DIY Wooden Coffee Table

DIY Wooden Coffee TableYes. Another coffee table. I know. Apparently we just can’t make up our minds on this very important piece of living room furniture. 

If you’re new to this blog, you might not know that I already made a new coffee table (with a fun epoxy top) back in May last year. So, what could possibly possess us to change it up so soon? Well, two things. First, it had gotten bumped pretty hard a few times making the legs a little less sturdy. Plus, we got a new couch. And it’s grey (our last couch was a greenish yellow). So the grey coffee table just didn’t look right with it, and I can’t leave well enough alone, apparently. 

So, we made another coffee table. And it’s probably our favorite to date.

DIY Wooden Coffee Table Really, Trey came up with the idea for turning something like this beautiful 2×4 table into something smaller that could work as a coffee table.

Building the coffee table out of basically a bunch of cut-to-size 2×4 boards turned out to make this a super easy project. After buying the supplies, the building portion only took a couple hours (less if you had your boards cut to size already), and then sealing it took only as long as the dry time. Easy!

Supplies for coffee tableSupplies:
-(9) 55x2x4 inch boards
-(12) 8.5x2x4 inch boards
-(2) 13.5x2x4 inch boards
-(2) bench style hairpin legs, or 4 wooden legs (I used these)
-2.5 inch wood screws (I bought a box of 50 and used about half)
-sandpaper
-Polycrylic protective finish in semi gloss

Tools:
-power saw
-power drill
-paint brush for stain
-saw horses (optional)

First cut your 2×4 boards to the sizes listed above. Set the boards up as they will be for the final look, and mark where the legs will go to ensure space.

Also, please excuse our messy garage. Trey and I built this coffee table together on Christmas Eve in our garage… and it’s a little less than picture perfect in there right now. 🙂

NOTE: If you wanted to remove power tools from the equation altogether, I bet this project could be pulled off pretty easily if you just got all your pieces of wood cut to 55 inches and simply wood glued the whole thing together. We wanted our legs to sit inside the table and wanted it to weigh a little less, so we went with a more hollow center. Either way, just throwing that out there.

Cut the boards to the size you needSecond, lay out the top layer of boards (consisting of five of the 55x2x4 boards). Keep in mind that this will be the top of your coffee table, so pick the prettiest sides. We offset every other board 2.5 inches to get that bundle of 2x4s look. 

The only kind of tricky part to this table is finding the best method to hold the boards together horizontally. We opted to use a couple cross beams and hide them with the second row of 2x4s. So lay out your second row of 55x2x4s on either edge (be sure to stagger 2.5 inches). Grab your 13.5x2x4s  and use them as a guide to figure out where you’ll need to put the notches. Go ahead and lay out your smaller 8.5x2x4s on the vertical edges for that row as well just to make sure they fit.

Mark the edges on your second row of 55x2x4s, so you know where to cut, and give yourself some extra room. This part will be totally hidden anyway. We used our circular saw to cut the notches, but it can be done with a jigsaw or even a handsaw + chisel. A quick google search can show you the best notching techniques based on the tools you have available. Again, it’s gonna be totally hidden, so no big deal if it’s a little/lot sloppy.  Once cut, drill your second row and crossbeams into place.

Screw the boards togetherNext, layer by layer, screw all the boards in place. This is where you can add a staggered, stair step look to the edge if you want. Like I said, ours is offset 2.5 inches. Once you have all the boards in place, screw the legs on as well.

Seal the tableLast you’ll want to sand the entire surface and edges well. 2x4s aren’t always the smoothest. Then seal with a few layers of semi-gloss polyurethane. We chose not to stain the wood as we wanted to keep the light, raw wood color. But if you want to stain before sealing—go for it. I’m not going to stop you. It all depends on what will look best in your space.

DIY Wooden Coffee Table DIY Wooden Coffee Table This coffee table turned out to be much sturdier than any of the others we’ve had in the past, making it a perfect spot to kick your feet up at the end of the day. Thanks for letting us share! xo. Emma (+ Trey)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman and Trey George, Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the A Beautiful Mess actions. In case you’re curious our couch is from UO and our rug is vintage.

  • This is pretty neat! I’m having trouble understanding why I need the 13.5 boards though…

  • Wow thats amazing. The table looks really good. Thank you for this idea!

  • Omg I love the table, it is so simple and stylish. It can be used as side table as well.

