Cubed End Table

Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them)     Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them)     We moved into our house almost six months ago, and we're just now getting our living room in order. Once we received our awesome sofa from Joybird, things started clicking. I wanted to create some kind of side table solution that would go with the couch. Sarah had an idea for it, which I took and ran with. We wanted the tables to be squarish, sturdy, and have some storage space built in. I also wanted to experiment with color combos instead of the safe all-black palette that is so easy to fall back on. I like all black, but I also like color (such an internal struggle). I ended up making twin (fraternal not identical) side tables for either end of the couch. (You can see the other one in our living room tour here.)

I love how clean these tables turned out! The great thing about building your own furniture is…well there are several reasons, but one of them is that the pieces are exactly to your specifications and taste. You can take this design and change it so many ways to fit your own taste.

Both tables cost about $125 to make. (I'll break down the cost below.)

-select pine boards 1 x 8 x 10 (4 @ $25 each)
-pocket hole plugs, stain grade (pack of 50 was $5)
-stain ($5)
-paint (custom gloss mixed quart, $15)
-wood glue

-table saw
-miter saw
-circular saw
-pocket hole jig
-speed square
-straight edge

Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them)     Step One: The first thing I like to do is cut out all the material. Here's the cut list for each table:

-9" x 18" (6)
-9" x 16.5" (2)
-8.25" x 1.5" (8)
-15" x 1.5" (8)

Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them)      Step Two: I glued the 8.25" x 1.5" and two 15" x 1.5" in pairs, then clamped them to dry.

Wood end tables cubed -base(click to learn how I made them)

Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them)     Step Three: While the leg pieces were drying, I put together the box using four of the 9" x 18" and two 9" x 16.5" pieces. I used wood glue and a nailer to fasten the pieces together. After the legs were nice and dry, I drilled some pocket holes in two sides of one end of the 8.25" long pieces and attached them to the bottom of the box. To attach the bottom pieces, I drilled pocket holes on either end of one side of the 15" long pieces and screwed them in putting the pocket hole on the bottom. Once the entire base was attached, I plugged the holes.

Wood-end-tables-cubed-creating-top-(click-to-learn-how-I-made-them)Wood-end-tables-cubed-creating-top-(click-to-learn-how-I-made-them)Step Four: At this point, the table is starting to look like something! Now for the top/lid part. I took two of the 9" x 18" pieces and glued/screwed them together using pocket holes. If you want to bypass this step, all you have to do is buy a board that is 18" wide and cut it 18" long. I like the look of the sanded plugs. That's why I did it that way. (I like the process to be visible on my work.) After the two boards were attached to each other, I cut the piece in half diagonally with a circular saw. I nailed one side onto the top of the box. On the other triangle, I nailed two scrap 1"ish pieces 3/4" from the edge, so it would fit snugly in place. I was considering using hinges, but then I thought about our sweet baby, and I didn't want her little hands to get caught under the lid.

Wood end tables cubed -base(click to learn how I made them)The lid fit perfectly snug, almost too snug to lift up. So I took a utility knife and carved out a little finger ledge for easy grasping. Once I had the whole thing put together, I filled all nail holes and unwanted crevices with wood filler and sanded it. I took my time to sand everything nice and extra smooth. Although I like the process to shine through (like with the plugs), I wanted the box and legs to look like one piece as much as possible. This is all personal preference, which you can choose to ignore, build upon, or follow. You have so much freedom when building your own stuff, which is great!

Wood-end-tables-cubed-painting-(click-to-learn-how-I-made-them)I stained the top with ebony wood stain, taped it off, and then painted the bottom with a color I knew Sarah loved (her favorite color is reddish-orange in case you ever want to get her something.) After the stain dried, I taped off one corner and painted it with an accent color that I liked and I thought would go with the black stain and base paint color. Once the entire thing was dry, I brushed on a couple coats of semi-gloss poly all over and called it a day (actually I started on the second table.) 

Wood end tables cubed (click to learn how I made them) I really like how these tables turned out. They look pretty dang good in our living room if I can say so. The more important thing is that Sarah likes them too!

Our Hopson sofa (in Track Charcoal) from Joybird can be found here. -Josh

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua & Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Evelyn from the Lightroom Collection.

  • I like the fact that you are matching the color of the lamp to the orange in the platform. I want to try this with slightly larger dimensions and perhaps round platforms. Very cool project. Thank you.

  • This is so cute!
    I was looking for a lighter table but we have this heavy table at home we can’t easily discard, so I removed the drawers to make a room below the glass surface.
    Our living room seems so full with two big green sofas (a gift from a friend) and this table and two cupboards.
    Do you perhaps have any idea how I should handle this and make it homier? Thank you!

  • These are gorgeous! Love your posts as they’re easy to digest and makes me feel I can do it. I wanted to ask as I may have missed it, but did you ever do a post on woodwork for beginners? As in, what’s best to start off with and what’s worth investing in? Keep up the awesome work!

  • Love this!! Want to do it with white and a gold accent to the corner!

  • Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. I love this coffee table from West Elm. It is called the Emerson and sells there now. If you ever do a DIY coffee table on the reclaimed wood west elm coffee table or a similar design, then I would go definitely make it myself. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • first, the colour. YAAASSSS! second, I am surprised with how the table opens up. so unexpected!

  • This is such a cute idea for a coffee table. It would look wonderful stained!

  • How adorable is that table! You guys are awesome!
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  • Dang? Not a word we use in the UK!! But I’ll take it, it means a good thing!!

  • This is such a great idea – looks awesome and is functional, pretty much can’t be beat!! XO, D

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