DIYdiy projects

diy project: dining table

by Grace Bonney

i’ve always loved the idea of having a recycled door as a dining table and thanks to d*s reader and designer julia crawford, i’ve got a manageable diy project now to make that happen (when we live in a house big enough for a long table). julia created this wonderful dining table by using a found door, some glass and lovely gift wrap she placed in each molding square of the door (the inspiration for the table came from julia’s love of paper and repurposing old items) the possibilities for this project are really endless. i’d love to paint a found door white and then use a bright yellow and white gift wrap to fit it. or maybe go the other direction and indulge my nautical fantasies by using old water channel maps. click here to download a pdf julia’s diy project directions. enjoy! [thanks, julia!]

[have a diy project you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me a line right here with your photos]



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  • these posts are like right inside my brain today. always wanted a door table and i am having some serious issues managing my jewelry collection. i wanted to buy and old medicine cabinet, line it with paper and install hooks etc to make a jewelry storage unit (yes i have that much jewelry) but i cant manage to pull it all together….when i lived in san miguel de allende i rented a room that had the most beautiful old door as a headboard, wish i had taken a picture.

  • This is by far my favorite DIY project… possibly ever? I’ve always wanted to do something with old doors, especially after my friend “collected” them to made a bookcase. Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of making a computer desk using old doors, but I think I have to learn more about power tools first.

  • I am so glad to see that someone actually went and did this! A few years back when I didn’t have a dining room table I thought about doing a recycled door table, but ended up with a used table from a friend and the project never happened. The wall paper was an innovative touch as well. I had just been envisioning a nice woodgrain and an antique door plate.

  • Oh, wow. I wish I had the space to do this right now! I’ll just have to keep it in reserve.

  • Absolutely spectacular!
    Just ingenious. I am passing this on my friends that have craved a bigger & interesting table or maybe to use as a desk. Thanks Julia & Grace!

  • Great, great table Julia! This is amazing. I’ve been thinking all day about making one of my own now, and I’m hoping you can answer two things that are killing me. What’d you do with the door knob hole? And did you put anything down to make the glass stay put? This is genius. Well done.


  • Hi Mike,
    The door knob hole is still there, covered up by the glass. The glass just sits right on top of the door. I’ve had no issues with the glass sliding out of place at all (it’s heavy so that helps). In fact, when I have to slide the glass away to swap the decorative paper, it’s a two person job. But if you’re worreid about the glass sliding out you can use very thin rubber “feet” between the door an and glass, one at each corner or as you see fit. Hope that helps. Julia

  • Tommy,
    The glass was about $75, the door $50, the legs $20. For those in NYC or major cities, these “old/salvaged” doors and glass can get very pricey (i’ve seen some doors there for $500+!!!). So check out a salvage yard and glass place outside the city. Hope that helps. Julia

  • I love this table!

    I created “door tables” a few months ago with two antique doors I found on the street (I still can’t believe anyone wanted to throw them away). Ikea is a great resource for table legs, and if you don’t have any problems with creating dust, you can sand the doors down with a belt sander.

    The hardest part was carrying the doors up the stairs to my apartment by myself :)

  • Hi Deb,
    The table/door is not painted.
    Just cleaned up and polished with a wood cleaner. It’s a solid chestnut wood door with the decorative paper. No painting involved. Julia

  • I’ve even taken those cheap Core Doors and made tables out of them on the quick for large parties when extra seating was needed. You can have seating for 10 for under $30. Once they’re covered with a table cloth no one is the wiser as to what is underneath.

  • Hey im new to the site, but my brother is getting married in about six months and I wanted to make this and matching living room furniture for his new house, could someone tell me where to get IKEA table legs from? Thanks

  • This is so neat! We couldn’t agree on a dining room table, but when we saw this, we both fell in love. I just went to a Samford and Son kind-of place and got a door like this for $25! This is going to be our weekend project. Thanks so much for such a good idea!

  • We are fortunate to have a “Habitat for Humanity” store in our city. They have and take just about anything that has to do with a home. My daughter got a beautiful chandelier for $25. They have doors, cupboards, fixtures and fittings. Check your area for one or contact your local “Habitat for Humanity.”