  • Omg love this table and over all all the furniture placement, Well 2×4 is a fairly medium sized table, I would say I would go for 4×4 because we have a family of four. Thank you for sharing the tutorial

  • Great coffee table build until it’s time to buy the hairpin legs. Would have been nice to know the legs were so expensive before starting this build. A set of 4 legs at 14″ is $60! By the time you buy the 2×4’s, Kreg screws, legs and polyurethane, this gets to be an expensive build.
    I did build the project anyways because I liked the design and wanted to build my own. It’s a pretty simple build and mine turned out to be really nice. I like the table except for the weight and would have liked to spend a little less building it. Thanks for the idea and sharing your build.

  • Great to see that… I made it too. Plans from WoodPrix’s plans helped me a lot 🙂

  • wooden coffee table looks awesome. you have great photography skills.

  • I love this coffee table! It kind of reminds me of jenaga blocks, which is what I used as my guestbook at my wedding, so this table would be really sentimental to have. Great job!?

  • So unique and creative design! What a beautiful and functional piece of furniture!

  • Hi Meghan!

    Emma used the 16″ legs, but you might measure your couch to figure out how tall you want the coffee table to be. 🙂 -Jacki

  • I love this and want to recreate it this weekend. Do you remember if you bought the 14″ or 16″ hair pin legs?

  • I would definitely recommend for anyone who is thinking about taking on this project to use pocket holes to attach the 2×4’s to each other. Drilling from top to bottom is a huge no-no when it comes to building furniture out of construction lumber. Lumber moves, especially construction lumber as it has a significantly higher moisture content than kilin-dried wood typically used for furniture. As you can already see in the finished picture of this table, some of the top 2×4’s are already bowing and will continue to so in a worse fashion because they were not properly attached to each other.

    The use of pocket holes will allow for the wood to move seasonally, without causing bowing and cracking. It will make a huge difference in longevity of the wood/furniture piece you are making, as well as durability.

  • What a great idea! I love how simplistic yet stylish the table is! Thanks for sharing.

  • I’ve seen DIY coffee tables before, but this one is by far one of my favourites! I love the varying of lengths of wood and the finishing looks great. I’ve been doing a lot more projects at home lately and am so thankful for your site – there is always such awesome inspiration!

  • That sounds about right. If I remember correctly we bought 5 2x4x12ft and had them cut in half at Lowe’s. We had a little extra for sure. So that’s, what, 60ft of wood. If you got 72ft of wood like you’re describing, you’d be just fine!

    Trey

  • It IS comfy. It’s got a thicker cushion than our last couch, but I will say it’s firmer than you think for sure. And yes, they delivered it. It comes in a flat box, and you just have to attach the legs and arms. It’s pretty simple, but you might want a little help, since, well, it’s a couch. 🙂

    Trey

  • I love the way this turned out! Great job!

    Ps. I have that couch!

  • It always amazes me that there are these incredibly simple concepts (2×4’s as a coffee table) that, when executed well, come together to make beautiful and unique pieces. There’s a genius there, I know it. Thanks for sharing.
    http://absolutelytara.com

  • everything is very simple, but stylish. love it. you have a wonderful blog http://keepcalmandreadmorebooks.blogspot.com/

  • Hey Emma, you and Trey did an incredible job! Love the simplicity of the wood, yet the way you stacked it makes it super special and interesting. Question (if you remember) – based on the measurements you provided, I calculated this to be approximately 8 to 9 2x4x8ft boards. Does this sound right? Thanks again for the beautiful inspiration!

  • Wow!! Table is really cool! My love would love that in our futur home together… Very nice guys!
    xoxo
    Melodie
    http://www.sevenlivesandmore.com/

  • Wow it’s so gorgeous! Looks great with it’s natural wooden look, at the same time we can experiment with other colours as well. Thanks for sharing the great idea with us Emma, this can definitely be my try for this holiday.

  • Wow, I’m so baffled at how great of an idea this is. It’s really a beautifully rustic table. Such a great idea!

  • Such a cool post!
    Love from www.trangscorner.com – a lifestyle, cooking, fashion blog

  • Love the simplicity of this coffee table. It’s beautiful!
    Xo

  • I think this may be my favorite of the coffee tables that you all have done. My husband really likes it too. I love how it’s natural and unassuming and yet feels designer, too.

