How to Upcycle Wooden Crates Into a BBQ Side Table

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Having a BBQ, whether it’s a cosy cookout or a grand grill fest, is all about being prepared. By upcycling a few wooden crates into a dashing DIY BBQ side table, you’ll have all your essentials to hand while you mind food and flames. Its three tiers provide plenty of space for storing plates, cutlery and condiments, while its inspiring industrial look and robust leather handle give your garden an instant facelift. Making it yourself is easy – just dig out your trusty Dremel® and follow our master maker’s straightforward steps, upgrading your cutting and sanding skills in the process.

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Video instructions


Mark up the cuts on each wooden crate

Using ruler and pencil mark up the cuts on each crate

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Ready to start with this easy upcycling idea? For each wooden crate, we’ll be removing the top two wooden planks off one of the long sides, creating clever openings in your outdoor BBQ side table. Before cutting away the planks, mark up the cuts using a square ruler and a pencil. Make sure the marks line up with the wooden strips at the crates’ corners. Your pencil marks will serve as a guide once you fire up your compact saw and start cutting. There you are: the all-important first step of your upcycling project is done already.


Cut the upper two planks off each wooden crate

Using Dremel DSM20 cut the upper two planks off each crate

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Using two Dremel Multi-Vise (2500) clamping jaws, or any other F-clamps, securely attach the first crate to your work surface. Keep yourself safe by wearing gloves, a dust mask, safety goggles and ear protectors. Kit out your Dremel DSM20 compact saw with a Multipurpose Carbide Cutting Wheel, turn it on and carefully cut the two wooden planks along the pencilled marks to remove them. Repeat for the two remaining crates. Excellent, your DIY BBQ side table is already taking shape.


Smooth the cut edges

Smooth the cut edges using Dremel Rotary-Tool and Sanding Mandrel

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Sanding the cut edges is essential to prevent scratches or splinters when reaching into your BBQ trolley. Secure one of the crates with the clamps and insert the EZ SpeedClic Sanding Mandrel into your Dremel Rotary-Tool. Make sure you choose the right sandpaper grit, going from coarse to fine as you progress through this step. Slide the Sanding Band onto the Sanding Mandrel before pushing the drum down to secure it. Now start sanding, moving with the grain of the wood, until the surface and edges are smooth and splinter-free. Repeat this step for the two remaining crates.


Position the wheels

Position the castor wheels on each corner of the crate

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The castor wheels make this upcycled garden table a fun and flexible addition to any patio. They’re easy to attach: just turn one of the crates upside down and pinpoint the location of the wheels. You want the two swivel wheels along one of the short sides of your BBQ side table and the two rigid castors along the short side opposite. For a stable table, place each wheel as close to the corner as possible, while ensuring the castor fully fits onto the wood. Mark the position of the screws by pushing the point of a carpenter’s awl through each screw hole.


Attach the wheels

Using a drill, attach the wheels with flathead screws

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Can you believe that in a few more easy steps, your BBQ side table will be finished? Once the position of each screw for the castor wheels is marked out, you can sink the flathead screws into the wood, one by one, to attach them. Using the electric screwdriver on your combi drill for this job is both quick and convenient. Make sure the screws are screwed in tightly and that they are flush with the metal base of the wheel.


Assemble the wooden crates to build your BBQ side table

Position two angle bars over the two upper edges

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With this next step, your wooden crate idea is really going to take shape. Stack the crates on top of one another, laying them face down on your work surface. Position two angle bars over the two upper edges, making sure they cover the full height of the stacked crates. Using the electric screwdriver on your combi drill, sink the flathead screws into the wood to firmly attach the angle bars and secure the crates together. Now flip the side table onto its other side and attach two more angle bars on the outside edges of your nearly finished BBQ side table.


Create a handle on the side

Secure a leather strap handle with screws

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As a final step, we’ll be adding a sturdy handle to the side of the BBQ side table, allowing you to move it around with elegance and ease. Cut a hole in either side of the leather strap using a hole punch tool. Place the handle in your preferred position along the side with the swivel wheels. Mark the screw holes with a pencil and drill the holes using your combi drill. Now place the handle in position, stick the bolts through the leather and wood and secure each bolt on the inside using a washer and a nut. Look at that! A trendy three-tiered BBQ side table that is both functional and fab.