So, there was this trunk. You know the type. The old, sturdy luggage trunks that you either have too many of or none at all, or at least that’s how it is in our case. (We went from having none when we first got married to having five now.) They have great storage space, but you obviously can’t use them as luggage these days. So, what do you do with them? Throwing them out is definitely not an option, so we use most of them as side tables. One of our trunks was extra special though, so we decided to use it somewhere we would notice and appreciate it every day, our living room.
Why It Mattered
This particular trunk has one of my family’s name printed on it. It’s beat up but in pretty good shape overall. God only knows how old it actually is, but this specific family name, O’Leary, represents my ancestors that came from Ireland in the early 1860s. Now this trunk also has a “Savannah, GA.” stamp so I don’t believe it actually made the trek across the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland. Regardless, it’s a cool piece that we needed to make functional and keep out of the trash for history’s sake.
We had some extra 2×4’s laying around so Husband cut them down to four small, equal blocks. They are each about 5 inches tall. He screwed them in with decking screws from the inside. It did pain me to put holes in this beautiful trunk, but it’s probably actually for the best to get it up safe up off the ground. Then we stained the blocks to match the trunk and put little felt footies on the bottom of the block legs to avoid scratching the floor.
And, viola! We have a gorgeous, statement-piece of a coffee table that we get to utilize and appreciate everyday. I imagine that purchasing a coffee table of this rustic nature and size from a store could cost anywhere from $300-$800 or more. This whole project costs us about $10 because of course in our case the trunk was free. (I once got a trunk for $25 at an antique auction so check your local auctions if you’re on the lookout for one!)
I condition the leather and wood sporadically, and we lined the inside with new fabric (using modpodge) so that we could keep our clean bed linens in there. It’s that simple, and it’s both functional and gorgeous!
Do you have an old trunk you’d consider turning into a coffee table?