Vintage Flexible Flyer Sled Repurposed into Coffee Table


My hubby is wary when I bring something unusual home from the thrift store or a garage sale, especially when it’s vintage and it needs to be repurposed.

Rightfully so. Either he has to look at the thing for the rest of his life, fix it, or make it into something. Like all the neighbor’s gray fence boards he  helped me bring home last summer? “Really?  You WANT all his old fence?”

Yep, really, I wanted it and used it. Now he loves the area I created and named The Redneck Grill. He had his initial moments of doubt.


Vintage sled pm

He had those same doubts when I walked through the door with this.

It snows very little in our neighborhood. We can drive up the mountain and be around tons of snow, if we wanted to. We rarely want to. Scott and I spent most of our lives living in the upper Midwest, being were stormed in and shoveling out at least six months each winter.


Wings on Vintage Sled pm

But this was a beauty I couldn’t pass up at Value Village. Don’t those wings convince you this sled could make you fly?


Flexible Flyer Airline Patrol Sled

That’s why they named it the Flexible Flyer. This model is the Airline Patrol for kids who dream of being a Pilot when they grow up.

“So, what are you going to do with it?” he asked with the caution of a man whose Honey-Do List is always longer than a kid’s Christmas Wish List.

I assured him I was going to use it to display food on the buffet line for the Christmas party we were hosting. He was relieved.

An hour later I had a burst of genius. “Scott, there was a longer sled there, too, but I passed it up because I didn’t know what to do with it. Now, I know what I want to do with it. It would make a perfect coffee table!” 

A few hours later, we drove back to Value Village.




I was so disappointed. Why can’t I be genius when I’m standing in front of an item, not after it’s sold to somebody whose light bulb went off in the store?

The gorgeous Flexible Flyer would be repurposed into a coffee table, and my old sled that usually decorates the front porch would go on the buffet table.

Various crates were tried underneath, they were too big. I wandered around the house, in the garage and the sheds looking for inspiration.  I crawled up in the attic, but only succeeded in hitting my head.

I had to break the news to hubby. I needed help. He was The Help. After all, it was Saturday and he had the whole day off to be at my disposal. At least that’s the way I looked at the situation.

We debated back and forth on how to make the vision come true. The frame couldn’t take away from the beauty of the sled.  It had to be easy to build.  It had to be cheap. It had to be sturdy enough to put coffee cups on without spilling. I hate wasting good coffee.


Scott building coffee table pm


This is what we came up with. Together. Because neither of us is right all the time, but mostly I am.

Just kidding!

He’s just learned that when I have a project vision, I’m not asking him to change the vision, but help it come true. I’ve learned that my repurposing  ideas aren’t always practical or possible, so we have to talk until we can breathe life into the vision.

I loved his little details of covering the screws with those little brown half-circle thingies and the stabilizing bar across the middle. I would have been satisfied with less, but he went the extra mile.


Vintage Sled Coffee Table


The moment of celebration!

As we sat and admired the coffee table,  I realized it was good for me to make  ask him to do this. He loves working with wood and it’s a great stress reliever. He has a lot of stress in his life.  I always worry about his heart health, but you know men and doctors. The only men that go to check-ups willingly are the docs themselves.

Anyhoo –

He relaxed.

He laughed.

He enjoyed.

He’s pleased with the work of his hands and the ability to make my vision come true.


Vintage Sled Coffee Table @MindyJPeltier


The sled coffee table is a success in so many ways.

I think the more Honey-Do Projects I come up with the longer my Honey will be around to do them.

During an IM exchange a few days later, he said,

“i really love building and creating:  sort of my art work
and…my dad was a great carpenter

can’t wait for the next project… bring it on”

Guess I’ll be taking more trips to the thrift store to find an unusual item.


TweetA vintage Flexible Flyer sled became a coffee table and a Christmas tradition.

, , , , , , , , ,

19 Responses to Vintage Flexible Flyer Sled Repurposed into Coffee Table

  1. Susan December 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    I love this so much! Very creative and cool.

    • Momma Mindy December 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, Susan! As always, you inspire me, so your compliment means a lot!

  2. Maureen Lytle December 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    This is great, Mindy!! Love it!

    • Momma Mindy December 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks! Is so fun to see some of my plans come to fruition!

  3. momstheword2008 December 12, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    Hey I love this!!! What a fun and cute idea. Very clever. I am going to pin this and assume it’s o.k. with you! Then I’m going to bring my sled and some wood over to YOUR house, lol!

    • Momma Mindy December 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      Of course, you may pin, especially if I get a bajillion followers. 🙂

  4. Tandis December 12, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    AWESOME JOB TO YOU BOTH!! It really adds to the Christmas tree and the wintery feel, I’m sure… since you don’t have snow to do that. 😉

    It sounded just like Ski… “Really? You want ALL this fence?” WE HONESTLY HAD THAT CONVERSATION!! And yes, I did. And yes, I used it all. It made a pretty colonial type walkway in my garden that was perfect for when it rained and the rest of my garden was too muddy to be in. I could still walk on my “you want all this fence”.

    Ski gets nervous EVERY TIME he hears, “I have this great idea…” I think we’re Kindred Spirits, Mindy. I really do. 🙂

    • Momma Mindy December 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      I’m so excited because I have MORE gray wood left. Just envisioned a bathroom remodel, using the rest of my gray office paint and vintage wood. YAHOO!

