Looking for a project that would be useful in your backyard? While at a friends’ cottage recently, I found a very useful small table that I knew would benefit me and others.
Jayne & Glen had great little tables that were on the back porch. The tables were made of scrap wood they had in the basement. But of course, you can buy a length of the needed wood or check with friends - lots of people have some “ends” leftover from projects and stored in the rafters of the garage. The little tables were used as footstools but also had holes drilled in the top surface to make them perfectly sized to hold a water bottle, soda can, or bottle of beer. For outside usage, the tables are left as raw wood. Indoors they have a few of these as well but they’ve been finished and varnished.
So why is this a gardening tip? Because sitting on the porch or around the pool keeps my drink in place without the wind blowing it over. And all that allows me to watch and enjoy my garden.
The photos of the side table/footstool are below followed by directions for making the table. If you aren’t a carpenter, don’t worry. These tables do not have to be beautiful… just functional.
Things needed to make the side table:
• 1 piece of wood about 12 inches wide and 13” to 15” long. This will be the top.
• 2 pieces of wood about 10 inches tall and 10” wide. These will be the legs.
• 2 smaller pieces of wood to act as struts.
• Screws to join the wood pieces.
• A drill, one or more saw holes (used to make doorknob holes), and a jigsaw.
• 2 pieces of wide elastic each about 7” or 9” long and a good inch or 2 in width. (These will allow your drinks to sit in the hole about 2 to 3” below the tabletop ensuring that they can’t be “blown” over.)
• 4 thumb tacks or 8 small screws.
• A hammer and a screwdriver.
• Cut the main boards to the sizes as indicated above.
• Sand the cut edges as smoothly as possible.
• On the top piece, place your favourite drink bottom on the table and then use the appropriate-sized hole saw at that spot. Add a second drink hole at the other “end” or “side” of the table. Sand the two holes.
• Turn the top board upside down and place a length of the wide elastic on each side of the hole tacking it down on each side. If using screws, screw in a small screw at each edge of the width of the elastic – i.e. 2 screws on each side of the elastic. Thus 4 per hole.
• The 10 by 10 board can be shaped to have “legs”. Simply make a curved outline by placing the bottom of a larger can on the bottom edge of the leg and trace it with a pencil. Then cut that shape out using a jigsaw. Sand the cut edges.
• Screw the top piece to each “leg” – one leg at each end inset about 1 inch from the outer edge of the top piece.
• Shape and attach the struts as shown in the diagram.