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How to Build a Coffee Table

Isn’t it crazy that some coffee tables can run close to a thousand dollars? I decided to build a diy coffee table because I didn’t have a large budget, but I wanted quality furniture.

Why You Should Make Your Own Coffee Table

This DIY coffee table will run you around just $40 or free, if you have extra scrap wood laying around.

You do not need a lot of wood to build a small to medium size table, especially if you are going for a simpler design.

how to build a coffee table
DIY Coffee Table

The best part of building your own farmhouse coffee table is that you can design it exactly how you want for your space.

Your coffee table can also, be painted or stained any color to perfectly match existing home decor.

I may mention my measurements, but I strongly encourage you to use your own measurements because it can be perfect for your area.

This coffee table is rock solid and can handle spills, dings, and doubles as a bomb shelter.

how to build a coffee table

Choose the Size of Your Coffee Table

That said, figure out how tall and wide you want it first.

Use a tape measure and see what works for your area.

You can even cut out a piece of cardboard to see how it’ll fit.

I only had a small space to fit a coffee table, so my coffee table might look a little weird in the pictures.

diy coffee table
My brother’s DIY coffee table using our instructions!

Materials Required to Build a DIY Coffee Table

You’re going to need 2×10’s (or 2×12’s if you prefer) planks for the top, 2×4’s for the side skirt, and 4×4’s for the legs.

Yes, I said 4×4’s. If you want to sub out the 4×4’s, 2×4’s would do for the legs.

My diy coffee table was built so I can take cover under it in the event of an earthquake, just kidding.

I actually just had some extra 4×4’s in my garage, so that is why I went with these for legs.

Why You Need a Kreg Jig!

To build a diy coffee table you will need wood glue, and most importantly, the Kreg Jig.

If you don’t know what the Kreg Jig is, check out my other post.

We explain why you need this tool and how to use it to build your own furniture.

how to build a coffee table

Coffee Table Top

Figure out how wide you want your top, then determine how many pieces you need for that width.

In my case, I just wanted two 2×10’s for the top, which equals roughly 20 inches.

My top was just about 4 feet long, so I cut them to size.

Then lay them next to each other, and put a mark every 8 inches or so.

Those marks will be where you drill your holes with the Kreg Jig.

Rustic Coffee Table

Stagger Holes

You want to mark both boards every 8 inches, but stagger the holes.

After you have your marks, drill the appropriate holes with the Kreg Jig.

Now that the holes are drilled, put wood glue between the boards before screwing them together.

Start in the middle and work your way to the outsides when putting in screws.

Kneel on one of the planks so it won’t move when screwing in the other one.

The boards should be are aligned on both ends and flush.

Wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next part.

Building the Side Skirts

First, cut all 4 legs to the height you prefer then place the kegs on the table top, while it’s laying face down.

I would place them an inch or two in from each of the four corners.

After that trace a line around the legs, then measure the distance between each leg.

That’s the size that you’ll want to cut all 4 side skirts.

how to make a coffee table

Before you mark the holes to connect the side skirts to the table top, make 2 additional pocket holes on each end of each board, where they will connect to the legs.

Mark those first then mark every 8 or 6 inches from those “side holes”.

You can see what I mean in the above picture.

After the holes are drilled, align them on the table top with the marks you traced for your legs.

Use wood glue again to adhere them before screwing them on.

Make sure the screws are not long enough to go through the top of the table.

Wipe up any excess wood glue.

farmhouse coffee table

How to Add Legs to the Coffee Table

The legs are the easiest because there’s only one place they can fit.

You don’t have to use wood glue here if you think you’ll take it apart, but I did for extra support.

Now align the legs in the empty corners and screw them in with the pocket holes.

diy coffee table

How to Build a Cross Brace for the Coffee Table

To help support the DIY coffee table, you should a cross brace, or “cross rail”, as seen above.

The brace would lay straight across or like in the picture.

You would adhere those in a similar fashion that you did the side braces, like in the picture.

After that, the last things to do is sand the entire table, and paint or stain it whatever color you want.

When you do that, check out my other post on must have paint products.

diy coffee table
DIY Coffee Table

I built this table to actually be of use and accommodate life things, without having to worry about it get dirty, messy, or dinged up. Let me know how your DIY coffee table turned out!

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