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Make a Coffee Table From Antique Printer Drawer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This is a fun and easy upcycled furniture project and makes for a functional coffee table and a great place to display your “smallies.”

I can’t take any credit for this idea. My in-laws had one at their home when I started dating my husband. It is an old printer drawer or tray placed on a base and covered with a piece of glass. Printer drawers once held the type set that was used in a print shop. They are wooden, sturdy and sometimes come with a cool metal handle. The one I have still has the name of the type it once held “Kaufmann Script.” I found my drawer at a flea market. I have seen them at antique malls, auctions, garage sales and on ebay anywhere from $15-60.

For the base of the table, we used an old toy chest that my husband found at The Salvation Army for $20. It is handmade and has old school rub-on decals on one side. I love it! My in-laws have their drawer sitting on an old sturdy crate that once held wine bottles. You have many different options for a base. You could make your own with re-claimed wood or simply sit it on top of an already made coffee table or bench. You can screw the drawer to the base or just sit it on top. For the glass top, I brought the drawer into my local glass shop and they measured and cut a piece for me. I was sure to ask for rounded corners. The entire table cost us around $100.

Some of the many treasures that we have in our table include: shells, my Mom’s class ring, buttons from my Grandma’s wedding dress, a little picture of my husband’s grandparents, miniature dice, old coins, bottle caps, dried flowers, bullet casing from my grandfather’s funeral, and really anything small that we wanted to keep as a memento. People love looking at it when they come to visit and sometimes someone will add something. Usually it is something of significance. When my Great Aunt came to visit, she sent me a hankie that was her mother’s “for your table.”

Happy Upcycling,

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