DIY Brass Side Tables

Brass side table DIYTrey and I have been wanting a side table (or two) for next to an over sized chair in our living room. Often one of us (or both, if we’re feeling snugly) will sit in this chair while eating dinner and watching the Daily Show. The problem? There’s nowhere to set a cup or your plate temporarily when your done. We have three dogs (three!) so not having a place off the ground for your drinking glass or empty plate can be a dangerous thing. 🙂

We used to have these DIY tree stump tables next to the chair. But, then I moved them into the bedroom because I liked how they looked next to a wicker chair. I really liked the height of the tree stumps next to the chair, they weren’t too large, which would block our walking area in that space. So, I decided to make us a side table (or two).

Brass side table DIYBrass side table DIYThese are heavily modeled after this Jonathan Adler table. I first saw this table in his home (in his book) and loved it! I actually thought it might be vintage at first, but of course it’s his own design. So pretty. Here’s how I made my tables.

How to make a side table step 11.) Supplies needed: three aluminum sheet metal (usually sold 3 ft x 2 ft), two wood rounds, wood stain, polyurethane, heavy-duty glue*. Not pictured: metal clippers, work gloves, embroidery thread, masking tape, scissors, spray paint primer, brass spray paint (or any color you prefer), sandpaper and RotoZip RotoSaw+.

2.) Cut your metal sheets to your desired height. For the larger of my two tables I needed two metal sheets, so if you are creating a larger side table be sure to cut two sheets the same height. Always wear work gloves when working with metal-it’s sharp stuff! Try to cut along the top edge of the design, so you can avoid having jagged edges.

How to make a side table step 23.) Use the embroidery thread to securely tie the metal sheets into rounds. Similar to this tutorial. Use a neutral colored thread. But we will be painting this later so it doesn’t have to match perfectly. I taped one edge of my thread as I worked, this helped me thread it in and out for the metal sheet more easily.

4. Prime the metal table base. Be sure to get the inside and outside. Once dry (check your bottle for dry times) spray with your desired color. I choose a brassy gold color, but you could also do a brighter gold, color or even leave it white.

Final steps for side table5.) Sand your wood rounds so they feel super smooth to the touch. Stain them with whatever color you choose and allow to fully dry. Check the container for dry times. Then coat with polyurethane.

6.) Place the metal base (cut side down) on to the wood round. Trace a circle around where the metal hits. I used a RotoZip RotoSaw+ to cut a groove over this line. Squeeze a little crazy glue* into the cut, then fit your metal base into the cut. This is easier done with a partner (thanks Elsie!).

*I had originally planned to use J.B. Weld glue as it was recommended to me while I was buying supplies at the hardware store. Once I started using it I found it was too goopy to cleanly get into the cut groove. So, I instead used crazy glue.

How to make retro style side tablesOnce your wood dries you are good to go. If you glued the cut side of the metal into the top wood round of the table(s) you shouldn’t have a problem with these scraping the ground. Be sure to pick them up when moving (they weigh practically nothing so it’s easy) or place a rug under them for extra security. Enjoy your new side table(s)! I know we will. 🙂 xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.

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