All home owners know that furniture doesn’t come cheap.
So when renovating her property, a mum-of-three decided to make a dining room set by herself.
Jennifer Jobling had fallen in love with a luxury table and bench for £1,200 – but it was out of her budget.
The 33-year-old DIY fan, from New Hartley, Northumberland, decided to replicate the pricey herringbone furniture by re-purposing old pallets.
You can get these materials cheap as they’re often left over from deliveries.
The stay at home mum paid £3 for each of them, chopping each into lengths and then arranging them into an intricate pattern.
Jennifer told LatestDeals.co.uk: "We started an extension in may as we wanted a multifunctional space.
“We opted for a modern kitchen and my husband made a media wall as he is a plasterer and does partition walls.
"I’ve always loved big wooden tables, and wanted to balance the modern look out a bit.
"I was searching the internet for ages and couldn’t find anything that stood out or was anywhere in our price range.
"Eventually I saw a lovely table similar to the one I have made and fell in love with it.”
Jennifer continued: “However, at over £1,200 for a table and bench, it was way over budget.
"I know I was not going to find anything else after seeing that one.
"My mam Yvonne is very handy and makes all sorts of things, so with her help we decided to make one and try and keep it as cheap as possible.
“The first time we used leftover wood from the extension to make a rectangle base and a sheet of leftover OSB board. We also scoured Facebook marketplace for free pallets.
"The OSB made the table way too heavy, so back to the drawing board we went.
"A lightweight cheap laminate flooring was our answer.”
The mum added: “We clicked a few lengths together and screwed this onto the base instead which worked so much better.
“Next, we cut the pallets up into 30cm lengths and started picking our favourite sides with some nice knots and grains.
“However, it became apparent due to them all being different thicknesses that trying to get it level was going to be a nightmare.
"Someone mentioned a local business that sells pallets left over from deliveries for £3 each and they were all the same size and thickness.
“One wasted day was enough to decide this would be the best option. We bought ten pallets, cut them up and did one zig zag section at a time using a chop saw and then sanding the rough edges.
“We used strong wood glue to place them and when it dried, we sawed around the edges."
Jennifer roped in the help of a joiner to help get the job done to a professional standard.
She said: "One thing I was not confident about was cutting mitred edges for the surround of the table so when our joiner Liam was here fitting our doors he cut the mitred edges and fixed them on.
"As we were on a budget it was quite hard to find the table legs I wanted as they were coming in quite expensive.
"I knew I wanted the black square legs as it meant I could push the chairs at the end in properly.
“After searching the internet and finding prices, we ordered two sets of table legs and one set of bench legs from a company called Hartleys Direct.
"We used three of the legs for the table as I wanted it to be as sturdy as possible with it being quite large.
"I may have to do the same with the bench as well."
The entire project wasn't as much of a faff as the family expected initially.
Jennifer said: “It didn’t take as long as we thought.
“As soon as we realised matching pallets was going to be the best way to do it, it took a morning to build the base and cut and stick all the wood down.
“Then we had to wait for that to dry then do the sawing and sanding.
“It took two or three days in total.
"Cost-wise, we bought 10 pallets for the table costing £30, four pallets for the bench costing £12, the table and bench legs costing £170, and wood glue for £8."
Jennifer is thrilled with the finished results and has seriously impressed her loved ones.
She added: "I have had so many lovely compliments as well. Having chronic fatigue syndrome, I sometimes don’t feel I achieve as much as I’d like to as I am exhausted all the time.
“However, this has really encouraged me so next year my mam and I are planning on making her an outdoor table that’s similar.
'I still need to varnish the table and bench to just finish it off.
"My main advice to anyone would be to get matching pallets, spend time searching for the best deals as well if you're working on a budget and also cut each length down as you go as it makes each zig-zag section work easier.
"To buy a table similar to this from a shop was out of our budget so I feel a sense of great satisfaction knowing my hard work has gone into a piece of furniture which is the heart of our family home and will be used every day.
"It has turned out so well and the way we have designed the table has meant that we have not had to compromise on style, but achieved it at a reasonable price!”
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