How to Make a Temporary Table for a Party

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Decorate your table with white linen and a vase of flowers and noone will notice its temporary construction.
Decorate your table with white linen and a vase of flowers and noone will notice its temporary construction. (Image: Thomas Jackson/Lifesize/Getty Images)

If you find yourself in short supply of tables for your party you don't have to run out and buy extra tables. Temporary tables can be constructed from materials you, a neighbor or a hardware store likely have on hand. These tables are easily constructed, often requiring no tools or hardware to assemble. Once decorated with linens, flowers and party food dishes, your temporary tables will look as good as more-expensive, permanent tables.

Things You'll Need

  • Old door
  • Plywood
  • Sawhorses
  • Storage crates
  • Filing cabinets

Search your house and garage for old doors, large pieces of plywood or other long, flat items which can serve as tabletops. If you have a large whiteboard, for example, you can temporarily use it as a tabletop for a small side table to hold beverages. Also, be on the look out for table legs. Filing cabinets, storage crates and sawhorses all make good table legs.

Construct the table's legs. Stack plastic storage crates on top of one another until the table stands as high as you like. You will need four separate stacks of crates, one for each leg. If you use sawhorses as your legs, you will only need two, one for each end of the table. Filing cabinets also make good temporary table legs.

Place an old door (with hinges removed) or a piece of plywood on top of your legs. Make certain your piece of plywood is thick enough to not bow in the middle when weight, such as dishes of food or gifts, are placed on it. If your tabletop does bow, make another leg out of crates or use a third sawhorse or filing cabinet placed under the center of the tabletop to help keep the table sturdy and strong.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use temporary tables as side tables for food, beverages or gifts. Save your permanent tables, such as dining tables, picnic tables and folding tables for your guests to sit around during the party. Hold plywood in place on sawhorses with four long screws drilled through the plywood and into the sawhorses if you are worried about them slipping . These screws can be easily removed at the end of the party so the table can be disassembled.
  • Filing cabinets can be difficult to move if their drawers are full. Remove files to make the cabinet easier to move and use proper lifting techniques to prevent back or other injuries.
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