We made a Vacation Rock Display Table – How to DIY

This post is all about how we created a Rock Display Table that lights up to display our vacation rocks in style.

rock display table

Published September 9, 2022
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I am so proud of this little table. Tyler and I took an old rickety table and made it into a stunningly beautiful table that was refreshed, refurbished and reused. This old table was refurbished and also helped save wood scraps from the trash and turned into a Rock Display Table that is both unique and functional.

Brand New Projects

When Tyler and I were first married, my grandparents were in a nursing home and asked us to rent their house. As we were newly married, this was a great opportunity. When we eventually bought our first house, there were a few small items that were left for us in the house when all of the family came through and took what was wanted.

There was this set of three nesting tables, made of wood, that have traveled with us since. These tables are not fancy, nor are they expensive, however they did serve as a great starting point for our living room design for many years.

Now, fourteen years later, these tables came in handy as we need a new DIY project. And with Tylers carpenter skills, a stack of scrap wood, and a pile of rocks piled on our table, we desperately needed to finish this project.

how to make a rock garden

Disassembly is the first step

The first step to any project that requires assembly is to disassemble. The original table has four legs that were installed with a metal bracket and bottom braces. These were painted, by me, a few years ago when I was in a rose gold phase. Some of the bracing was stuck and my strong husband had to get pliers to remove them from the legs.

how to make a rockery table

When the legs were off, Tyler picked out the pieces that would be used to build up the sides. With these, he was going to make four sides to go around the tabletop that holds the piece of glass.

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding

The most important step to any DIY project is sanding. As the tabletop will be covered, that did not need to be sanded. However, the legs that had been painted rose gold needed to be sanded down to remove the shine.

We have many cans of paint and stains available to choose from, so sanding the color off is the first step. Once all of the legs were sanded, clean off the wood with a rag and denatured alcohol before adding paint or stain.

rock display ideas

Before building the sides, the tabletop had to be cut down to size, including what the glass piece we had available. When doing DIY, we try to save money and use objects on hand.

To resize the top, Tyler used his table saw and ripped down the sides. When doing any DIY with saws and wood, make sure to protect your eyes with safety glasses and ears with earplugs.

rock display ideas diy

After sanding, Tyler went to build the sides of the Rock Display Table. In his workshop, he has a pile of scrap wood that he uses for random DIY projects.

The next step was to sand off the top stain and cut the pieces to size.

Tyler is amazing at building things and knowing how to make them square and straight. I can’t begin to explain how he did this; one would have to be in his mind to understand how he goes about building projects the way he does.

Cut down the pieces

Once we had the tabletop sized perfect, Tyler used the table saw to size down the pieces that were going to be used for the sides. Again, make sure that you use eye and ear protection while using power tools!

rock display

After the pieces were cut down to size, the edges were cut at a 45-degree angle so the edges can fit nicely together.

rock diy

Assemble the Rock Display Table

Wood glue and a finish Nailer was used next to not only glue but to secure the edge pieces to the tabletop.

rock display case

Once the glue was slightly dry, the legs can get screwed back onto the tabletop. Make sure to predrill the holes on the tabletop before the legs get attached.

Tyler used four screws to attach the legs back on instead of using the warped metal brackets.

rock display shelf

You may also like a little DIY

Tyler and I are not new to DIY. As a carpenter, he is always using his tools and skills to do projects around our house.

Since moving in 2019, we have added two bedrooms, two egress windows, living room shelves, concrete patio and more. Click the links below for my blogs with all of the details!
$12 end table from Goodwill Transformed

When working in the basement, we used MDF Trim made by Tyler for the baseboards and trim around doorjambs and windows. Check it out by clicking the link below.

Before doing our Egress Windows and Basement Remodel, we had to dig and cut into the foundation. Check out how we put two egress windows into the basement to make two extra bedrooms for our house.

Adding the glass top to the Rock Display Table

Once the legs were back on, Tyler placed the glass onto the tabletop to measure how big the pieces need to be added to the top to hold the glass. These pieces of wood were also cut down to size on the table saw and cut down to fit into the top.

rock display coffee table

Elliana came into the garage workshop to cheer daddy on while he finished the table.

rock collection display table

Use a router to fit the glass

After the top was routered to hold the glass top, Tyler also had to get out his adorable, I mean masculine, carving tools to add a few extra details in the top.

display rock collection

Add an extra flair

To add an extra touch to the tabletop, I used a piece of velvet-like fabric and interfacing to make a covering that goes into the table.

crystal organizaion display

Staining and Sanding for days

Literally. Each coat of stain should dry for at least 24 hours before being sanded and stained again.

The final touch before this table can be finished is to paint on three coats of an Oil-Based Clear Satin-Finish Polyurethane. When using polyurethane, make sure to use a quality brush and sand before and between each coat.

Another important step is to make sure to stain where there is ventilation and limited dust, or the dust will rest on the wetness and cause bumps.
As for the sandpaper, at this step, using the highest count is best as it is on the finished product.

stone collection

Finishing Touches on the Rock Display Table

After three coats of clear poly and sanding between each coat, the Rock Display Table was finally ready for finishing touches. I placed the fabric material into the bottom of the table and added the rocks.

Each of the rocks were given a homemade card with the name of where on our vacation the rocks were bought.

Where did we get the rocks?

vacation rock display table

While in South Dakota, our family went to The Rock Shed in Keystone, S.D. We were able to purchase many rocks we have never seen, and some that were for gifts for family. This place had it all! Fossils, gems, necklaces, rock tumblers, rough stone of every variety and more.

We could have spent SO much more time enjoying all of the rocks and learning about them. If you are ever in Keystone, South Dakota, check out The Rock Shed!

The final Rock Display Table

After a week of hard work, this simple table went from rose gold legs to reclaimed and usable. With the added glass top, this Rock Display Table will be used to not only hold our treasures, but to also be used as an actual table in the living room. Thanks for stopping by!

This post was all about how to make a Rock Diplay Table.

Copyright: All content and photos on Monica’s Scratch Kitchen are copyright protected. Please do not use them without written permission. Thank you.

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