Coffee Table Base Ideas

Written by elizabeth smith
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Coffee Table Base Ideas
Turn old books into a coffee table base for an unconventional design element. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

When you want to create a coffee table that is a departure from a traditional design, look for bases that will add personality and style. By choosing creative coffee table bases, you can make a one-of-a-kind design that completes your room design and acts as a conversation piece.

Book Stack

Instead of getting rid of your old books, use them to make a brightly coloured coffee table base. Use a piece of cardboard as a guide for the shape of the base, and lay the first layer of books on top; place successive layers on top of the first using heavy-duty glue to secure them. You can create a solid base with the spines facing in or out, or allow the books to stick out at angles for a more dramatic look. The different sizes of the books will create a natural variation in pattern that will be an eye-catching design statement in your room.

Antique Trunk

If you are into travel or if your living room decor uses old-world design elements, use an antique trunk as a coffee table base. Find an old steamer trunk that has flat sides; look in antique stores, garage sales or thrift stores for a trunk, and fix it up with polish. You can use a trunk as a coffee table on its own, or cover it with a sheet of glass to protect the surface. For an additional touch, put vintage postcards, maps, photos or other travel memorabilia between the glass and the trunk.

Stick Bundle

For a natural coffee table base, make a thick bundle of sticks. Cut equal-length sections out of branches that are nearly circular and relatively straight; aim for about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Start with a single stick for the centre, and stand the other pieces around it so the circular ends are visible on the top. Attach the sticks together with glue and sturdy wire, and allow to dry completely before adding a top to finish off the table. By adding metal straps around the bundle, you can make the coffee table fit into a nautical-themed room.

Repurposed Materials

When you want to make an environmentally-friendly coffee table, make a base out of a repurposed item that would otherwise be useless or put out with the garbage. An old record turntable can be turned into a coffee table by taking off the top and hinges and adding a clear glass top, for example, or you can save an old aquarium by turning it into a terrarium and adding a solid top. Other items that can be repurposed as coffee table bases include old card catalogues, small vintage engines, or used skateboards attached with slots, like a log cabin.

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