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Make a posh pallet table

As seen in issue 38 of Good and extracted with permission from Home Made Simple, mother and broadcaster Joanna Gosling shares her upcycling secrets to turn a pallet into a stylish coffee table for your home.

What you will need

A pallet. Tatty is fine as it will be covered, but make sure it is dry and loose dirt is vaccumed off.
Staple gun – pick one up in Mitre 10 for as little as $29.98
Tape measure
Fabric scissors
Your choice of fabric, about 2m
Two sheets of 1cm thick foam
Four x large castors; $4.12 each at Mitre 10
A drill and 2.5mm drill bit, also available at Mitre 10
16 x 2.5cm screws

Top Tip: for a higher, chunkier table, use wood glue to stick two pallets on top of each other. Remember, you will need more fabric and foam.

Step 1

To check the dimensions of the fabric, measure up one side of the pallet(s), along the top edge, and down the opposite side, then add 20cm to allow extra fabric for the foam (which will go underneath the fabric), and for stapling the fabric to the underside of the pallet. Do the same measurements the other way across the pallet. You should end up with a measurement approximately 165cm x 125cm. Cut to size.

Step 2

Place the fabric on the floor with the right side facing down. Lay the foam sheet on top of the fabric and, then place upturned pallet(s), centred, on top. 

Pull up one edge of the foam to prepare to staple it to the underside of the pallet. 

Now the fun part. Fire off a row of staples 2cm apart and about 4cm in from the edge. Do the same with opposite edge of the foam. Lift the pallet up slightly and pull the foam before you staple, to be sure it is lying flat and snug across the wood, but not too tight so that you see the ridges of the planks beneath. Staple the foam in place as before. Repeat with the remaining two edges of the foam.

Step 3

You will have folded flaps of foam on each corner. Carefully cut these away so that the foam lies flat with no overlap, but no gaps, either

Step 4

Staple the cut corners to the underside of the pallet.

Step 5

Cut away the excess foam on the underside of the pallet, cutting a centimetre or two away from the staples.

Step 6 

You use a very similar stapling trick with the fabric. Pull up one edge of the fabric and staple this to the underside of the pallet over the foam, ensuring you pull the fabric taut before stapling down the opposite edge. Don’t staple along the full length of each side – leave a gap of about 15cm at each corner. This is to allow you to fold the fabric on the corner to make a nice neat, professional looking finish.

Step 7

Once you’ve stapled down each edge and the fabric is taut, finish the corners with an inverse pleat. Pull the corner point of the fabric in towards the centre, then fold the sides neatly up against the corner of the pallet, to make a smart pleat. Staple the pleated corner to the pallet.

Step 8

Finally, screw on the castors. You will need to drill through the fabric and foam to get them on, but it’s not difficult. Hold a castor in place on one corner of the underside of the pallet and drill through one hole with a 2.5mm drill bit. Fix a screw through the hole to keep the castor in place. Repeat with the three other holes, then with each castor.

Step 9

Scatter some coffee table books and magazines on your table. Some flowers. Maybe a pretty tray and a candle. Boutique hotel style on a shoestring!

Extracted with permission from Home Made Simple by Joanna Gosling, with photography by Rachel Whiting. Published by Kyle Books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, $50

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