Herb Garden Coffee Table

Herb garden coffee table (click to learn how to make it! )Imagine it’s a warm summer evening, and you’re sitting on your porch swing, lazily sipping on a tasty little beverage. Everything feels perfect, except for one small thing; you feel like your drink could use a sprig of fresh mint. Instead of walking inside and breaking the spell, you reach down and pluck some growing right in front of you. You throw some in your drink without missing a beat, and night continues on. This doesn’t have to be a dream; it can really happen! For around 75 bucks, you can build this herb garden coffee table.

This project was/is one my favorites!

Supplies:
hardwood plywood (4′ x 4′ sheet will be enough)
-one 2×4
-sheet metal (24″ x 48″ sheet)
-self-drilling sheet metal screws (1/2″)
-planter stones
-plant soil
-herbs

Tools:
snips
-Skil saw
-jigsaw
-ruler
-Sharpie
-drill
-leather gloves
-trowelAbeautifulmess-herbgardencoffeetableHerb garden coffee table - supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - supplies (click for more details)Step One: There are a couple of different ways to start this project. I’d never worked with sheet metal and was excited to give it a try, so I started out by building the sheet metal planter part. You could just build the planter part out of wood (there is actually a post coming up that deals with that!), but at the time I thought metal would last longer. Follow the diagram, and measure and mark with a Sharpie onto the sheet metal. I used tin snips to cut. I think the sheet metal I used was an 18 gauge, so I made sure the snips I got could handle that. Leather gloves will save your hands, as the cut edges tend to be pretty sharp. I didn’t think of this at the time, but you can cut sheet metal with a jigsaw. Just use a metal blade and take it slow; don’t force the saw. After you have the entire pattern cut out, you’re ready for the real fun part, folding it all up!

Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Herb garden coffee table - planter box assembly - brake(click for more details)Step Two: Folding sheet metal takes patience, a bit of finesse, and technique. I had never done anything like this before, so I just made it up as I went (so you have no excuse if you’ve never done it before ;)). I later learned that I had actually used something pros use when bending sheet metal, called a brake. A brake is the hard edge that you bend the metal against to get a good edge. What I did was get a piece of scrap piece of hardwood plywood and screw it down over the edge I wanted to bend. Then, wearing gloves, I gently bent the piece up. See the diagram above to see the sequence I used; you sort of work your way from the inside out. I ended up having to stack a couple of pieces of scrap wood and setting the box on them so I could bend some pieces, late in the sequence. After I would bend a piece by hand, I would bang on the edges with hammer to make the bends a little more sharp. This box is going to be hidden after you install it and fill it with dirt, so it doesn’t have to look perfect. The self-tapping metal screws went in easy as pie. I could have used a little shorter ones, so keep that in mind, but since they were going to be covered with dirt, it didn’t matter too much that they stuck out so much. Now that I think about it, I could have screwed from the inside out; then I wouldn’t have to worry about the pointy ends at all!

Herb garden coffee table (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table (click for more details)Step Three: Build the tabletop (see diagram above for measurements.) I painted the legs (which are 2x4s ripped in half and sanded) before installing them. As you can see above, I screwed them to a scrap piece of plywood so I could easily move them outdoors, spray paint them, then move them wherever I wanted. While the legs dried, I installed the metal box by lining it up with the hole and screwing metal screws all around the edge. I didn’t worry about drilling holes in the bottom of the metal box, because I thought any excess water could drain out the seams. I painted the black lip of the garden opening with spray paint, then once that dried, I hit everything else with a semi-gloss white and three coats of poly.

Herb garden coffee table -planting supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table -planting supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table -planting supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table -planting supplies (click for more details)Herb garden coffee table -planting supplies (click for more details)Step Four: The reason I loved this project so much is because each step seemed more fun than the last. At this point you’re ready to plant your herbs! I chose herbs that would go well with drinks or summery porch dinners (that leaves it bit wide open, doesn’t it?). Here’s what we have happening here:

-mint (chocolate and peppermint)
-basil
-dill
-rosemary

I put the stones in first for drainage; I’m not sure it was absolutely necessary (any horticulturalists out there?). Then I poured in some planting soil, stopping two or three inches from the edge. Then I planted the little guys. The aroma itself was worth it! I love the marriage of wood, steel, dirt, and plant life in this project. It makes this coffee table just a little more special than your average one. The fact you can make it yourself for less than a 100 bucks makes it even better! What’s not to like?

I feel like the process can’t always be conveyed into words and images perfectly.  If you have any questions or think I left anything out, leave it the comments section, and I’ll get back to you.

Herb garden coffee table (click to learn how to make it! ) Herb garden coffee table (click to learn how to make it! ) Herb garden coffee table (click to learn how to make it! ) Herb garden coffee table (click to learn how to make it! ) Happy building! -Josh

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua Rhodes and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Piper from The Signature Collection

  • This is very Cool coffee table design! I really like your inspirational idea of using live and fresh herbs in a drink!

  • Hey Sivan. the table itself was basically just a box. If you go by the measurements on the digram above, all you to do is cut 4 boards and screw them together as pictured. then screw the top on.

    If you want even more detail, email me at Josh@redvelvetart.com and I’ll try to help you out!

    -Josh

  • Hi Josh,

    Love this project- can you provide more specific instructions on how to build the table itself?

    Thanks!
    Sivan

  • That is genius! We love have fresh herbs around the place but this is so much easier than pot plants on the window sill. Love it

  • I recommend planting your mint in it’s own container before planting it in the coffee table. The mint roots will take over your entire planter.

  • Just reposting this in case it got overlooked…

    Do you have more specific instructions on how to make the table itself?

    Thanks!
    Sivan

  • This is awesome, probably my favorite post from Josh!
    It looks stunning and so unique.

