How to Make a Window Table (for the Rustic Look)

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This DIY tutorial explains how to make a window table for the rustic look for practically nothing. Great furniture idea for the repurposed shabby chic look.
A wooden box

You know how it is. You’re hiding in the minivan and really don’t want to talk to anyone because your hair’s a mess and you haven’t changed out of yoga pants in three days.

You’re surfing the net, waiting for your kids in the carpool line or at their ball game.

While you’re losing yourself in your phone you find that perfect Pinterest project that’s going to change your life!

Because you know Pinterest makes everything better, like somehow “Pinterest” is the perfect mama with her act together who never yells at her kids, has a home cooked dinner on the table every night and even wears MAKEUP!

Y’all do know Pinterest is just a way to bookmark things and real people actually create all those beautiful ideas you and I pin?

Ahem. Just clarifying because we all get confused sometimes. ~smile~

Anyhoo……about four years ago that was my story because I loved all things Pinterest. I was coming into a new season of life as my oldest two were getting married and the end was in sight for our youngest two and our homeschooling days. 

I never had much time to decorate (hello, 5 kids, pets, homeschooling, no life!) but I longed for a home that was authentic and unique to me.

I happened to find a little “honey do” project that helped me discover my style and changed our lives at the same time.

Little did we know my husband’s first attempt at repurposing would forge a new career for mama and a love of transforming wood into beautiful home furnishings for papa.

Here are all the details on how to make a window table using fence boards, still one of my favorite DIY projects!

How to Make a Window Table

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Fence boards
Old window
DAP Latex Window Glazing
Wood Filler

From Tim:

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Step. 1 Build boxing and legs

I was supposed to take pictures throughout the build, but the idea of cleaning my hands and taking a camera pause at every step was inconceivable.  The picture series below begins after the boxing and legs had been completed.  

That was an interesting process, since I needed to maintain space around the frame of the sash so it would open without pinching but not really worth going into the details.

A man standing in front of a window  

Step 2. Reglaze windows and clean glass with razor blade

The window sash required the most prep time.  I wanted to retain as much of the character as possible while bringing the different woods closer together in color and texture.

Remember, these fence board tables remain completely raw when finished, so there’s not much wiggle room to manipulate the surfaces.  The panes had to be re-glazed and nothing beats Dap Latex Window Glazing for ease of use and results.  Glazing in a tube – what a concept!  Clean the glass with a razor blade, straighten the lines and…

 Window and Table
this is the result.
Window and Table   

Step 3. Attach window to frame (with original inside turned up)

Might be hard to tell from the picture, but the chief decided she wanted the glazed side turned to the bottom.  That is the shallower face, but by doing it this way, the white glazing is hidden.  So, the original inside of the window is the side turned up.
Window and Table
I was really pleased with the design of the inside storage in conjunction with the hinged window top – especially since I don’t work off plans.  I had considered using a solid piece of stained 1/4″ plywood I had laying around for the bottom of this compartment.  I didn’t want the table to be too heavy, and this was the only design spot to compromise a bit on the material used.  
However, I gambled and continued the fence slat theme, beveling the ends at a 45 degree angle so they disappeared.
A wooden bench sitting in the grass 
I was amazed at how clean the windows came…probably should have checked that first thing!  Note to self! 

Step 4. Attach hardware

The last thing I wanted near the end was nice, shiny hardware on this rustic window table.  I was unable to find any in the workshop, so I had to break down and buy a pair of brass piano hinges and then just distressed them with sandpaper. Drats! The idea was not to spend money on these things!
A wooden door 
I did have a pile of old cabinet handles and this was the perfect choice.  A single post installation with a bolt through the hole and the end was in sight.
Window and Table 

My favorite element of the two tables I’ve made is the character of the wood.  It’s all terribly marred and full of holes and divots but absolutely beautiful.  

Step 5. Add wood filler if necessary

The big drawback is warping.  Each piece has to be selected with purpose, and even then the angles don’t always turn out perfect.  I will confess to a bit of wood filler at a corner or two! 

A wooden box  

So, even though it came right out of my head, this window table turned out pretty well.  Of course, I learned what to do and not to do for next time (and I know there will be a next time.)  Who knows what I’ll use…a door, a shutter, or maybe some old cedar shingles.

A living room filled with furniture and a fireplace

SPECIAL NOTE:  One thing I noticed right away, once the tables made it inside, was our pet’s reactions.  These must smell AMAZING to them!  If you make one of these out of old, stinky, weathered wood and your dogs are notorious for chewing things they shouldn’t, you might have a potential disaster on your hands.  I’m just sayin’…

A cake sitting on top of a wooden table

Marty: Even though we’re in the middle of gutting our kitchen and creating a totally new space in this room (you can read all about the dream and how to save thousands of dollars here) the one thing that will remain is the window table!

The DIY project that inspired our journey continues to hold a place in the center of our home and hearts.

Window and Table
I’d be grateful if you’d share this post on how to make a window table so other folks who want to create an authentic will be inspired as well! 

rustic window table with tray decor on top


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