Outdoor Coffee Table with Metal Bucket Base


Give your patio some character! Our guest today has an excellent tutorial to build your own outdoor coffee table using some lumber and a large metal bucket:
 easy diy outdoor coffee table from a bucket

We also love these pieces of outdoor furniture, both beautiful and comfortable:

The Handmade Home, build a patio table using an old door

Build an Outdoor Table Using an Old Door | The Handmade Home

Going Home to Roost, diy porch hammock

DIY Porch Hammock | Going Home to Roost

The Basement, simple DIY outdoor bench

Easy Outdoor Bench in Less Than an Hour | The Basement

Today's Nest, patio cocktail table with planter

Cheap Chic Cocktail Table from a Pallet | Today’s Nest

build a rustic outdoor dining table, Unexpected Elegance on Remodelaholic.com

Build a Rustic Outdoor Dining Table | Unexpected Elegance on Remodelaholic

Now see how Melissa built this outdoor coffee table for her patio!

Metal Bucket Outdoor Coffee Table

by Melissa of A Place To Nest

diy metal bucket patio coffee table

Hi, I’m Melissa from A Place to Nest.  I juggle a busy nest filled with a five year old son, a busy Hubby, a full time job, all while updating our builder grade home.  I love wood tones, white frames, and if I could paint everything with chalkboard paint I probably would.

I was thrilled when I was contacted by Remodelaholic to show off my bucket outdoor coffee table.  It all started with our patio table set breaking to pieces from the strong winds by my house.  Enter a large bucket I use for my Christmas tree and my imagination.  The rest, as they say, is patio history.

Here is a close up of the bucket I had on hand (bucket size 3 feet at the widest part).  I decided for walking space to put it right side up and drill a few holes in the bottom for any possible water drainage.

bucket for outdoor coffee tableNext came some planning and decisions about lumber and how to attach to the bucket.  I decided to buy some 1/4 inch plywood to use as the base to attach the 2×6 boards to.  I wanted this table to withstand drinks, kids, and most of all resting feet on top of it so a base was key.

lumber for outdoor coffee table

lumber for outdoor patio table

I drew a circle and cut the plywood into a circle.  The next step was my favorite to get all negative energy out… the beating of the 2×6 boards to give it some character.  After that mood-altering step I then glued the 2×6’s to the circle and let dry overnight.  I followed the same technique by using the plywood as my template and cut the 2×6 boards to match the circle.

making the outdoor coffee table top

I already had stain on hand that I used on my wood wall art and on my chunky bathroom shelves so I stained it up and watched the character come out.  Finish with a coat of poly and my table top was done.

I attached it to the base using liquid nails and then finished with some clear, outdoor caulk to keep the water out.

 Let’s get to the final product since that is what really matters.  Cocktails anyone?

beautiful and easy patio coffee table easy diy outdoor coffee table from a bucket diy patio coffee table from a bucket outdoor coffee table top

Project cost breakdown:

Bucket- Free (thank you Christmas)
Stain- Free (from other projects)
Glue- Free (had on hand)
Caulk- Free (had on hand)
One 1/4 inch plywood- $20 (we bought bigger for an oops piece just in case)
2×6 untreated lumber- $30 (my son is using the left over scraps for building Lego worlds)
Poly- $10
Total cost:  $60

The coffee table ends up being the perfect height with our chairs (luck was on my side) and we have enjoyed the deck so much more already and summer has just started.  

Anyone want to come chill out with me?

 I want to come chill out with you, Melissa! Thanks for sharing with us!

Meet the Author: Cass

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. Since then, Remodelaholic has become a great community and resource for all those wanting t Read More


  1. Angie Perreault says

    Absolutely love this ! I just bought my daughter and son in law an offset umbrella for their totally bare deck and was looking for a table idea….BINGO !!! Question….love the 4 chairs in the pic, may I ask where you got them? Once again….great table !

  2. Lindsey says

    Would you mind telling me where you got your lawn chairs from? It looks like you may have spray painted them? Am I right?

    Thanks! :)

  3. Debbie Froedge says

    I love your idea with galvanized tub with the wooden base that you made. I am thinking of trying to find a garage sale, thrift shop or goodwill top to use on the galvanized tub that i already have. thought i would share the thought –

  4. Katie says

    This is gorgeous and I can’t wait to recreate this on my patio! Do you happen to know an estimate of the gallon size of the bucket you used? I can’t quite seem to find one big enough! Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas!

    • says

      Thanks so much! Honestly I am not sure on the gallon size. The bucket runs about 3 feet on the top and 2 feet on the bottom. On line stores will share measurements and that should help! Thanks for stopping by to read about my table :)

  5. Nicole says

    We made this and it looks awesome but after the first rain the plywood warped and separated from the other boards. How did you keep that from happening?

    • says

      Nicole sorry to hear about that! How frustrating after all that work. What I found myself was some of my boards moved after a few rains and it came down to the type of glue. One side I used some liquid nails and those boards never moved all summer. But when I had run out I used some “other” glue and those did move. I used some liquid nails and secured it into place and my table was back in business again all summer. Hope that helps!

  6. Ruth Ann says

    Great table! When you say you finished off the stain with a coat of Poly, what is the actual name for that or is it just Poly – & brand possibly? I’ve got a stained project that I’m wanting to finish off with a hard coating & didn’t know what it was called. Tks for your help :0))

  7. Juli says

    If I understand the tutorial correctly, the top is glued to the galvanized container. I came here from Buzzfeed where they talk about using the tin for storage. I wonder how to do that, would there have to be some kind of framing underneath to make it sit on the container sturdily but still be liftable?

    • Susan says

      Juli, if you cut another piece of plywood to the diameter of the inside lip of the tub, it will provide stability and the top will be removable. FYI, this size of bucket is called a wash tub. When we visited my grandparents on the farm, the wash tub did double duty as a bathtub. The old farmhouse had only cold running water, so we had to heat water on the wood burning stove for baths.

  8. Susan says

    I am in the process of building a deck, so I will need furnishings soon. The only thing I would change about this table is to cut another round of plywood the diameter of the inside bucket edge. It would provide a bit more stability when screwed to the underside of the top. I need it to withstand the clumsiness of my sister. If you look in the dictionary under Klutz, you’ll find her picture. True story.

    • Cass says

      Haha, don’t we love our sisters? :) Thanks for the extra information — extra stability is always a good idea!

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