  • This project is so pretty!
    Hope you have a beautiful day!!! <3

    xoxo,

    the bbb blogger

  • I want it so bad but there is no sunlight in my house and all the plants would die a horrible death. Sad because it a beaut.
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    http://theaccidentalmama.com

  • Please stop posting so many amazing DIY projects… i currently have no access to supplies or where to keep these if I did make them and following your blog is giving me some serious DIY cravings! I love them all. Can’t wait to come back and try making to all of these!!

    Yuliya xx
    www.redqueentales.blogspot.com

  • This is awesome! I love the look of nature mixed with man-made. Going to keep this in mind when I actually have a porch one day!

  • Oh, I love this! I wish someone would make it for me, as I think that I´m not skilled enough. It would look lovely on the balcony.

  • I am SO making this, but instead of herbs I’m going to see if I can figure out how to add a plugged drain on the bottom or a side and use it as an ICE BUCKET for beer and other beverages that should be served cold. YES!

  • One of the most charming outdoor furniture ideas I’ve ever seen!! And very practical, too!!

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.blogspot.com

  • Great project. I rent and have no patio but have a small balcony. I think this would look great and serves a double purpose which makes it even better.

  • Hi!

    Love this project! Do you have more specific instructions on how to make the table itself?

    Thanks!
    Sivan

  • Love this table! The mint loves to grow and choke everything else out…you could definitely keep it in its own small pot and plant it back in- problem solved! Great job- thanks for sharing!

  • Yet another project that makes me wish that I were more handy! I love how this turned out.

  • This coffee table turned out amazing, Josh!! Also, I really love that you include the plans for your posts because I like to see everything planned out so I can visualize it in my head before doing projects. Love this project!!

  • Love this, so versatile and so much scope to put your own stamp on it. Excellent.

  • Love this! What a fun project for the summer! I love in a small condo in Vancouver BC (real estate here is pricey and small), but seeing summer patio projects always makes me want to swap out the city life for a house in the ‘burbs. Almost 😉
    http://www.thecrushworthy.com

  • Hi Kait, it’s been a couple of weeks now (maybe even a month?) since they were originally planted and they’re all doing great! We don’t have to water them quite as much as you normally would but we’ve been watering them about once a week and they’re still alive and thriving! Great question though. 🙂 -Sarah

  • Thanks for the expert advice Erika! So good to know, definitely worth trying especially in the winter months right? -Sarah

  • So cool! How are the herbs fairing? Are they able to drain enough with just the rocks under the soil?

  • This is charming! This is my style to a tee. I’m not sure I could pull off making this myself but it definitely just gave me some cute ideas for my apartment. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Sincerely,

    Laurali Star

  • This is such a fantastic idea. I recently moved into a new place and have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate a herb garden!

    I love this idea!

    x
    Jess
    www.mossandmink.com

  • Cool! I see I’m not the only one reminded of the “living table” from that Yard Crashers episode. Really neat idea.

  • I LOVE this idea! I have been searching and searching for alternatives to gutters for making a project like this (the shape of roof gutters just weren’t going to work for me). This is AMAZING though! What a brilliantly executed project

  • Hi Rena, well if you place herbs on the windowsill they can soak in the sunlight and they should be just fine. I have been growing basil and rosemary indoors for about a year now and have had no problems whatsoever. My chives didn’t make it though, so perhaps you could try these two types if you like using them in your food. Happy growing 🙂 Good luck!
    xx, Erika

  • Hi Rena! Actually this is more of an outdoor DIY, it was for our front porch! We asked the last time we were at our garden center, and someone told us that bayleaf should be kept indoors, but that most of the other herbs need the sunlight. 🙂 Hope that helps! xo – Sarah

  • This is adorable! I would say it would be great as a coffee table indoors too, but I just know my kitties would eat all the herbs before I could!

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Wow, I’ve never seen a table like this! And I definitely wouldn’t have thought you could diy it…you guys are amazing! 🙂

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

  • By far one of my favourite posts – completely unique and better yet, so affordable!

  • This is the sweetest table! So striking and unique. I love this concept – great idea, thanks for sharing.

    Warm regards,
    Alexandra
    www.littlewildheart.com

  • Wow this truly is incredible!! such a unique, fun idea 🙂 love this www.krystelcouture.com | Giveaway ♥

  • I always have loved tables like these – mixing in nature with the actual furniture piece. I have seen similar tables made on DIY shows where they, instead of attaching the planter portion to the table itself, they created an insert box that dropped into the table (had framing around the insert to keep it from falling through the table)to make cleaning easier so you could actually take the planter portion itself out. Still a fantastic piece though!

  • What an amazing idea!! I would have never thought of this. I love it!

    xo, Erica
    Sweet-Endeavors.com

  • This is an amazing idea! It’s very unique and fresh 🙂
    emmasbeginning.blogspot.com

  • Such a neat idea that reminds me of an old Yard Crashers episode! I would love to do this inside but I would probably just use succulents or decorative plants since my balcony already houses my herbs. Ooo but it could be modified into an end table for my patio! Great work! Your posts are always inspiring 🙂

  • I LOVE THIS!

    I adore making things that are pretty and practical!

  • Amazing project! Stones for drainage are absolutely necessary, I would even suggest that (if a bit of water dripping below the table is not a problem) to drill some small holes in the bottom of your planter to allow for proper draining, as no plant likes to be water logged 🙂

  • Does anyone know a list of herbs that thrive indoors? I tried growing camomile and it died from powdery mildew. My mint became covered in aphids. I tried making a spray to save them to no avail. Someone at a garden store they said most herbs need to be outdoors. But I am forever seeing these indoor dyi designs. Someone must have the secret to success.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.