  • So I’ve aquired a great 5-panel door and have the table legs, but custom glass work is SO expensive!! Does anyone have any ideas about where/how to acquire a large rectangle of glass for this project? or perhaps an affordable sub? thanks!

  • Great idea! I’ve been shopping for a new dining room table for a while now and can’t find anything I like. Thanks to your inspiration I’m heading off to our local non-profit building material warehouse in Pittsburgh– construction junction– to find a door this weekend!

  • Headed to my local Habitat for Humanity this week.

    I have a long church pew I’ll use as seating on one side, and maybe find a bench later on.

    What’s worse is I have a piece of salvaged wood from downtown, but it’s not quite long enough to match the pew. Pretty skinny too.

  • How can incorporate using wood legs to the door? Any idea where to find high back leather chairs that aren’t too bulky?

  • I wish it would have mentioned on ways to make the door knob hole look good – and not sloppy!

  • That looks great. You could use wallpaper, even the woven grass kind, to cover the panels and the hole for the doorknob and have a textural contrast. I have seen this done before with a beautiful old door.

  • I was wondering the size of the legs?? I went Lowes for the legs and they had so many I really didn’t know so I went back the instructions but I don’t see a size on the legs, if you could let me know I really appreciate it. Thanks for the great idea.

  • Josie,
    Size, as in height? A comfortable dining table height is about 29″ to 30″ high from the floor to the top of the table. Our table/door is 1.75″ thick so the legs are 28.25″. Size, as in thickness? The legs we used legs are about 1.5″ diameter, but that would depend on the weight of the door. Hope that hepls.

  • Just curious on where the chairs came from? and the glass? custom glass is very expenisve as menitioned before! i am awe struck by this table!

  • Hi! I am soon to be moving out of my 1921 Craftsman home into a townhouse, and decided to use one of my doors to build a table — take a little piece of the old house into our new home. I’ve got it built and it’s VERY WOBBLY. Did you do something to stabilize? My door is the same 5-panel style as yours, and same length (80″). I used tapered wood legs from Lowe’s (four of them) and am considering a third set in the middle, but it’s so wobbly I don’t even know if that will help. Any and all suggestions are GREATLY APPRECIATED! I love this project so much!

  • Julia, was your door heavy? I’m wanting to do a project like this, but I’m wondering if table would become too heavy and split in the middle or something! Hope you get this message!

    • amanda

      we’re having ftp issues, so i’m re-uploading everything this weekend. should be fine on monday. i have A LOT of files to re-upload so it’s going to take a few days ;)


  • Hi there – I finally did this project this weekend! Shana, Ikea’s table legs work GREAT. My friend convinced me to bring them slightly in from the corners because they aren’t exactly in keeping with the timeperiod of the door. We also decided to by glass that is slightly wider than the door because a door is a little bit narrow for a dining room table, unless everyone wants to play footsie! I have received several estimates and it looks like the 1/4 inch glass will cost around $250 (82 inches X 40 inches). I love love LOVE the way it turned out!

  • hi everyone, i’m thrilled some of you have recently tried this project! that’s wonderful. our table/door is still holding up nicely and getting lots of use. enjoy your newly completed project! julia

  • Hello! I’m about to recieve a door from freecycle, and this is exactly what I want to do with the door. However, the pdf file is no longer uploaded! Is there any way that you can re-upload the file Grace, pretty pretty please? Thanks so much for such an inspirational website Grace, and thanks for the great project idea Julia!

  • i love this table idea! i’ve been looking for a diy table for outdoor entertaining. the store bought tables are pretty boring and quite expensive! i live in south florida on the water-i’m not sure how this would hold up w/ rain/humidity-not to mention the thunderstorms that blow thru-anybody have any ideas on how to adapt this for my outdoor needs?

  • this is awesome! we recently had a friend help us put two glass panel doors together to make a 4′ x 8′ table. we want to put a board underneath and put something between so you cannot see through to the floor. we thought about branches, but don’t want it to be too heavy. i like the paper idea, but we like the look of something from nature. any suggestions?

  • Would love to try this, we have old doors a-plenty in our new (old) house – any way we can get the pdf instruction file?

  • The pdf link is not working for the door/table .
    Will it ever be up again of should i just give up??

    • april

      i’m afraid we’ve emailed the owner of this project and haven’t heard back to get a new copy, so i’m afraid we can’t help beyond that, i’m so sorry.


