milk jug side table

Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing a DIY repurpose project that works great outside or inside.

Take a vintage milk jug, add a pre cut circular wood top and you have a functional and stylish side table.  If you want to get fancy I’ll show you how to add the personalization too!

milk jug side table before after

I started this project with some crusty old milk jugs that really serve no purpose these days and after a little paint and adding a wood top we have a beautiful and useful piece of furniture.

milk jug side tables 1

Together the two milk jugs make a great pair on either side of our diy outdoor sofa but ‘S’ is not my last name, these milk jugs will be going to a friend’s home.

milk jug side table 3

The personalization is icing on the cake, if you have a steady hand you can add any letter in nearly any font you desire. Ready to get started?

Repurposed Vintage Milk Jug Side Tables Supplies:

milk jug supplies

  • vintage milk jug
  • 17 3/4″ circular wood round
  • hammer
  • sandpaper
  • spray primer
  • spray paint gloss
  • spray clear gloss poly
  • stain
  • clear semi gloss poly
  • foam brush
  • acrylic paint (for personalization)
  • small brush
  • printer/paper
  • scotch tape
  • ballpoint pen
  • 3 L brackets
  • pliers
  • 1″ wood screw
  • drill/bits
  • 1 1/4″ wood screw
  • E6000 adhesive
  • measuring tape


Repurposed Vintage Milk Jug Side Tables Instructions:

milk jug step 1

Step 1: Use a hammer to pop off the top, empty any residual liquid (yikes!), rinse and let interior dry completely.  Sand any loose paint and rust off the exterior.

milk jug step 2

Step 2: Using a spray primer with rust protection, apply the first coat.  Let dry then spray with paint color. Use several thin coats allowing them to dry between coats. Resist the urge to cover the entire jug in one or two passes. Too much spray paint will result in drips and a less durable paint job.

milk jug step 3

Step 3: Print out desired letter using a word document.  (The font here is Monogram KK at 650 point.)  Tape the print out to side of milk jug in desired location.  Using a ballpoint pen and heavy pressure trace the outline of the letter.  The pressure from the pen should leave an impression in the paint.

milk jug step 4

Step 4: Using a small paintbrush, apply acrylic paint on and inside the impression, it may take 2-3 coats for even coverage.  Once dry, apply clear spray gloss over the letter to seal.

milk jug step 5

Step 5: Stain the circular wood round (I used Minwax Early American) on all sides.  Let dry then seal with Minwax clear semi-gloss polyurethane. Use at least three coats of the sealer and sand between coats.

milk jug step 6

Step 6: Place wood round on protected surface.  Apply a line of E6000 adhesive to top rim of milk jug then flip over onto wood round, centering the milk jug (use a measuring tape to ensure it’s centered).

milk jug step 7

Step 7: Prepare the L brackets by bending them to an angle suitable for the lip of the milk jug.

milk jug step 8

Step 8: Determine good placement for 3 brackets, predrill into wood top then secure bracket with 1″ wood screw.


milk jug step 9


Step 9: Predrill hole into milk jug just above lip and down into wood top.

milk jug step 10

Step 10: Secure milk jug to wood top using 1 1/4″ wood screw.  Finally, apply bead of E6000 adhesive around seam between wood top and milk jug.  Let dry before flipping upright.

milk jug side table 2

You now have a new side table from a vintage milk jug.  If you plan to use the tables outdoors, be sure to use exterior grade paint and polyurethane for weather protection.  Now go search for some vintage milk jugs.

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~learn more about Jaime~


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How to Repurpose a Vintage Side Table

25 replies
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  1. Katie
    Katie says:

    Is there a reason that the top of the jug was not replaced after the interior dried? Would it not be another way to secure the wood table top (liquid nails)? Love the tutorial!

  2. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I have an old milk can from my grandpa’s dairy farm that I have been trying to decide what to do with. My biggest objective is to make sure that it doesn’t dissolve completely from rust. This gives me some definite ideas. Thanks


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Repurposed Milk Jug Table […]

  2. […] in the process of constructing from the wood pallet we snagged off craigslist, S was inspired by this blog tutorial to create an additional piece. so now with the jug in hand, all we need is the round piece of […]

  3. […] #1. Re purposed gorgeousness! How can you not love this old milk can turned side table? What a way to spruce up your garden. Found at Pretty Handy Girl. […]

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