DIY Wire Console Table (or How I Got Tetanus)

Well, here it is. What we lovingly call the tetanus table round these parts. :) But more on that in a minute.

I really wanted a lightweight-looking console table under my whiteboard calendar, and I wanted to spend about $0 on the whole thing. I think I spent about $15 in the end (though, you can add a couple zeros on the end there as the hospital bills start rolling in! ha!). It ended up being a pretty fast project because I sort of made it up as I went. Don’t you love it when things work out like that? I did have two inspiration photos in mind:

(I’m lacking image sources on both of these. Do you know them?)

I wanted a wire base and I was really feeling the hot pink look after holding up a little square of neon pink duct tape against the new blue wallpaper. Pink and blue are good friends, I think.

So I while I was buying sod a few weeks ago, I pick up one of these sheets of wire fencing for the project. I mean, isn’t this just the *picture* of ominous?

I ended up scraping the underside of my arm pretty bad on the fence later that night as we were unloading the sod. We’re 99% sure this is the tetanus virus entry site, since the symptoms of the virus usually show up about eight days after getting infected and it was on the eighth day I was hospitalized (almost exactly to the hour). Guys, seriously, please keep your boosters and your loved ones’ up to date. It was really foolish of me to not stay up on mine. I looked back in my records and the last TDap booster I had was twelve years ago – just outside of the safe range. The past couple of weeks have not been fun, but at least I didn’t die (grim, but that was a possible reality). There’s some healing left to do (the doctors said I probably would have flu-like symptoms for about six months), but I am getting better every day and that keeps my spirits up. Again, thank you so much for all your well-wishes and support!  

Okay! Back to the good stuff!

So to make this cute table, do yourself a favor and buy fencing that you don’t have to trim much (I used my new Dremel saw – love). And also get fencing that is rust-free. Not only for the above-mentioned issues, but because it is a pain to clean off! I used a wire brush and some steel wool to clean off most of the rust here.

Then I sprayed the fencing with neon pink spray paint. I wish pink photographed better. This stuff is intense in real life! The color is really fun. To get full coverage, you’ll need to do about three thin coats with drying time in between coats. I used two cans for the table.

While the fencing was drying, I built a table top out of a scrap piece of plywood. I cut the scrap into planks, spaced them out a bit and drilled down two pieces of flat trim to act as sort of strapping pieces.

Then I bent the fencing to fit the general shape of the table top. It’s pretty sturdy wire, but you can bend it with some work.

I had these neon zip ties in the basement that worked really well to tie the ends together to hold the oval shape.

You can still mess with the wire frame after tying the ends together. The shape doen’t have to be perfect, just shoot for symmetrical. 

Then I traced out the oval shape, giving the table top just about an inch of a ledge. 

And then I cut the plywood top out with my Dremel saw, sanded it up a little and then gave the whole thing a coat of pink paint.

I don’t have a photo of the underside, but I used another small piece of trim to strap the tabletop to the fencing, so it’s nice and secure on there. Also, the base is surprisingly sturdy, for how airy and light it looks!

It makes for a pretty place to put out business cards and hold my dry erase markers.

I know neon has been trending for a while now, which means it’s probably on it’s way out of style, but I still think it’s fun in small doses. I would have never advised a client to spent a ton of money to buy a console in this color. But a cheapie DIY project that requires just a couple bucks and a few hour’s time? I say go for the neon! Plus, paint is a super easy thing to change if down the road my retinas start to burn from the pink.
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77 thoughts on “DIY Wire Console Table (or How I Got Tetanus)

  1. Oh my. Thanks for sharing just enough info to make me want a tetanus shot and a table in my entry! You always keep us surprised and coming back~

  2. I am so happy you are better…and I am grateful the sharing of your story which I will pass on to my friends everywhere….We (meaning me and all of us parents) would never think of letter our children's vaccines lapse, but we often do not stay on top of our own.
    This is a lesson. But I am SO sorry you had to endure it. Hang in there, take it slow and I know you will feel better every day. xoxoxo

  3. What a price to pay for a great table. Glad you are on the mend. I have never actually heard a tetanus story. Thank you because it is the good that t comes out of bad– making people aware. I adore the wallpaper too!

  4. So I am so sorry you got sick from this project but it was almost worth it. This looks so fab. And you have now just scared me into making our family go get our vac's ASAP! I am the clumsiest person alive!

  5. Lady, what a vision you have! Glad you're on the mend…flu-like symptoms for 6 months? Oh goodness, thank you for the vaccine reminder.

    BTW, is that wire material actually concrete reinforcement mesh? Just curious. You've inspired me to create something similar and I want to make sure that I'm looking at the correct stuff.

    Thank you!!

  6. Jenny your optimism on life is incredible! I don't think there is anything that could keep you down and out. Thank you for the inspiration you share; your blog is the first I check out each day.

    That said, the first image that you were trying to source was featured in Lonny Mag Mar/Apr 2012, Interior Design by Kelley Carter.
    The second image can be found on the Dehn Bloom Design website, interior designer Allison Bloom.

    Hope this helps and stay well!

  7. I bought a can of that color spray paint for a lamp…and I was just wondering if neon was still "in", lol…like you said, it is just paint.
    Love the table and I'm so glad you are getting better.

  8. Jenny, this is amazing! When I saw that table from a previous post, I never would have guessed you made it?! Really glad you are on the mend too!

