Makeshift Table Under $35: The Look for Less

Updated January 19, 2019

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Usually the cheapest furniture sources include the thrift store or Craigslist. The major downside is that it can be very time-consuming trying to find something that’s presentable and will also match your style. Not everyone wants to go the secondhand route, but there is a way, however, to have a little more control in your aesthetic and still stay within your price range if you just use a little creativity.

We at The Budget Casa believe you should be able to put together a fabulous-looking table for less than $35, and in two easy steps without having to be a furniture designer. With two simple household items that are never paired together, you can create a makeshift side table by looking at other objects as possible furniture pieces.

Inspired by a Real Simple decorating idea (pictured above), we added our own personal twist to this project. Instead of topping the makeshift table with a glass top – which can be pretty costly – we thought a decorative serving tray would be an even better choice.

While poking around online, we found this sculptural planter ($17.97) at that could be a base for our table. Its tapered design is much more exciting than your typical planter and becomes a unique table base.

A serving tray like this fun Rachael Ray one ($12.99) from matches wonderfully. A couple inches larger than the table base, it is a perfect fit, and you can always super-glue the tray to make it stay.

This table could work as a side table, or you can arrange 2-3 of them together in an ensemble to be used instead of a large coffee table.

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By Catherine Brock

As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.