diy project: sprouting table

have you ever been sitting outside sipping a cold drink, and wished you had some fresh mint in your beverage? or basil on your sliced tomatoes? well this table can solve all your needs! but in all seriousness, i can’t think of anything more relaxing and summery than fresh herbs. we’ve been needing a little table to sit in between our patio chairs, so i decided to modify an inexpensive table to turn it into a planter table. if you already have a spot for your herbs, the inset box would be cute for just about anything: flowers, pen and pencils, sunblock and sunglasses, etc. this project does use what i would call “mild” power tools, but in under an hour you can have a custom table with a cute cubby! have fun! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


1. cheap wood table (this is the ikea lack table, which is now under ten dollars!)
2. wood planter box (available at hardware stores or garden stores)
3. jigsaw (and safety goggles!)
4. pencil and ruler
5. drill with .25″ drill bit or larger
6. screws
7. plants
8. spackle


1. decide where you want your box to be inset into the table. place the box in desired spot and trace around it with pencil. if your table is thicker than your jigsaw blade (like the table i used), flip the table over and trace the box in the exact same location. use the ruler to measure the template on the top so you can be sure you are placing it in the exact same spot on the bottom.

2. drill a hole in the center of the square you drew. drill all the way through the table.

3. clamp your table to something or have a friend hold it to secure it. position the blade in the hole you drilled and start sawing to the corners. you will need to saw out portions of the square before you can get to the edges cleanly. saw out the square in pieces until you have the template cut out cleanly.


4. if you need to flip the table over and cut from the other side, do this now. follow the same steps as before to cut out the square template that you drew on the bottom. now you should have a square hole going through the entire table that is the same size as your planter box.
5. slide the planter box into the hole. you want a snug fit, so keep sliding it in or tap it with a hammer to push it down to the desired height. if you need to slice small pieces out from the table to get it to fit, do this carefully until the planter box slides down, slowly but surely, and fits snugly.

6. using small screws, screw through the planter in the center of each of the four sides into the sides of the table.

7. clean off the top of the table and fill in any cracks around the box with spackle to make a clean edge. let dry.

8. if you want to put plants in the planter box, do it now! or you can leave the box as is and fill with other things.



  1. Sarah Bray says:

    Fun! I need to do this TOO…so impressed with the diy projects today, Grace!

  2. cheryl says:

    This could work well as a coffee table to hold remotes/etc.

  3. Heather says:

    That is so creative and wonderful! LOVE it.

  4. WOW …what a great little change to make that table look amazing. Food on demand is always good too. ;)

  5. Anile says:

    Oooh I also love this because our balcony railing is too old and creaky to hold flower boxes, so this will just add to the greenery without risking being knocked over! Great idea :) Thank-you Kate and Grace!

  6. kristen says:

    oh I LOVE this!! great project :)

  7. Teri says:

    So cute.. I could see myself adding more that one though (I can get a little carried away once I get the saw out!). Great idea! Cute pillow by the way!

  8. Great idea – my mother-in-law would love this! I will have to send her over! Wonderful job!

  9. porter says:

    That is really the best summer idea I’ve seen all season long! It’s really amazing!!

  10. This is WAY to cool!! Incredibly inventive. Hat is off to you Kate.

  11. juice says:

    Kate- This seems really cool. I’ve never done any woodshop. Would you say that learning to use a jigsaw is a steep learning curve? Or can any reasonably intelligent person without experience do this project?

  12. olivia says:

    I’m emailing my boyfriend this stat! I need this table! :)

  13. I LOVE this project! I think it’s great! Just watch the mint- it tends to want to take over. :-)

  14. What a great simple project- It will look great on my back deck!

  15. Janelle says:

    What a wonderful idea!!!!! Thank you!

  16. I did something similar for my thesis at pratt– a modular bamboo table with built-in planters. your version is a lot easier to make!

  17. Juice- find someone who knows how to use a jigsaw and have them show you. it’s not hard.

  18. Just a head’s up, a laminate table (such as the Ikea LACK), is not made to be kept outside. It will not hold up well if kept outside in the rain.

  19. kate says:

    vicki – this is true..although you’d be amazed at how long ikea laminates do hold up, i’ve had one outside for two years of rain and it is just starting to break down.. BUT this problem can be solved if you painted over the laminate with a clear protective sealant from the hardware store. it would lengthen the life considerably.

  20. Rachel May says:

    This is awesome! A friend of mine just suggested to me a while back that I take one of those old coffee tables with glass inserts and do this type of thing-wouldn’t that be cool? Love the idea, thanks!

  21. Rachel May says:

    JUICE-A jigsaw is really easy to use. It’s probably one of the less-threatening power tools out there. It has a smaller blade, and it’s great for cutting curves. Another great saw is a cirular saw, for cutting straight lines, but it’s a little more frightening. Hope that helps!

  22. Ankita says:

    awesome! just wondering that normally the planters do have watering holes in them to let the water out…so how does this work table work indoors?

  23. nora says:

    how does the table hold up to being outdoors? it says to wipe with a damp cloth so i’m not sure if it could withstand rain. i don’t have any overhangs on my patio to put in under but it looks so cute! maybe i could use it indoors…

  24. Sheetal says:

    OMG!! SO Creative !!!!!


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