The Process: A Rustic X Console Table

About a month ago, I went out of town for business for a few days. When I returned, Chip blew me away with how far along he was on his little sister’s graduation and birthday gift from us. With a recent purchase of a 10 inch miter saw, we knew that we wanted to create something for Mary Claire that would last a lifetime as she begins this new season. A handcrafted piece of furniture seemed just the right thing!

We sent her to Ana White’s blog and had her choose anything she wanted (that seemed within reason of our skill level). She chose this amazing Rustic X Console table that looks straight out of the Pottery Barn catalog.

Ana White Rustic X Console

For those of you who have never encountered Ana White, she puts together free step-by-step plans for every kind of furniture imaginable. It’s pretty darn awesome.

Although I missed the first half of the build, I got to join Chip for the second half of the process.

Here’s a run-down:

Yes, I used the miter saw. And yes, it was slightly scary at first. But I quickly got used to it… and really loved the efficiency. I also learned how to use the Kreg pocket hole jig. Power tools are getting to be pretty awesome in my book.

After finalizing the build, except for attaching the tabletop to the base, we took it outside for a staining party. We mixed our own stain to get the color we wanted – a rustic brown with hints of grey. It was a combo of Varathane’s Early American and Sunbleached. You can see the test staining here in the bottom right! Don’t mind the orange paint – that was from another project that I’ll post about soon.

Rustic X Console Staining

A couple tips when staining:

1. We prefer water-based stain. It washes off easier. Still wear gloves – you won’t regret it. Or else you’ll smell like paint thinner for weeks…

2. Stain your piece of furniture on top of pallets. They will catch the drips, but also keep the furniture stable and off of the ground.

Rustic X Console staining on pallets

After the stain had time to set, we used a matte finish polyurethane to protect it and give it a hard coating without the shine. To me, shine doesn’t scream rustic. We had never seen the matte finish before, but we were so pleased with the result! You can hardly tell that it has anything coating it!

Although it’s still drying and curating (takes about a week), we couldn’t wait to see it in its new home, so brought it to Mary Clarie’s bedroom. We ooohed and ahhed for quite a while to be honest.

Final Rustic X Console

Those X’s (while the most difficult part) are my favorite part! They add so much character to the piece.

Final Rustic X console x

As soon as it is finished and styled, I’ll make sure to post photos of the final product. More than anything, we’re just thrilled to see how our first big woodworking project turned out. We keep talking about how special it will be for MC to tell her kids one day that their Uncle Chip built the piece. I just love family heirlooms and things with meaning.

Now, I’m ready for one for our own home to pass down!


(Re)claimed Pallet Wine Racks

Our next woodworking project is officially checked off the list. Today we successfully finished and hung our rustic wine racks made out of reclaimed pallet wood!

Pallet wine rack

Our dining room walls were feeling a little bare and lonely. With Chip’s new deal of “You find what you want to make, and we’ll do it,” I quickly set to find something cheap but lovely to fill the space. We came across pallet wine racks on Etsy, which I loved! Fortunately, we live in a neighborhood where pallets can be found on a daily basis.

Now… “claiming” them for ourselves… Ready for a fun story?

We saw two great condition pallets in the garage of a house being built in our neighborhood on our way to lunch. We decided we would just grab them on our way back to the house, as one of the managers of the building company said we could take them if we ever saw them laying around. On our way back in, of course the garage was closed, as the builders were painting the garage door that day.

I thought I’d be brave and ask them politely if we could take them off their hands… you know… for “crafts.” They would totally understand my plea, right?

He said no… and I realized he wasn’t opposed to crafts, but really he hadn’t understood a word I just said. Super.

Now came in my Spanish skills… which are about as rustic as the pallets. I asked him if it would be easier for me to speak in rough Spanish than in perfect English. He nodded his head vigorously with a grin. Alright… here goes.

Even with my Spanish Spainglish, he understood and immediately opened the garage door for us and even offered to carry the pallets to the car! Success!

Looks like a bit of Spanish can get you a long way in the DIY world! Yeehaw!

Meet: the pallet (complete with a bit of spray paint from another project… stay tuned).


With a couple broken boards on one side, we pried them off and replaced them and cut off each end of the pallet with a jigsaw.


We sanded, sanded and sanded some more until the once dirty and splintery pallet looked like this:

Unstained pallet wine rack

We finished by staining with my favorite stain, which can be found here.

One thing I’ve realized is that my DIY habit is: “Let’s just go for it.” However, Chip’s is meticulous and detailed, which is ultimately a much better decision in the end, especially when you’re hanging large, heavy pieces of wood filled with glass bottles on the wall. Err?

Empty wall

After much measuring and leveling, we stepped back to enjoy this view!

Dining room

The pallet wine racks were the perfect addition to the big empty wall in the dining room! I did a little dance because I was so excited about these.

Wine racks

Now we just need to fill the rest of the racks up with empty bottles. Any takers? I’m thinking wine night at our house soon.

Great news is that we have a couple other pallets left over!

What pallet projects have you been eying? We’d love to put them to use in a great way!