  9. Glad to hear that your story has inspired others to get their vaccines up to date! As a former microbiologist, now Momma to 5, tetanus can kill up to 20% of people who get it. I wish you very much the best in your recovery. (And the table does rock!)

  10. First off I just want to say that I am so happy that you are feeling better!

    I remember seeing a photo of the table when you posted your whiteboard calendar diy – and thinking that it was such a cool table that I wish you included a source for it. I had no idea it was a diy! Looks great I love it -not "tetanus worthy" though ha!

    We were scraping down an old headboard this weekend that had old rusty screws, and I was definitely thinking that I am due for a booster – gotta get on it.

    xo Ashlyn

  11. You are so freaking creative and that is coming from someone else who is creative, so it's really a compliment :) I am not handy with a saw, though. Wish I was, but I'm actually afraid to use one, so I give those jobs to my husband.

  12. Jenny, Your table is fabulous!! Love the contrast of the pink with your new (lovely) wallpaper. I have an appt with our doc to get my tetanus booster next week; soooo sorry you have gone through this but thank you for sharing and encouraging us to get up to date. Mwah!

  13. Are you kidding me with this genius?!?! how do you continue to top yourself?!? that looks so great, and I love the color against your wallpaper…and of course you styled it fabulously. And I think this is the first time we've seen your nails not-painted…so you MUST have been sick! ;)

    funny you call it the tetanus table…several years ago when I was hospitalized with meningitis, we were convinced I got it from a ratty indoor carnival place, called Planet Pizza, where my kid's had attended a party. to this day we call it Planet Meningitis. Kind of funny, but kind of not.

    So grateful you had good medical care and are on the mend. xo

  14. I'm so sorry to hear about the tetanus ordeal! I wish we were still neighbors so I could bring you dinner! I hope your recovery is swift and smooth! xo Kirstin

  15. That table is so darn cute. And I'm completely in love with the little plate that holds your cards! Is it vintage or can it be purchased somewhere?

    I am so sorry to hear that you may still have to deal with symptoms for such a long time, but thank God you'll be okay! What would we do without you?! I just had a checkup and my doc asked about my last tdap. I didn't know when it was, but now I'll definitely just ask for a new shot! I wish you didn't have to be the cautionary tale, but hopefully your experience will save some others!

  16. Hi Jenny– I'm so sorry to hear about the tetanus ordeal- wow! I wish we were stil neighbors so I could bring you dinner. :) I hope your recovery is swift and smooth!

  17. I try to keep up on my tetanus shot because I do a lot of remodeling. We have tomato cages made out of that stuff – we call it the tetanus jungle.

    But my doctors (GP or OB) don't even stock tetanus boosters for adults – I had to go to either a pharmacy or the county health dept for all routine immunizations!! And I live in the Chicago area, not out in the boonies.

  18. The table looks great!

    So glad you are feeling better! I've used your story as a cautionary tale with a bunch of DIYer friends. We're all getting our boosters done as a result!

  19. Thank you for sharing that story. I skiped the tetanus shot when I was a teenager because someone told me it was very painfull and well…..I was a teenager so I was a bit stupid. I can't believe I've gotten away with it for the past 10years. I'm getting one as soon as I can…..(I'm super wary of rusty things right now).

  20. Thanks for the PSA. Tetanus lives in soil, so you don't need rust to get it; any small cut or wound will work. You got the double whammy of a scratch and working outside laying sod. I'm so glad you're okay!

  21. it is a really clever project! I totally have the itch to try it out & definitely adding a dremel saw to my xmas list. so glad you are on the mend, hope you are surprised by joy even in this journey…!

  22. So creative! Could you please tell me where you got that awesome colorblock handbag??? love it!

  23. Hi Jenny,

    Great project. Jenny can you tell us, how did you treat your scratch from the metal? Did you clean it well at the time or did you leave it? I have read that as long as you give any cut like that a thorough cleaning at the time it should be enough to avoid tetanus. I wonder if you could shed some light on how you handled it. thanks. Love your blog as always. Patty

  24. Really nice project. I guess I need to get on getting my rubella vaccine! Somehow I lost the immunity to it.

    Glad everything will be OK.

  25. LOVE the table – I wouldn't have thought it was a DIY job either!

    Also, funny story – I gashed my forehead pretty bad in July and had to go to a minor emergency (it was on the weekend). They stitched me up and advised a booster. It really seemed like I had just had one, so I said I'd confirm Monday (which I did). The tone in my general practice nurses voice was pretty great though:

    Me: "Uh, yeah, when was my last tetanus shot?"
    Her: "May 2011. Do you need an appoitment?!" (she acted like i must have lost a limb)
    Me: "naaaah, that's all I needed to know. Thanks though!"

  26. I have a feeling many more people will be scrambling to get their tetanus shot – me included! I made my appointment for next week!

    The table is fabulous and so are you. Thanks for being such a good sport.

    Also… I just ordered that same tote you pictured from ShoeMint using the code you posted about (Rachel35). It was $23! Unbelievable great deal! Thanks so much!

  27. I went to get my tetanus booster today – thanks to hearing about your story. Glad you are feeling better….

  28. oh Jenny! I am so sorry. At least you now have a real war story to tell your grandkids:)The table looks great!

  29. Hey, you should market that table design. But, er, don't call it the Tetanus Table in the catalog.
    BTW, tetanus is caused by a bacteria, not a virus. Big difference, HUGE. Not to be picky or anything but it's important for Americans to learn the difference.

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