It’s so disappointing when we fall in love with a certain style of furniture – only to realise that all the options in the shops are completely out of our budget.

However one solution in this situation is to simply make it yourself.

That’s exactly what Jennifer Jobling did – and now she has a stunning herringbone table and bench that otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to afford.

The stay-at-home mum from New Hartley, was dismayed when she found a table that she loved that would have cost her £1,200 to buy new.

So, instead of buying it new, the 33-year-old worked with her mum, Yvonne, to build an identical one themselves using pallets left over from deliveries, that they found locally for £3 each. 

‘We started an extension in May as we wanted a multifunctional space,’ Jennifer told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.

‘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. 

‘Eventually I saw a lovely table similar to the one I have made and fell in love with it. However, at over £1200 for a table and bench, it was way over budget. 

‘I knew 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 savvy pair used wood leftover from the extension build to make a rectangle base, then they scoured Facebook Marketplace for free pallets.

‘We cut the pallets up into 30cm lengths and started picking our favourite sides with some nice knots and grains,’ says Jennifer.

‘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 leftover 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.’

Jennifer and her mum used strong wood glue to place them and when it dried they sawed around the edges. 

‘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,’ she adds. 

‘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. 

When the table was up and finished, Jennifer and Yvonne mixed glue with the sawdust they gathered from the chop saw and placed it in any gaps to fill them, before sanding the whole thing down.

‘It didn’t take as long as we thought,’ she says. ‘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. The total for the table and bench was £220.’

Jennifer is thrilled with the finished look of her dining table and bench and is proud of the work she and her mum pulled off.

‘I absolutely love the table and have such a great sense of achievement and satisfaction whenever I see it,’ she adds.

‘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.

‘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.’

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