….in other words, you’re too posh to sit on a log by a fire.

Ok, ok…so I’m not really advocating roasting marshmallows indoors. Although the little burners are meant for indoor/outdoor use, a flaming marshmallow could definitely do some damage. I really made this for my outdoor patio table, but it’s been raining a lot here and I didn’t want to risk my posh patio photo shoot getting rained out. We’ve got cushions, and umbrellas, and covers…yeah it’s kind of a process.

The whole idea of the table top s’mores I don’t think belongs to me. I can’t actually remember details, but I was telling Amy that I wanted to make a long box type centerpiece for the patio table (also could be used inside) with sort of a weathered look. I could put vases, plants, rocks, whatever in it. Then at some point it became a “let’s put a bunch of camping fuel in the box and roast marshmallows at the patio table” project. I’m pretty sure this one belongs to Amy. It’s quite a leap from the original plan, but I departed gladly.

I’m not sure I’ve actually shown you pictures of my patio as it is today (here and here are the posts on the construction), but basically it’s pretty long and fairly skinny. Our table was scored on clearance last summer for around $200-it’s this one that retailed for $1500 in the beginning of the summer. About a month later, I purchased the matching 12ft umbrella for $80 on clearance. Then there’s the fire pit- which I psuedo built in by stacking extra bricks around it (nothing is permanent). The fire pit sits at very far edge in the corner though, so it’s not the type of fire that you sit around in a circle. Especially since I basically live on a cliff. Trust me, there’s no sitting except on the patio.

We love the fire pit, but it’s not ideal for s’mores because you can’t really sit at the table and s’more at the same time. Enter the table top s’more box. I think it’s pretty freaking neat, and it’ll only cost you about $20. Here’s how to do it:


  • (2) 1x4x8 common board or wood of your choice- have them cut both boards in half (4ft long/ea) then have them cut (2) 5″ long pieces from the 4th board. This makes a box 4′ long x 5″ wide.
  • Strong Stick adhesive
  • Finish Nails (1 1/2″ long) and hammer
  • Stain or finish of your choice
  • Sealer or poly
  • Rocks/glass bead filler
  • Jars of camping fuel…I got mine at The Dollar Tree, but you can find them at Walmart with the party supplies (they are used under chafing dishes for catering)

I like to get my boards cut at the hardware store, it’s just easier than hauling them home full size and dragging the saw upstairs. Just make sure you do your measuring in advance and plan for the size box you want.

I used the strong stick to adhere each piece together initially, putting little dabs along the whole length of the wood.

You don’t need a lot, and it will squish out the sides if you apply too much. If it does, just wipe it off with a damp paper towel. Hold or tape your pieces together for a few minutes, then you can proceed to nailing.

I put a few finish nails along each edge, it’d be helpful to have a nail gun but it’s not necessary. Finish nails are so small, I didn’t even bother filling them…you can just barely make them out in the picture below.

When it came to staining the box, I knew I wanted a grey wash look so I thought I’d try Minwax Classic Grey. I grabbed a small sample size tin and ran home to get my grey wash on.

Womp Womp. Good thing I tried it on a piece of scrap. I think the lightness of the wood I used made it look blue. I decided to give the wood a little bit of a darker finish first using brown craft paint mixed with water, sort of like a glaze. Then I applied two coats of the grey wash.

MUCH better. Sorry about the bad lighting, it’s kinda hard to tell the true color here. It ended up being a great mix of my beloved dark walnut color and grey washing. Then I filled the box with river rock (from the Home Depot garden section, cheaper than buying small bags at craft stores) and placed the fuel cans a little bit higher than the edge of the box. I couldn’t wait to try it out, so Amy and I set it up on the dining room table and fired it up. Har har.

Doesn’t it just make you want S’mores *right now*??

8 Responses

  1. Deedee

    I know it’s been a while, but do you recall if the
    Cooking cans gave the marshmallows a funny taste?
    I read somewhere that that could happen. Thanks. Looks great!

    • Kelli

      I use a similar set up (oddly enough that I didn’t get from this blog, but did myself awhile ago) and the sterno flame doesn’t give the marshmallows any strange taste at all.

  2. Emily Timmons

    Hi Rachael,

    My name is Emily Timmons, and I am an editor of AllFreeDIYWedding.com, a DIY wedding site that’s still a work in progress. We’re gathering content for when the website launches, and I’d love to feature a few of the tutorials you have on your blog (especially this awesome smores bar!) with full credit to you. I would feature one photo and a link back to the tutorial on your blog.

    AllFreeDIYWeddings.com is part of Prime Publishing, and we publish 19 cooking and crafting web sites. We have over 3.5 million active e-mail subscribers and about 10 million page views per week. You can learn more about us at http://www.primecp.com.

    Please let me know if you are interested in being featured, and I’d be happy to link up to some of your projects!

    Thanks, and look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Allyson Vandiver

    Hey! I followed your instruction to build one for my wedding that is next week!! As far as filling it, how much river rock did you buy? I’ve seen some 20lb. and 40 lb. bags at home depot, that that seem are to transport!

  4. Gimme S’more! | Iowa City Moms Blog

    […] HERE is the tutorial I decided to follow. The instructions are easy enough that I could have done it myself, but I opted to give my husband a workout with his power tools and I’m not ashamed to admit that his patience and attention to detail resulted in a box far better than I would have ended up with. […]


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