By Charlie Puleston — member of the community from Essex
Over the past year or two I have made a conscience decision to be more proactive with my time and invest it in things that make me happy. For me a key part of that aim was to start being more creative again, something that I had gradually suppressed since the days of school drama classes and wood work. In fact being in those classes was when I truly felt in my element and therefore happy. It’s hard to just start acting again, so I opted for DIY.
Now by no means was I ever going to make something worth selling, but rather I took the approach of seeing which materials i already had at my disposal, and then began to imagine what else these once discarded items could become.
Project one: The coffee table
We didn’t have a coffee table after moving into our first home and my parents had some off-cuts of there oak flooring that just seemed too nice to be dumped. Instead they would make for a beautiful surface for the table top. The legs seemed to be not only the most hard to come by, but also the most expensive to buy, not to mention that I really wanted to stick to upcycled materials. Luckily I managed to source some table legs from another old coffee table and had seen better days, although fortunately the legs were near new in quality.
My dad, who works as a London taxi driver, came through with a fantastic sheet of plywood that he rescued from a skip upon one of his trips around London. This made for the perfect structural support in the heart of the table.
Lastly was the oak trim, which admittedly we had to buy. It was worth it however as it really helped to round off the finish of the table.
Now it was time to assemble. My dad who also used to work as a carpenter, lent a hand when it came to the trickier bits. He must have felt invested at this point and couldn’t sit by while I made a mess of things. The legs where stripped of their former 3 layers of white paint, bolted into the plywood support, which was then laminated with the oak flooring. I added the oak trim and sanded it all down ready for vanishing. Once it was all finished I even managed to win round my partner Bea, who seemed sceptical at first
As with all of my DIY, it’s by no means ready for auction but rather makes for a nice piece of furniture that we otherwise didn’t have. Similarly sized oak tables go for anything round £300 so for a total spend of about £20 I considered this a win!