by if you have time this weekend and link up :)

    http://createdbylaurie.blogspot.com/2013/02/weekend-meet-greet-blog-hop-15.html

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  33. Thanks so much for linking to Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill. You are being featured today!
    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, and join me later tonight for Make the Scene Monday #63!

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  34. What an amazing transformation. Very nice design work. Visiting from Show & Tell Saturday

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  35. Gorgeous. Totally gorgeous. I clicked through from the "Creating with the Stars" linky, and I have to say, I'd probably vote for yours ahead of my own, even. I love it that much. (Mine's number 175, the Card Catalog Coffee Table, for reference.) Good luck to you!

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  36. I absolutely love this!!! What a great transformation! I'm featuring you tonight at MMM!

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  37. Wow! A lot of work that really paid off with an incredibly unique piece. Saw you at CWTS and popped over to pin this :)

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original linky party every Wednesday

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  38. Oh my goodness, never in a million years would I have seen that side table and lumber and come up with what you did. You get my vote!!

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  39. I hate throwing anything away and instead try to re-purpose them. I love how your desk turned out. Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight. Have a great week and come back soon!

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  40. This is an amazingly repurposed and reinvented piece. Congratulations!

    Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SW Michigan
    Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
    Blog: http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com
    Facebook: donnaallgaierlamberti@facebook.com (for portfolio of chalk painted work)

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  41. LOVE this!!! It is so creative and beautiful. I am off to pin!

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  42. honestly...this is one of the most awesome transformations ever! I feel like I learned so much from your tutorial. Wish I could just hang w/you and watch your magic. Your son will love his desk so much!

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  43. LOVE IT! SO impressed. Come repurpose my house? :)

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  44. So impressed! Love it! I'll have to rethink some yard sale finds now! Thanks for sharing & linking up @ DearCreatives.com Hope your having a great week!

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  45. oh my gosh... Mindi--you have me sooo itching to get back to the shop! I love your vision!
    this is such an awesome project. I did click over and clicked your link :)
    catching you (again)
    gail

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  46. I love looking at your post. I also have a kreg and seem to split the wood more then bring them together. I was trying to make dinning room chairs for my table but got frustrated that the wood kept splitting. Any advice on how not to do that? I was having the most problem with I believe 1x3. Thanks in advance.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lacey! I totally understand I have had problems with splitting too. It could be several different reasons. Are you using the proper kind of screws? Also sometimes you have to adjust the collar depth a little to adjust to the thickness of your wood. I have found that sometimes it is just me over tightening the screw. Here are a few links that have helped me in the past. It is good to read through them and see which things might work for you. I hope they help! Good luck!
      http://www.sawmillcreek.org/archive/index.php/t-162066.html
      http://shiftctrlart.com/BlogPost/ukat
      http://www.woodworking.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-5447.html
      http://kregjig.ning.com/forum/topics/tips-to-avoid-wood-splitting

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