Tutorial: Turn a Military Foot Locker/Trunk into an Industrial Coffee Table

Hello, hello! Thanks so much for stopping by. Before I dive into this tutorial, I want to let you know that if I did this again, I would make some changes (and I talk about those at the end of the video, so be sure and watch until the end). I also want to say that the video portion of this tutorial is not meant to be super in-depth. The main purpose of this video was just to get you familiar with some power tools. My hopes are that the more you see me using tools, the more comfortable and confident you'll be when it's time for me to show you the specifics on how to use them. 

With that out of the way, let me tell you a few of the reasons why I love this coffee table. 

  1. It's built tough. If you are like me, and have little ones in the house, you understand the need for sturdy furniture. I can't tell you how many times a day my children are reminded that our house is not a jungle gym.

  2. It's practical. With wheels and sturdy, leather handles, this bad boy rolls right out of the way when it's time for me to vacuum the rug.
  3. Aside from the fact that it looks awesome, it also doubles as storage! We keep family board games and extra blankets in ours.

What You'll Need:

  • An old trunk or military foot locker. Just be sure that it's not taller than your couch cushions before you add the wheels or it will be too tall when it's all said and done.
  • 4, 3" Steel Swivel Casters. They come in a variety of sizes, and depending on the size of your couch and trunk, you may want something different. I found mine at Home Depot: 


  • Pencil for marking.
  • Scrap Lumber (minimum length 16"). I used a 2x4, but a 4x4 would work great too. Don't have any extra wood laying around? No worries, the good folks at Home Depot have got you covered. Just have them cut you 4 chunks at a minimum of 4" each.
  • Chop Saw (optional, see above).
  • Tape measure (if cutting your own wood).
  • Drill with 3/8" or smaller drill bit.
  • Ratchet with 3/8" socket (if you're doing like the video) OR 3/8" nut driver drill bit.
  • 16, 3/8"x1 1/2" Lag Screws (see below). If you happen to have a super thick floor on your trunk/foot locker, you'll want a longer screw. 

Now that we have our materials list covered...Let's get started shall we? Press Play on the video below:

Written instructions: 

5 Simple Steps

  1. Cut 4 pieces of wood (2x4 or 4x4) a minimum of 4" each in length and set aside.
  2. Flip trunk upside down, position the casters (with the swivel plate laying flush on the bottom of trunk) in each corner, and trace the holes (4 per caster-16 total) of the swivel plate onto the trunk. Then remove casters and set aside. This is creating a template for where you will be drilling holes.
  3. Drill a hole in the center of each spot marked on trunk (16 holes total).
  4. Grab those 4 chunks of wood, and your casters. Lay the wood flat and align the casters on the wood. Mark each hole, remove casters, and drill holes in the center of your marks. Basically the same thing you did in step 2 and 3, only this time you are drilling pilot holes in your wood so that it doesn't split when the screw goes in.
  5. Open the trunk and lay it on its side. Align holes in casters with holes in the bottom of the trunk. Place screws through the bottom of the caster, and start screwing into the base of the trunk (I like to do it by hand to get it started). Then, take a chunk of wood, and from the inside (bottom) of trunk, match the holes on the wood up with the holes in the trunk. This is where it helps to have the screws started...you can feel when the tips of the screws have sunk into the holes in the wood. With one hand, press the wood firmly to the bottom of the trunk, and with the other, use the ratchet to tighten the screws. Repeat until all 4 casters have been secured to the base of the trunk.

Want more? I've got ya covered sister:

I know this tutorial was a little skimpy on instruction, so please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all! Have any other fun ideas for repurposed coffee tables? I'd love to hear it :-)