My uber talented (and much more patient than me) sister converted some packing boxes into a coffee table. According to her the process is simple and involves only a few steps (and I am sure a lot of patience). In her words, to turn un-used carton into an useful coffee table:
Secure the corners with plastic
Spray paint the surface and draw colourful motifs with acrylic coordinating with the interiors of room (pattachitra motifs drawn in the pictures)
Make sure to create provisions for holding
Here are the pictures of the final product:
I am pretty sure the kettle on top has been hand painted by her too.