How to Make a Lettuce Table from Cast Off Furniture

#gardencrafts #springproject #creativegreenliving

If you have a vegetable garden, or even a few pots of edibles, one of the best parts about summer is being able to step out the door and snip or pick fresh produce for meals. 

Salads, especially, are one of those staple main or side dishes that are perfect on hot days when you don’t feel like cooking.

Today I have a great guest post for you from Tara Nolan, the author of Raised Bed Revolution

She is going to teach you how easy it is to turn an old table or desk into  a funky cool raised bed for growing your own salad!


One of the projects that I knew I wanted to build for Raised Bed Revolution was a salad table. 

I’d seen one in a DIY book years earlier and loved the simplicity of building a basic structure for one type of crop. 

Lettuces and other greens can grow in a pretty shallow environment, so I though I would search for a set of four funky table legs and then build an easy DIY wooden tray to secure on top of them. 

I found sets of two and three legs, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find four in the same style.

So, I adjusted my plan and started looking for tables. 

I found one with a top that was unattached. I nodded as the antique seller tried to tell me how easy it would be to nail back in place, but I knew I didn’t need that tabletop. 

When I got the table home, I tossed it aside and got to work on my salad table. 


  • An old table or desk
  • Measuring tape
  • Hardware cloth (looks like a very fine chicken wire)
  • Tin snips or wire cutters
  • Protective work gloves
  • Small nails
  • Hammer
  • Thin cedar lattice (for this project, I used lattice that is roughly 1.5" wide and 3/8" thick.)
  • Hand saw or mitre saw (to cut cedar strips)
  • Screws
  • Impact driver or screwdriver
  • Landscape fabric
  • Lettuce seeds or starts
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#lettucetable #upcyclefurniture #creativegreenliving


STEP 1: Create the Base

Remove the top flat part of the table, leaving the decorative sides in place.

Flip the table upside down and place it on a workbench.

With gloves on (to protect from all the sharp edges), measure out the hardware cloth and use wire cutters or tin snips to cut it to size to cover the bottom part of the table top.

Stretch the hardware cloth over the frame and use small nails to hold it in place. (This might be a two-person job, depending on the size of the table. Just make sure you’re both wearing gloves!)

Measure out your cedar lattice and secure it around the undersides of the table with screws so it covers the edges of the hardware cloth. Depending on the size of your table, you may also want to create a support beam across the middle.

Take a quick peek to ensure there is no hardware cloth peeking out from under the lattice strips. Snip any overhand accordingly.

#upcycletable #gardeningupcycle #creativegreenliving

STEP 2: Plant

Turn the table back over and line the inside of your table with landscape fabric.

Fill your table with soil and plant!

#creativegreenliving #beautifullettucetable

You don’t have to just opt for one type of lettuce. There are so many greens available, from leafy lettuces to Asian varieties, like bok choy, tatsoi and mizuna. Pea and sunflower shoots are also tasty additions, as are various herbs.

My first planting (which is what you see in all the photos) consisted of the following greens:

  • Radicchio
  • ‘Red Sails’ lettuce
  • Baby Pak Choy
  • ‘Lolla Rossa Darkness’ lettuce
  • Tuscan baby leaf kale
  • ‘Red Garnet’ Amaranth

One thing I would recommend if planting from seeds, is staggering your seed planting by a few days so that you have continuous crops.

#creativegreenliving #gardeningproject #healthyliving

Cute Upcycled Lettuce table #creativegreenliving

Repurpose old furniture #creativegreenliving

If you like this project, there are lots more like it!

Check out lots of great raised bed projects that are both big and small in Raised Bed Revolution!
Raised Bed Revolution

About the Author:

Tara Nolan is a garden writer and editor whose work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines.  She is a co-founder, with three other garden writers, of Savvy Gardening and was the award-winning web editor of Canadian Gardening magazine’s website for six years. 

Tara has recently written her first gardening book: Raised Bed Revolution (May, 2016). Check out behind-the-scenes sneak peaks and more inspiration and tips on her Facebook page! You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. Very cute!! I love raised beds. We only have them and I use additional practices with them like square foot,companion planting,trap crops and vertical gardening principles.

    Will have to check out her book.


  2. I love that idea. I believe I'll try that. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Do you not need to treat the wood to make it last? Or is it more a one season wonder?

    1. There really isn’t anything food safe that you are going to be able to treat the interior of the desk with to help make it last longer.

      Will a wood deal last forever? No. It won’t.

      But I would also expect it to last longer than one season especially if it wasn’t left standing in the rain and damp over the winter.

  4. When it rains does a great deal of your soil pour out below the table?

    1. As the root system gets established this will happen less. You know the climate in your area best. If you’re prone to be downpours, I might line the bottom with an additional layer of potato sacks or another natural fiber fabric to help hold the soil in while you’re waiting for the root system to get established enough to keep the soil from washing away

  5. Thanks! The bottom would be much easier (and safer) to put in if you use plastic chicken wire. The holes are small. You can cut it with snips and it won't scratch or hurt you. It's sturdy stuff. I just used it on another project.


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