This nifty milk can side table came together just in time to hold a nice little iced tea out on the deck. A fast DIY project that can be made with any size top and uses a pre-cut wooden round available at your local hardware store. Stain or paint the tabletop to customize this side table for a perfect farmhouse table decor piece. I even drilled a hole in the center and filled the milk can with gravel so that I can use the side table as an umbrella stand.
I walked out to the garden a couple weeks ago and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of weeding that was needed before I could even begin planting my summer vegetables. Just didn’t have it in me this year. I’ve decided to see how a deck garden might fair.
Last week, I focused on turning our small deck space into a friendlier place for the family to spend time. We don’t have much by way of furniture on the deck and we’re sorely lacking in the shade department. After planting up some pots (more on that later this week), and moving a garden bench onto the deck, I built a handy little side table using an antique milk can and a wooden round from Home Depot.
This project was fast and makes the perfect side table alongside the bench. Even better, I drilled a hole in the center so that a patio umbrella can be rigged up for extra shade.
How To Make a Milk Can Side Table
Construction is simple: Use a hole saw drill bit the size of your umbrella pole to drill a hole in the center of the table top.
Stain the wood – I used Minwax Red Mohogany stain (would have used Wood Conditioner, too, but I ran out and was too impatient to go get some). Seal the wood with a polyurethane (I used a gloss spray for quick results; I’m planning to put a coat of regular paint-on polyurethane when I have time – it will give a smoother, more weather-resistant finish).
Remove the lid from the antique milk can. Don’t have a milk can? Check your local antique shops. I have a few I’ve picked up for around $15. Love them! Insert the umbrella into the hole in the tabletop and down into the milk can. Fill with sand or rocks. Put a bead of liquid nails around the perimeter of the lid and press the tabletop down to adhere it in place. That’s it! New side table at your service!
Comments & Reviews
Angelina - JoJo and Eloise says
This is so ADORABLE and FUN!! My husband has his Grandmothers Old Milk Can, that she used on her farm. 🙂 Your view is LOVELY!!
Have a great week!
How fun is that??! Thanks for sharing, Angelina!
How do you get the table top to connect to the milk can?
I do not need the shade but would love to make a table out of mine.
Hi Brenda – I didn’t secure mine because I wanted to be able to dump the rocks back out and remove the umbrella, but I think you could use Liquid Nails successfully. Just a guess.
Cindy Nelson says
While checking out your WONDERFUL milk can idea, I couldn’t help but wonder how you take the umbrella in and out of the can without disturbing the sand/rocks. An idea came to me……PVC pipe (or other kind of pipe that would allow for wooden pole and wouldn’t wiggle)! Okay….before you fill up the can with sand or other medium, (1) position the PVC (a little larger in diameter than the umbrella post) in the middle of your can. (2) While holding pipe in place, fill with medium. (3) Insert wooden umbrella. That way, when winter arrives, you can take it out. Now in place of the umbrella hole, find some cork material (dim of the hole) and glue to the bottom of a mason jar lid seal. Paint brown to match color of top. Insert cork and lid into pipe. That is a quick way to keep the water and other pesky things out of the can. I too have a milk can and am thinking of doing the above to it also. Wonderful idea, cute deck, and I love container gardens.
Great idea, Cindy!!
Very cute and clever idea. Now…let’s see some pics of those chickens (and the ducks as they grow bigger)—pretty please? Is that the henhouse in the back?
Thanks Kristin, Yes, I’ll post some pics of the chickens soon. Yes, that’s the henhouse off the deck – still not complete a year later, but it works!
Rosellen Ralph says
I love the view of the horizon from your deck.
The view is why we’re here. It’s so relaxing!
LOVE IT!! I stare at my milk can sitting out in the garden all the time and wonder what I could do differently with it. I LOVE that you made it into an umbrella table!!! Mine has a silver platter with a plant on it…has something to be desired. I think I found out what it was. 😉
Love it, Stef!!
Love the milk can idea. What size is the round.
Hi Debi, My round has a 23″ diameter. Thanks for stopping in! ~Stef
Molly Schreiber says
Did you drill holes in the bottom for drainage? With the umbrella hole, water is bound to get inside.
You can drill holes in the cans, too. I’ve done that for my milk cans that I put plants in.
camyle tatee says
Where do you get the wood round from?
Where did you get the peice of wood for your table top?
Where did you find the wood round?
Home Depot has them in different sizes, already precut.