Drum Roll, Please! New Coffee Table

I have been excited for this project for a long time. After finding this drum in the trash in 2010, it did not take me long to decide what I wanted to do with it. I thought that it would make an excellent coffee/side table. What did take me a long time was actually getting started on the project. Anyone else have a problem with procrastination, or is it just me?

Drum side table

On Monday, I decided that this was the week. On Wednesday, I took the drum to a local glass cutter to get a piece of glass cut for the top. The shop is a lovely family-owned business. They quoted me $50 + tax to have the 1/4″ glass custom cut. It goes to show how I have been raised that I balked at the price at first. My grandmother attributes our thriftiness to our Scottish ancestors, but all I know is that no one on my mother’s side of the family likes to spend money needlessly. I justified the cost in a number of ways. First of all, I was supporting a local business, and that always makes me happy. Secondly, I did not spend any money on the drum, so in the end it was going to be a cheap side table. When I went to pick up the drum and glass on Thursday, they only charged me $45 total. I am so glad that I went ahead with the project.

Drum side table

Upon arriving home on Thursday, I took the entire drum apart and gave it a thorough cleaning. I used water with vinegar to get everything clean.

Cleaning the drum

Interestingly enough, I found a wool blanket inside the drum. I put it in the wash and hung it in the basement to dry.

Blanket in drumWool blanket cleaned and hung to dry

Then, I started polishing the metal pieces. They were beginning to rust and were pitted as well.

Rusty drum hardwareRusty drum hardware


I was not sure how shiny I would be able to get them. I used Bar Keeper’s Friend to polish the pieces and was thrilled with the results. It is not perfect, but the trimmings look much better.

Polished drum hardwarePolished drum hardware


I had attach that loose piece of trim as well. I used Gorilla Glue.

Gluing trim on drum

I polished while watching episodes of All Creatures Great and Small on Netflicks. This is a British television series based on some of my all-time favorite books. It kept me entertained while working. I had only planned to do some of the cleaning that evening, but I ended up finishing all of it. Sometimes, I get obsessed and cannot stop until I finish. All of the cleaning and polishing took about four hours.

Polishing drum hardware

I had planned to paint the top of the drum because I planned to put pictures on it, and I wanted them to stand out. I was hesitant  to permanently alter the drum, however. So, I went to scrounge around in  my fabric bin to see if I had a piece of a solid color big enough to cover the top. I found a white t-shirt that would do the trick. As I pulled out the scissors to make the cut, Douglas stopped me. He thought that it would be better to keep the shirt intact in case I ever wanted to make a change. I think that it made it easier to fit the fabric to the top.

Covering drum lid with t-shirtCovering drum lid with t-shirt

Then, I had to find pictures to put on the top. I thought that I could use the pictures that I had printed to put on the tables at our wedding. Douglas refused to have any pictures of himself as a child, however, so I had to return to the search. I do not have many pictures printed, but I was able to find some suitable ones laying around. I used three from the wedding, one of the house and a picture of Douglas and I at the bobsled run in Lake Placid, New York.

Pictures and glass on top of drum

Next was Douglas’ contribution to the project. I asked him to make a platform to put the drum on. He used wood and other odd bits that we had laying around and did a great job. The entire job took him less than an hour. First, he cut the wood with a circular saw.

Cutting with a circular saw

Then he attached two pieces with some hardware.

Making a base for the drum

He drew a circle the right size.

Making a base for the drum

And cut it out with a jigsaw. He cut it just slightly too big at first, but too big is better than too small. A few minor adjustments and all was good.

Making a base for the drum

On Saturday, I went to the hardware store to buy castors for the base. I probably could have found them cheaper at Home Depot, but I prefer to patronize local businesses when I can. The hardware store around the corner from our house had what I needed. I bought two castors with brakes and two without. The total came to $18 and change. Douglas attached them Sunday morning.

Making a base for the drum

Crème tested the base thoroughly before she allowed us to put the drum on it.

Cat on base built for drum

Here is the finished product. I love it. The total cost came to $64 (rounding up) and took about five hours. Not bad for a one-of-a-kind piece for our living room.

Drum side table

One more project crossed off my list! You can read the entire list by clicking on the tab at the top of the page or clicking here.

Update: I changed the material and pictures on the top of the drum in December to make it fit with our Christmas decor. Read “Shall I Play for You, Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum, On My Drum.”

Happy Homemaking!

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I am a teacher, traveler, artist, writer, homemaker and a whole lot more. In January 2009, I bought the Cape of Dreams. It was the second house that I had ever owned, but it was the first that I bought by myself. I now live in the house with my husband Douglas, our dog Kahlua, and Crème de Menthe, the cat. Because, what life is complete without a little Kahlua and Cream? I love arts and crafts of all kinds, and I refinish furniture as well. We are slowly redoing our entire house. You can read about my projects on my blog www.CapeofDreams.com

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8 comments on “Drum Roll, Please! New Coffee Table
  1. Stacey says:

    You can’t “BEAT” that! Well… you could at one time, but this is much more fun and less noisy! Very creative, Jessica. You guys did a great job repurposing and finding a fun and practical use for it. One of a kind is always better than the same ole table everyone else has. Great job.

    • Ba dum bah! I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with it when I pulled it out of the trash pile into my car. It sat there for a about a year until the idea came to me, and then it sat for another year until I got around to fulfilling my vision!

  2. martng says:

    Nice use of trash! It’s a cool table

    • It is awesome to know that there is one less thing in the landfill. Also, it looks great and is a perfect conversation piece. Everyone that comes to the house asks about it. Thanks for checking it out.

  3. That is amazing! I love that you thought completely outside the box to come up with that idea.

    What an inspiration that is!!

  4. Love it! I was wondering what the story of the drum was, and now I know! Great team work! I’ve heard of people putting blankets, etc. inside drums to change / dampen the sound. Do you think that’s why it was there?

    • Jessica says:

      The drum is one of my all time favorite projects. I am sure that the blanket was there to dampen sound. Now it has a second (or more) life with us as a blanket again!

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