  • This table is beautiful and matches your room perfectly!

    x Kate
    www.the-little-day-dreamer.blogspot.com

  • I am glad you are happy with how this turned out! I think I would have liked it better with smaller/thinner pieces of wood (more similar to the table that inspired it)…to me this just looks bulky and unfinished. I do like the concept though! And what matters most is that you like it. Way to think outside the box!

  • Wow this is so impressive! Doesn’t look too hard to make either!

    She Likes to Shop

  • Oh it’s lovely! Would love to make something like this. Perhaps a dining table? Might be too heavy though.

    http://stainsofpaint.blogspot.com/

  • I love the funky look of the offset wood. Very cute and it goes great with the new couch.

  • I blame national pride but I can’t help myself. It makes ne ridiculously happy to spot some Marimekko items in this blog. That mug is my favourite design since the mugs, plates etc all go together even tough the print is different. Yay Finland.

    Also the table is gorgeous!

  • This is a great looking coffee table! I know you often write with a specific gender in mind but I could definitely see this in a man cave somewhere. Love the fact that it is so robust and bold yet would compliment most other colours!

    Ben | www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

  • Wow, that is a great idea. I love wood so this is amazing.. I need now something for my books. If you have some idea for manyyyy books.. From the wood and I would like to do it myself.. “O) Thx. Nice day.

    http://www.fashiondenis.com

  • Gorgeous! Will definitely be trying this when we move into our new place! ♡

  • This is so beautiful!<3 I will for sure make one of these for my future home.

    www.sillycrazylove.com

  • Oh wow, that is just a stunning coffee table! Really fantastic idea, you guys!

    Xoxoxo
    http://thoughtsintiffanyblue.blogspot.com/

  • I absolutely love this. Wow. I love the raw nature of the wood. Happy new year!

    :] // http://www.itscarmen.com

  • So cute and soooo simple! Plus Home Depot would totally pre cut all the wood for you!

    Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

  • I totally love this idea! The staggered wood has such a cool look. I think I would probably stain the wood to have a darker finish. That way it would go along with the rest of our furniture. But this looks super doable for a woodcrafting noob haha. Thanks for sharing!

  • That is beautiful! Love it! Can I ask, where is the couch from, it looks lovely! Always on a hunt for a new couch:)

  • Emma (and trey)- the table looks awesome! Questions about your couch- you said it was from UO? Is it comfy and did you have it delivered? I’m in the market for a new couch and I love yours!

  • This is gorgeous Emma! I absolute can’t get enough of the look of wood and metal together and this is a perfect example of it!

    xx Kathryn
    http://www.throughthethicket.ca

    P.S. Love the new couch too!

  • What a stunning coffee table!! In love with the rawness of it. It would look great in so many different spaces, from a very white living room to a really organic setup with lots of plants and wood and natural elements.

    Also, the lighting + the actions helped make those photos just gorgeous! Seriously. That pop of light that hits the table and the natural dark and moody tones around it really highlight the table and make it the star of the show.

    Fabulous job, Emma and Trey!

    Neha // http://nehasharmaphoto.com/blog

  • Love this coffee table.. the zig zag look at the top is brilliant… and esp love the option of not needing any power tools to pull this off..

    xo
    Hems
    agoldentulip.blogspot.com

  • This is a very cool shape. It would look awesome stained or painted as well, but I also like it in its raw form.

  • Gorgeous! I can’t believe something so simple could make an impact like that. I am tempted to make the whole original kitchen table!

  • Woah, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! There’s nothing like a wooden coffee table, is there? I love how it looks so raw and natural, but it’s still protected with polyurethane.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

  • I love this so much! So simple and stylish! We have a mess of old bar wood that always repurposing, and it would be cool done similar:)

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

  • It’s perfect! Looks amazing with the new sofa. Love it. xx

    www.sarah-nunn.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is freakin brilliant!! Seriously..so simple! I may use a similar idea for a bench!!

  • A wonderful idea! And as I recently have won a circular hand saw from the famour brand with the red logo now I know what to do with this saw 🙂 Thanks for that www.dressedwithsoul.com

  • Love it! You could also make this a little longer/higher and use it as a plant stand under a window maybe. Nice job guys!!

  • this is awesome! i have a lovely blonde wood vintage coffee table that i love but my husband hates, i could definitely live with this one though, it’s really neat!

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