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Here’s an awesome Pottery Barn Knock-Off! It’s Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs and I’m back to share how to make a simple metal base for a table – using aluminium strips and rivets. This would be perfect to make a trunk or chest a little higher or if you have a top and need a simple base.

For the past month or so I’ve been using my campaign chest as an end table in my living room. I loved the idea of it as a nightstand, but I prefer my nightstand about level with the mattress.

Inspired by Pottery Barn’s Ludlow Trunk, adding a simple metal base, made it the perfect nightstand height!


Want to make your own?

Materials needed:

  • 3/4″ aluminum angle (36″ x3)
  • 1″ aluminum straight (36″)
  • Rivet gun
  • 1/8″ Rivets
  • Gold spray paint
  • Dark wax
  • Jig saw with fine metal blade
  • Drill

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Measuring

First, we measured the cuts needed for the angle pieces (4 to go around the base (the chest sits in the angled pieces + the 4 legs.)

With a blade designed to cut fine metal, we made the cuts with the jigsaw. Ideally we would have used a chop saw (with a blade designed to cut metal) but we currently don’t have one, so the jigsaw was a good substitute.

Step 2 – Holes

Next, on the 4 legs, we measured and drilled holes for the rivets to go through.

Then taped (to hold them in place) the base on the bottom of the chest and held the legs up and marked the holes.

Then we drilled the holes to connect the base to the legs.


Step 3 – Legs

Next, we connected the 4 legs with an x at the bottom.

Using 1″ straight strips of aluminium – since it goes diagonally to the 3/4″ angle, the 1″ fills the space best. We held the straight piece under the angle and marked the cut, so it fit perfectly.

Then cut a small angle piece to connect the straight piece to the angle legs, and drilled a hole at each end to connect them.

We used a rivet gun to connect the pieces together – it’s super easy to use!! I can’t wait to try it on more projects!

Here’s a few close ups to show you how it all fits together (there is also a rivet in the center of the x)

To finish it, I spray painted it gold and once dry, I mixed a little stain with wax to deepen it.

And that’s it! The chest fits perfectly inside and it’s completely removable so if I want to use it as an end table again, all I have to do is pull it out. Super easy!

Cost for the metal was ~$16 and rivets were ~$2.50 (used 20) so total cost for the base was about $18.50 depending if you have the rest of the materials on hand.

Similar Projects

We also made a similar base for our herringbone driftwood table back in June. It’s held up great!!

Finally, here’s what I’ve been up to.

This past month, I also reupholstered an office chair

and made a few pillow shams.

I hope that you’ll give one of these projects a try! Happy creating!!

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  1. Love this. I saw an industrial trunk at a hotel recently and thought about how I could make it with the metal and rivets. Now I’ll have to try this! Very creative and chic 🙂

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