Materials: 2 Ikea Babord shoe racks, nails, zip ties, 6 slate tiles, plywood sheet, wood moulding, glue, grout, black paint
Description: Having 2 unused $9.99 Ikea shoe racks (Babord) and no coffee table in my living room, I decided to make my own stone-topped table.
I started by zip tying the shoe racks side by side lengthwise to make the base of what would be a roughly 2 foot by 6 foot coffee table. I then nailed them together with 1″ brad nails. I then painted the racks black with spray paint.
Next, I constructed the top. I trimmed the 2×6 foot 1/2″ plywood base to contain 6 12″x12″ slate tiles with about 1/4″ gap between them and leaving a 1/4″ extra wood around the perimeter (for a grout gap).
I then glued the tiles onto the plywood and framed out the edges of the plywood by nailing on the 1″ wood moulding strips.
After the glue dried (1 day), I mixed standard sanded tile grout (gray) in a sour cream tub with enough water to make it slighty runny. I then grouted the tiles with a rubber trowel and let them dry 5 minutes before wiping them down with a wet sponge to remove excess grout.
After the tiles set and dried, I painted the edges with black spray paint (newspaper taped over the tiles prevented damage to the tiles).
To assemble the table, I simply set the Babord shoe rack base in place and set the heavy plywood and slate top on top.
The stone top makes a conversation piece and offers great durability and aesthetic appeal. The Babord base is sturdy while its open air design doesn’t make the room look heavy or dark. Plus it offers great storage, accessible from all sides. It has a vaguely Japanese aesthetic to it.
It’s amazing that $20 worth of utilitarian Ikea shoe racks could make a coffee table that looks perfectly at home in a nice living room.
Thanks, Ikea! You saved me $100’s of dollars and I have a conversation piece.
~ Sanjay, San Diego