      We’re even dreaming about buying an ol’ pickup to use for picking up junk….:)

      Yes, we’re Kindred Spirits, and so are our hubbies!

  5. linda t December 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    OH MY GOSH, I could seriously comment on every single post! You are so cleaver and creative!! But your sled coffee table beats all! LOVE the look! LOVE vintage and winter and Midwest memories. Oh and your Norwegian coffee post made me laugh. We are truly kindred spirits with SOOO many similar memories from our childhood!

  6. Mary January 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Such a wonderful idea. I love vintage decorating!

  7. Martha K. October 17, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    I love your table. I had the same idea, being from the Adirondacks and now living in North Carolina…missing home. I’ve been looking for one for a few years but the one’s I found here looked unused and not vintage. I went to my favorite thrift store a couple of days ago and there were 3, one that looked very old lots of “character marks”. The other two looked practically new. So I bought my $8. beauty and brought it home. Now for the base, how would I build a base? I thought of using another table (where do I find a 7″ wide table – the space between the steel hardware supports for the rails)? I thought to find two pedestals, etc. I decided to google it and here I am…with the exact same sled!!! Mine is missing most of the decals. I love what your husband did, now to figure it out for myself! I had hoped to leave the steering mechanism movable but that area does need support. I no longer feel the need to have a glass top made. i hope for find the wood screw covers are the hardware store. Going to simply do a light stain and a satin poly on top. Thank you for your idea!

    • Mindy Peltier October 18, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      Thank you SO much for taking time to leave an awesome comment. This table has gone around the world, picked up by various listings for awesome coffee tables. It has been a very fun Christmas tradition for our family. I’m excited that you plan to make one, as well! I would LOVE to see pics of yours when you’re done. I’ll add them to the bottom of my post, would be fun to see another one. Thanks, again, for stopping by!

  8. Naomi December 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    I’ve been planning to make a coffee table from an old sleigh I have, but wasn’t sure how to make the legs. Yours is awesome. I will be doing it this week. Mine is older and has lots of used character, but I’m not going to change any of that. Thanks for the great idea.

  9. Barbara Flory October 19, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    Hi, Mindy! First time seeing you. I am 71 and had this exact same sled as a girl. In those days, items purchased were for the family, not the child abd you had to share. Luckily, my baby brother could fit in front of me. Don’t know what happened to the sled, but I still have my light blue Rollfast bicycle I got used when I was 8. First time I rode by myself, I ramned into the ole oak tree. Lol! Love it that you left the sled intact and made it a coffee table. I agree with the other lady that said it was great with the Christmas tree. Took me back a few Indiana Christmases ago. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mindy Peltier November 30, 2017 at 7:58 am #

      Barbara, loved hearing your stories about early childhood. That’s part of why I love old objects. Even if I don’t know the story, I feel them. Have a blessed holiday season!

  10. Deby February 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Mindy — in the process of re-inventing self and “freshening” house since eldest has left for school and youngest soon behind. I was searching for ideas on how to repurpose my 52-year old Flexible Flyer which sadly sits in the garage and perusing coffee tables on-line and viola, your post popped up on Google. It’s perfect. My husband isn’t near as handy as yours. I’m curious, how was the sled ultimately secured to support bench your husband brilliantly created? Did it impact the integrity of the sled. This will be a year round table and will pay homage to my recently passed dad who I flew down snowy hills with during my childhood. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

    • Mindy Peltier February 5, 2018 at 6:48 am #

      Deby, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. There are heartaches on earth that we’ll never “get over” we just learn to live with the pain. I’m so thankful you have precious memories to soothe the jagged edges of a great loss.

      I’m excited that I inspired a way to use such a precious childhood treasure in your home. The sled only sits on the wooden bench, it isn’t fastened in any way. I didn’t want to screw into the sled or ruin the original details in any way. It is a bit of a tight fit so it isn’t wobbly. We put our feet on it (isn’t that what coffee tables are for?) and set our coffee mugs on it, with coasters, of course. If we don’t set the sled on just right (the weight isn’t even balanced with the steering mechanism on one end) it can be a bit tipsy until we find the perfect alignment. Since I don’t use mine all year, it was also a way to store it a little easier. The integrity of the sled hasn’t been affected. The runners do tend to scrape the wooden frame since it is a tight fit, but that doesn’t matter at all.

      If you don’t mind screwing into your sled, they are now selling industrial hairpin legs to create tables and coffee tables. Or you could screw the hairpin legs into a piece of wood that fits tightly under your sled. I have another sled that I hang ice-skates and greenery on. Also, for a Christmas party, I’ve used the second sled on the buffet table. They are such a fun, nostalgic item to have around our homes. But, I think yours is better because it was YOURS. 🙂 I am decorating with a sled someone didn’t want to keep in the family.

      When it is done, I would LOVE to have a picture of it. Let’s stay in touch. Blessings on your precious project, friend!

  11. Deby February 5, 2018 at 10:00 am #

    Thank you for your kind words Mindy and for suggestions and guidance on how to repurpose sled. Looking forward to the finished project.


  1. 33 Modern Diy Coffee Tables Ideas & Tutorials With Pictures | SCANFREE - March 6, 2015

    […] 15) Vintage Flexible Flyer Sled Repurposed into Coffee Table Tutorial […]

Leave a Reply