  • Grace,
    I finally located the instructions.
    I just sent you an email with a PDF of the isntructions if you would like to post. Sorry it took SO long. Happy Holidays everyone!

  • Anen & Anne,
    So glad to see you did this project! It looks GREAT! Be careful with using spacers to rest the glass on versus resting the glass directly on table/door. In order to rest the glass entirely and directly on the table, you may have to remove all the door handle hardware. Also, the exposed overhang of the glass over the edge of the table is fragile versus cutting the glass to the exact dimensions of the table. Even tempered glass is fragile. Of course, I may be overly concerned with safety here since I have a toddler running around in the house! Enjoy your beautiful dining room! Julia

  • I am in love with this idea and am currently looking for salvage places in the Boston area. My question is where are the chairs from? I saw other posts asking the same question but I never saw an answer. I looked on the Ikea website and see similar type of black chairs but not these ones. Please let me know if you can and also are they comfortable? Im hoping to have seating for eight so I think I need smaller chairs like in the main photo instead of chairs like in Anne’s picture on feb 11, love those chairs but I think they will take up too much room for me…anyway fantastic diy post, thank you!

  • @ Sara Manly Re: Chairs. They are from Pottery Barn in 2006 and I think have been discontinued. They are great chairs for everyday use and abuse and have held up very well. But after a three hour long meal with friends, we all agree the chairs start feeling very stiff. The seat is flat and strait has no contour (for your butt-cheeks). Have you looked at: the Felix Chair from Crate&Barrel, the Slim Chair from cb2, and the Jake Chair from Room&Board? Good luck with the search and the DIY project!

  • Julia, We are doing this to our old french doors, so we have all the window panes. Do you recommend taking off the edging of each window pane to allow the glass to lay flat? Also, what do you think about the durable plastics for a top instead of tempered glass. I have an 18-month old and soon to have another, so I wonder about the safety of having the glass and durability. Any scratches?


  • I want to do this project but the size of the door has been questioned. Stating that the width was too narrow and I should add moldings to extend it. The door is oak.

  • I just lucked into a beautiful old door at an auction for $2.00! This is exactly what I have been wanting to do with it. Only, I will make it coffee table height for my family room.

  • I’m so in love with this idea too! so much that I bought a door already for just 10 bucks!! however it has glass panes… I don’t forsee a problem there but wondered what your input was… I was going to do the table saw legs since i loved those but with this door, definitely won’t work. 8- ) you said you got your table legs from ikea?! This table idea was so innovative and now instead of waiting years to afford a dinning table i’m half way there!! 8 -)

  • I just did this, and my table looks absolutely gorgeous. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/laurajo521/door_table.jpg) A friend gave me a door out of his grandma’s house, sanded it and varnished it for me and we attached table legs and brackets from Lowe’s. However, now it’s time for glass and I am having a heck of a time. The door we used was 34 X 80 inches, and the pre-cut pieces seem too small and when I called to get a custom piece cut today, he told me that size is too big for them. Any suggestions? Thoughts?

  • laura,

    have you tried doing two pieces of glass? or even three or four smaller pieces of glass that you butt up to each other to make a big piece? you can make the multiple pieces of glass part of the design.

  • Julia,
    I had settled on getting two pieces of glass from the local hardware store, figuring it’d be easier to change my seasonal designs that I’m putting in the wood and moving the glass for cleaning. However, I am a little concerned about the glass not being tempered with hot dishes, silverware and all that other stuff being on the glass. I have zero knowledge about buying glass. The local hardware gave me a quote of about $25/piece for 2 34X40 pieces, but then a local glass shop gave me a quote for $230. So confused.

  • Julia, I am in love with this project and would like to try it.vthe PDF is not working. I have an old door I grabbed off the side of the road a year ago and have’t figured out what to do with it till now. Any chance I could get a PDF of the instructions? Please, I love it!

  • I was in a pub in Michigan that had these tables, some with glass, and some with some sort of resin that they put on the table. They made the tables themselves, and the resin was clear, spread on, and it filled the indented panels, cracks, divots, and whatever else was uneven…and left a totally level even flat hard clear serface for eating on. Anyone have any idea what this resin type stuff would be? I have kids, and really do not want a glass table top.